110 episodes

Join us for a weekly, long-form interview podcast that profiles beloved leaders in the festival world and beyond.

On the show, we share stories of personal growth, mental wellness, cognitive experimentation, service, and play through the lense of the modern festival movement.

Life is a Festival Eamon Armstrong

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 121 Ratings

Join us for a weekly, long-form interview podcast that profiles beloved leaders in the festival world and beyond.

On the show, we share stories of personal growth, mental wellness, cognitive experimentation, service, and play through the lense of the modern festival movement.

    #109 - Voices of the Renegade Burn

    #109 - Voices of the Renegade Burn

    The 2021 Renegade Burn was a marvel of self-organization. Today on Life is a Festival I share my own reflections and a collection of interviews from drone artists to temple builders.

    The show begins with my own experience. I answer questions, share my philosophy of why we Burn, respond to criticisms, and report on the vibe. Then I interview Nathan Rolshoven, a young, passionate burner and an amateur historian of Burning Man culture. Following that I discuss swarm dynamics with Ralph Nauta of Studio Drift who put on three breathtaking drone shows. Next, we hear from four organizers of the Plan B Facebook group: Howard Davis, Joel Briggs, Mike Lee, and Lofax. Then I share the touching friendship between veteran volunteer Ranger Maverick and Happy Mutant, an EMT with Guardian Elite Medical Services (GEMS). Our final interview is with Monera Mason, a lead organizer of the Temple. To top it off I include a snippet of my rant about burning man philosophy at sunrise on playa with music and culture journalist Katie Bain for her Billboard Magazine article.

    This podcast is dedicated to Kamp KISS and of all my amazing campmates who gave me a home on the playa and helped make this podcast happen.

    Studio Drift: https://www.studiodrift.com/
    Black Rock Plan B Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/368518897848763
    “The Temple of Constaints: by Monera Mason: https://moneram.medium.com/temple-of-constraints-cdbb7913f35d
    Katie Bain Billboard article: https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/dance/9626976/burning-man-free-burn-unofficial-nevada/

    :02 - My reflections on the Renegade Burn
    :26 - Nathan Rolshoven
    :47 - Ralph Nauta of Studio Drift at 47 Minutes
    1:12 - Plan B including Howard David, Joel Briggs, Mike Lee, and Fayadas Lofax
    1:48 - Maverick, Volunteer Ranger, & Happy Mutant, EMT with Guardian Elite Medical Services
    2:17 - Monera Mason, one of the temple leads
    2:44 - My short interview with music and culture journalist Katie Bain

    • 2 hr 50 min
    #108 - Healing Veterans with Plant Medicine | Jesse Gould (Heroic Hearts)

    #108 - Healing Veterans with Plant Medicine | Jesse Gould (Heroic Hearts)

    With the rapid fall of Afghanistan, veterans in our communities need our care and support now more than ever. So I called up Army Ranger Jesse Gould who supports psychedelic healing for soldiers to talk about his experience and what we can do to help.

    On the podcast Jesse explains the complex reactions veterans are feeling about the end of operations in Afghanistan. We discuss PTSD and why both the causes and healing of trauma are more complex than many realize. Jesse explains how ayahuasca and other psychedelics help to repattern hyper vigilance and an overactive nervous systems in soldiers returning from war. We discuss his nonprofit, Heroic Hearts, which takes veterans to ayahuasca ceremonies for healing. Finally we discuss how serving communities makes life more like a festival.

    Jesse holds an important voice for military veterans in the psychedelic community and beyond. A former Army Ranger with three tours of duty in Afghanistan, he is the Founder and President of the Heroic Hearts Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit pioneering psychedelic therapies for veterans. Jesse works to spread awareness of plant medicine as a therapeutic method and has spoken globally about psychedelics and mental health. He is best known for his own inspiring battle with PTSD and his recovery through psychedelic therapy.

