The 18th Annual Porcupine Freedom Festival ended yesterday, but lament not, tickets are already on sale for 2022. Get yours TODAY! Why come to PorcFest? Because if you’ve ever wondered what the Free State Project is about, there’s no better way to get a flavor of our growing and thriving community than spending a week camping with us in the woods.
Over the years, PorcFest has often been described by attendees as “a gateway drug for the liberty curious.” PorcFest draws people who sense something is unbalanced in our world and are seeking answers–whether it is to the violence we see, the pain and suffering caused by the state in the name of control, the destruction of our purchasing power through inflation and unsustainable monetary policy, or, well, frankly, whatever the f*ck 2020 was–PorcFest is the place where free-thinkers come to share their visions for a better world.
After almost two decades, we know that mingling our community’s “porc power” with the “liberty curious” turns attendees into movers. We also know the more like-minded, peaceful people we can gather together in New Hampshire, the stronger our chances of building the “prosperity-for-all” future we seek.
We are on a mission to create a peaceful free state based on voluntary human interaction and consent.
This year, we sold more than 2,500 tickets. We had scores of intellectuals and academics speaking about a myriad of socio-economic topics, including feminist writer Naomi Wolf (read THIS) and antiwar spokesman Scott Horton. For the first time, both the Anthem Film Festival, and Gene Epstein’s SOHO Forum were present. We were also delighted to welcome back some of our favorites, like economist David Friedman, podcaster Tom Woods, writer Jeffrey Tucker, and comedian Dave Smith.
PorcFest XVIII had 15 main stage sponsors and 10 facilities sponsors. About 500 decentralized events were hosted by smaller hubs, villages, and individuals across the campground. Topics ranged from knitting and knives, to body positivity and health freedom, to tiny homes, off-the-grid living and how to raise chickens, to school choice and unschooling, to teaching newbies gun safety and how to shoot.
Hundreds of free-range children spent the week playing together. Some sold printed programs, knickknacks, and walked dogs for cash. Drones flew over drum circles. A Thriller flash mob appeared on the field before the Bardo Pork roast on Saturday, which took place opposite a Shrimp Boil. [Aside: I had incredible #freedomnomnom noshes all week long, including authentic bánh mì sandwiches and phở. I’ll do an entire foodie post later!]
PorcFest epitomizes the best of the Free State movement: individualism, team work, selling and buying things, crypto and other alternatives to the coercion of the state, sharing ideas, agreeing, disagreeing, growing, thriving, teaching and learning, all always, always PEACEFUL.
Reporters often ask me, “Explain who Free Staters are,” and, after I have a good belly laugh, I explain that as individuals, we are all different, but if there’s one thing you might say unites us, it’s the ethical stance of the non-aggression principle. As one of PorcFest’s sponsors, Free the People’s t-shirt says: “Don’t hurt ppl; don’t take their stuff.” Easy enough!
I’ve been doing this “Liberty lives in New Hampshire” thing for a good long time now. I attended my first PorcFest in 2005, and moved to New Hampshire in 2008. I organized PorcFest in 2009 and 2010, doubling attendance. In 2020, I proceeded with PorcFest XVII as a First and Second Amendment protected assembly, with no negative outcomes.
This year feels different, like we’ve arrived. PorcFest XVIII’s Chef de Village, Dennis Pratt, somehow managed to take the picture I’ve had in my head for years and years and made it appear before my eyes. I am in awe of what Dennis accomplished.
By engaging and energizing hundreds of others to bring their best and brightest, to bring their ideas and passions, to bring their swagger and game, i.e. by decentralizing and trusting one another, we had the biggest and best PorcFest yet!
A HUGE, SPECIAL THANK YOU to Dennis Pratt and the entire volunteer team, especially the core heavy lifters, Chris Lopez, Constance Spencer, Shawn Grissom, Pete E, Scott S, Frans Honer, Katie, Aureus H, Zoe Noctum, Anie, Stephen Nass (and their relevant partners!), and all the other amazeballs, incredible, awesomesauce Free Staters who worked hard to make PorcFest a smashing success!
As totalitarianism grows around us, so too does interest in the opposite: self-respect and human dignity through self-ownership. As I jokingly said throughout PorcFest XVIII: “2020 was good for those of us in the freedom business!” The more the boot of the state stomps down, the stronger our movement grows.
Remember: There is safety in numbers.
Think of the Free State movement as creating a “libertarian safe space” where we can choose to “Live Free and Thrive!” Surely we too are allowed to exist somewhere? In many ways, Free Staters are refugees, seeking safe harbor from the exploitation of a corrupt, immoral, unrestricted, and unaccountable federal government.
We seek one place to exist, and we come in peace to New Hampshire in order to preserve and expand the liberties we find here.
If YOU are liberty curious, I encourage you to follow the Free State Project, PorcFest, and me personally (Twitter; Facebook; Insta; MeWe; YouTube–where I host a weekly political show and have a cooking show called #Freedomnomnom). The FSP will be hosting more events as we grow, so stay tuned for more info, but in the meantime, buy your PorcFest XIX tickets TODAY for June 20-26, 2022.
I will be writing more pieces about PorcFest in the coming days, and encourage you to seek more information online (see #porcfest on social media). I will update here on The Art of Independence with news pieces and other speakers media and social media posts as I gather them.
Thank you to everyone who attended, love ya, and see YOU next year, if not before! My heart is full.