We Came To Dance: Lightning In A Bottle 2016

first_imgPantyraid closed out Thunder Stage with a celebratory set of revelry. Heavy on tracks from hot-off-the-press After Glow, Ooah and MartyParty returned to LIB and shut down the bass music church with an updated steez. New joints like “With You” and “Wanting Moves” pumped the Funktion 1 subs proper, and the blood-rush lust of “Nights” was unrestricted rage. A rowdy bi-coastal collaboration from cities angelic and magical, the duo dropped their revered bounce amid a stage teeming with booty, as Do LaB family celebrated their undeniable victory.  PRSN to close LIB at the Pagoda Bar was a stroke of pure genius. The exquisite producer out of Portland, OR by way of Reno, NV brings the booms and claps something serious; on this night he was at his absolute finest. This is the new dancehall paradigm; furious, unhinged ragga-grooves rewired by a crunkalogic scientist. Bryce Lowell lead the excursions to sweaty, Kingston tombs of boomshot glory; forwards juxtaposed with ill hip-hop remixes. All of it soaked in mad-futuristic 808 rumble, with a dash of juke and footwork. Lowell was adept at mixing sublime, sensual downtempo dripping weird and wobbly bass, with inklings of Trap and Dub.; An amalgam of many styles, and defiant in his own dopeness, PRSN delivered a sayanora set of domineering decadence.   We came to dance. [Photos by Jacob Avanzato] Love the Wild Wild West? Stop by The Grand Artique, located in Frontierville, a fictional Gold-Rush town that included a fully immersive Trading Post/General Store, a bombed out hotel and saloon, gypsy encampment, and music stage filled with idiosyncratic bands and performance artists. Need to relax and recharge while enjoying a laugh? Try the Highlove Vitality Lounge and Elixir Bar, where one could sip on a futuristic blend of healthy beverages and take in a variety of Vaudeville performances and crazy clowns. If you had a hankering for sexy shenanigans and jaw-dropping burlesque vixens, Amori’s Casino and Burlesque was the late night hotspot. Off the beaten Woogie Stage path was the Lightning Inn, an engrossing, improv wonderland of psychedelic, sensory overload.   An effective culture experiment based on a shared aspiration to create and explore village life, I’d be remiss if I didn’t show love and respect to The Village. The cooperative encampment hosted the Permaculture Action Network Hub, Sacred Fire, Ancestral Arts, Witch’s Hut, Mentor Zone, and Essential Oils Learning Lab, and so much more between the teepees. The most heavily shaded area on the festival grounds, The Village offered relaxation and respite from the punishing mid-afternoon temperatures. By proxy, some of the most rewarding human interactions took place there, as large swaths congregated every day to beat the heat. Beginning with Wednesday’s Permaculture Action Day facilitated by ActionDays.us, I stopped through the Village each day, gifted with a tangible takeaway with every visit.   The multitudinous interactive experiences were a carnivals and circuses unto themselves; a few favorites included the Do-Over Barber Shop, a freewheeling Soapbox Derby, Renegade Bowling, and Mega Ski-Ball. Equally magnanimous were the Lost Hotel, an ornate shrine The Long House, and the Archival Ink Gallery. Copious amounts of silliness, psychedelia, sordid satire, and salacious, shit-eating grins were among the main components of the wild, wacky, weird, and unexplainable.   And then there were the stages, giant, gorgeous art installations. The humongous and arresting Lightning Stage served as the main event space, just across the bridge (after customary high-fives en route) was a hulking church of bass called the Thunder Stage. Between the two was another cafeteria in crunk, Pagoda Bar. The Grand Artique stage hosted music for more hours than any other. The famed and fabulous Woogie Stage was headquarters for the techno and house crowds. Yet the flyest scene of all, and the real place for booty and bpms was the smashing Favela Bar. This remarkable re-creation of an Rio Di Janeiro slum was easily this writer’s favorite LIB musical environs. Patricio curates the swanky, smoking card for the finest in Deep House and Playa-Tech, and the dance sessions are furious and funky, good spirited revelry, and nobody is too cool for school.  Nearly every time heading to the Woogie Stage, I’d end up at Favela Bar instead, it was just too good to pass by. The Do LaB lives for live music, too. The LIB lineup is consistently the creme de la creme, each and every year; a diverse palette of electronic and indie artists that runs the gamut.  The cutting edge, the avant garde, and the next big things; LIB 2016 boasted a particularly strong menu of music, going across the six main stages and into renegade parties, Ecstatic Dances inside yoga domes, and beyond. For all the phenomenal performances I took in, I missed even more- the mark of a tremendous event.Lightning in a Bottle 2016: The Music. WEDNESDAY   Frontierville, home to the living, breathing anachronism that is The Grand Artique, would be the site of embarkation. Hailing from Seattle, Bootleg Sunshine was a quirky four-piece fiddle-band to start things off, specializing in new-grass mountain music. In ironic admiration for the Golden State, Bootleg Sunshine paid homage to Cali with one of it’s most treasured folk songs, Dr. Dre’s seminal humble-brag “Still D.R.E.” As far as leveling up, and stepping into the weekend’s interdimensional dance vortex, DJ Dakini set it off type proper at the Temple of Consciousness. The Austrailian’s mixture of Ancient Future Bass and Global Downtempo infused the dance during her two hour traverse through shamanic soundscapes. THURSDAY  After a day getting schooled and cooled in The Village, the Temple was again the scene with vibrations most elevated, as Dragonfly returned to the decks with an emotional journey through Future House and Global Bass transmissions. A pillar of this extended festival community, Martin Andrew recently announced that he is battling cancer, and though it took a tremendous, valiant effort to summon the strength required to travel to and perform, he went on to deliver a most triumphant set; fans and friends rallied around his music just as they have his cause. A giant among men, Dragonfly’s opus reminded that life is precious, that we are in this together, one nation under the groove.  