Back in 2017 a few NH liberty activists, including Free Keene bloggers Derrick and Steven decided to create their own friendly competitor to the Porcupine Freedom Festival, initially called Somaliafest. The idea was that it would be a decentralized alternative to Porcfest, which is the yearly festival thrown at Rogers Campground by the Free State Project. A few dozen folks came out to attend it and it went by a few names at the time. People seemed to have a good time so they decided to do it again in 2018.
Forkfest Sponsors Porcfest!
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.
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!
Five-Hour Rave at Forkfest 2017
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.”
Porcfest is also promoting the sponsorship in advance of this year’s event, alerting Porcfest attendees that Forkfest 2019 is happening and is a great excuse to stay in New Hampshire even longer. Together, the events span 10 days and are both held at the same campground. Forkfest is this June 13th through 18th and Porcfest is the 18th through the 23rd.
Hello from the second night of the fifth annual Anarchapulco in Acapulco, Mexico! It’s my third year broadcasting my talk show from the event, which I last year said had surpassed Porcfest as the must-attend annual liberty event.
Ron Paul and Ian Freeman wearing a Pho Keene Great hat.
Unfortunately, this year’s event received quite a bit of bad press in the couple weeks prior. A self-proclaimed anarchist, John Galton was shot to death. Galton had been living in the area after allegedly escaping prosecution for cannabis “crimes” by the US Federal gang. Despite the murder having nothing to do with Anarchapulco as Galton was co-organizer of a different and now-canceled event called Anarchaforko, Anarchapulco was targeted by the media anyway.
No one knows the real story behind the murder. Various theories abound. Was the murder an inside job, a cartel killing, or something else? Would Anarchapulco founder Jeff Berwick be gunned down during his own event? This had the liberty community buzzing away before Anarchapulco 2019 began. Would the speakers show up? Would the attendees? I even heard that some craven busybodies had been contacting speakers and encouraging them to cancel.
Turns out, the event is a major success, with excellent attendance, likely more than last year, which was a sellout. This year the organizers rented the entire resort and it seems to have been worth it. They’re already planning for 2020.
Anarchapulco 2019 Logo
That said, it is likely some attendees chose to stay home due to fear. According to one participant, Anarchapulco tickets were allegedly being offered for sale before the event at a very low price on some facebook group. There was discussion by some over what, if any, extra security would be provided. This, despite no credible threat being made against the event.
It’s true that some speakers didn’t make it either, but that happens at any convention, especially one the size and complexity of Anarchapulco, where there are several stages operating simultaneously. It’s inevitable cancellations will occur. Shit happens.
The real test was Dr. Ron Paul, who was scheduled to speak this evening as the event keynote. If he didn’t show, I think the tone of the event would have shifted to depressed and negative from excited and positive.
Not only did Ron Paul show up and give a great, uplifting speech, he came in the front like a boss, rather than slipping in the back, and spent plenty of time with his fans on his leisurely pace to the main event stage. He stopped many times for long periods to chat and pose for photos. Afterwards, there was a special dinner with Dr. Paul and he hung around to spend even more time with regular event attendees both before and after the dinner, in different parts of the hotel. We just kept seeing him over and over posing with people for photos. It was great.
Lyn Ulbricht chats with Ron Paul at Anarchapulco 2019
There’s a reason Ron Paul is a libertarian hero and people flock to see him speak. He has always stood for his beliefs, whether in D.C., Texas, or in Acapulco. He’s never backed down.
When some suggested we at Free Talk Live not attend at all and even my co-host Mark Edge proffered we hide away broadcasting in a green room, I said no way. I don’t live in fear. I’m glad and honored to have Ron Paul at my side – literally.
Thanks for coming to Anarchapulco 2019, Ron. You rock.
UPDATED @ 20:31 Eastern 2018-09-22 – I contacted a source within the FSP about this last night, long before going to press. The takedown was confirmed by the source but they would not speak publicly about it.
The FSP’s Announcement of Cody Wilson’s Now-Canceled Speech at Liberty Forum 2019
UPDATED @ 18:10 Eastern 2018-09-22 – See bottom of story for FSP’s response.
Cody Wilson is a libertarian hero who has made countless international headlines in the last several years, first for releasing plans for the world’s first 3D-printable gun, the “Liberator”. After that, he created the “Ghost Gunner” hardware, which makes machining a gun from scratch almost as easy as pressing “start”. All the while, he has bravely thumbed his nose at the oppressive state and federal governments and recently won a major settlement from the federal government that illegally tried to stop him from engaging in the free speech of sharing his 3d-printable weapon files.
