Monday morning of PorcFest started out slow. “Oh no,” I thought. Nobody’s coming. But by the evening it was clear that PorcFest was indeed happening. It has become a lot more spread out. In the past, most of the activity happened down on the main field. Entrepreneurial people saw the opportunity to sell things to the people concentrated there and began renting sites close to the field to capitalize on the market. Over time, FSP Inc began charging the vendors for their prime real estate, imposing rules and restrictions, and creating bureaucracies to manage what they affectionately named “Agora Valley.” Well intentioned I am sure, but the results were perfectly predictable: No more vendors in Agora Valley.
The effect of the regulations are that everyone dispersed throughout the campground. Even though FSP Inc tried to reverse course by removing most restrictions and “property taxes,” it was too late. The market internalized the new reality. The last vestige of control remains: In order to reserve a site in the previously coveted first three rows of campsites, one must first contact an official PorcFest organizer and state their intention for a particular site; then he contacts the campground, and only then can the vendor call up the campground and claim their desired sites. This caused huge delays reminiscent of a Politburo. Now when you drive into the campground for Porcfest, you see rows and rows of empty campsites. In the past, the field and its adjoining sites were bursting with activity. The good news is that there is plenty of activity to be found around the campground with “splinter cells” emerging from this diaspora. People going their own way. Fewer monopolies. More coffee served in more places. Lower barriers to entry, but less economies of scale.
Also one interesting thing is that transportation technology has changed the game at PorcFest. Now everyone has these electronic transport pods — scooters, skateboards, wheels — that they are flying around on really fast. It is really easy to get from one end to the other. “It used to be a pain to get to where Ernie is, but I rode the wheel over there, and it was a pleasure,” said Porcfest attendee Steven Zeiler. This year’s Porcfest is big, it is exciting, it is high energy, it is fun, and I think everyone involved (including attendees) are doing a terrific job bringing the best they have to offer.
This is a microcosm of the freedom experiment, and if we are to succeed on scale, then we must succeed in our independent mini village in the woods. Good to see Porcfest moving away from central control and more in the direction of what they are now calling “Independent offerings,” and they now play a more supportive role rather than a central planning role. Good!
The Porcupine Freedom Festival is in its 17th year, and every year brings changes. Sometimes a step forward, sometimes a step back. You can follow along and see for yourself what life is like at this event as I document each day for you.
Here is the first video in the series. Steven and I begin construction on the Dome, the centerpiece and hub of activity within “Energy City.” The mini city encompasses 3 “city blocks,” (campsites) and contains spaces for meeting, eating, moving and dancing, stretching and exercising.
Abby and Ryan provide fresh fruits and vegetables with their tent “Porcupine Produce” right at the entrance to the city. Propane heaters and picnic tables flank the sides. James provides the Bistro lighting and ambiance by illuminating the trees of the city. Steven rocks the dome with heavy beats that can be heard from far and wide. Derrick leads morning yoga under the shade of the big tree by the exercise area, complete with weight bench, free weights, and a barbell. Health, strength, and energy to achieve liberty in our lifetime.
A local business owner walked into the Anypay offices a few weeks ago.
“Would be awesome to take bitcoin at my restaurant. Do you guys… do that?”
Turns out he owns a pizza shop and likes bitcoin. Well isn’t that good timing? Bitcoin Pizza Day right around the corner, and a guy walks in ready to sell me pizzas for bitcoin. It was fate.
He downloaded Anypay, set some addresses, and took a payment.
“Cool! That’s it?”
Yeah, that’s everyone’s reaction the first time they use Anypay.
I asked him if we could bring some friends to his restaurant and use bitcoin. He was like, “Yeah!” So a week later, we went to try it out. Bought some spicy chicken wings and a case of cold Guinness beers to go. Tap, tap, tap. Scan, ding, cha-ching! Easy.
On May 22nd 2010, someone spent 10,000 Bitcoin (BTC) to purchase two pizzas. This historic first-real-life-usage-of-bitcoin has since been celebrated as “Bitcoin Pizza Day” and here in Keene we celebrated Bitcoin Pizza Day for the fourth year in a row at Little Zoe’s Pizza in Keene. Little Zoe’s has been accepting cryptocurrencies for years and the weather was perfect for a gathering of those who not only were interested in crypto, but also willing to potentially violate “HIS EXCELLENCY” Chris Sununu’s “executive orders”.
As has been the case for years in Keene, more than several crypto-enthusiasts gathered for Bitcoin Pizza Day, though one did have a mask.
Recently due to the ridiculous and tyrannical COVID crackdown on freedom that we’ve seen globally over the last two months, Murphy’s Taproom in Manchester closed its doors and the area’s longest-running Cryptocurrency Vending Machine (CVM) had to be moved to the other Murphy’s location in Bedford. Now, a month later, the CVM is back at Murphy’s Taproom in downtown Manchester at 494 Elm St as they prepare to reopen on Monday to their regular hours of 11:30am-Midnight, seven-days-a-week!
Originally installed back in 2016, the General Bytes brand CVM has been offering Bitcoin (BTC), DASH, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and most recently Monero (XMR) to the community at competitive rates, with unparalleled privacy. Since then, the area has seen close to a dozen competing CVMs spring up, many of which are severely limited on the amount available to purchase and invasive of users’ privacy.
Given the economic ruin being imposed by the federal and state government gangs, now may be a really good time to start learning about and acquiring cryptocurrency. The CVM in Manchester makes acquiring crypto as simple as putting cash in a vending machine. If you’re new to crypto, install some wallet software like Edge Wallet or Exodus Wallet and drop by Murphy’s Taproom any day to purchase some cryptocurrency.
The excellent libertarian podcast “Punk Rock Libertarians” recently interviewed two of the best activists who cut their teeth in Keene and also bloggers of Free Keene, Derrick J Freeman and Ademo Freeman. The hosts of the show really have an appreciation for the activism here and it’s cool to look back with Ademo and Derrick J and also see what they are up to today. Don’t miss these great interviews. You can follow PRL’s YouTube and subscribe to their podcast. Punk Rock Libertarians also airs on LRN.FM.