Nico Luminous got things poppin’ around sunset at the Pagoda Bar, which provided a luscious view of the sun racing down the horizon. Luminous provided some sensual seduction in the form of a choice edit of Erykah Badu’s hit “On and On.” Soundpiece bossman BOGL, holding it down for the Bay Area, delivered bass music of all kinds, and we were recipients of his good fortune. Amid the plethora of dark-Trap, crunk-bass technicians that would grace the Pagoda Bar and Thunder stages, BOGL left the most brutal brand on the brainwaves. Chris B. dipped into a set of high-energy bass bombast, rippling with glitchy hip-hop. Sugarpill closed out the Pagoda Bar for the night by providing a hefty sampling of polytemponic, melodocrunky style, a roaring remix of The Diplomats’ Harlem classic “Dipset Anthem” sending people into a dithers.  FRIDAY Hailing from Toulouse, France, emerging star CloZee leveled the Thunder Stage mid-afternoon on Friday. An ethno-fusion of Post-Glitch and World Bass with a refined touch beyond her short time on the scene, Ms. Chloe dropped a progressive narrative rich in worldly affectations and interesting instrumentation. CloZee played mostly originals, slipped in material from the excellent Revolution: Remixes release, as well as recent Sinking EP with Scarfinger. A whirlwind saga and kaleidescope of sonic color, CloZee was joined by flow artist extraordinaires, and in short order, the Do LaB dream was in full bloom.  Emancipator Ensemble‘s sumptuous sunset session on the Lightning Stage was scheduling genius. The quartet provided a stirring stroll through orchestral, downtempo rapture. “Diamonds” saw violinist Ilya Goldberg soar atop the meditative thump of focused drummer Colby Buckner.  “Lionheart” found producer/composer and birthday boy Doug Appling strapping on a guitar. Quintessential Emancipator material like “When I Go” and “Valhalla” were uncovered in delicate, precision execution. Arriving at the tear-jerking, ambrosial “Anthem,” from Appling’s 2006 debut Soon it Will Be Cold Enough to Build Fires, the sun was dashing out of sight, and there was a collective cry, savoring this stillness in time.     Platinum-blonde punk rock ratchet-grrrl Laura Low showed up at Pagoda Bar just after 10pm, ready to rumble. DJ Laura’s deep, hyphy 808s underneath heavy-duty, rolling melodic dub made for a raucous energy and spastic dancefloor. As she built the virility to stout proportions, Low dropped a titanic “Tom Ford” (Jay-Z), and the Timbaland-trap ignited the crowd in a sea of disorderly conduct. Immediately following, The Polish Ambassador threw a onesie party on the Thunder Stage. The Jumpsuited One uncorked a series of globalized, uptempo dance jams that captivated an enormous audience. A smattering of unreleased music was interspersed with material from the recent LP Dreaming of an Old Tomorrow, and even reached back to Ecozoic. TPA partied with a purpose, in lockstep with the teeming masses; though some were wishing for a bit of the old-school martian glitch that made many an ample mammal first fall in love with the foreign diplomat. Onward the venture took us to the Lightning Stage, where William Close and the Earth Harp Collective were levitating near the midnight hour, forcing the floodgates open with gushing, symphonius movements under a twinkling, moonlit sky.  Meanwhile at Favela Bar, revelers were being treated to a choice, streamlined set from San Francisco house music queen Rachel Torro. She captained a fuming menagerie, and took the journey inwards with minimalist, deep and tech styles, all revealed with more than just a touch of class. Late into the night in the eclectic confines of The Village, Brian Hartman and Nadi were also going deep. Nevada City, CA was having it’s own shindig hidden among a dozen others simultaneously bubbling across the festival. Nadi’s birthday soiree contained some of the warmest vibes felt on these hallowed grounds all weekend. The coziness of The Village dance-floor and familial faces bonding in boogie-bliss made for a feverish homecoming all night long, until the village elders finally pulled the plug.Holding down LIB for several years strong, Los Angeles womp-wizard GoldRush pioneered a genre-tweaking romance revolution, the aptly-coined Lovestep. Rugged, feverish riddims and torrid, alien-bass tones swallowed the Pagoda Bar just before 3am; throngs of lovers spilled out in a ballet of temple-twerk. A smart spin on post-Dubstep, post-Trap gone Hollywood hood; these were confessions at the Church of Spirit-Trill. BenLloyd Goldstein’s inner thug-hippie was on swole, and his enthusiasm contagious as the DJ sang, emceed, and continuously programmed the some of the toughest drums heard all week. He was a blur of hands twirling atop a futuristic alchemy of weird bass, whiz-kid 808s, and swaggering, erogenous ethos. Highlights included his remix of Trina and Lil Wayne’s seminal kiss-off “Don’t Trip” (“Do Trip”), “We are the Soil”, and a juicy Little Dragon edit.  “Closer”, “Find Me,” and Delilah’s “Go” were lusty, carnalized temples of boom.   SATURDAYAmong the most anticipated parties at LIB 2016, Music is 4 Lovers “Fat Bitch and the Booty Bass Sunset Spanking,” went all afternoon on a steamy Saturday. The Lovelife crew blessed the jubilant massive with five-plus hours of sunshine daydream, ringing in the sunset at the unparalleled Favela Bar with panache. The dynamic duo of DADON and Jimbo James rendered a tour de force in Deep and Disco-House, piling on funky, swanky grooves without mercy and nary a fuck given. Jon Dadon was lacing up blistering percussion rhythms with his bare hands, compliments of the Roland Handsonic 10. The all-day b2b powwow (with a guest spot from Justin Jay) was a masterful display of  ‘move the crowd’; clearly the tandem was enjoying the festivities as much as we were. Evidence: DADON threw down a thumping “Miss You” (Rolling Stones) that induced spastic hooting from a boisterously jamming posse. Jimbo saw his Stones, and raised him Steely, murdering the game with a big debut, in the form of “Peg”, Steely Dan’s immortal Michael McDonald holler. This SoCal get-down was a spanking worth the hide, booty bass in blueprint blue, and the Favela Bar responded accordingly on the dance floor. Betwixt the populous electronic offerings, there were diamonds in the rough in terms of good ole-fashioned bands onstage, especially at The Grand Artique. The Pimps of Joytime, representing Brooklyn and championing NOLA to the fullest, pulled into Frontierville toting a truckload of swagger. Gracing the stage for the Saturday sunset into the night, this fearsome foursome led by Brian J. unloaded a panacea of funky dance grooves with a distinctive Second Line shimmy. All-timer “Janxta Funk” was its usual snaking, swervy seduction, while the soon-to-be-released “Cut Off (remix)” was a redolent rave that mixed the best in organic electronica with some proper Paisley Park. Later at the Temple, Ryan Herr, Jesse Hendricks, and Craig Kohland offered a welcome respite from a festival swimming in bass. Their cogent compound of acoustic music employed a styles indigenous and rhythms traditional, by way of delicate  instrumentation. The trio coalesced into a gumbo of melodies; the driving, vibrant songcraft calling to corners of the globe.  