Here’s a deal we haven’t seen before — buy a $100 bucks worth of Emerald Triangle weed and get more than $200 off the price of your festival tickets.
That’s the promotion being run by this year’s Northern Nights Music Festival, which has teamed up with cannabis growers from Northern California’s Emerald Triangle to promote local weed following the legalization in California. Fans who buy $100 worth of pot from one of 15 California dispensaries will get an offer to purchase two tickets for price of one ticket for the July 20-22 event at Cook’s County Campground on the border between Humboldt and Mendocino counties. The deal drops the price of a pair of three-day GA tickets from $429 to $215.
The festival will introduce attendees to what the Emerald Triangle has to offer to cannabis culture, and educate consumers while they enjoy a curated musical lineup. What began as an electronic and hip-hop music festival on the banks of the South Fork Eel River, Northern Nights has expanded their offerings over the years to promote cannabis culture in the Emerald Triangle (Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity counties that are known for growing cannabis). From 2016-2017, the 18 and over festival hosted Prop 215 zones where medical marijuana users could purchase bud from local growers. With the legalization of recreational marijuana use that passed in 2016 and went into effect statewide in January 2018, Northern Nights is facing a regulatory framework as it tries to bring weed to its event.
“As legalization was coming to fruition, we wanted an opportunity to be able to highlight the small, boutique, independent farmers that have been doing this for 20-30 years behind the Redwood curtain that have never really been able to have a voice,” said Andrew Blap of Blap Productions, which organizes on Northern Nights.
“Our demographic comes from the San Francisco and Bay Area,” with a large swath from Los Angeles county as well, Blap explained. “This is the new target demographic of people that can go to dispensaries and can learn why it is important to buy Humboldt, Mendocino, Emerald Triangle product through the experience that they have at Northern Nights and work with small farmers.”
Local growers will also be on hand at the festival for cannabis related showcases and discussions, but attendees will be unable to purchase cannabis. Based on the proposition passed to legalized recreational marijuana, weed events are currently only allowed to sell cannabis at state fairgrounds.
While cannabis culture is becoming a larger part of the music festival’s persona, organizers for Northern Nights have no intention of moving their event to state fairgrounds.
“State Fairgrounds are parking lots, it’s hot. It is very generic. It’s ‘Hey, let’s throw up a tent and a sound system’ and that’s why you see big festivals failing. It’s because it is the same thing over and over again and there is no authenticity or identity or culture behind it,” said Blap.
The Cook’s County Campground where Northern Nights is held is amongst Redwood trees and its proximity to the Eel River allows festival-goers to spend the day swimming or floating on the water. The grounds feature a bowl where daily yoga sessions take place, live art activations occur, and massages and late night burlesque shows happen.
“There is no place like this in the world,” Blap said of the festival site. “You’re surrounded by Redwood trees on the Eel River and you’re in the backyard of the Emerald Triangle. There is so much culture and history.”
Earlier this year, North Nights announced that it was partnering with Coran Capshaw’s Starr Hill Presents and the Emerald Cup, held annually at the Sonoma County fairgrounds. Northern Nights produced a stage for the Emerald Cup and the partnership is now putting together Northern Nights’ Tree Lounge.
“We will be able to showcase what the area is about, have educational workshops, and have farm tours,” Blap said. “You’re going to be able to come to Northern Nights and sign up to go and check out one of these farms. You’ll be able to walk through a cannabis garden and see the different techniques that go into making sun grown, organic sustainable cannabis.”
“This is the one positive about legalization, instead of just giving someone a turkey bag with cannabis in it now you can actually brand it and talk about it and show where it came from,” Blap said about supporting the local growers who have been producing cannabis for years and are now facing more competition with legalization.
The three-day festival includes grower meet and greets, introduction to product lines, and cannabis education. Tickets for the festival, plus more information on its music, environment, and cannabis elements can be found here.