“Limitless” Art and Music Festival July 28-30th, 2017 in Wilmot, NH
Guest blog by: Freeman Noone
“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.” — William Blake
If Blake’s views of mankind’s self-imposed limitations were true during the Romantic Period, they are truer still today, with even narrower chinks in the cavern.
Most people agree that we live in exceedingly difficult times, politically, socially, and economically. There are divisions among families, co-workers, and neighbors. Those divisions seal the doors to progress as a community, state, or nation, and even such notions as “truth” are being questioned. People have limited their interactions to like-minded individuals, and are blaming others for all the difficulties they are experiencing.
Naturism is not immune to divisiveness, but, for the most part, it remains one of the few places that people from diverse backgrounds and world views are able to come together and relax, shedding their anxieties along with their clothes, and experiencing a bit of what it means to be open to hopes, dreams, and possibilities.
This July, the “Limitless” Art and Music Festival will attempt to open the doors even wider, providing entertainment, relaxation, and friendship in an expanded context that embraces innovation, skills, and spirituality. Naturist New Hampshire, a non-landed travel club that holds monthly clothing-optional events throughout New England, has teamed up with the New Hampshire Mountain Inn in Wilmot, NH, to hold an event that aims to broaden the naturist experience by bringing in people who may never have experienced social nudity or given it much thought.
While it is primarily a naturist festival in a judgment-free setting, the weekend will offer a range of musical entertainment and activities that might just as well be offered anywhere else. By doing so, the festival will help to demystify naturism and show we are all one.
The concept of the festival has been germinating for several years, albeit without a clear plan or a venue where it might take place. The once-dormant concept started to grow into something tangible after a “Fire and Ice” festival in Alton, NH. In the spring of 2016, this festival brought together music, body painting, portable saunas, hoop structures, and other alternative living concepts in a Woodstock-like setting — complete with mud.
Generally speaking, the Fire and Ice festival was a disaster, due to poor planning, foul weather, and a lack of communication between the organizers and the acts they had hired. Yet there was a rock band playing in front of naked people who were being painted by skilled artists. Not only were music and body art sharing the same space, but people were sharing other alternative approaches to life. It demonstrated that disparate interests need not be exclusionary, and the possibilities could be limitless.
A naturist festival that incorporated such diversity might, indeed, work — but where? The farm where the Fire and Ice festival took place was remote enough to serve as a naturist retreat, but the cold spring rain had turned the road leading there into two tracks of mud. There was no guarantee that the weather would cooperate any better during a summer event. And the other venues Naturist New Hampshire has used are not suitable for an outdoor festival. Execution of the concept would have to remain on hold while the focus shifted to finding the right place for it to take place.
The search took on greater importance when NNH, like many other non-landed clubs, learned it would have to find a new location for its regular monthly get-togethers. In this case, the inn where the club traditionally met during the winter months became unavailable for much of the 2016-17 season. An extensive statewide search came up short, and it was looking as if the club would have to go dormant for the winter.
It was only through a bit of serendipity that the club discovered the NH Mountain Inn, and an innkeeper willing to entertain the notion of a monthly clothing-optional swim and dinner. The new venue proved to be successful for all parties, with the inn having wonderful amenities as well as offering great views of valley below and the mountains beyond.
And so it was that NNH broached the idea of holding an alternative art and music festival on the grounds. Innkeeper Patrick embraced the idea, and the planning got into full swing.
By then, the festival concept had evolved into something that, beyond the art and music, would bring together all the diverse interests of NNH members. Hoop dancing, body painting, life drawing, yoga, massage, and crafts were obvious choices. Because a large number of naturists have shown an interest in amateur (ham) radio, and NNH has registered NU1DE as its call sign, a ham radio demonstration could be included.
Alternative technologies — solar options and unique structures — also might fit into the mix. Native American song and dance, spirituality in all its forms, options for healthy living, and storytelling are some of the other possible elements of the festival.
With former US Poet Laureate Donald Hall living just down the road from the inn, his participation was a logical choice, but he declined, saying, “I’m 88, and not the kind of 88-year-old who climbs Mt. Kearsarge. Sorry I can’t look in on you.”
However, other poets or storytellers, or anyone willing to lead a workshop or give a demonstration, is welcome.
While the roster of performers is still in development, The Trichomes — the band that played at the Fire and Ice Festival — are working with the Limitless Festival. Another early signatory is jazz clarinetist Brad Terry, who had been a student of Benny Goodman and who has performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Doc Cheatham, and Lenny Breau, among others. (He also happens to be a naturist.)
Rock, blues, and folk musicians are in discussions about appearing, and the excitement is building.
Early Bird tickets are on sale at significantly reduced prices through May 15 at:
After that, advance tickets for the three-day festival will be available for $80, still a savings over the $100 to be charged at the gate. (There are further discounts for NNH members.)
For further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.