Arriving at Jamie xx relatively unawares of what was to come, I planned on checking out a few tunes before moving onward to another stage. The next ninety minutes of stunning artistic glory enveloped the largest crowd of the weekend, and leaving was simply not an option. Opening with “Gosh,” and delivering the xx anthem “Crystallized,” in short order the stage was set for a multi-hued expedition. Mr. Smith took us on a lengthy, sexy, soaring and sauntering ride. Bathing in plumes of smoke and regal white light, showering in a glistening disco ball, the visceral visuals were the classiest accoutrement of this entire event. Soaking in the swelling emotions and steady build of “Loud Places” among ten thousand peaking lovers was something of a lucid dream. The exquisite, cerebral set sprawled out in a expanse of bass bump, minimalist Disco-House, and a winding, fiery Techno migration. In a show of pure gusto and genuine reverence, Jamie xx dropped original sample sources (Idris Muhammad, The Persuasions) before segueing into prodigious In Colour material culled from their seminal records.SUNDAY Already beaten by the sun and nearly three days on the go, it took tremendous intestinal fortitude to set about the last leg of this adventure in toy-land. However, the final day of LIB was the stuff that musical dreams are made of; from breakfast through the wee hours, there was a monumental menu of delectable options. Sunday started on a somber, yet celebratory note at the Woogie. A sizable, emotional contingent of fans, friends, and merry-makers came together to send off Pumpkin, the iconic, beloved West Coast DJ who tragically passed away in late March. As tears fell and two-handed hearts shined, stories, laughs, and shenanigans were shared in the name of Nicholas Alvarado. A selection of his homies and favorite DJs spun a collaborative set of music that heckled toward the heavens, with a red clown nose and Cheshire grin.British Columbia’s shamanic-bass phenom aTYya sparked the Sunday fuse at Thunder Stage, the hot, dry and dusty noon slot perplexing and challenging for both the artist and fan. Focused and fearless, Tyy Clark proceeded to transmit mysterious, minimalist ritual bass most effectively. Curating vibe with newer selections steadfastly dripping in murky textures, aTYya utilized sparse percussion economy within his gooey, sulty productions, The ceremony in visionary nectar was brought to steamy conclusion with a libidinous take on Aaliyah’s “Rock the Boat”.  HÄANA took the stage immediately following aTYya, though in reality she was omnipresent. Miss Thiem appeared seemingly everywhere; be it onstage, roaming the festival grounds, or losing herself in the dance front and center. This radiant ginger was a glistening spirit of this gathering;  HÄANA proved herself a mystifying, magnetizing maiden. She first appeared with a meditative Deep Sonos set in the Temple under the Friday moon; by Sunday, the full breadth of her alter ego was revealed. Clad in bejeweled, ornate black and gold, HÄANA emerged with magical, shapeshifting elegance. Middle Eastern and orchestral Nordic flourishes abound, this was high brow, mature femtronica. Case in point: a captivating, weeping reimagining of Massive Attack’s forever jam “Teardrop.” HÄANA would twice return to this epic Thunder landscape; in mirages of white light with Desert Dwellers Live Experience, then summoning the moon’s shadows with Dimond Saints. The “Game Changer” Lafa Taylor provided the fun-zone for B-boys and B-girls to get loose in the afternoon sun of the Lightning Stage. Augmented by a prodigiously talented break dance crew, Taylor showed and proved with a wide variety of this singer/songwriter/emcee/DJ’s chameleonic offerings. The feel-good set was chock full of monster 808 breaks, fresh rhymes, titanic Trap-drops, and sing-along choruses galore. Lafa threw down double-time Medium Troy (“Out Here” and “Sweetest Thing”), the infectious new joint “Tokyo Trap”, and a couple of songs from Feel, his forthcoming collaboration with Aabo. Lafa Taylor is a mega-star in the making, and it’s only a matter of time before mainstream America finds out what is hip.Mid-afternoon, the mighty Thriftworks at the Thunder Stage was a phantasmagoric voyage to the netherworlds of psychedelic bass music. A hip hop head, Bay Area by way of Pennsylvania, Jake Atlas came at it chopped and screwed, project blowed and elbows throw’d. Thrifty dropped several gems from the recent Low Speed High Drag, like the lush, atmospheric blending of colors within “Juanitos Presence.” The spine-tingling, frontal-lobe massage continued with a series of jams from a trifecta of albums released last year, Fade, Fader, and Fadest. Late in this diabolical dosage of Dilla-on-Acid mindfuckery, a warbled, Shaolin-drunken-monkey edit of the timeless “Greenie Beanies” materialized, as did the sinister “Terry,” and a slithery “The Touch.” The straight alien-gangster musique of “Untrue” was a whaleback joyride on the wayback machine.  By the time “Feeding Time” and an infernal “Terminally Chill” had coagulated our collective consciousness, Thriftworks had effectively decimated the gasping massive. It is safe to assume that any and all life-forms at the Thunder Stage required a moment to breath, and carefully set a foot back on terra firma; this performance was proof that Mr. Atlas’s lysergic space vessel does not trek along on a flat earth’s surface.  Happy hour at the Lightning Stage, The Russ Liquid Test was a revelation. The best in live-band dance-music synergy, the trio’s synth-driven electro-funk was a gargantuan sound. Russ Liquid led the charge on trumpet, sax, synths, and programming, conductor of this swaggadelic runaway train. NOLA guitarist Andrew Block could be found comping in the kill zone, smooth as butta on the hollow body electric, with a sharp mod haircut straight outta Argentina. For seventy five minutes, drummer Nick Mercadel was a metronome of focused authority, tip-toeing high hats atop thunderous kick drum thump. The fatback funk grooves, bathing in analog synth, recalled ZAPP, The Time, and early Rick James; and the natives were restless.  