I had spent the past two weeks slowly packing the car for our annual campout in June. As a single mother working two jobs, I’d stuff some firewood and match’s in the car one night and sleeping bags, flash lights, bug spray and tent the next. Finally, I was driving up the canyon with my two adorable children, Asia 6 years old and John 5. We were singing songs as we drove our small, over packed car up Big Cottonwood Canyon to spend the weekend at our favorite campsite in Redman Campground. We pulled into the campground and requested our favorite site, when to our disappointment, the host told us the campground was full. I asked him if there was anything available at all, and he paused a moment and then said there was one large group site available, however it was three times the cost. Before he could finish his sentence I put cash in his hands and told him “We will take it!”
The kids and I pulled into our site and jumped out of the car to explore our new home for the weekend. We found a trail and followed it to a beautiful site along Big Cottonwood Canyon… we had found home. This site became our favorite site and we continued to come back to it year after year. Because it was so large we began inviting friends, and our family campout became a community campout. Unity of Salt Lake began joining us on our campouts and many others from the community. We began holding concerts at our campouts… Shawn Gallaway, Leraine, Kopo, Chad Davis to name a few. Redman shut down all amplification at the campground, so our concerts became community music jams.
One warm April afternoon in 2017, while sitting in the backyard with my son John now 25 years old, he shared with me his vision for the SOLSTICE music and yoga festival. He wanted musical instrument sales & lessons, a yoga and wellness fair, music competitions and dance performances. We began planning the festival in 2017 and even acquired the permits required. John was on fire, he had 2 bounce houses donated, a stage and some bands, however, I became stressed with little time and a lot to prepare, so I cancelled it and promised John we would have the SOLSTICE festival in 2018. We had our usual community campout on Solstice weekend June 2017, and it was an amazing campout with many wonderful friends, yoga, hiking, ceremonies and our healing circle. Unfortunately, it was John’s last campout… he passed a month later at 25 years old. He had just received his Master’s Degree in Finance at the University of Utah, as an honor student.
Although I am a festival virgin, completely scared, I am keeping my promise to my son and we are having a SOLSTICE music festival in June at Brighton Ski Resort. Deep gratitude to my friends Debbie and Randy Doyle for making it possible to have the festival at Brighton. John learned to snowboard at Brighton when he was 5 years old, and he has enjoyed snowboarding at Brighton every winter, he was still snowboarding at Brighton at 25… he never learned to ski.
I hope you can join us for SOLSTICE, we are creating it as true to form from John’s vision. We will have the No Quarter Led Zeppelin Experience performing… as Led Zeppelin is John’s favorite ban.