Camp Okihi has been the home to the Central Valley’s first and only arts and music festival, Poi Story, since 2012.
People travel from all over California to be a part of this festival and anticipate it annually. The local economy is boosted with visitors and locals buying camping equipment, groceries, fast food, gas, decorations, art, and so much more. Poi Story encourages attendees exploration of their individuality and creativity by decorating their campsites, creating art installations, interacting in activities such as painting in the fully themed art area, writing a positive statement on an art wall, chakra clearing, reiki readings and much more.
There is a drum circle using recycled water containers, old buckets, and acoustic drums around the fire pit to promote comradery and music, with the idea that as soon as you lay your hand on a drum, you are a drummer. The event also utilizes art vendors, local food and drink vendors, and non profit organizations that bring awareness to alcohol and drug abuse and education on keeping our lands clean. Using the "leave no trace" term, the event encourages campers to clean up after themselves and others using various methods such as "moop" cleanup (material out of place) to help make sure even a candy wrapper gets picked up and allows clean up crews to collect recyclables to recycle for themselves. In addition, safety is also considered by using security and a local retired fireman to watch over things.
In addition, Poi Story provides entertainment from Polynesian inspired performances and belly dancing performances at the amphitheater and a wide variety of music to dance to at a stage. There's even been a wedding at the amphitheater during Poi Story because Poi Story meant so much to the couple.
Camp Okihi has a uniqueness that Poi Story needs; camping, feasibility, a unique amphitheater for performers, barbeque pits and the burn pits for the drum circle each night. It has what people have come to expect.
A small amount of residents in the area have complained about the annual event because of the noise. Not any type of violence or impending danger... noise. A valid noise complaint this past year did not even exist, yet Poi Story is in danger of not being able to be held there any longer and a petition was unknowingly signed against the event. We (the promoters) understand that they live in a remote area for a reason, but we also know that it is not always quiet as the Bakersfield Soccer Park is directly across the river from Camp Okihi. Poi Story is one time a year for two nights and there weren't even substantiated problems this past year. In fact, a ranger voluntarily came out to make sure nobody was bothering the event. In past history, park rangers have made comments about liking what the event offers, being irritated at the complaintants calls because they could see we were within the sound permit and were cooperating with the rangers, and also liking what the event is bringing to Bakersfield.
We ask the residents be rational knowing this is only one time a year for two nights and see what the event actually brings to the community. We ask that the County Park and Recreation Department reconsider their decision to stop the event from using Camp Okihi. The decision was made without contacting Stereo Type Productions or investigating what this event actually is or provides and promotes to the community, versus claims of a simple corrected issue of noise two days of the year. Stereo Type Productions has always had proper permits, papers and insurance and has complied with the rangers requests.
We need your support now. Please sign this petition to indicate your support of Poi Story Arts and Music Festival staying at Camp Okihi and being a catalyst for economic activity and key promoter to build Bakersfield’s reputation as having and drawing a diverse culture to enjoy vast types of entertainment.
We thank you in advance.
The Keep Poi Story at Home petition to Kern County Parks and Recreation was written by Stereo Type Productions and is in the category Arts & Entertainment at GoPetition.