Meanwhile back at Favela Bar, Brian Hartman dropped two hours of world-fusion house, dub cumbia, and nectarious panty-droppers to an ever-growing audience that lapped it up amid the hanging laundry blowing in the 5 o’clock breeze. The HeartBass chief operating officer is riding an upward trajectory of mammoth proportions, as the people are picking up what Hartman is putting down, like the jubilant “Pinky (Monkey Safari remix)” by Zombie Disco Squad.  Stay tuned for HeartBass world domination, coming to a love den and  speaker stack near you.  Zach Walker of the playa’s Pink Mammoth crew also went deep, bringing potent, lurid house vibes as the Favela night wore on, before handing off to Saand, The Music is 4 Lovers selectah launched the deep-house spacecraft into the starry sky, with melancholic stories aimed straight for your wide-open heart chakra, whipping dancers into an emotional frenzy.  Among the most anticipated sets of LIB 2016, Oakland’s enigmatic Dimond Saints would deliver in Empyrean fashion. Unveiling a seven piece live-ensemble that included a tuba player, trombonist, HÄANA on violin, vocalist Yarroahs, and Sica on Tycho drum, antennae and Releece channeled the heart of darkness just after dusk. The theme was shanti-ratchet gone Gotham City, an aesthetic its own brand of occultish post-trap sexy. For their third consecutive LIB appearance, they dished a classic handfuls of 808s swimming in heartbreak, but primarily focused on newer prismatic endeavors. Early on, their arrangement of Lorde’s “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” (Tears for Fears) cover set an ominous and malevolent tone: the leviathan, descending brass bass line following an anthemic chorus was Armageddon. A teeming, sweaty, fatigued and invigorated dancefloor exploded in throbbing, untamed sexuality. “Your Friends” (Lemon) was its usual dose of intravenous eroticism, “Smokestacks”(LAYLA) the definition of epic. The set reached its apex with a haunting, trance-inducing “Brym Al Mar” remix, a HÄANA single given the now-patented shigetsu treatment. As macabre chants rose from the serpentine groove, the elegant empress stepped to the front of the stage with violin, and serenaded the moment with crystallized melody. A hunter’s moon had risen, these masked mavens steering ship to shore with select numbers from their forthcoming full-length LP Prism in the Dark. Culminating in defiant crooning on “IDGAF” from the cabalistic Yarroahs, Dimond Saints succeeded in ambition; they upped their own ante for what really hot- in the streets, and between the sheets. Lightning in a Bottle is not merely a music festival, but instead an unparalleled gathering where people congregate to experience open-minded community, and concepts for living a brighter tomorrow.  The instructions are quite simple, and the LIB Thrive Guide says it best: “Lead by example. Pack it In and Pack it Out. Honor the land. Respect others and their journey. Practice good citizenship. Own your actions. Go above and beyond.”LIB is unique for each person who attends the affair; no two LIBs are the same. Some focus on seminars and workshops, listening to ideas and inspirations from a cavalcade of gurus, experts, healers and leaders. Others seek out the litany of visionary installations and collaborative art projects evolving each year. People go to LIB for the diversified yoga programs, the learning kitchen, the spirituality, the tea houses, the improv troupes, the fashion, and the dozens of thriving subcultures. Families, loners, and longtime festival crews come back to LIB to experience what is among the most engaging, socially conscious, and interactive music festivals on the planet. The word “transformational” is thrown around a lot these days, but there is no irony, sarcasm, or tongue planted in cheek here; Lightning in a Bottle is a life affirming endeavor that can fundamentally change somebody, if they are willing and able to surrender to the flow.  Los Angeles-based artist collective The Do LaB is the production team behind this mammoth undertaking. Now in its third year in Bradley, CA, they have discovered what appears to be a permanent home for LIB at Lake San Antonio, smack dab between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The sprawling grounds are made up of several peninsulas that surround a dried-out lake bed, offering a voluminous plateau for the dusty, sweaty, arduous four day event. For the first time in its history, Lightning in a Bottle tickets sold out in advance, and reports had over 25,000 people attending over Memorial Day weekend. After a few years of the festival wandering nomadically through different locations throughout Central and Southern California, LIB is blessed to have contractually secured this property for a handful of years to come. Since its inception in the early 2000s, LIB has been a flagship for West Coast transformational culture, a beacon of light that distinguishes itself from a Bonnaroo or Coachella with clear intention and focus on education, communication, ceremony, pageantry, spirituality, visionary art, and self-improvement. One must acknowledge the top-shelf musical lineup, yet you could dive into LIB full force without even making your way to any of the main stage areas.  The abundance of workshops, speakers and classes available are worthy of its own feature article; the same could be said for LIB’s world-class yoga itinerary, the global cadre of painters, builders, scientists and artists. LIB boasts a veritable shopping mall of eclectic vending, a bizarre bazaar unlike any other this writer has seen.  LIB also espouses a Leave No Trace mantra, meaning that if you bring it with you, you take it home. It is an ambitious, righteous endeavor to change festival modus operandi. A chiding, Do LaB clean-up song blares over the speakers at the end of each day of music, and people are encouraged to leave the grounds better than how they found them. Sadly, despite the best intentions and exemplary efforts of the festival, The Do LaB, and two-thirds of the patrons, by the looks of things leaving LIB 2016, Leave No Trace remains a work in progress. Lightning in a Bottle is supreme in its embracing of the new festival paradigm. One could stop by either the Temple of Consciousness or Healing Sanctuary for a meditation, an ear to listen, an infusion of love, friendship, or compassion. These domiciles were  host to various forms of raw, unfettered human interaction. You need not step into those specific facilities to experience LIB fantasy-turned-reality. For sunrise gazing, picturesque sunsets, shady mid-day naps, and more open communication and connection, Meditation Lookout was a breezy hang with pillows strewn about, atop a tree-lined hillside.  last_img read more

