Hempfest is very fun to photograph (for people pictures,) competing with SF Love Parades, Gay Pride & Leather events, the Fremont Solstice parade/naked bikers or other gatherings of those who are not necessarily insulted when conservatives call them "outside the mainstream." What the conservatives don't realize is that they do not speak for the "mainstream" any longer and what they fear crosses so many more boundaries than they can even conceptualize in their simple world. Their "control" is a media illusion created by our corporate-owned and controlled outlets. We should stop feeding this machine.
These photos are mostly individual shots. I also documented the groups of like-minded souls who created peaceful impromptu circles in which to commune or who crowded around the music, speakers and food. There were young people with their parents or there on the sly, baby boomers to geriatrics from the 'burbs, medical users and those in high places who wore sandals for a day or two. There was a pretty open "420" with people were smoking giant bongs and spliffs so heavy took two to lift. All the police did was make them keep the sidewalks free, some easy overtime for them.
It was interesting to see what a relatively free social society would be like, with people making their own decisions about the choices they make having to do with what they take in - food and other natural substances, information (not necessarily corporate-sponsored or endorsed), etc. Rick Steves the Travel Guru spoke both days. The event crossed all generational, class structural and racial boundaries seamlessly. It's gruesome to picture Coke Fest or Meth Fest and we all know how Alcohol Fests turn out. Hempfest generally gathers hundreds of thousands without a single arrest. People come from all over the US, the Caribbean and many parts of the world. One statistic I heard was that our government spends $40 odd billion dollars per year on the "Drug War" and that $3 billion or so would fund children's health and $20 billion or so would give each teacher in the country a 30% raise.