The first thing to happen when I entered the park was a young man in a tie dye T-shirt offered to sell me some LSD. I took that to be a good omen. The next thing I saw was a young woman with a handmade sign hanging around her neck that said “If you try to hug me, I will stab you.”
Which is kind of awesome.
It was 90 degrees, which might be typical for Los Angeles, but was abnormal for Seattle, but there was a cool breeze coming off Puget Sound. Basically, it was beautiful. I was, surrounded by tens of thousands of fans of the herb and sunshine and, apparently, tie dye, spreading out along the Seattle waterfront listening to questionable reggae and decent enough techno, cheering as activists made speeches, listening to people (like authors) talk on panels, and smoking a lot of weed. The event is free and run by an all-volunteer army of really friendly people. It is the largest festival of its kind, pulling in almost 250,000 people over the weekend. So it was big, smoky, and fun.
My panel with Greg Pot, Inc Campbell and Matthew Gavin Pot Farm Frank – both great writers promoting really smart (and different) books – was interesting and entertaining and I’ve got to give special shout out to the kind folks who ran the University Bookstore Booth and sold our books!
Here’s a taste of HempFest.