SKULL & ROSES 2 To Celebrate Spirit Of The Dead With Gratefully-Inspired Lineup

first_imgWhat is Dead may never die! The saying is not only a Game of Thrones Iron Islander catch-phrase, but also an apt explanation for the music and communal scene that the Grateful Dead has created over the last 50+ years. Even after the passing of their leader, Jerry Garcia, back on August 9th, 1995, the remaining members of the band pushed on in various formations over these last two decades with continued success. Beyond the surviving band members, many musicians have taken up the cause of the Grateful Dead in their own way, re-creating and paying tribute to the band that has left an indelible mark on so many lives. The upcoming SKULL & ROSES 2, set to take place April 6th-8th at Ventura County Fairgrounds, will do just that, celebrating the spirit, energy, and community that the Dead have created. [You can purchase 20% Discounted Tickets Here].The lineup consists of 20+ Dead-inspired outfits including Golden Gate Wingmen, Circles Around the Sun, Stu Allen & Mars Hotel, Melvin Seals & JGB, Shred Is Dead, Moonalice, David Gans, Cubensis, Roosevelt Collier, Alligator, and more. Throw in two stages with no overlapping sets, a vibrant campground scene where bands not on the bill are able to set up for their own impromptu jams, and a location that has some fairly deep Grateful Dead history of its own (the group played 11 shows there from ’82-’87), Skull & Roses is going into its second year with plenty of inspiration to move the masses brightly…Circles Around The SunWhen Chris Robinson Brotherhood guitarist Neal Casal was asked to create the set break music for the Dead’s 50th Anniversary Fare Thee Well shows, he thought it was a one-time thing, never imagining the massive response that the project would elicit. Now officially dubbed Circles Around the Sun, the band has taken on a life of its own, and rightfully so. Thematically, you can hear flourishes of various Dead songs that were used as inspiration in creating the music, but what Casal, Adam MacDougall, Mark Levy, and Dan Horn are playing is very much their own psychedelic rock journey.EXCLUSIVE: Neal Casal Talks CRB, LSD, & The Future Of Circles Around The SunSkull & Roses founder Chris Mitrovich explains the need for Circles to be on the bill, “I was watching the Fare Thee Well live streams, listening to the set break music, and was blown away by what I was hearing. I had no clue what it was, but very much wanted to know. After learning the backstory, and seeing them eventually go on to play some shows, I knew that these guys had to be a part of this celebration.”Circles Around The Sun – “Kasey’s Bones” – Terrapin Crossroads – 7/28/17:[via nowiknowuryder]Golden Gate WingmenThe Golden Gate Wingmen have a rather impressive collective resume, with each member coming from Grateful Dead side-projects such as Dead & Company, Furthur, Phil Lesh & Friends, and Billy & The Kids. The quartet of John Kadlecik (guitar), Jeff Chimenti (keys), Jay Lane (drums), and Reed Mathis (bass) are as an accomplished outfit to play the Dead catalog as you’re going to get today outside of the actual guys that wrote the songs. These guys know the music inside and out, making their set something that is sure to take attendees on a deep and exploratory journey.Golden Gate Wingmen – “Ramble On Rose” – Ardmore Music Hall – 3/27/16:[via LiquidSilverStream]Stu Allen & Mars HotelStu Allen & Mars Hotel has been a staple of the Berkeley scene since 2011 with their weekly Grateful Dead Night residency at Ashkenaz. Joined by an ever-rotating cast of incredible musicians, Allen himself has played with Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, and Billy Kreutzmann over the years, including fronting Melvin Seals & JGB from 2004-2011. He is as committed to keeping the spirit of the Grateful Dead alive as any other musicians in the scene.Phil Lesh & Friends ft. Stu Allen “He’s Gone” – Terrapin Crossroads – 9/14/17[via Andy Logan]Melvin Seals & JGBMelvin Seals & Jerry Garcia Band remembers Garcia’s most important project outside of the Dead–and the one that allowed him to freely explore his diverse musical tastes. Led by Seals, the only remaining member from the original band, JGB has entered into a new phase of their evolution, with the recent announcement of two new female powerhouse singers in Lady Chi and Sunshine Becker. Seals & JGB are sure to offer up the goods, including some rare song selections that Jerry Garcia Band played only a handful of times.Melvin Seals & JGB – “That’s What Love Will Make You Do” – Jerry Jam[via Jerry Jam]While chatting about the Skull & Roses lineup, festival founder Chris Mitrovich, whose first show was the “comeback” show after Jerry fell into a coma right before the band was set to play Ventura in ’86, argues, “These aren’t just ‘tribute’ bands, these are bands interpreting the music in their own way. To call any of these acts a tribute does a disservice to the hard work and dedication these musicians have put into creating their own vision of the Dead catalog while paying honors to it at the same time. The word ‘tribute’ doesn’t do the music being created justice. A band such as Cubensis has been rocking the SoCal Dead scene for 30+ years and has a rabid following of their own. They are much more than some average tribute band.”David Gans, for example, is a living Grateful Dead encyclopedia. Along with playing with various members of the Dead himself, he also wrote the book Playing in the Band: An Oral and Visual Portrait of the Grateful Dead and co-hosts the SiriusXM program Tales from the Golden Road with Gary Lambert. Then you have a newer group such as Shred Is Dead led by guitarist Marcus Rezak (Digital Tape Machine), Grammy Award-winning drummer Raul Pineda, percussionist/vocalist Ben Thomas (Zappa Plays Zappa), bassist Eli Marcus (Steve Vai), and keyboardist Aaron Provisor (Abe Laboriel Jr.), that has put a progressive and high-energy spin to the music.“I want the music separated from the artist. How does this message go on independent of the messenger in exploring these interpretations? We’re challenging these bands to do their own thing,” Mitrovich explains. “Come in and jam for Jerry. Do your thing. That’s what I am trying to create here. There are so many acts out there, all across the country, paying honors to the music, I figured I’d try and get them together. Let’s poke around the various scenes and see what we could put together.”Tickets for Skull & Roses 2 are currently on-sale with a 20% discount and can be purchased here. For event updates and additional information, join the Facebook page. Enter To Win A Pair Of Weekend Passes:<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>last_img read more

College festival aimed toward stress relief

first_imgIn honor of the original AnTostal, a College celebration of springtime in the 1960s, the Saint Mary’s Student Activities Board (SAB) will host SMC Tostal, an event featuring a free concert and a variety of other activities.“We have it to give the students the chance to relax a bit before finals,” SAB president Michele Peterson, a senior, said. Peterson said the Tostal activities begin at noon on Thursday. Activities include inflatables on the Library Green from noon to 4 p.m, including a bungee run, obstacle course, slide and human spheres, as well as a rock wall and mechanical bull.“These are all free, so students can stop by between classes and have a bit of fun,” Peterson said. “There will also be a food vendor with ‘fudge puppies,’ which are basically waffles on a stick covered with chocolate and toppings, and freshly squeezed orange, lemon and lime juice.”In the Spes Unica Hall Atrium and Student Center Atrium, henna tattoo artists will offer free tattoos. A photo booth will also be available to students in the dining hall during dinner.The day will end with a concert featuring Josh Kelley and opening act Jon McLaughlin.Tickets are free and available to Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students in the Student Center Atrium today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.“I love that SAB can provide the students with a day of fun,” Peterson said. “We all work so hard, and by the end of the spring semester, we are often stressed with oncoming exams. SMC Tostal gives students the chance to relax for a change.”Peterson said the Tostal is a chance to allow students to relax for free.“We are lucky that we can provide such a fun-filled day, all for free, just for the students.,” Peterson said. “They really deserve this, and SAB really hopes they enjoy all the events we planned.”last_img read more

Cotton conference

first_imgUniversity of GeorgiaAnyone who wants the latest information about cotton production and marketing should attend the first annual Georgia Cotton Conference at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center Jan. 29-30 in Tifton, Ga.The conference will include the Georgia Cotton Commission annual meeting, the Georgia Quality Cotton Awards ceremony and educational workshops given by experts with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Registration is free. For more information, call (229) 386-3412 or go to the Web site www.ugatiftonconference.org.last_img read more

