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Kenneth Schwenker, Founder of One Love Fest, Talks On Festival’s Evolution And This Year’s Event

If intimate, immersive festivals like Desert Hearts and Lighting in a Bottle fit your fancy and you haven’t heard of One Love Fest yet, it’s definitely a must-add to your list.

Happening next weekend, October 20-22 at Lake Perris, One Love Fest is a transformational festival that features a combination of music, art car and boats, yogas, workshops and speakers and more. This year’s musical lineup features Mark Farina, Moby and CloZee to name a few, with multiple stages of sound and 24 hour music on art cars.

We had the opportunity to sit down with festival founder Kenneth Schwenker to learn about the event’s origins, its evolution and how this year’s event will outshine all past.

One Love Fest has been around for six years. Tell me about how it started, and why you decided to initiate its creation.

I had already founded the BHAKTIFEST and it was a great success.  First time ever there was Yoga and Kirtan in the Desert and all the beautiful people and souls it brought together was Epic.  Then I thought how can we expand that footprint so more people who are not just into yoga and kirtan can come to an uplifting, vibration shifting event.  Since the thoughts that  came to me a long time ago….  “Love is the most powerful force in the Universe” I said I will create the One Love Fest and bring the highest of vibrations together through many instruments. Now we are reaching new audiences and keeping the vibes high.

What changes have you made since its inception? Are there any new features attendees should look forward to for this year’s event?

Every single year the festival has found a new location.. Starting from a campfire in Joshua Tree Desert, to a ranch in Malibu, Ojai Libbey Bowl, and Lake Casitas, this year we have found our home at Lake Perris.  It has everything we need to have fun and have a real campground, a lake we can swim in, late late night music. There are virtually no sound restrictions.  It’s a great space with grass and beaches.

How do you choose your lineup each year? Are there any acts in particular that you’re looking forward to the most for 2017?

The lineup usually comes organically. What I mean by that is that musicians come to my attention in certain way that I know they are  meant to play with us. We have our local tribe of  musicians we love and then there are the wish lists of the stars we want. But then names emerge that become real. Last year was Matisyahu. He was amazing, he came in initially through a friend who drove him to the airport one day and they spoke about my festivals. This year Moby emerged and he has graced us with his talents to be our Headliner and set the tone this year. I am excited about many and especially Ayla Nereo,   Kerli and Delhi 2 Dublin.

Who has been your favorite artist to book for One Love since it began?

Trevor Hall is one of my favorites, as well as C.C White.

I’m curious about your history in production. How did you enter that industry?

Yes I have produced over 30 feature films. I started as a photographer originally and then just  raised a little money one day and made the first film  It was tough.Since then I have worked with many talented people including Steven Spielberg, Ivan Reitman, Julian Moore, David Duchovny, Billy Bob Thornton, Uma Thurman, Rebecca DeMornay.

How has your role as a producer impacted how you’ve built and run One Love?

Being a producer has sharpened my skills to handle all sorts of problems, multitasking, problem solving, building crew and teams, teamwork, etc. There is nothing quite like live production like a festival tho.  nothing can prepare one for that. Lots of moving parts.

What are you looking forward to the most with this year’s One Love

I am most excited about the new location and how is works for the stages,  Moby of course. and we have  a lot of new workshops and activities.   Dona Maria who is the last of Inca Priestess is coming from Peru just  to bless us and lead a workshop. Saul David Raye is leading yoga as well as many others.

Torie Richardson
Editor In Chief. San Francisco. Haus, techno and music festivals.
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