Wilson’s a free speech and gun rights champion, no doubt. No wonder the Free State Project had asked him to speak at their 2019 Liberty Forum convention they’ve held in the wintertime here in New Hampshire for over a decade. It wouldn’t be the first time Wilson’s spoken at the Liberty Forum. Here’s a Forbes article talking about Wilson’s speech from 2014’s Liberty Forum. Here’s a video interview of Wilson at the 2014 Liberty Forum by Free Keene blogger Garret Ean.
Sadly, this week an arrest warrant was issued from Austin, Texas police alleging Wilson had met a sixteen-year-old young lady on a website called SugarDaddyMeet.com, took her to a hotel room, had sex with her, gave her $500, then dropped her off at a Whataburger. In Texas the “age of consent”, is apparently 17, which means they are charging Wilson with felony “sexual assault” for the consensual act he committed with his “victim”.
Within a couple of days, the Free State Project (FSP) quietly removed Wilson’s photo and bio from its place on the front page of their NH Liberty Forum website. Wilson’s photo had occupied the top left speaker’s position on their list of expected speakers. That pretty much means he was their top billed keynote speaker.
Poof! Just like that, he was gone. It’s not the first time they’ve tried to memory hole something – there was also the time when they tried to suppress video of a well-produced awards ceremony from Liberty Forum 2016 featuring me as a recipient.
Wilson’s still caught in Google’s cache of the FSP’s Liberty Forum site.
Oops! Turns out the FSP forgot to cleanse their Twitter of their announcement of Wilson’s speaking gig which I included as the top graphic here, in case they take the tweet down.
The Free State Project used to be the reason many of us libertarians, voluntaryists, and liberty-loving anarchists moved to New Hampshire. They were known for throwing two great yearly events, including the previously mentioned Liberty Forum and the Porcupine Freedom Festival in the summertime. However in recent years, the FSP has taken a strong turn away from the principles of liberty by jettisoning any people they can associate with any uncomfortable ideas of sexual liberation. Namely, the crazy idea that teenagers could possibly make decisions for themselves. (more…)
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.
Darryl W Perry interviews Porcfest head organizer Rodger Paxton in the LRN.FM Tent at Forkfest 2018
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.
Friday a group of us hit the US Border Patrol internal checkpoint on which I blogged and posted video from yesterday here.
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.
Speaking of vendors, with the exception of a couple of heroic breakfast vendors, food vending was largely a missed opportunity. Many Forkfest attendees had to acquire their own food throughout a good portion of the festival. Luckily, the restaurant at the just-down-the-street Cabot Inn, “The Olde Bostonian Tavern & Grill” had recently started taking cryptocurrency like Bitcoin (BTC) and DASH! Some of us ate there on multiple evenings!
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.)
Shalon and Jay Noone, shortly after getting married – the first ever at Forkfest.
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!
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.
Liberty-oriented campers hanging out by the LRN.FM broadcast tent, Day One of Forkfest 2018
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.
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.
Tavern Owner Laura Hardiman Poses with the Anypay App and Cryptocurrency-Loving Forkfest Attendees
Or, stay in the hotel down the street, where the new hotel restaurant, ‘The Olde Bostonian Tavern & Grill” has started taking cryptocurrency including Bitcoin and DASH! A group of about ten of us went out to eat and several of us paid with crypto, mostly using DASH. The owner was super-excited to receive her first cryptocurrency transactions!
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
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.
New Hampshire Public Radio Posts Feature on NH Freedom Migration
The audio version of the report is excellent, with audio that doesn’t appear in the printed version. Both editions are lengthy, so settle in for a good long read or listen.
Besides a few minor quibbles, Taylor’s reporting is fair and the audio version is quite entertaining. I laughed out loud a few times.
In case you were curious, I’ve uploaded the full hourlong interview Taylor did with me where we discussed the Keene 420s, how I found the Free State Project and its early history, the start of Free Talk Live, my early discovery of libertarianism, Robin Hooding, the NH freedom migration, Shire Society, Forkfest and schisms in the movement, the Shire Free Church, Porcfest, cryptocurrency in NH, the FSP-FTL breakup, decentralization, and the (in my opinion) success of the Free State Project:
One of the quibbles I have with the NHPR report is the audio used as evidence of the Robin Hooders‘ supposed bad behavior is actually audio of hater Rev. David Berman when he was haranguing Robin Hooder Graham Colson. To my knowledge no Robin Hooder ever behaved like Berman and purposefully invaded the Parking Enforcers’ personal space (and the Enforcers under oath in the case never said the Hooders ever did such a thing). (more…)