Legal Roundup

first_img Legal RoundupAbel Band University: Abel Band in Sarasota has launched a new firm-wide education, development, and knowledge management program. Known as Abel Band University, the program operates as the firm’s conduit for continuing education and development programs for both attorneys and nonattorneys. The university’s primary purpose is to enhance business and legal skills so that all staff and attorneys are better educated to deliver the highest level of client service possible. The university provides educational opportunities utilizing technology and other media that enable lawyers to participate in programs within the office to minimize time away from delivering client service, while still allowing attorneys to obtain the latest and most up-to-date educational materials. Sandler Wins McEwen Award: Hillsborough County Bar’s immediate past president, William J. Schifino, Jr., presented Susan Sandler with the Red McEwen Award, given by the outgoing president to the individual who provided the most assistance during his or her term. Sandler was recognized in part for her “tireless efforts” for Lawyers for Literacy, elementary school children’s mentoring, and the West Tampa Elementary School projects and her contributions to the community and the legal profession. Sandler is a staff attorney with Bay Area Legal Services Stetson Wins: A team of students from Stetson University College of Law won the 15th Annual Cathy Bennett National Criminal Trial Competition at the annual meeting of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Santa Fe, N.M. The Stetson student team of Patricia Calhoun, Samuel Denny, Reneka Redmond, and Ruel Smith beat a student team from the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law in the final round of the three-day competition to become national champions. Teams argued a hypothetical death penalty case. This is the first year a capital litigation problem was used in the competition. Rogers Towers Honored: Jacksonville Area Legal Aid presented Rogers Towers with its 2005 Equal Justice Award and Chief Justice Barbara Pariente was the keynote speaker at the awards reception. “For 100 years Rogers Towers has been a part of our local community,” said Michael Figgins, executive director of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid. “JALA is honored to be recognized by RT during its special anniversary with an expression of generosity that honors the entire legal profession and furthers JALA’s commitment to justice for all.” In August, JALA approached Rogers Towers for fundraising help to replace funds which were budgeted by JALA, but unexpectedly cut by governmental sources. In response to this need, the firm created a program to match individual financial contributions made by its attorneys. Gables Bar sets Holiday Luncheon: The Coral Gables Bar Association will hold its holiday luncheon December 21 from 11: 30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Norman’s located at 21 Almeria Ave in Coral Gables. The cost is $55 per person, with part of the proceeds going to CHARLEE — Children Have All Rights: Legal, Educational, Emotional — an organization that provides therapeutic, residential, and support services to abused and neglected children in Miami-Dade County. For more information contact Deborah A. Antoni, Coral Gables Bar director, at D-Antoni@msn.com. Martin County Softball: The Young Lawyers Division of the Martin County Bar hosted the Second Annual Martin County Bench, Bar, and Red Cross Youth Leadership Program Softball Game. Jack Sobel and Robert Naberhaus pitched for the two teams; Walter Woods coached from the bench. Chief Judge Roby brought his son who was a star hitter, and his daughter who helped out in the outfield. Others who participated include: Judge Lawrence Mirman, Richard Levenstein, Scott Konopka, Rep. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, R.J. Ferraro, Todd Thurlow, and Darren Steele. Nina Ferraro, and Michelle Naberhaus cheered from the sidelines. Jennifer Waters photographed the event. Marland, Passidomo Recognized: The Collier County Women’s Bar Association recently presented its “Distinguished Executive Award” to Martha Marland of Northern Trust Bank and Trust Company for leading in the “workplace with vision, determination, and compassion, and for promoting and creating a good working environment for women attorneys within her organization.” The “Woman Lawyer of the Year Award” was presented to Kathleen Passidomo for “excelling in her career, overcoming traditional stereotypes associated with women, and distinguishing herself as an outstanding practitioner of law.” Carbo and Dr. Phil: In a recent appearance on the “Dr. Phil Show,” Ft. Lauderdale attorney Michael J. Carbo demonstrated how effective mediation can resolve a highly complex child custody case. Carbo, a certified family mediator, was invited to appear on the program to help settle a bitterly fought custody case involving alternative lifestyles. The case involved a woman who became a man through a sex change operation in 1987. Two years later, he married a woman who was pregnant at the time. Then the couple had another child by artificial insemination. When the wife filed for divorce and primary residence of the children, ages 15 and 13, the case drew national attention and the two-week trial was televised on Court TV – without coming to a resolution. Carbo held a successful seven-hour mediation session in May, and then flew to Los Angeles two days later to appear on the Dr. Phil Show. Burnett to Lead Bankruptcy Lawyers: At a recent meeting of the Southwest Florida Bankruptcy Professional Association, the following officers were elected: Philip L. Burnett, president; Louis Amato, vice president; Richard A. Johnston, Jr., secretary; Gregory Champeau, treasurer. Legal Roundup December 15, 2005 Regular Newslast_img read more

Re-emerging overdraft programs must focus on service, responsibility

first_imgThe conversation about overdrafts has been somewhat non-existent the past several months as credit unions patiently wait for impending compliance directives, changes within the CFPB and an uptick in the economy. It seems now–with positive movement regarding all these concerns–it’s time to start talking about the opportunity they represent and the best way to seize it. CUES recently reported that “with The Financial Choice Act likely to pass Congress, compliance on overdrafts appears headed for less restriction.” This assertion is based on the fact that part of the proposed Financial Choice Act dismantles key parts of Dodd-Frank, which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), whose role would be redefined under a new name. The act–among other improvements–“removes the board’s opaque and ill-defined unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and Practices (UDAAP) authority,” while still emphasizing consumer protection. The bill passed in the House on June 8 and goes to the Senate next for consideration.In the meantime, before The Financial Choice Act is adopted, CFPB director Richard Cordray has stated, “We are not proposing any regulatory amendments at this time” and with less than a year left in his term (and the possibilities that President Trump may oust him earlier or Cordray may run for Governor of Ohio and be required to step down), the likelihood of any new legislation may indeed be dubious.This movement toward less restrictive regulation should be encouraging to credit unions that seek to provide overdraft protection for members who choose–and can afford–to take advantage of it. Indeed, trends suggest that use of the service is on the rise.Research firm Moebs recently reported that the marketplace is poised to rebound and, when it does, consumers will “begin spending more, saving less and accessing overdraft privilege more often.” When this happens, the firm projects overdraft revenue will rise to an historic high of $40 billion by 2020. What is the best way for credit unions to take advantage of the new overdraft landscape? Focus on service to the consumer (and risk-management for the institution) by implementing customized and protective measures, including: Set overdraft limits that align with the member’s ability to repay—Setting a fixed overdraft limit (for instance, paying all overdrafts up to $500/day) for every consumer based solely on account type could result in certain members receiving a limit higher than what they can afford. Likewise, members who can afford a higher limit (based on a myriad of account data points, including specific deposit and overdraft activity and related balances) may be restricted from paying for necessary expenses when the fixed limit is not high enough to accommodate the purchase amount. When this happens, your credit union runs the risk of losing this member to a program that is more in tune with his financial needs and habits.Produce communications that are personalized and tailored to each member’s situation—Whether your credit union relies on internal resources, core-generated communications or third-party software, personalized and dynamic messages improve engagement, maximize collections, retain members and help manage risk.An overdraft technology platform that tracks multiple account data points can ensure your overdraft communications are not only branded to your credit union (down to the branch manager’s signature), but also contain completely relevant, custom messaging that coincides with activities, like: The timing of overdraft communications and the method of delivery (i.e., call/email/letter/text) are also important to enhance service and manage risk. And obviously, your ability to identify frequent ‘overdrafters’ and provide counseling alternatives and repayment plans is crucial.Adopt disclosures that clearly define the program and pricing—A recent article by compliance expert Temenos suggests that choosing the right words in your overdraft disclosures is critical, even down to whether you refer to it as “privilege, protection, program, service or coverage.” Currently, the CFPB is field testing four sample overdraft disclosure forms, which it released earlier this month. These “Know Before You Owe” forms attempt to make it easier for consumers to understand overdraft protection policies and procedures, especially with regard to debit card/ATM transactions. The outcome of these tests may be months away or more, but the more the consumer understands about your overdraft program, the better. After all, studies have shown that the majority of ‘overdrafters’ (which is only a small percentage of members) willingly use the service as a result of informed choice. Director Cordray acknowledged this fact on multiple occasions saying the CFPB is not looking to do away with overdraft services. Instead, he hinted at only minor consumer-focused changes, including new, ‘more transparent’ disclosures and possible changes to posting order. Seek an experienced overdraft service provider that provides a published set of best practices to ensure the most responsible way to take advantage of the re-emerging opportunity that overdrafts present. ATM/Debit Card Denial due to NSFOverdrawn BalancesDays OverdrawnMember Overdraft Repayment Capacity; and Other Changes in Account Activitycenter_img 22SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jeff Harper Jeffrey Harper brings more than 25 years of industry experience to his position as president of ​BSG Financial Group. ​ where he heads up the Sales and Marketing divisions of the … Web: www.bsgfinancial.com Detailslast_img read more

