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I personally can’t think of anything more blissful than being surrounded by smiling faces, beautiful music, and giant Redwoods. And that just scratches the surface of what Northern Nights Music Festival has to offer. I have written about the festival a dozen times before, but after attending for my first(and definitely not last) year I can truly confirm what I already knew. There is something so captivating and seemingly magical as soon as you enter the gates of Cooks Valley Campground.You can always judge a festival by the line you wait in for entrance. Most are crowded with people pushing and angered by the wait, yet very few are full of cars of eager attendees, dancing and trading good vibes like Northern Nights. A lending hand to help you unpack or pitch your tent is accompanied by a smiling face everywhere you look. The bright sun can be averted by a quick dip in the Eel River before continuing on with creating a campground at first surrounded by strangers, who by the end turn into lifelong friends and a new sense of a festival family.

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The specially curated festival lineup is just the beginning of this must-attend festival. In between special and rejuvenating yoga classes to captivating art and live art installations, the festival encompasses anything you could ever want and more. In addition to these special perks are four stages of music, including one situated comfortably on the Eel River. Can you think of anything better than floating with friends and vibing to some of the best names in the music scene? Even when the sun sets and the main stages shut down, Northern Nights has you covered with a crowd-favorite Silent Disco that goes into dawn.

In addition to all of these amazing benefits to attend NNMF, my personal favorites is their goals for sustainability. NNMF sets the bar high for festivals, by being one of the most sustainable around. Northern Nights is an award winning festival, winning A Greener Festival award in the past, proving their care for the planet we live on. Whether it be donating a portion of ticket sales to sustainable efforts or using cutting edge technology to decrease their footprint, NNMF is always one step ahead in protecting our planet.

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While all of these aspects make for one of the most beloved festivals, my favorite part is the energy guests and festival creators make. I firsthand can promise you I have never encountered a more friendly and helpful crew and volunteers. Always there to ensure you’re having the best time at the festival, they’re uncomparable. On top of that, the vibes guests bring create something so euphoric it pains you to leave the last day. The thought of Northern Nights Music Festival the next year and reuniting with strangers that have come to hold a dear place in your heart, and that feeling of getting to dance under the Redwoods again with them, gets you through some of the roughest times you encounter in the year between festival dates. I have never felt as free and as full as I had at Northern Nights Music Festival, and I hope that you join me for 2016.

AUTHOR CREDIT: CHEYENNE HAVENS

PHOTO CREDIT: VLAD

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