The most important thing to know is that there’s no central committee deciding anything for the decentralized event. Just about the only thing generally agreed upon are the dates. Even the name has changed, depending on who you ask. In 2018, Free Keene blogger Darryl W Perry came up with the catchy name, “Forkfest”, which seems to have stuck with many participants. An unofficial Forkfest website was launched along with an unofficial Telegram chat room and unofficial Forkfest Forum. Liberty.menu has created an event to which one can RSVP. Last year there were even two competing event calendars made by attendees.
Darryl’s “Forkfest” name speaks to the idea that this event “forked” off from the Porcupine Freedom Festival. Some have noted that attending Forkfest felt to them like the first original Porcfests, which were much less centrally managed early on than they are today. Porcfest is still a great event, but its direction over the years has resulted in some wanting an alternative, and now they have it as Forkfest 2019 is coming up June 13th through 18th, at Rogers Campground. There are no ticket prices, as there is no organization behind the event. It’s just a bunch of liberty loving people coming to the same campground at the same time. Whatever happens, happens.
Five-Hour Rave at Forkfest 2017
Some Forkfest attendees may just want to hang out and camp with other like-minded people while others may wish to create activities and events for their fellow attendees. Usually, they’ll announce their plans on the Telegram chat or Forkfest forum and already there’s going to be “Mancamp”, nightly dance parties thrown by Anypay, and looks like at least a couple of food vendors. Maybe there’s something you want to see happen? Make it happen!
One excited past Forkfest attendee, Chris Waid of tech talk show Freedom Decrypted has stepped up to help promote Forkfest by purchasing a major sponsorship of Porcfest! Thanks to Waid’s efforts, Forkfest is now a Gold level sponsor of Porcfest! That means Porcfest’s VIP tent will be provided by Forkfest and Forkfest fliers will be in all Porcfest attendees’ bags, promoting Forkfest 2020. When asked about his reasons for sponsoring the event, Waid said, “As a programmer and CEO of a tech company that deals in free or open source software where forking is a common solution to problems of centralization it would have been difficult for me to pass on an opportunity to help sponsor events I love and particularly when one has been forked from the other.”
Darryl W Perry interviews Porcfest head organizer Rodger Paxton in the LRN.FM Tent at Forkfest 2018
Forkfest 2018 was a success! From those I spoke with on the subject, we had way more attendees than last year (which was the first year of the new, decentralized libertarian camping festival). Numbers were noticeably heavier on the first day this year and we hit an estimated over 100 by Saturday. 150 more arrived Sunday for Jay Noone’s wedding and many stayed until the final day, Monday, which included parties thrown by Darryl W Perry and the now annual final night bash at Jim and Chris Babb’s campsite.
The attendees were much more geographically diverse with attendees from across the United States and even from as far away as Lithuania!
Of course, since Forkfest is decentralized and has no organizers or tickets, we really have only estimates of attendance based on observing the state of the campground. That said, it was clearly up maybe three times more than last year, and that’s if you don’t factor in the 150 wedding attendees.
The weather was excellent until the very last day when we were hit with a pounding storm during Free Talk Live‘s recording. Like last year, we broadcast from the event every day from one of the RV sites. Initially it was the opening night hangout for the hardcore campers who showed up for the always-least-populated first day of Thursday.
Rich Paul leads the traditional 4:20 celebration at Forkfest 2018.
On Saturday, we gathered at the LRN.FM broadcast tent for 4:20 with Rich Paul performing his invocation over the PA system. Much cannabis was smoked and a good time had by all.
Sunday was Jay and Shalon Noone’s beautiful wedding and reception, attended by a good portion of the entire park. You can see photos from the wedding as well as the LRN.FM tent broadcasts on my Google Photos album here.
Monday included the parties I mentioned above and many vendors arriving for the Porcupine Freedom Festival which is the long-running, centrally-organized, ticketed libertarian festival that begins at the end of Forkfest.
Shalon and Jay Noone, shortly after getting married – the first ever at Forkfest.
Word has definitely gotten around about Forkfest and many attendees were only planning on staying for Forkfest rather than staying all the way through the Porcupine Freedom Festival (Porcfest). Attendees I spoke with seemed to appreciate the fact that no one was in charge, the decentralization, and the freedom found at Forkfest as a result. (Porcfest, as an organized, board-directed festival, has acquired a number of undesirable rules and vendor fees that has turned many away over the years.)
As with last year, this year’s festival had different names, depending on whom you asked. Whether Forkfest, Somaliafest, or Banned Camp, it’s intended to be the five days prior to the start of the Porcupine Freedom Festival. Forkfest is five full days of no rules (beyond what Rogers Campground already has, and they are pretty hands-off) and just good liberty-oriented company at a beautiful site located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Each attendee decides what to do, bring, or create for others.
