Why The Bloom Will Be A Surprise Hit For TV
BREAKING DOWN THE INQUIRY * UNPACKING THE REAL MEANING * TRANSMITTING THE TRANSFORMATION
The Bloom synthesizes many elements, but underlying our quest is an inquiry into how transformational festivals—as forward-thinking, experimental and (relatively) free spaces which have fostered a vibrant co-creative culture for two decades and running—speak to universal aspects of our human experience and offer inspiration for the way forward. While being novel and entertaining, it is ultimately the takeaways from exploring these themes which will find a place in the hearts of many viewers. We offer entertainment not simply as a diversion—incredibly rendered yet ultimately escapist fantasies with little direct bearing on life—but as vivid inspiration and fire-starters on a dozen themes which all relate to how we live.
Here’s a break-down of the themes our series illuminates through the lens of this dynamic counterculture and the way each episode approaches its theme*:
Episode 1 “Inspiration” The series introduction explores transformational festivals as city-sized tributes to inspiration. We see how they are built by hundreds or thousands of people as immersive environments of music, art, and expression. This episode wonders what if—rather than designing reality around the facilitation of commerce as usual—we created our reality based on fostering experiences of inspiration?
Episode 2 “Connection” We investigate how festivals create an antidote to the feelings of alienation and separation we grow up with in the modern world. The episode examines the nature of music and dancing, and how festivals act as a village of diverse people celebrating without conflict. We look at the culture of gifting as well as examine the influence of MDMA in electronic music culture. We see these connections follow into daily life as people find their community, crew, home, project, partner or “soul tribe” through the festivals. We witness how the community provides support and makes their lives richer, while also bringing its own set of challenges.
Episode 3 “Healing” This episode delves into a culture where almost everyone is on a healing journey. We see how festivals have become surprising venues for potent cathartic break-throughs. We look at how festivals support legitimate healing and the prevailing culture of emotional intelligence, where people have become skilled at holding space for each other’s powerful and vulnerable moments. We consider the implications of a generation that has been recreationally using MDMA and psychedelics, which clinical research is proving to have many significant therapeutic benefits including conditions like PTSD.
Episode 4 “Co-Creation” We examine transformational festivals as giant endeavors of voluntary cooperation. We follow Lightning in a Bottle, which grew from a small family gathering to a stage at Coachella to become one of the premier festivals in California. At Burning Man, we join a theme camp and art installation build as they navigate the unique challenges of offering something epic on the playa. Through their creation, we witness the ethos forged by this community-based collaborative trial-by-fire.
Episode 5 “Participation” We look at how the line blurs between performer and spectator at the festival—and how participants go beyond being simply consumers by finding their expression to put in the mix. We look at the experience of embodying your avatar, whether sexy, heroic or comical, and consider what it means to have this outlet for oneself. We see the diversity of self-expression and follow one character whose discovery of their avatar has changed the course of their life.
Episode 6 “Modelling” This episode takes us outside the festival to find out how the ethos is being brought into the world. We look in on communities, businesses, projects, and campaigns which have grown out of the festivals. We follow the Burning Man organization in its global outreach and visit their 3800-acre land project. We take an art-car tour of Burning Man with Elon Musk to discuss how the festival has influenced him and how its values could inspire the world. We visit Boom in Portugal, Europe’s giant of transformational festivals and the gold standard of environmental practices.
Episode 7 “Mythos” asks how, in a secular world, do we understand our part in the greater cosmic story? This episode considers the role of Mythos throughout history and looks at how festivals are engaging this impulse through art, performance and ceremonies. We consider the influence of psychedelics (also known as Entheogens) and how the visionary experiences they facilitate have informed this exploration. But it’s not always bliss you get to as we examine the shadow sides of using these substances.
Episode 8 “Ritual” We explore how festivals go beyond entertainment to fulfill the function of ritual for a younger generation. We compare this to the relative absence of rites-of-passage in modern society. We examine how multi-day outdoor festivals fulfill the stages of ritual and act as a liminal space—the transitory space between worlds where transformation happens. We see how themes of ritual are explored through performance and ceremonies. We investigate the influence of Ayahuasca and traditional plant hallucinogens, which are steeped in ceremony and therapeutic, rather than recreational use.
