Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published July 2011.

Web Exclusive: Unity at the Music Festival

By practicing the First Tradition, members are able to stay sober at an bi-annual music festival in Yosemite

"Well, imagine yourself, newly sober, in a sea of tie-died mamas and long-haired daddies."

The First Tradition typically applies to Fellowships functioning at Alano clubs, churches, and civic facilities where daily or weekly meetings are held. But it also applies to a circle of AA friends who meet twice a year under conditions that are not particularly conducive to sobriety. Here, we may be far from the madding crowd but we are squarely in the middle of the partying crowd. The concepts of our common welfare and unity enable us to carry the message and ensure that we are carried safely and soberly back to our home groups throughout California and as far east as New York.

I'm referring to the AA Fellowship at the bi-annual music festivals in Yosemite, California. During four days over Memorial Day weekend, there are 3,000-plus festival-goers and over Labor Day weekend up to 5,000 campers at this High Sierra event. Although there have been AA meetings at the festival since the 1990s, in 2006 the festival management granted the request of several AAs to establish a permanent location for our meetings in the Pines.

-- Ed

Wrightwood, California

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