Papaya on Zrće was named the sixth best club in the world by DJ Mag

first_imgAnother great recognition comes from the international community – Papaya club located on the beach Zrce has positioned itself as the sixth best club in the world according to DJ MAG, the most influential electronic music magazine.The results of the competition are based on the votes of tens of thousands of club fans from all over the world, and the success is even greater when added to the fact that Papaya made a jump of three places compared to last year, from the previous, also high, ninth place. In first place was the Green Valley Club from Brazil, in second place was USHUAïA in Ibiza and Zouk from Singapore in third place.Apart from Papaya, which took 6th place, Noa Beach Club took 13th place among Croatian clubs, Aquarius is in 25th place, while Kalypso is in 33rd place and Revelin club is in 40th place.In addition to this news, for the destination of the island of Pag, the town of Novalja, but also the whole of Croatia, extremely important tourist news that will certainly affect the increase in visits to the destination, is that in Novalja an investment “boom” is happening. Boutique hotels, resorts and villas are springing up, themed restaurants of world cuisine are opening and the whole destination is experiencing an investment boom. In support of this is the opening of this year’s boutique hotel with 4 * of our national football team member Dejan Lovren on the Novalja waterfront, following the example of his colleague Messi who bought a hotel in Ibiza.Papaya opens its doors to its visitors on May 22 with the popular Summer Opening Festival, which is a symbol of the beginning of an exciting season and an invitation to all local visitors to have fun at the first after beach parties in Croatia.last_img read more

US companies criticized for cutting jobs rather than investor payouts

first_imgUS companies laying off workers in response to the coronavirus pandemic but still paying dividends and buying back shares are drawing criticism from labor unions, pension fund advisers, lawmakers and corporate governance experts.While most US companies are scaling back payouts after a decade in which the amount of money paid to investors through buybacks and dividends more than tripled, some are maintaining their policies despite the economic pain.Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Halliburton Co, General Motors Co and McDonald’s Corp have all laid off staff, cut their hours, or slashed salaries while maintaining payouts, according to a Reuters review of regulatory filings, company announcements and company officials. “This is the time for large companies to try to help, for systemic reasons, to keep things flowing,” said Ken Bertsch, executive director of the Council of Institutional Investors. The council’s members include public pension funds and endowments that manage assets worth about US$4 trillion.Read also: Five more months to business as usual: Business playersRoyal Caribbean, which has halted its cruises in response to the pandemic and borrowed to boost its liquidity to more than $3.6 billion, said it began laying off contract workers in mid-March, though the moves did not affect its full-time employees.The company has not suspended its remaining $600 million share buyback program, which expires in May, or its dividend, which totaled $602 million last year and is set quarterly. “We continue to take decisive actions to protect (our) financial and liquidity positions,” Royal Caribbean spokesman Jonathon Fishman said. He declined to comment specifically on the layoffs or shareholder payouts.While Royal Caribbean’s rival Carnival Corp has also laid off contract workers, it has suspended dividends and buybacks as it raised more than $6 billion in capital markets to weather the coronavirus storm.Unemployment surgeGoldman Sachs analysts forecast this week that S&P 500 companies would cut dividends in 2020 by an average of 50 percent because of the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.While there has been criticism of companies maintaining investor payouts, only those receiving financial support from the US government under a $2.3 trillion stimulus package are obliged to suspend share buybacks.US companies hare buybacks and dividends payouts. (Reuters/-)Layoffs contributed to US unemployment skyrocketing last month. Jobless claims topped 6.6 million in the week ended March 28 – double the record set the prior week and far above the previous record of 695,000 set in 1982.Companies say job cuts are necessary to offset a plunge in revenue but their critics say they should consider turning off the spigots to shareholders before letting employees go.“If companies are paying dividends and doing buybacks, they do not have to lay off workers,” said William Lazonick, a corporate governance expert at the University of Massachusetts.Workers at franchised McDonald’s restaurants say they are getting fewer shifts since dining areas were closed in March, leaving only carry-out and drive-through services open.Alma Ceballos, 31, who has worked at a franchised McDonald’s near San Francisco for 14 years, said she could not pay her rent after her schedule was cut to 16 hours from 40 and her husband, a janitor at Apple Inc’s Cupertino, California, campus was laid off.McDonald’s, which has suspended buybacks but maintained its annual dividend, worth $3.6 billion in 2019, told Reuters its staffing and opening hours were not related to “making a choice between employees and dividends”.About 95 percent of its US restaurants are run by franchisees who decide staffing. McDonald’s said it was offering rent deferrals and other help to keep franchises open and employing workers.Read also: Tens of thousands of workers across Indonesia laid off because of COVID-19 outbreak“McDonald’s could commit to 30 days of income for all workers,” Mary Kay Henry, president of the labor union SEIU which has 2 million members, said in an interview with Reuters. “Corporations need to pay their fair share here.”‘It’s just wrong’General Motors has halted normal production in North America and temporarily reduced cash pay for salaried workers by 20 percent. It paid its first-quarter dividend on March 20 and has a month before declaring its next dividend, a spokeswoman said, adding that GM would assess economic conditions before deciding.“Our focus in the near term is to protect the health of our employees and customers, ensure we have ample liquidity for a very wide range of scenarios, and implement austerity measures to preserve cash,” spokeswoman Lauren Langille said.Oilfield services firm Halliburton furloughed about 3,500 workers in its Houston office starting on March 23, according to a letter sent to the Texas Workforce Commission obtained by Reuters. It has also cut 350 positions in Oklahoma.Halliburton cited disruption from the coronavirus as well as plunging oil prices as the reason for the furlough. In March, it paid its first-quarter dividend to shareholders as planned.A Halliburton spokeswoman declined to comment on the furlough and the company’s dividend policy.Read also: Coronavirus drives record US job losses amid economic shutdownSome of the companies laying off workers while still paying out shareholders, such as General Motors, signed an initiative last year from the Business Roundtable, a group of chief executives, pledging to make business decisions in the interest of employees and other stakeholders, not just shareholders.Large asset managers such as BlackRock and Vanguard have cited managing “human capital” as a priority for companies in which they invest. Yet they have been reluctant to publicly press companies to avoid layoffs during the crisis.Vanguard told Reuters it “recognizes the need for companies to exercise judgment and flexibility as they balance short- and long-term business considerations”.BlackRock did not respond with a statement when contacted for comment.“Profits should be shared with the workers who actually create them,” US Senator Tammy Baldwin, a long-standing critic of share buybacks, told Reuters in an email.“It’s just wrong for big corporations to reward the wealthy or top executives with more stock buybacks, while closing facilities and laying off workers.”Topics :last_img read more

