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Beloved Festival

No More World Music?

With tremendous excitement and a prayer, we will offer the 2019 Beloved Music Lineup, unlike any other to date.

Each year, Beloved celebrates the treasured diversity of human experience by respectfully presenting music from many cultures (over 25 this year!). In a spirit of radical togetherness, we have reframed our musical offerings to reflect our ongoing learning and commitment to honoring the lineages of the performers as well as the conditions which gave rise to the music brought to Beloved. In the past, we crowded the music of unique traditions into a “World Music” category, perpetuating the lie that how a culture is defined in the west is more important than how it understands itself.

We recognize the impossibility of dividing such magic into discrete categories; we hope to bring attention to points of contact with forces both ancient and modern. May these distinctions, offered from a spirit of humble curiosity, tell a story of how this music came to be, and how we came to be in its presence.

“At Beloved, the mainstream music industry boxes are gone. I don’t have to conform to them. I can be multi-dimensional and responsive as an artist and have that embraced.” –Taina Asili

Fatouma Diawara plays guitar on stage at Beloved Festival

Fatoumata Diawara, photo by Michael Drummond

African Music & Music of the African Diaspora

Adapting ancestral traditions to changing conditions, places, and cultures, the African Diaspora gave rise to the world’s most influential music. Rooted in reverence, renewal, passion, curiosity, and struggle, this music speaks directly to the depth and breadth of human experience. The threads of African culture can still be heard today in most modern musical forms across the world.

The dispersion of the music, culture, and power of Africa over the past 400 hundred years has given rise to musical traditions as diverse as Blues, Jazz, Gospel, Rock, Rumba, Reggae, and Hip Hop. This music, and the African roots of the rhythms therein, exist today both because of, and in spite of, the painful legacy of centuries of chattel slavery and colonization. To appreciate and be moved by it without the commensurate pang of grief for how it all came to be is to neglect a kind of true presencing to the transmissions we are honored to host at Beloved.

What is being asked of us – as those who feel the universal throbbing, ancestral resonance harmonizing our collective bodies on the dance floor – is to be truly awake. That is, orienting towards openness to the wake of consequence, which is inseparable from the joy this music embodies.

“The great thing about being an artist is the ability to expand and grow, to create from a melting pot. You need to be more than one thing. There shouldn’t be an either/or.” –Leilani Ayo, Witch Prophet

Chancha Vía Circuito, photo by Maggie Jane Cech

Folk Futurism

Folk music connects us to place, and we’re all connected to place.

Folk Futurism invokes the relationship of the performer to a specific time and place. A synthesis of story, body, and land is manifested through diverse instrumentation: wood, strings, and hollow things – but also laptops, loops, and digital bleep and bloops. This music explores the delicious tension between indigenous roots and modern flourish as these strands helix their way into the DNA of an ongoing and entangled now.

“When you’re present in the moment, your heart is more open. You can take more things in. Music is a healing and powerful magic.” –Leilani Ayo, Witch Prophet

Music in this category asks questions: where did we come from? Where are we going? What made that noise? A heart or a drum? Is it music, or is it sound? It speculates and re-imagines, spirals and revisits, pulling from ancient depths the sacred traditions that are not just historical curiosities but living life-ways landing us among the stars.


Alam Kahn on stage at Beloved Festival playing the sarod

Alam Kahn, photo by Carlton Ward

Classical, Devotional, and Ceremonial

Devotional music is an embodied promise borne by breath and syllable. While the voice of the divine speaks a universal language, it does not thunder into our hearts devoid of history or cultural context.

To be de+voted is to be committed to staying tethered to what in+spires us, that is, the force that breathes the animating spirit into us all. It is both a vow of boundless love and a sacred duty to yoke ourselves to that which binds us together.

Sacred music has been, and continues to be, yet another site of colonization, and Beloved has been an unwitting participant in this harmful practice. We aim to interrupt the kind of violence that occurs when cultures are plundered for their spiritual technologies without consequence or reparation.

“It is so important for the identities of traditional musical forms to be seen and heard on their terms.  To expand the consciousness in regards to the way people perceive and engage with non-western music, is to honor the roots, lineages, and life force of these healing and powerful forms.” –Sarode Maestro Alam Khan

See full 2019 Music Lineup Now!

A Braver Space

Renaming The Near + Far Mosques

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Share your excitement and join our official Beloved Ambassador Program! Offer your community special discounts AND gain access to free tickets plus incredible ambassador-only experiences.

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If you are looking to join us in a bigger way and participate in the festival this year, please click on the appropriate application below and submit to be considered. Application deadlines vary and are listed on individual applications.

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