    Heroic Hearts Project: https://www.heroicheartsproject.org/
    Heroic Hearts on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heroicheartsproject/?hl=en

    :10 - The veteran response to the fall of Afghanistan is complex
    :17 - Jesse’s history in the military
    :28 - PTSD in the context of a war setting
    :40 - How Ayahuasca repatterns hypervigilence
    :47 - How Jesse learned to integrate his ayahuasca ceremonies
    :53 - How serving community makes life like a festival
    1:00 - The model of the nonprofit Heroic Hearts

    • 1 hr 12 min
    #107 - Real Reciprocity in Psychedelics and Beyond | Sutton King (Journey Colab)

    #107 - Real Reciprocity in Psychedelics and Beyond | Sutton King (Journey Colab)

    What is our responsibility for kinship and reciprocity as we explore the healing power of plant medicine? Sutton King of the Menominee and Oneida Nations, Head of Impact at the psychedelic drug development company Journey Colab, can show us the way.

    On the show we explore Sutton’s commitment to healing and service from her early days dancing jingle dress to her work with the Urban Indigenous Collective in New York. Sutton explains her perspective on kinship and the Seven Generations Principle. We discuss Journey Colab, the psychedelic startup that is developing mescaline for treating alcoholism. Finally we review the responsibilities of psychedelic entrepreneurs as well as individual psychonauts to be in right relation with the honorable harvest.

    A descendant of the Menominee and Oneida Nations of Wisconsin, Sutton King is a nationally recognized indigenous heath advocate, researcher, and social entrepreneur. She is the co-founder and President of Urban Indigenous Collective, a nonprofit advocating on the behalf of Urban Natives in the tri-state area, she is Head of Impact at Journey Colab, a start-up led by Sam Altman and Jeeshan Chowdhury developing psychedelic treatments for mental health, and she is the Co-Founder of ShockTalk, a culturally tailored telemental health platform that facilitates culturally appropriate patient-provider relationships.

    With psychedelic exploration booming, we need leaders like Sutton King to make sure our transformational self-inquiry and healing doesn’t simple become another kind of hedonic consumption.

    Sutton King on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sutton.king
    Sutton King on Twitter: https://twitter.com/suttonking_
    Urban Indigenous Collective: https://urbanindigenouscollective.org/
    Journey Colab: https://www.journeycolab.com/
    ShockTalk: https://www.shocktalk.io/
    Decolonizing Wealth: https://decolonizingwealth.com/
    Braiding Sweetgrass: https://milkweed.org/book/braiding-sweetgrass

    :10 - A day in the life of a psychedelic activist
    :15 - Dancing Jingle Dress as a calling to help heal her people
    :24 - Kinship and the Seven Generations principle
    :32 - Peyote, Journey Colab, and the Indigenous Reciprocity Trust
    :39 - Cheif Oshkosh, and Menominee sustainability
    :44 - Right psychedelic entrepreneurship from the Nagoya Protocol to “Free, Prior, and Informed Consent”
    :53 - Urban Indigenous Collective
    :59 - Reciprocity on an individual level

    • 1 hr 7 min
    #106 - Brotherhood is the Medicine | Adam Jackson (Sacred Sons)

    #106 - Brotherhood is the Medicine | Adam Jackson (Sacred Sons)

    Recently, in the bouldered desert outside of San Diego, I joined the Embodied Masculine Experience created by Sacred Sons. Today on the podcast, I’m honored to bring you the co-founder and the voice of Sacred Sons, Adam Jackson, for a deep dive on modern mens work.

    On the show we discuss the need for embodied masculinity and the evolution of Sacred Sons from the Mythopoetic Men's Movement and the Mankind Project to today. Adam describes men's work and the philosophy behind the organization. Then we get into my experience at the gathering from ritual connection in a cave to ritual combat in the “Brotherdome.” We finish our conversation with the Father’s Circle and how to integrate this work.

    Adam is the Director of Operations & Co-Founder as well as the host of the Sacred Sons podcast. His spiritual background includes Inipi (Sweat Lodge), men’s circles, plant medicine ceremonies, and transformational gatherings. He is fittingly known by his brothers as Lionheart

    Sacred Sons is offering a series of gatherings across the United States in the month of September if you or a man you love are interested.

