2018 Announcements

Instagoodness from #WildGoose2018

By 2018 Announcements, 2018 Festival, Wild Goose StoriesNo Comments

#WildGoose2018 had some incredible moments! We’ve loved seeing everyone’s perspective and photos on the hashtag #WildGoose2018, and we wanted to share some of our favorites. (In no particular order!)


Such a cool moment at #wildgoose2018

A post shared by Matthew Paul Turner (@matthewpaulturner) on

Spirit. Love. Justice. Dirt.

By 2018 Announcements, Goose News, Guest PostNo Comments

Guest post by breathesinglove

7/14/18, Hot Springs Campground

I am literally covered in dirt. Sweat is dripping down my…well, everywhere. Noises surround me in a beautiful symphony of love and peace. Justice-seeking people of all ages singing, dancing, listening, sharing stories while drinking beer or fresh squeezed lemonade. Everyone around me is covered in dirt, too. Some have body paint or colored powder on their bodies, some have glitter feathers in their hair. Many have sayings or symbols on their clothing, promoting love, community, peace, hope.

Our hearts are so full of joy and the sense of community is so strong that we don’t notice whether or not the stranger next to us is covered in dirt or took their “showers” in the river yesterday. Near the bench where I sit is the amazing Mark Miller leading us in worship, saying, “You are a child of God. No matter what the world says or thinks about you.”

Someone just brought me a chocolate, with a smile and a sense of gratitude for sharing my story. This stranger I met just a few minutes ago, and now we share things. Yesterday I was invited to a potluck supper, to share in a meal with a “tribe with no name.” I had nothing to offer but a smile and grateful heart, and the tribe welcomed me without question. Some familiar faces around the campsite greeted me with smiles and hugs.


The Wild Goose Festival is a place where strangers quickly become friends, where the Spirit’s presence is thicker than the humidity, and the kingdom of God is a glimmer in each person’s eyes. Hope stirs in our souls and permeates the campground as each person’s voice enters the conversation and is honored and celebrated. We lament with one another as we share stories of grief, pain, and suffering. We celebrate one another’s uniqueness and the beautiful expressions of community and interconnectedness. Art, music, storytelling, nature, food, drinks, laughter, hugs, silence, dancing, conversation, meditation, blessings, prayers, chants –these are our ways of engaging with one another and with God. This is how we “goose.”

Each year I leave the Goose with a heart full of gratitude, a mind buzzing with ideas, and a greater sense of hope, that I am not alone in this work of compassion and justice. I’m inspired to keep breaking down the walls of prejudice and leading people into a greater sense of community, based on God’s unconditional love and grace.

I am “Deacon Shannon.”  This is my story.

Shannon LeMaster-Smith is a Deacon in the United Methodist Church, a clergy order ordained to Word, Service, Compassion and Justice. She currently serves in the Western North Carolina Annual Conference. She has a M.A. in Conflict Resolution and 10+ years of experience in youth ministry. Her call is to help people experience the transforming love of God and the power of the Holy Spirit and to equip and empower them to share God’s love and grace with others. She enjoys singing and playing board games and is married to her best friend, Dr. Jonathan LeMaster-Smith.

After Care for After #WildGoose2018

By 2018 AnnouncementsOne Comment

What an amazing year at #WildGoose2018, right? So many amazing moments, performances, talks, and relationships made. So many memories that we are all carrying with us back to our communities.

For some, Wild Goose is a place to bring their community for a retreat away from the rest of the world. For others, it’s coming home because where they live isn’t exactly as welcoming, open, or curious as the Goose community. Many of us feel this sense of post-festival blues, the feeling of missing the joy and wonder that comes with being in community of people who welcome you and love you as you are.

So what do we do with that? How do we take care of ourselves and others after the Wild Goose Festival and throughout the year? Here are some ideas:

1. Be real about your feelings.

Yes, you are sad, and that is perfectly okay. Feeling a sense of loss or sadness, a sense of longing to go back is normal. Feel all of it and don’t bottle it up and say that you’re okay when you aren’t. Share those with people around you. Reach out to people from the Goose through texts, phone calls, and social media. Just because you aren’t right next to someone, sweating and singing at Beer & Hymns doesn’t mean you have to lose that connection. That brings us to the next point.

2. Stay connected.

Wild Goose Festival is one time of year. But the spirit of our community is consistently at work throughout the year in various parts of the country doing incredible work. Use social media to follow your new friends and reach out to them. Find out how you can support and get involved with the various organizations and non-profits we had at the festival. And you can sign up for our newsletter so you can be up to speed on all the things Wild Goose! We’ll have a lot of exciting announcements coming up so don’t miss out on that.

3. Share your story.

You probably heard it throughout the festival: stories change the world. And we always want to hear from our community. There’s nothing more exciting hearing about lives being impacted and changed from a Wild Goose experience and we want to hear it. If you’ve got a story from this past year, something new, unique, powerful or even just funny, or maybe photos you’d like to share, send our social media coordinator an email at

4. Plan to come back to #WildGoose2019.

People are already carving out time in their calendar for next year’s festival, and we want you to be there too. Tickets for the Wild Goose Festival 2019, July 11-14, 2019, are already on sale. And there are 150 prefestival tickets that are only $169! Don’t wait. Get your tickets now. 

And pro-tip: if you’re a cabin person, reserve your cabin now. Because they are going to go so quickly.

5. Be gentle with yourself and rest.

It was a big weekend, full of amazing moments that we’ll all carry with us. Treasure it. Share it. And know that it is not the last time you’ll be embraced by the spirit of the Wild Goose.

We’ve got some big plans for the coming year, so be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay up to speed on things. And again, get your tickets now while they are still super cheap!