Luminarias are memories and hopes in the form of LED candles and art. They are messages to the people who are with us in spirit, and the stories of where our journeys diverged.
STAY TUNED FOR ADVANCED LUMINARIA SUBMISSIONS, COMING SOON!
A MESSAGE FROM THE LUMINARIA TEAM
“Love doesn’t die with death. Love is like liquid; when it pours out, it seeps into others’ lives. Love changes form and shape. Love gets into everything. Death doesn’t conquer all; love does. Love wins every single time. Love wins by lasting through death. Love wins by loving more, loving again, loving without fear.” – Kate O’Neill
Rothbury 2008 was the first time our soles stepped foot inside The Forest. Hammocks hung from clustered trees coupled with jaw dropping visuals and fairytale creatures, every turn was a new experience. Never had we seen or felt anything so beautifully connected. We would never be the same after.
Though we didn’t know much about the future, we knew from that point on that Sherwood Forest would be a staple in our lives forever. The unique power of The Forest is something no patron can deny. Returning from our journey, we were all eager to purchase tickets for the following year.
Unfortunately on a cold February morning we learned one of our key crew members wouldn’t be returning to Rothbury with us that summer. A freshman at Suny Plattsburgh, Steve Fanning was spending time with friends at an off-campus apartment before an early morning fire claimed his life. The house went up in flames and Steve fled to safety outside. In a selfless act, despite the danger, he went back inside the burning wood-framed house to get the rest of his friends out. Steve succumbed to the smoke as he was carrying the last person out of the house.
We remember Steve as a hero and the “ultimate friend” and that’s why we believe his entire spirit embodies The Forest so well. The community we found back in 2008 together was one of looking out for each other and genuine kindness. We wanted to find a way to keep Steve’s soul alive in The Forest the year he couldn’t make it back.
Margaret Fanning, Steve’s mother, reached out to us saying how much Steve loved and talked about the magic of The Forest, and how she’d be honored for some of his ashes to be spread there. When Rothbury 2009 rolled around our crew sought out the perfect area to fulfill her wishes, and found the Reincarnation Installation. There we gathered and laughed about old times as we said goodbye to Steve one last time.
Thus the Luminaria project was born. With our will to get Steve’s story out, we created an interactive way for others to keep souls alive in The Forest. The Luminarias act as a vessel of communication for not only those with no earthbound address, but also for those who simply can’t make it to The Forest. Attendees are invited to create a Luminaria with us and they will find it later lighting up The Forest at night. These bags manifest spirits in Sherwood Forest, closely connecting physical festival-goers with each other and to those being remembered.
Now you’ve heard our story, we want to hear yours. Find us in The Forest.
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