When you walk around the Seacoast, you’re bound to see a lot of things — friends carrying yoga mats to and from classes, performers playing on the street, art covering the walls of buildings. But what if there was an opportunity to combine all these activities?
At the Wild Vibes festival, all types of art can be found. The third annual festival takes place Sunday, July 17, at Rye Harbor State Park.
“It’s going to be a whole day where people can enjoy nature, enjoy community, take inspiring workshops, yoga classes, and be introduced to something brand new,” said A.J. Govoni, co-founder of the Wild Vibes festival. “I love … festivals and it’s special when you get to have a full day in that environment.”
Govoni started the festival three years ago with a couple of her friends. Bound by a love for yoga, music, and art, the women set up the festival at Peirce Island in Portsmouth. After the success of the first two events, Govoni said, they were looking to expand.
“This will be our first year that we’re at Rye Harbor State Park,” she said. “We’re excited because that allows us to offer a bit more during the day.”
With the bigger space come more activities. In addition to yoga classes and workshops for kids and adults, Wild Vibes is adding a marketplace, paddle-boarding lessons, and more.
The organizers were also able to bring on more volunteers to broaden the capabilities of the festival. They enlisted Justin Uhlig to work as the event’s music coordinator.
“I reached out to Wild Vibes last year because I was trying to book my band Yelloyüth,” Uhlig said. “This year, I reached out again and they mentioned (the festival) was going to be a little bigger and at the harbor and they asked if I could help out.”
Both the founders and Uhlig drafted lists of who they would like to see perform at Wild Vibes. Topping both lists was local band Harsh Armadillo, who will headline the festival.
“I’ve known them since they were playing house parties all the time and weren’t popular,” Uhlig said. “I watched them develop and I think that’s why they’re one of my favorite bands. They put in the work, but there is also a coastal connection that makes me see them bigger than other people.”
In addition to the change of location for this year’s festival, it’s being held on a Sunday instead of a Saturday.
“After this year, we’ll have a pretty consistent weekend date in the summer and a venue, so we’ll be able to grow pretty consistently,” Govoni said.
“Portsmouth is very difficult to put on events these days,” Uhlig added with a laugh.
The coordinators are also bringing in area bands Christiana Eva and Waco Sparkler, veteran performers at the festival, along with several newcomers, including People Like You, the Zagarellas, Cloud Nine, Yelloyüth, and others.
Govoni said her hope is to eventually expand the festival over the course of a whole weekend, and grow in size to support the three charities that it supports: NH Kids Count, Puresa Humanitarian, and Yoga and Cancer SATYA.
“Wild Vibes will always be giving back,” Govoni said. “We’re just going to continue to invite members from outside of this community to grow with our team.”
Wild Vibes takes place Sunday, July 17, from 12-8 p.m., at Rye Harbor State Park. Tickets range from $15 to $45; the event is free for kids age 12 and under. For ticket and more information, click here.