Decentralized Freedom Festivals Rise in Friendly Competition to Porcfest 2017

Will Coley's Five-Hour Rave at Somaliafest & Shirefest 2017

Will Coley’s Five-Hour Rave at Somaliafest & Shirefest 2017

Last year at the Porcupine Freedom Festival, Will Coley of Muslims 4 Liberty threw and was the DJ for what people have said was the best party at Porcfest 2016. This year, Will again performed at Roger’s Campground as an electronic music DJ and played for five straight hours, two hours of which was beyond the campground’s “quiet time” of 11pm! However, Will’s party was not held during Porcfest 2017 – it happened during the new decentralized festival(s) that are taking place before Porcfest happens.

Depending on who you asked, the people on the campground from Friday June 16th through Tuesday the 20th were either attending Somaliafest or Shirefest. Other festivals sprung up over the weekend as Shire Dude proclaimed that the rule of Shirefest is that every attendee has to have their own fest. Some people were having fun with this idea, and it really encompasses the decentralized nature of these friendly competitors of the longtime king of Summer camping freedom festivals, Porcfest.

Please note, this article is not intended to be an attack against the people who have run Porcfest over the years. They did their best in a largely thankless role to make the various Porcfests successful. I’m writing this to assess the question of whether centralizing Porcfest harmed the event and introduce the competition, which are not centralized.

Despite generally philosophizing about the benefits of decentralization, some libertarians have embraced centralization in the process of creating the liberty movement’s largest and most successful camping freedom festival. Depending on what needs to be done, centralization can provide some benefits. However, there are costs involved. Some would argue the centralization of Porcfest’s organization led to its decline. Let’s look closer at what happened. First, for those of you newer to the ongoing New Hampshire Freedom Migration, a little history: (more…)

Video of Jim Babb’s Epic Rant on Porcfest’s Schism

A few months ago, after more than a decade of promoting the Free State Project on my radio program Free Talk Live, I was unceremoniously kicked to the curb by a unanimous decision of the board of directors. They also decided to prohibit my show from broadcasting live from the Porcupine Freedom Festival (Porcfest), their yearly camping gathering.

I never asked anyone to boycott the event, but they did anyway. Many Porcfest regulars were not in attendance this year, which apparently was exactly what some of the NBC crowd were hoping for. “NBC” are the group of squares that formed years ago – they gathered at Porcfest and all bought identical t-shirts that said “Normal By Comparison”. The following year they had new shirts that said “Not Batshit Crazy”. The shirts were their way of attacking those wacky civil disobedience and outside-the-system activists in Keene as well as the libertines and hedonists who had been attending Porcfest.

Every year the “NBC” people would complain about something they didn’t like about Porcfest, like women being topless, open cannabis use, and parties at night. Ultimately, they got what they wanted, according to those who attended this year. (Here’s a video and an article by two longtime attendees.) Many longtime attendees said Porcfest 2016 was smaller, targeted to square families, and did not have the same vibe as previous years.

It’s not the first schism that has affected the NH liberty community – there have been a bunch over the last decade. The Porcfest schism however was one of the most publicized as it involved the FSP and their biggest recruiter, my radio show. For newer movers and people taking an interest in the FSP, it’s their first schism, so the first one can be the most shocking. Given that the beloved Porcfest was involved, it felt like a big deal to a lot of people, many of whom attended the event anyway.

One of those folks was longtime Porcfest attendee and Philadelphia superactivist Jim Babb who took to the stage during “Soapbox Idol” and went on a fantastic rant that indicted the FSP board and defended me. Thank you for the kind words, Jim and thanks also to the supporters in the audience and to the person who recorded it:

The fun has just begun here in New Hampshire, and regardless what decisions the FSP’s board makes, they have zero impact on the activism that liberty-minded people are doing here. You don’t need to join the FSP to move here and be with the largest community of libertarians and voluntarists on earth. If you want join something, sign the Shire Society declaration. The Shire Society is a liberty migration to NH that has no board of directors, no centralized power, and no membership rolls. You just sign the declaration and start planning your move to the Shire.

Also, if you’re looking for a good camping party this Summer, try NH Hempfest! It’s happening at Rogers Campground August 25th-28th. Free Talk Live will be broadcasting live! Rumors abound about another liberty camping festival being formed to cater to those who feel excluded by the FSP. If it actually materializes, you’ll see the news here on Free Keene, so stay tuned!

“Not PorcFest” Event Hindered

Due to dishonest accusations from an anonymous source, Mountain Lake Campground has turned away the organizers of Not PorcFest.  Despite Ian Freeman not being involved in organizing the event at all, the false allegations against him were cited specifically as a reason for this decision.

I am now even more determined for Not PorcFest to be a success.  Send me a private message if you’ve got new venue suggestions.

The Start of a New Era and Saying Goodbye to Porcfest.

The past few weeks as a Free Stater has been some of the most heart breaking moments of my life. I’ve witnessed the witch hunt by OG Free Staters and FSP Inc supporters to label Ian Freeman as a pedophile. There was even a petition that was circulating which has since been removed demanding the FSP to remove FTL/LRN from all business partnerships based off the acusations of Ian supporting pedophelia. These haters have been ferocious and with out mercy. I have also witnessed FSP Inc cut all business ties with FTL/LRN.FM which I may disagree with but business is business. However, in a blog posted by the president of the Free State Project Matt Phillips, they also banned Ian from all future FSP Inc events including Porcfest and Liberty Forum.

Ian Freeman may be wrong on some issues and I am not hundred percent behind his position of age of consent. That being said Ian is one of the most peaceful/pacifist people I have ever met. He has also done more for the Free State Project and liberty than all of his haters combined. Furthermore, with so much hate coming from FSP Inc and their supporters, myself and my fiance Ann Leverette in good conscience could not bare to share our love at Porcfest with our wedding. We have announced that going forward we will be boycotting all future FSP Inc events and we will not be attending Porcfest. The Rebel Love Wedding will also not be held at Porcfest but instead NH Hempfest instead. This all happened relatively quickly and we took to the LRN.FM airwaves Friday night on Anarchy After Dark to go into detail about what has happened and what led us to this heart breaking decision. Never fear though, there is light and love on the other side. Plus the Shire is still an amazing place to live. Listen to this episode to understand why.
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