Pencil in Forkfest on your calendar for 2019 from June 13th until the 18th. Those are tentative dates, based on what Porcfest organizer Rodger Paxton said about Porcfest 2019’s likely dates of 6/18-23. For the latest info and to plan for next year with other attendees, please join the unofficial Forkfest forum and Telegram chat, which you can find via the unofficial website at Forkfest.party. You can also RSVP via the Forkfest 2019 entry on Liberty.menu. Given we only promoted this year’s event for three months prior and we’ll be promoting 2019 for a full year, it should be even bigger next year! See you in 2019!
Liberty-oriented campers hanging out by the LRN.FM broadcast tent, Day One of Forkfest 2018
Forkfest 2018, the decentralized liberty camping event has started small but strong, kicking off yesterday at Roger’s Campground in the beautiful White Mountains of Lancaster, New Hampshire.
Like the first event last year, this year started slow on Thursday while many are still at work. By my estimates, more are here already this year than were here last year by this time. Not only that, the geographic variety of attendees is more pronounced. This year already has visitors from Lithuania and the United Kingdom as well as a couple from Virginia. Plus many others have indicated they intend to be here no later than Saturday.
What’s happening at Forkfest 2018? Good question! Parties, athletic events, a wedding, a letter-writing event for Ross Ulbricht, a Mesh Networking session, and others have been announced by various attendees. Of course, plenty of socializing and just hanging out by a campfire. There are already a couple of competing calendars that have popped up for attendees to use to promote whatever events they’re involved with. You can find those calendars via the unofficial Forkfest Forum.
Tavern Owner Laura Hardiman Poses with the Anypay App and Cryptocurrency-Loving Forkfest Attendees
If you’re in the area, come on up to Lancaster and join us. There are no tickets to Forkfest (and no organizers or board of directors)! Your only expenses to enjoy your time with other libertarians, voluntarists, and liberty-loving anarchists are your camping costs from Rogers Campground.
Forkfest continues through Monday the 18th and is expected to grow throughout the weekend. Of course, it’s not going to be the size of the fifteen year event that it was spawned from, the Porcupine Freedom Festival (aka Porcfest), which begins on Tuesday the 19th at noon and runs through Sunday the 25th
In addition, we also discussed Forkfest, the active NH Freedom Migration, and the advertising proposal I made this week to get DASH to renew their sponsorship of Free Talk Live, my national talk radio show. Plus, I announced the public beta of a very cool website where you can create printable DASH tips you can leave with servers at restaurants or give to whoever you want to introduce to cryptocurrency! It’s called cryptotip.org and it’s exclusive to DASH at this time. If you love DASH, you should give it a try and feel free to let me know what you think!
Thanks so much to the DASH Force News crew for the opportunity. Here’s the full interview:
New Hampshire Public Radio Posts Feature on NH Freedom Migration
Thanks to New Hampshire Public Radio reporter Taylor Quimby (originally from the Keene area) for his detailed and well-researched report on the Free State Project, which delves into the history of the project, the diversity of opinions of its movers, their effectiveness and impact in New Hampshire, including plenty of focus on Free Keene – one of the top blogs in NH that chronicles the NH Freedom Migration, focusing on Keene.
This year, New Hampshire’s decentralized liberty camping event is back, once again to be held Jun 14th-18th (the five days prior to Porcfest). However, the talk radio shows on LRN.FM have been calling this year’s event Forkfest, a name created by Liberty Lobbyist Darryl W Perry.
Why Forkfest? It’s an embracing of the idea of “forking” or when a movement (cryptocurrency, political, religious, or whatever) has a split, usually when some perceived impasse among a growing group is reached. It’s something that has happened in New Hampshire’s freedom migration over the last fifteen years on multiple occasions. Such schisms are natural with large numbers of people, which most libertarians don’t have if they are outside of New Hampshire, so libertarians aren’t used to it. Given the ever-increasing number of liberty activists moving to NH, they were inevitable.
Ernest Hancock and Will Coley Broadcasting from Forkfest 2017
Unlike Porcfest, which is a great festival in its own right, Forkfest differs in that there is no organizer, no board of directors, and no one in charge. That means that everyone attending must decide how to self-organize. Throw a party, perform music, put on speeches, sell food or merchandise, whatever happens to be your inspiration! Or, if you just want to take it easy and camp around the company of other libertarians, voluntarists, and liberty-minded anarchists, no problem! Just lock down your camping, RV site, or Motel Room at Roger’s Campground for June 14th-18th and enjoy. There are no tickets to Forkfest.
If you’d like to plan something for attendees to do, see what else is being planned (there’s at least one party, athletic events, and a marriage already scheduled as of this writing), or just connect with other Forkfest attendees, visit the Forkfest forum (part of the Shire Forum). Also, you’ll find links to Forkfest chat rooms and an event to which you can RSVP on the unofficial Forkfest website at Forkfest.party.