Episode 9 “The Sacred” investigates how a secular generation is rediscovering our spiritual nature in authentic ways—without being tied to a specific tradition, and intuitively avoiding the pitfalls of doctrine, dogma, and charismatic gurus. It’s a creative exploration that builds temples and altars and shares prayer and ceremonies. We look at the influence of indigenous notions of ‘ceremony’, and ask whether this is simply the latest New Age reboot or if there is something deeper and more profound afoot?
Episode 10 “Gender Alchemy” looks for answers to our current gender puzzles at transformational festivals. We investigate the empowered “goddess” culture of these pro-feminine environments and examine how it differs from traditional feminism. We meet men reclaiming healthy masculinity and expressing their feminine sides. We see festivals act as non-binary, post-identity spaces, each person free to express their unique gender alchemy. We join “gender reconciliation” circles aimed at healing our legacies of trauma. We see festivals pioneering “consent culture” and creating safe spaces for sex-positive expression. We look at the co-existence of polyamory and traditional families in the festival scene.
Episode 11 “Indigenous Right Relationship” delves into the influence of indigenous wisdom at transformational festivals. We consider how “re-esteeming the indigenous paradigm” may be key to restoring our relationship with the planet. In Canada, we follow Chief Phil Lane as he participates at festivals on the west coast. We travel with EDM-band Liberation Movement as they collaborate with Peruvian Shipibo shamans at transformational festivals through Latin America, which also work extensively with indigenous communities.
Episode 12 “Re-inhabiting The Village” The season conclusion visits “intentional” communities inspired by the transformational festival ethos, investigating their efforts to “live the life” daily. We look at the effect of festivals becoming more multi-generational as many original participants now have families. We check in on the Gen Z twenty-somethings, who were children at the festivals, now becoming successful DJs and producers. We look at the ways people bring the village vibe back to their city lives with their festival community.
*NOTE: Any specific stories indicated are subject to change—these are stories we plan to pursue.
In a world of turmoil, rather than entertainment as a diversion, The Bloom offers an escape into an adventure that ultimately speaks to our ability to re-imagine and transform our lives. Through our story of possibility and package of powerful ideas, we will speak to the heart of how people live. Just as we witnessed our webseries inspire and embolden viewers to make life-affirming decisions—placing our story forever into their lives—The Bloom for television will do so even more profoundly and on an exponential scale.
We have very few stories right now that offer some positive glimmer of hope and possibility for our future. They are conspicuously absent in the avalanche of media we are inundated with. The Bloom answers this unmet need. The depth of our message—thought-provoking, vulnerable and contemporary—will offer powerful affirmation for many people who have no way to access it firsthand.
The show introduces new conversations into our cultural awareness. The twelve themes comprise novel approaches to the challenges of modern life. They are not a single individual’s ideas, but themes explored by the millions who attend these festivals. Through the series, these conversations will become a greater part of our collective consciousness.
Transformational festivals are made by artists and creatives intentionally engineering culture to be more inspiring and satisfying. Answering participants’ needs for connection, expression, freedom, play, authenticity, discovery, taking a risk, sharing ideas, techniques, and practices, indeed, moments of awe and wonder, these are massive collaborations for days to weeks at a time. Consider how 25,000 people come in the week before gates open to build the Burning Man festival. They do so in an orderly, highly decentralized manner with a great degree of creative autonomy within each project. Together, they create Black Rock City, a pop-up art town wonderland of 80,000, which includes some of the most culturally influential people of our world.
While it has made the most inroad into the popular imagination, Burning Man is only one of the giants in this field of iconic festivals. This is not the story of a passing fad, but a mostly-overlooked cultural phenomenon thriving for over two decades. Its story has yet to be truly told. The Bloom is the show that will do it justice, bringing its greatest gifts to the world in epic style.
What do you think of our approach to exploring transformational festivals?
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