Seattle’s Northwest Flow Fest is returning again this July. The two-day event on July 1 and 2 is being held at Volunteer Park with both free events and a larger all-day schedule of paid workshops. The craft referred to as “flow arts” is one that has played a core role in the rave experience as a whole. If you feel like you may not know what we’re talking about when it comes to flow arts, you may not be as unfamiliar as you think.
Have you ever gone to a show or festival and seen some people with some LED “things” flying around them? Maybe even performers on stage using some kind of thing on fire? Those are called props, and they are what makes flow, flow. It’s described as any type of movement or dance that incorporates different kinds of props. Props can be things like poi, wands, staffs, gloves, etc. and they come in various different forms.
Most commonly, ravers can be seen sporting different kinds of LED props to shows and festivals. But there are also fire props, which while similar in size and shape, are another level of flow. Fire flow has its place within EDM performances, but it’s also a ceremonial tradition in many cultures around the world.
Flow Fests is a non-profit organization that runs events all over the country. In addition to their Seattle event, other cities also host Flow Fests. The organization’s home base is Florida, but they make flow arts gatherings happen all over the country. In addition to Seattle, other Flow Fests occur in Ft. Lauderdale, Austin, Chicago, Asheville, and San Diego.
They team up with another devoted non-profit, Seattle Flow Arts Collective. SFAC was established in 2020 and runs flow events and gatherings in the Seattle area every week.
Northwest Flow Fest hosted its first year back in 2016. In 2021, SFAC and Flow Fests joined forces to make Northwest Flow Fest even better. Both organizations share goals of bringing education about flow arts to all skill levels and creating a space for artists to congregate and share knowledge.
Workshops, yoga, and more
The main event takes place Saturday, July 1, but we kick off the weekend on Friday night with a Fire Jam at Gasworks Park. Free to attend and take part in, Friday night is all about fire flow. There’s a first-time fire flow and fire safety workshop offered for free, and it’s the perfect opportunity to dip your toes into fire flow if you’ve been itching to attempt.
The weekend is filled with all kinds of activities, educational workshops, and various vendors. The festival itself is free to attend and workshops can be pre-purchased online or in person. All 10 am yoga sessions are free to join, as well as all workshops at 6:30 pm and the 8 pm instructor performance. Check out the schedule down below to see what’s in store for Saturday.
That’s not all though, since Sunday brings yet another free event. We’re not done in Volunteer Park just yet, Sunday brings what’s referred to as the Flow Fest Playdate. Sunday’s final event starts at 1 pm.
A welcoming community for all
With so many different offerings going on throughout the weekend, we can’t wait to join in on the fun. We’ve heard that there are some well established performers on their way. Amongst these performers is one of the world’s most renowned poi artists!
No matter your skill level, or regardless of your familiarity with flow arts in general, this is an event that welcomes everyone. There is the fun of all kinds and three different days to choose from. If you’re looking for something to fill your weekend, Northwest Flow Fest is surely something to see!
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