Agorafest 2015 is a celebration of free and peaceful living now! Why wait?
Agorafest organizers and attendees have a good time taking matters into their own hands- freely trading goods, services and ideas. This year’s agora includes: gourmet dining, home-brews, martial arts, peaceful parenting, writing workshops, fun with drones, nature hikes, and features singer/ songwriter Jordan Page.
Blue Republican Minnesota’s Juliet interviewed AgoraFest organizer, Nik Ludwig about this year’s gathering:
J: I hope you are well. I understand that the 3rd Agorafest 2015 is in a few weeks. First tell us what the name means?
N: Yes, this September will be our 3rd annual AgoraFest! The name “Agora” comes from the Greek word for what was usually the center of an ancient Greek city – it can be translated “meeting place”. Since this place became used by merchants to sell their goods, the word “Agora” also became synonymous with a “market place”.
J: Please tell us why you started Agorafest?
N: I really didn’t start it, but I’m glad it got started! AgoraFest is basically the natural evolution of our small groups here in Minnesota. As we began to split our groups and start new groups, several people thought it would be great if at least once a year we could all meet together and find out what others were doing and share their skills and experiences. I thought that was a good idea so some of us started planning in the winter of 2012 and in September 2013 was the first AgoraFest. Folks seemed to enjoy themselves so we did it again, and now again.
J: What do you want for Agorafest?
N: Well, it of course really isn’t about what I want. AgoraFest is what the people who show up want it to be. I have a vision sure, and I try to share that vision with whomever will listen to me, but I’ve been told I am boring and ramble on, and then they mostly just do what they want anyway. I have pointed out a few things that I think might help make AgoraFest different, and thus perhaps of value, than other “freedom” oriented gatherings. One is that I try to discourage political talk as much as possible, because I think it tends to be a lot of lies and bullshit, and I think we should be honest and truthful with one another. Another is I think lectures are boring and really a very inefficient way to transmit knowledge, so I try to encourage workshops, demonstrations, show and tells, discussion groups, really any kind of hands-on and participative type of activity rather than just someone speaking to a row of bodies in chairs. And also I’d like AgoraFest to be a marketplace of goods, services, and ideas – because markets are the most useful and the most valuable reason for people to gather together.
J: Were you happy with the first few years?
N: Yes. We had more people show up the second year, and we had our act together a bit more, so that helped. We did add another day this year because maybe the most common complaint we heard the first two years was there was just so much going on that people felt rushed and they felt they didn’t have time to experience everything they wanted to.
J: What are your expectations this year?
N: Well I expect it will be a lot of fun, and I expect I will be
exhausted at the end of it! I hope that more people who want to attend, do attend, and I’m excited about the new workshops and demonstrations that are planned. I love the variety of topics, from drones and 3D printing to biohacking and rocketry! We also will have more great food and drink options all produced by the attendees so I expect to eat and drink too much!
J: What is unique about agorism here in Minnesota?
N: I don’t know that there is anything unique about agorism in Minnesota- maybe some of us talk about it more than some other places, I don’t know. Really agorism is as natural as breathing, so I hope more and more people around the world do agorism more and more!
J: What do you want the legacy of Agorafest to be?
N: Wow three years and we are already talking about a legacy? I think I’d just like it to continue and see where it goes but only if people continue to find it fun and useful. If it becomes a drag and not useful,we’ll do something else.
J: I was noticing some of the entertainment, food and workshops featured for the weekend.
N: Yes, kind of you to notice!
J: Are the entertainers, food connoisseurs and educators local?
N: Most are from Minnesota, but we’re starting to attract some attention from outside the state. For example singer/songwriter Jordan Page is from Indiana, and we have folks coming from Texas, Michigan, New Hampshire, and likely other places I’m not aware of.
J: How do these activities promote a fun, free and peaceful world?
N: An ambitious question! I don’t know for sure, but I hope that what we share and learn here will help each individual be happier and more peaceful and more skilled at living free, because the more happy, free and peaceful people there are in the world, the world can’t help but be a better place, right?
J: Is there anything in particular that you are looking forward to?
N: Yes, I have a quadcopter drone that I have never flown before, so I’m hoping to learn how to fly it before I crash it. Also, I can’t wait to have my DNA duplicated and get turned into a newt. I was promised that I will get better.
J: Thank you for putting this event on and for taking the time to tell us more about AgoraFest
N: My pleasure – thanks for asking such great questions!
Register for AgoraFest 2015.