Guelph: Hippie chic at Hillside
It’s about that time–the time where a year of twisting dreadlocks and healing body tattoos finally pays off: Guelph’s own Hillside Festival (www.hillsidefestival.ca) is just a week away, and what is arguably the best part about summertime in Guelph is about to take over the city.
The 25-year-old festival sells out every year within hours of the box office opening, regardless of the fact that the performers aren’t announced for months later. Between July 24 and 26 the downtown will empty out as everyone and her second cousin heads out to the island on Guelph Lake.The festival mixes international musicians with local talent, craft-brewed beer and organic food vendors, healing arts tents, drumming circles, camping and all-round environmental friendliness. And the question of what to wear is definitely not the first one asked. However, there are some things to consider.
The key is picking an outfit that can withstand sweat, dirt, ale, rain, mud, grass, and at times erratic and organic dance moves. Shoes are optional, but if you do wear them, pick something that can easily be kicked off onto the stage-side pile of flip-flops and cork-soled shoes (Has anyone seen my Birkenstock? It looks a lot like this one…and this one…and so on.)
All of these factors aside, it is possible to dress appropriately for the elements while still exuding hippie-chic style. Shakti (26 Carden St., 519-821-6233) is one store that exemplifies how this apparent oxymoron is in fact possible.
The shop offers summer dresses, skirts, pants and tops made from flowing, natural materials. The pieces can hold up to dancing, playing, wrinkles and a little weekend grime. You’ll look stylishly relaxed, and fit right in with the even the most devote Hillside attendees. Now only if you could get tickets….