FIERCE on the FARM is back for its second year and it’s bigger – and organizers hope better – than ever.
From Aug. 26 to 28, attendees can camp out at the Everdale Community Teaching Farm in Hillsburgh while hitting up dance parties, bonfires, local vendors and workshops.
Last year, the “big, queer dance party under the stars” was only on for one day, and saw about 100 people.This year, the 19-plus event will run for two nights, and organizers say they’re expecting about 500 people.
Oliver Maynard-Langedijk is one of the organizers for FIERCE on the FARM, as well as FIERCE, Guelph's only monthly queer and dance party for those ages 19 plus, which has been running since 2015.
“It’s very much an organic festival at this point,” he said. “We’re looking to scale it at some point, but [for now], people can expect the vibe to be very relaxed.”
He added that there will be space to just hang outdoors and do your own thing, but also to “jump into the dance party and feel true queer joy.”
There will be six DJs for the weekend, including DurtyDabz, Junglecat, M’Damn D, StoveJobs, and Maynard-Langedijk, who goes by OrangaDang.
Tickets cost $40, with an additional $15 for camping reservations.
Last year, Everdale approached Maynard-Langedijk about doing some sort of dance party on their property, and his response was that it should be something big, but also something that “turns into a really safe, accessible space, that’s free of any sort of societal pressure.”
It’s since transformed into a two-night camping festival, centred around community building, allowing people to connect with other locals and build relationships.
“Having the opportunity to meet people in the area is something that we lost during COVID. And I think that this is a really great opportunity to bring people together.”
Growing up, Maynard-Langedijk said he lacked a strong queer community to make him feel that sense of safety and belonging – so it was important for him to create an event that provides space for people to feel safe and be themselves.
Keeping with the theme, rather than security, they will have a welcome crew to act as “comfort space holders,” and to help if there is any conflict.
“Once you get an event (with more than) 100 people, there’s a chance people can get rowdy. So having those people on site is important, (for) you to have someone to reach out to and say, ‘Hey I don’t feel super comfortable right now. Can you help me?’”
That said, he expects it to be a very welcoming space.
Attendees will arrive on the farm Friday night to set up, pitching their tent in the farm field, which is situated near the livestock for the “full farm experience.”
There will be a big bonfire, and a dance party with DJs will be playing “until the wee hours of the night.”
Saturday will be filled with yoga and crop workshops, seminars, queer-owned vendors, and farm tours. Then at night, the party will continue with a traditional FIERCE dance night.
So far, they have around 40 volunteers, but are still looking for more. If you’d like to volunteer, you can find out more about the opportunities here.
You can learn more about FIERCE on the FARM here.