P4P Enit fest 8/17/96
From Addicted to Noise--
Perry Farrell's ENIT Fest A Hit In Jersey
Perry Farrell's all-night alien love fest, the ENIT festival, got off to a great start in Holmdel, New Jersey this past Saturday. A sold-out crowd of 10,000 adventurers turned out for Farrell's post-Lollapalooza extravaganza, which mixed challenging non-mainstream, non-rock artists like the Sun Ra Arkestra and the ReBirth Brass Band with a mostly electronic line-up of rock and techno that included the
Orb, Meat Beat Manifesto and Rabbit in the Moon. Farrell told the New York Times that the ENIT fest, which began at 4:30 in the afternoon and wrapped up the following morning at about 6 A.M., is "a festival of youth empowerment through music and sex." Things went smoothly through the night at the event, which took place in a field adjacent to the Garden State Arts Center. There was a tree planting ceremony, in which Farrell and members of an ecological group called New Jersey Releaf
planned 13 Korean dogwood trees, and a local Hare Krishna temple provided a veggie dinner for
all attendees. According to Jon Pareles of the Times, the Porno For Pyros performance, in which the group was joined by a ballerina, a belly dancer, a contortionist and two women on stilts breathing fire, was simply awesome. "His [Farrell's] songs are volatile, drifting from moonstruck ruminations to primal traumas, from gently strummed folk-rock to ferocious, unbridled stomps."
This was a day I'll never forget. It was the most electric P4P event I have ever been to. By the entrance, as people were coming in, Stephen was in the midst of a drum circle, and moments later, Perry was planting
a tree. The entire day took place on the huge lawn OUTSIDE the venue. The lawn was wet from the nearby swamps, so everyone had a wet butt. There weren't vendors like lolla. Just a TCBY stand, a stand for
snapple and pretzels, the fake xtacy drinks, and that's about it. Halfway through the day, the crowd lined up to get the lunch included in the ticket price. It was like a cross between a concert and a caffeteria line. They served lemonade, a pita, vegtables with curry and
tofu and a little square of something they called "sweet", to EVERYONE at the festival. Perry was walking around the crowd. The only way to describe the day was like one big family picnic with great entertainment. There was a DJ in one area and people were dancing.
At nite, P4P took the stage. They opened with Orgasm, and Sadness, Good Gods Urge, Porpoise Head, Tahitian Moon, Thick of it all, Porno 4 Pyros etc followed. It was undoubtedly the most insane pit I have ever been a
part of. The wet lawn was now mud. Once you took a step, you sank a few inches, making it a glue/quicksand consistency. Combine this with the pushing and shoving, and it was almost impossible to stand steadily.
Eventually, everyone in the area I was in went down, and I ended up seeing most of the show from the back. Everyone was dancing and singing, and HAPPY. The band was SO happy as well, and radiated the vibe through the music.
Then the played Summertime Rolls and it was the most moving cosmic experience you could imagine. The vibe was so powerful that the majority of people around me just had tears running down their faces. At the end the crowd was singing so loud, it matched the volume of the
band. It is so hard to put the beauty of the moment into words...Then they Played Mountain Song...crowd reaction to this is self explanatory...
At the end, Peter went up to the mic, and said he was really proud of Perry. That last minute, the show sold out, and people were skeptical of him leaving Lolla, but he did what he believed in and made it work...
Perry mentioned taking a "group photo" on the stairs at 6:00am.
After the show, everyone was just milling around in a daze. The dancers were walking through the crowd, and everything seemed really quiet. I think we were all just trying to recouperate from being blown away so hard.
The next day, I drove by the lawn. It was trashed. I pulled over on the highway in front of it, put "thick of it all" in my cassette deck, and remembered....
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