The Wild Goose Festival: Storytelling

My favorite festival is Greenbelt, held each summer in the U.K.  For years folks have worked to re-create this strange brew of musicians, activists, artists, writers, storytellers–all concerned about justice and spirituality rooted in the Christian tradition.  Well, after years of meetings and dreaming it’s going to happen.  This June 23-26 in Shakori Hills, North Carolina and by golly I’ll be there.   It’s called Wild Goose and I’ve been invited to speak as well as host three nights of storytelling. If you’re in the area join T-Bone Burnett, Michelle Shocked, David Wilcox, Jim Wallis and hundreds of other talented musicians, activists, speakers, and storytellers for a great event.  There’s a discounted fee up until May 15th.  Get your friends and a biodiesel van and meet us in North Carolina. Find out more here.

Here’s a description of the storytelling nights:

Wild Tales: Real Stories by Regular Folks

Each night of the Wild Goose Festival we will host “Wild Tales: Real Stories by Regular Folks.”  In this homegrown storytelling series six brave souls from the festival community will tell a true story, first person, in twelve minutes or less.  Stories will be based on the evening’s theme and will be interspersed with live music by an eclectic mix of musicians gathered for the night.  The whole thing will be hosted and facilitated by Mark Yaconelli, author, speaker, and founding director of the Hearth storytelling series in Southern Oregon.

We’re still looking for storytellers.  This series is open to the entire festival community.  If you have a true story that fits one of the evening themes email Mark at  Include a few sentences summarizing your story. Or show up to one of the storytellingevenings and put your name in one of our drawings.  Each night we’ll select an interested audience member to get up on stage and share their own true story.

Here’s the evening themes and some of our storytelling recruits:

Thursday Night:  Locked Up: Tales of Captivity. As part of its mission, the Wild Goose festival will seek to high light prison injustice.  As a way of exploring the prison experience we’ll gather six festival goers tell true tales of imprisonment (physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual) and their struggle toward freedom. Tellers include Becca Stevens from Thistle Farms, Scott Bass from Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation.

Friday Night: Changed: True Tales of Transformation. Hitting bottom. Death and resurrection. Befriending an enemy.  A new heart and mind. This evening’s stories include healings, breakthroughs, and unexpected conversions.  Stories by Gareth Higgins, Nadia Bolz-Webber, and others.

Saturday Night: I Saw the Light: Encounters with the Sacred. A night of interfaith storytelling as we seek to gather tellers from various faith traditions to tell a true experience of the Other.  Listen as Samir Selmanovic, Abdullah Antepeli, Rabbi Or Rose, Frank Rogers, and other festival goers tell true tales of religious experience.

For more information and sample stories from the true tales movement go to The Moth or The Hearth Storytelling.

To sign up for the festival go


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