Sunday is a most-holy day for Christians as Easter comes again, but it also marks the counter-culture holiday, 420, an ode to all-things cannabis and more lately, the idea of freedom, letting it all hang out, and being who you want to be.
In April 2012, a Weekly Surge cover story had this to say about the origins of the term 420:
“It has long been accepted in certain circles that April 20 has become the de facto cannabis culture holiday. The debate has continued for years as to the origin of the familiar term 420. Author Steven Bloom, writing for ‘High Times’ in 1991, was handed a yellow flyer in the parking lot at Grateful Dead show in Oakland, which made reference to 420 in this fashion: ‘We are going to meet at 4:20 on 4-20 for 420-ing in Marin County at the Bolinas Ridge sunset spot on Mt. Tamalpais,’ His curiosity piqued, Bloom did some digging and discovered that the term was originated by group of high school students in San Rafael, Calif., calling themselves ‘Waldos’ because they used to hang out regularly at the same wall outside of the school. In 1971, the group got wind of an untended marijuana plot near a local Coast Guard Station and made it their mission to find it. The Waldos would meet at 4:20, under a statue of Louis Pasteur and begin their searches. They never found their field of dreams – but from their original code word, 420-Louis, emerged the internationally recognized numerical symbol 420 – a tacit homage to the subculture.”
However, eschewing the weed-connection of the celebration (which is also Sunday’s date - fourth month, 20th day), a couple of local 420 events are more about positive vibes, community, freedom, art, music, food, libations, good times and less about ganja, organizers say.
fifth annual Original Purple Haze Smokeshop 420Fest
Terry Flores, cofounder [with Christopher Garcia] of ALLAREONE Sound ( http://allareonesound.com), says this year’s event came together organically after linking up with Mack Johnson of Zen-Fluence, a collective of artists focusing on precious stones and metals.
“[Mack] would set up intricate and artistic Zen-garden displays of their work at our Soulful Salutations events,” he says, adding that Johnson also works for VaVaVape, which is connected to Purple Haze.
“Purple [Haze] wanted a full day of music,” says Flores. “Mack came to us, and we put together a lineup through our network.” This year’s roster includes Asheville, N.C.-based improv jazz duo Rims & Keys and progressive jazzman Bernie Kenerson aka Bernzilla. “Bernz is innovating and pushing progressive jazz in new directions with his EWI [electric wind instrument] stylings.” ALLAREONE will perform its signature modern funk/future soul selections. DJ Will Stone is also slated to appear, as is Boogie Bros. “Taire [Lewis of Boogie Bros] is putting down a boogie clinic. We will have our amazing flow/art family setting up displays there, such as the People in Light. Over The Moon, and Hoop Song crews. Also, the one and only Scott Mann and the Wave 104.1 team is to be broadcasting live [3-5 p.m.].”
The Island Bar 420 BBQ Fest FLiCK iT, Super Bob, SoLion, Sound Therapy, Stealing Anger DJ Liminal
“It’s a festival-type event for families to come out and enjoy good music, good food and meet some new people,” says Surf Dreams’ Phil Jackson. “There will be BBQ plates for sale and of course beer.” There will also be games such as Cornhole and a raffle.
Jackson says he predicts a huge turnout. “With the bands they have booked and the food, there is no other place you should be,” he says.
How did this event come together?
“Robbie Frye [FLiCK iT] and Brandon Bushaw [co-owner of Island Bar] put the whole thing together,” says Jackson. “They called me and wanted to have Surf Dreams Foundation as the charity they donated to. I was really excited and blessed to have them come together and want to help out my organization. This is their event and they deserve all the credit. Surf Dreams Foundation is very thankful for their hard work.”