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Renew Fest is Regenerating

Renew Fest is taking a year off to 
replenish, restore and re-calibrate, with the plan to re-emerge in 2020 as a power 
source for ecological, economic and social renewal across the nation and the world.
 This year we are instead holding a Deep Renew Weekend.

Buddhists have this great image and spiritual practice of turning the wheel – they call
 it the dharma wheel. It signifies action in the world that generates harmony with
 oneself and the world. If turned with clear mind and heart eventually that wheel turns
 itself.

This is the vision of the director of Renew Fest, Ella Rose Goninan, to create a self-
sustaining movement towards global renewal.

“It’s time to do some heavy lifting. The moment has come to re-organise and expand our festival and build resilience into 
our local and global community in this time of quickening crisis. We see our role at 
Renew to provide the foundation and wisdom to action real world change, to 
embolden clear, audacious vision for this planet and in order to do that our
organisation needs time to regenerate.”

Life made that vision and determination crystal clear for Ella at the end of last year 
with the death of her friend’s son. Her grief and her role in supporting her friends in 
their grief brought home the fact that renewal is a precious and invaluable process
 and requires our full attention.

“We human beings need to be working together to be
successful in restoring our collective health and our impact on the planet.

In December last year my dear friend lost her son. The harrowing grief that prevailed
for her, her partner, her family, myself and all close friends, has changed and is
continuing to change every fibre of my being. I spent the whole next month involved
in supporting them intimately with their emotional and practical needs, which also
involved coordinating a wider community of care.
I don’t yet know the full impact of this experience but I am certain I have to allow it. I recognise the importance of remaining close and available to them through the long-
term process of their tragic loss. It’s a deep honour to be able to make this choice to offer care in this way.”

In the light of this experience Ella is announcing a change of pace this year, with a
DEEP RENEW WEEKEND in May, focused on grief and elder hood in a time of
climate crisis, with a fully regenerated festival in 2020.

The Deep Renew Weekend will feature two events with international author, founder
 of Orphan Wisdom, grief walker and elder hood teacher Stephen Jenkinson, on both 
Friday evening 10 May and Saturday 11 May. This will be followed by a deep 
listening Vigil For Grief in the fig tree grove of Mullumbimby Showgrounds 11-12 May
 with the live immersive music-scape of HHAARRPP, spoken word meditations from festival director Ella Rose Goninan and guests, and the quiet contemplations of all
 those that attend.

“We are buoyed by all the organisations and individuals who committed and
 expressed interest in Renew Fest 2019 and we encourage them and many more to
 join us when the bigger festival returns for Renew Fest 2020. In many ways my passage through this grief and support process parallels that for
 our festival. Connecting to grief within our human experience, including the grief for
 our impact on the earth, is a powerful resource for renewing our service to life. Renew celebrates individual and collective desires for regenerating and caring for 
the planet and our human societies. It speaks to all of us and it speaks from all of us
 as it speaks up about how to positively transform ourselves and the systems that
 support us.”