Kyrgios tells bitter rival Nadal: ‘Let’s do Insta’

first_imgThey met again at Wimbledon last summer when Nadal won but fumed after the Australian appeared to spear a ball directly at him. Topics : “Rafa lets do Instagram live together. I am down with it. Rafael Nadal let’s do it,” wrote the Australian on Instagram.Kyrgios and Nadal have endured a bitter relationship on court.Last year, the 19-time Grand Slam winner accused the Australian of “lacking respect” after Kyrgios won a stormy encounter in Mexico.Kyrgios responded by claiming the Spanish world number two was “super-salty”.center_img Australian tennis maverick Nick Kyrgios invited Rafael Nadal to take part in a cozy video chat on Sunday despite their stormy on-court relationship.As the coronavirus has sent the tennis season into hibernation until July 13 at the earliest, a host of players have recently taken to social media for face-to-face exchanges.So, on Sunday, after the BBC had asked for suggestions as to the most sought-after facetimes, Kyrgios was quick to respond.last_img read more

For Italy’s Muslims, lack of burial space deepens grief in pandemic

first_img A rectangle of pebbles In the cemetery of Bruzzano, on the outskirts of Milan, 50-something Mustapha Moulay gazes at a greyish earthen tomb in the Muslim section of an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic cemetery.”It was God’s will,” he said of the death on April 7 of his 55-year-old wife from COVID-19.She contracted the virus in a Milan hospital where she had been admitted a month earlier for a minor leg operation, said Moulay, who was born in Morocco and has lived in Italy for 32 years.The grave has no tombstone, and is simply marked out with a rectangle of pebbles. The freshest graves are strikingly destitute.The graves of those who died pre-coronavirus look more permanent — with cement borders and sometimes a marble slab engraved with the crescent moon.Many other Italian Muslims however were forced to travel long distances to bury their dead, or leave bodies for days in morgues, or even keep them at home while seeking a space. Italy’s Muslims number around 2.6 million, or 4.3 percent of the population. Living mainly in the country’s north, 56 percent hold foreign citizenship, many from countries in North Africa or South Asia.No official statistics are available on the number of Muslims, whether Italians or foreign nationals, who lost their lives during the outbreak. ‘A dignified burial’ Under Islamic tradition, the dead must be buried as quickly as possible, preferably within 24 hours.One of the most extreme cases was that of Hira Ibrahim, a Macedonian woman in Pisogne, near the northern city of Brescia, whose mother died from coronavirus.Ibrahim had to keep her mother’s body at home for more than 10 days for lack of a Muslim cemetery in her community, according to the newspaper La Repubblica.Countless Muslim families faced similar tragic predicaments during the crisis, the paper said.Tchina, the imam, said the problem persists even after the biggest waves of deaths have subsided.The body of a Muslim who died in Milan last week was transported some 50 kilometers away for burial, he said.Tchina thanked mayors “who opened their [Catholic] cemeteries during this crisis to ensure a dignified burial” for the Muslim dead.The president of Milan’s Islamic Centre, Gueddouda Boubakeur, said that some families in Brescia and Bergamo — two of the areas hardest hit by the coronavirus — had to wait “a very long time”.Thanks to the combined efforts of municipalities and central government authorities, solutions were ultimately found most of the time, he said.”We didn’t consider the distance. We went to the first town that accepted the bodies. Our concern was above all to find space,” Boubakeur said. Topics : Italy’s Muslim community, like others, suffered many deaths as the coronavirus pandemic hit the Mediterranean country hard.Compounding the pain for the religious minority has been the grim reality of a lack of space to bury their dead.Imams and Muslim community leaders are now calling for more Islamic cemeteries, or additional space in the country’s existing graveyards, as the faithful increasingly want to be buried in Italy, their home. “We have experienced the pain [of the pandemic], but it has sometimes been deepened when some families could not find a place to bury their dead because there were no Muslim sections in the town cemeteries,” Abdullah Tchina, imam of the Milan Sesto mosque, told AFP.More than 34,000 people have died from the virus in Italy, mostly in the industrial north, and for months global air travel has been at a near-standstill.As a result, Muslims who died of COVID-19 or other causes could not be repatriated to their countries of origin, as was the practice previously.That led to a spike in requests for burials — and the realization that Italy lacks the space. Handful of cemeteriesThe Union of Islamic Communities of Italy lists just 76 Islamic cemeteries in the country, which counts nearly 8,000 municipalities. The oldest was built in 1856, in the northeastern city of Trieste, while Rome’s date back only to 1974.Under Italian law, cemeteries “may provide for special and separate sections” for non-Catholics, but they are not required.Boubakeur acknowledged the government’s cooperation, but urged more “political will” to create additional Muslim burial spaces.”After this pandemic, 150 municipalities responded positively to our requests” to provide a Muslim section in their cemeteries, Boubakeur said — just a fraction of the nearly 8,000 municipalities.Going forward, the need for Muslim burial plots will only increase as immigrants and their offspring prefer to be interred in Italy.”We used to have a kitty to pay for sending back bodies to their country of origin, but no longer,” Boubakeur said.”Some old people still want to be buried in their country of origin. But many have children, grandchildren in Italy and now prefer to be buried here.”Younger Muslims “want to be buried in Italy because they’re Italian”, Boubakeur said.last_img read more