Following the success of his Drunken Artist event a few weeks ago (and it's a good thing it was a success, as it was a fundraiser), Joe Picorale is ready for the main event.
Nearly everyone in town, these days, has either started doing yoga, continued doing yoga, or has noticed that lots of people are doing yoga.
That's good for someone like Picorale, who is pretty freaking into yoga himself -- so much so that he and a board of directors are presenting the I Am Yoga, Art, and Music Festival this weekend.
It's kind of a best-of-both-worlds festival, meaning that it's not just for Sting and other people who are so limber that they're practically liquid.
"The festival is free, and people can see yoga happening with their own eyes and experience it," Picorale said. "But for the people who already do yoga, we've got more in-depth classes and workshops."
The festival itself is free, and there will be a free yoga class each afternoon of the two-day shindig, but the rest of the classes and workshops will require a festival pass, available through several avenues.
So the free classes and the live music -- including names as varied as Grazzhopper, Branjae Music, Susan Herndon, Red Wood Rising, and Samantha Crane to name but a small few -- and the vendors (30-plus at press time) are available to anyone who wants a peek.
And while Picorale and friends definitely want to expose people to yoga, the main thrust of the festival itself is a kind of yoga convention.
"Most of the instructors are coming in from out of state, so there will be something new for people in Tulsa to take away from it," he said. But he was quick to assert that there's something for everyone.
"We want to expose people to yoga so they see it's beneficial to all aspects of life," he said. "But we also want to connect people to each other. We're kind of trying to dissolve competitive lines and get people to come together for one event."
As such, it seems like a pretty good pair of days in store for all attendees.
"There will be, you know, a main stage and live music," Picorale said, when describing the event and what people can expect. "They'll probably be drawn to the music, I imagine. There will be a giant yoga tent that will have yoga and movement classes all day."
Once people are drawn in, it will be time to select some classes to attend.
"The workshops and the classes, you have to buy a festival pass for that, then they can go to any of the workshops and yoga classes they want to go to," he continued.
Aside from the live music, another big draw will be the closing event Saturday night -- the ever-more-popular phenomenon known as Glow Yoga.
"There will be a DJ and black lights and body paint," he said.
And just so that no one might think this was anything but an awesome gathering, Picorale enumerated a few performers who will be on hand that don't fit into any previously mentioned categories.
"And we've got a gypsy camp with ongoing belly dancing and drumming, and then we have performers happening throughout the park -- we'll have people doing yoga and someone doing silk dancing. It will all sort of be happening randomly throughout the day," he said.
Now, we Tulsans love us some food trucks, but there will be much more than just food trucks there, and those will be sort of yoga-focused, as well.
"We have a lot of yoga vendors and health and wellness vendors," Picorale said. "We have a couple of gyms, healthy products, up-cycled and recycled jewelry products, a lot of earth-friendly vendors. I'm not sure if we have any psychics this year, but we've had some in the past. It's stuff in that realm. And we'll have a couple of food trucks, and some of them will go heavy with their vegetarian options, because a lot of people who are into yoga are into the vegetarian scene, too."
Looking at the festival's website at iamyogafestival.com, you can find a list of sponsors for the event, and the one that wins the One Of These Things is Not Like The Other award is the Gilpin Law Office. What the?
"Tim is an active yogi, so he wanted to support us and get his name out there," Picorale said. "At first, we were like, 'We don't know if we want a lawyer involved in this,' but he's really involved in yoga, and we really like him. He's been great to work with through all of this."
The festival itself will be held at Centennial Park at the corner of S. Peoria Avenue and E. 6th Street, and this is the first time the three-year-old festival has been held there.
"We've moved every year, but I think Centennial will be our home for a while," Picorale said. "We've done it in Bixby, and then the second year, we went to Chandler Park because it had camping. The camping was nice, but Chandler Park was a little far away."
Centennial is a good location, he said, and not just because it's kind of in the heart of Tulsa.
"It's just really beautiful. It's got mature trees on the land, it's got some water features, and it's still kind of a secret," he said. "People still don't really know it's there. Since the Phoenix opened up, more people are going there, but a lot of people still ask where the park is.
"It's nice, though, because it's a really beautiful park, but it's got Tulsa as a backdrop, so it's a really good combination," he added.
As mentioned above, attendance at the festival is free. Festival passes, required for attending workshops and classes, are $40 for the weekend or $30 for Saturday and $25 for Sunday. Passes are available at iamyogafestival.com, but are available at a $5 discount at Inner Peace, The Yoga Room, Salt Yoga, Lifetime Fitness, and Chimera Coffee.
Passes will also be available at the proverbial door, according to Picorale.
"Our information tent is called The Vortex, and we'll be selling passes at the festival," he said. Those passes will be $5 more than the online cost.
The I Am Yoga, Art, and Music Festival will be held at Centennial Park September 14 from 10am-10pm and on September 15 from 10am-6pm.
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