    Events Calendar: https://www.sacredsons.com/events-calendar
    Sacred Sons: https://www.sacredsons.com/
    Adam Jackson on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adam___jackson/?hl=en
    Sacred Sons and the Rise of the Embodied Masculine by Ian MacKenzie: https://ianmack.medium.com/sacredsons-5cf03070b28d

    :08 - All of you is welcome, inclusivity in mens work
    :15 - Brotherhood is the medicine, what is the sickness?
    :23 - Why Adam is called LionHeart
    :27 - The origins of Sacred Sons from Adam’s life to the Mankind Project
    :37 - What is men’s work?
    :46 - My story of ritual connection at Sacred Sons
    :54 - Ritual combat in the Brotherdome
    1:01 - The Father’s Council
    1:05 - How to integrate

    • 1 hr 16 min
    #105 - Ayahuasca for Healing Ancestral Racial Trauma | Tony Moss

    #105 - Ayahuasca for Healing Ancestral Racial Trauma | Tony Moss

    Today we welcome back the mighty Tony Moss for a deep dive on ayahuasca healing for ancestral trauma and post traumatic slave syndrome.

    On the show we discuss Tony’s first experiences with ayahuasca over 20 years ago through the Santo Daime church. Tony shares his own experience healing ancestral trauma in ceremony. We talk about epigenetics and the current understanding of ancestral healing from indigenous to modern worldviews. Tony describes his first experience leading an all-Black ceremony and finally we discuss the state of race in America today.

    Tony Moss is a musician, artist, and founder of I.AM.LIFE, a non-profit event production project focused on interconnectivity. He has been working with ayahuasca for 20 years in jurisdictions where it is legal and is a public advocate for the decriminalization and responsible use of all plant medicines. Tony is passionate about the synthesis of indigenous and modern world views.

    Tony Moss: TonyMoss.me
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mosstony/?hl=en
    Rachel Yehuda: Studying the Science of Psychedelics and PTSD: https://www.mayahealth.com/podcast/dr-rachel-yehuda

    :07 - When you first discovered ayahuasca?
    :13 - The Judeo-Christian ayahuasca tradition of Santo Daime
    :23 - How Tony discovered his own ancestral trauma
    :33 - Epigenetic and healing ancestral trauma
    :47 - Tony’s experience leading all-Black ayahuasca ceremonies
    :57 - Ayahuasca and the state of race in America

    • 1 hr 15 min
    #104 - An Open-Source Operating System for Transformational Culture | Jamie Wheal

    #104 - An Open-Source Operating System for Transformational Culture | Jamie Wheal

    “Stay awake, build stuff, and help out.” Jamie Wheal’s masterful new book Recapture the Rapture is a wokeup call for all of us hedonistic Lizard Brain F**k Monkeys who need to get our shit together and save the world.

    On the show we talk about the Pareto effect for peak experiences; protocols for a global nervous system reboot; the unintentional outcomes of intentional communities; designing vibrant anti-fragile transformative culture; the sexual yoga of becoming homegrown humans; and a DNA Jesus fish. Above all this is a conversation about building an open-source operating system for transformational culture.

    Jamie is the best-selling co-author of the 2017 hit Stealing Fire and founder of the Flow Genome project. He is a dear friend of the show and also taught me how to wakeboard for the first time. His new book Recapture the Rapture: Rethinking God, Sex, and Death in a World That's Lost Its Mind is a must read for anyone who wants to optimize their psychedelic journey or start an intentional community.

    Recapture the Rapture: https://www.recapturetherapture.com/
    Stealing Fire: http://stealingfirebook.com/
    Flow Genome Project: https://www.flowgenomeproject.com/

    :08 - Who is this book for?
    :14 - The Pareto Effect for peak experiences
    :22 - Practices for a global nervous system reboot
    :35 - Stay Awake, Build Stuff, and Help Out
    :45 - Unintentional outcomes for intentional communities
    :58 - Designing vibrant, anti-fragile transformational culture
    1:08 - Sexual Yoga of Becoming
    1:18 - Homegrown humans and a DNA Jesus fish
    1:35 - Building an open source operating system for transformational consciousness and culture
    1:47 - Book clubs and shared vernacular

    • 1 hr 54 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
121 Ratings

121 Ratings

Heart First Michelle ,


Eamon and his guests explore ways to bring that festival joy, all of our self-improvement, and lessons learned (from altered states as well) into the world to be OF SERVICE! I’M LOVING IT!

AnnetteSzproch ,


Really loving this podcast to connect me to hearing other people building communities as that’s a big part of my vision- thank you

podcasts are better than news ,


Listened to the Eisenstein podcast. His essay, “The Coronation,” is resonating with me. I leaned more about Charles’ process which is like a characteristic blend of empathy and logic.

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