So we’re doing it again! Registration is open for AgoraFest 2014. Here’s what people liked, and didn’t like so much, about last year and what we’re adding/deleting/changing as a result.

Villa Maria – a beautiful and surprisingly fitting location for a largely outdoor gathering of libertarians in Minnesota. A former Catholic convent and school, most groups who choose Villa Maria tend to desire a setting conducive to contemplation, building relationships, and a temporary retreat from the world. We desire the same, and we are very happy to be here again this year. Note that, unlike many other festivals and conferences, we are responsible to the Villa for all our guest expenses, thus we offer all-inclusive packages that include lodging, some meals, and costs for meeting space and other event costs. You can of course stay at a nearby hotel/motel and just get an event pass, but I think most of you will prefer staying at Villa Maria.

We decided this year to only purchase one prepared cafeteria-style meal – brunch on Sunday morning. Last year it was difficult – well, really, it was impossible – to get everyone to show up at the dining hall at the scheduled meal times. Another reminder, like I needed it, about the futility of herding cats. So, this year, we are instead encouraging everyone who desires to prepare meals for themselves, their friends, or for as many attendees as they wish. We have a full commercial kitchen at our disposal and smaller kitchens in the cabins. More on this later.

Entertainment. We have a stage and sound equipment. We had live music, DJs, and karaoke last year. Do you have talent? Let me know what you want to do!

Pragmatic and Practical. We had lots of great presentations and workshops last year, ranging from cryptography to home brewing and Esperanto. Tell us about your skillz, your agorist superpowers, so we can all learn more of the art of living free.

Violent Speech Zone. While we do not prohibit violent political speech, if you desire to talk about mob rule, invasions of privacy, or imaginary groups, for your own safety we have set up an area at Villa Maria where you can engage with others who might be interested in a bit of comedic relief. šŸ˜‰Ā It will be clearly located on the map (coming soon).

The Agora. I try to mind my own business, but IĀ couldn’t help but notice thatĀ last year that some people had stuff that other people desired, and those other people found ways of trading for the stuff they wanted more than the stuff they had. We are considering possibly setting up a larger tent to help facilitate these kinds of relationships. If you are interested in being part of an Agora Bazaar of sorts, please let us know as we will need to do a bit of pre-planning. If not no big deal, just go about your business as usual.

Lake Pepin and the Mighty Mississip. We are a few steps away from one of the most beautiful areas of the upper Mississippi river valley.Ā There is a public dock in Old Frontenac just up the road. If you have access to watercraft or have any ideas of some fun activities related to water, please let me know. There are some boat rentals available in Lake City also.

Enough for now. I’ll continue to update you as we begin to flesh out the schedule of activities. I’m looking forward very much to spending time with you at AgoraFest 2014!