O+ Festival: all abO+ut it


Fall in the Catskills means cooler temperatures, changing leaves and the return of the O+ Festival of art, music and wellness in Kingston. Now in its seventh year, O+ has become a must-do on the cultural calendars of both loyal fans and those who are just starting to discover all that Kingston has to offer.

The three-day O+ Festival weekend (Oct. 7-9) features more than 60 bands, 30 artists (murals, performance, installation, interactive and exhibition), Literary SALO+N and CO+LLAGE Café, unlimited classes in yoga, sound healing, dance and meditation, Wellness EXPO+ and CO+NFERENCE, and cycling events for all interests and skill levels — including a bicycle tour of the proposed Kingston Greenline and the O+ murals.

A wristband is your all-access ticket to as much art, music and wellness you can handle.

Projectej.com Photography

Projectej.com Photography

Take the time to pore over our digital schedule — you’ll get a beautiful printed version when you pick up you wristband at the MO+THERSHIP (patio at Wall and North Front streets) — and make a plan that suits your interests. But be sure to pace yourself. There’s A LOT to see, hear and experience.

For your inspiration, here’s a peek at my itinerary for festival day No.1 (Friday, Oct. 7):

5:30PM Parade: I’ll kick things off Friday with the New Orleans-style parade, which winds its way through uptown and midtown, passing by O+ murals from years past and 2016 murals in-the-making. I can’t wait to see how Lady Pink, the “first lady of graffiti,” responds to this year’s Mothers of Invention theme at Express Latinos on Broadway.

7PM Kirtan at The Kirkland: Then you can catch me stepping out of my comfort zone and into a kirtan (chanting) concert led by Lee Mirabai Harrington. “Through the recitation of ancient divine names, sacred mantras and sacred syllables, we can align ourselves with divine energies and achieve a state of unity, oneness, transformation and inner peace.” Yes, please.

9PM Uni Ika Ai at BSP: After experiencing the healing vibrations of collective chanting, I’m headed to BSP Kingston for my first of many concerts of the weekend: Uni Ika Ai, a Brooklyn-based dreampop / artpop band.

10PM Drawing Extravaganza at Broadway Arts: Unlike many of my fellow O+ volunteers, I’m no artist, but that won’t stop me from experiencing Anna Hafner’s interactive drawing class. Each of Hafner’s sculptural shrines will house models dressed as different incarnations of the divine feminine for you and me to sketch. LO+VE it!

10:30PM PMS & The Mood Swings at The Anchor: From Broadway Arts, it’s a quick walk to The Anchor for PMS & The Mood Swings, who will “serve up sticky pop candy with a classic Bowery punk beat, Coney Island surf guitars, and that uptown sax sound!”

I would love to know what O+ events are on your must-do list!


And The Kids performed during the 2015 O+ Festival at Seven21 Media Center — photo by Rachel Brennecke

While attendees are experiencing all that the festival has to offer, volunteer health and wellness providers in a pop-up clinic at Old Dutch Church are treating the underinsured artists and musicians who donate their talent as well as the many volunteers who work the weekend. We call this exchange “the art of medicine for the medicine of art.”

O+ is pay-what-you-think-it’s-worth to make the festival affordable to all while raising much-needed funds for the Kingston-based national nonprofit that powers it.

We have some great thank-you gifts for wristband donations of $50, $75 and $100, including gifts for cycling enthusiasts and a limited-edition Mothers of Invention T-shirt designed by New Yorker cartoonist and O+ alumna Carolita Johnson.

What’s It Worth to YO+U?

Kathleen (Wereszynski) Murray is a Kingston native and chief storyteller at O+ Festival.