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The Art of Mass Gatherings at LEAF Festival

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Event description

Join us for the Art of Mass Gatherings at beloved LEAF Global Arts, celebrating their 50th Festival this October! This free one-day learning and networking symposium is for event organizers, artists, emergency professionals, and anyone else who hosts large gatherings of people. It utilizes the infrastructure and grounds of the LEAF Festival as a hands-on classroom for elevating the safety, safety, accessibility, sustainability, and community responsiveness of events, and to build resilience in our communities. Participants are invited to share their own experience and expertise throughout. You'll leave with concrete practices and resources to increase safety, sustainability, accessibility, and community engagement within your own work.

Event highlights include:

  • Learn to work with solar power, led by Coyle Solar and the Footprint Project
  • Language justice workshop from Tiffany De'Bellott of the Center for Participatory Change
  • Q&A with veteran event producers Micah Pulleyn and Sean O'Connell in conversation with Jon Fillman, community event manager for the City of Asheville
  • Sensory and physical accessibility panel and learning stations
  • Overdose prevention and awareness training, including how and when to administer CPR and naloxone, in partnership with the Ben Meyer Recovery Foundation. See details about this session. 
  • Site-specific design tour of the festival's safety, accessibility, sustainability, and community engagement features
  • Learning stations dedicated to physical and sensory accessibility

Lunch and coffee are provided. Accommodations and childcare are available by request during or after registration. This program is offered free to participants thanks to the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, part of their work to preserve and enhance the state's natural and cultural resources, expand educational opportunities, and build climate change resilience. 

Please note, this symposium is free but you will need a paid parking pass in order to access the LEAF Festival grounds where the workshops are being held. See "Important Arrival Information" below for details. 

Make a festival weekend of it!

You're invited to experience the rest of LEAF Festival leading up to our Sunday Art of Mass Gathering event! Explore the LEAF Festival Schedule & Experiences. LEAF Weekend Passes are now sold out but day passes remain. If you would like to get additional Festival tickets or enhancements for yourself or friends visit the LEAF ticket page. Remember, you don't need a separate ticket for Sunday if you are attending the Art of Mass Gatherings symposium.

Important Arrival Information for Attendees

You'll need a parking pass in order to access the festival ($10/car). It's recommended that you pre-order a parking pass; otherwise once onsite you can pay for parking in cash only and are subject to longer wait times.

The listed event address is the location of the festival's drive-thru check-in. Access to the festival grounds and symposium is via shuttle bus. At check-in, you'll be directed where to park and catch the shuttle. An Art of Mass Gatherings point person will be waiting for you at the shuttle drop-off to walk you to our event location. 

Please plan adequate time to arrive! The program starts promptly at 10:30am, so we recommend arriving at drive-thru check-in by no later than 9:15-9:30am in order to arrive in time. We'll have coffee, breakfast snacks, and music ready and waiting for you at our morning meetup location at Eden Hall!


We are committed to making this event as accessible as possible to anyone who would like to participate. For the greatest likelihood that we can meet your needs, please make any accommodation requests by Thursday, October 20th. There are dedicated places in the registration form to let us know about requests or potential concerns or you can contact Steph from our team at (703) 881-1304 or See more details about potential accessibility issues and what to expect when you arrive.

Made possible thanks to our partners!

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Refund policy

Refunds are available up to 1 day prior to the event