They slowly strolled through the parking lot of the Miami Arena, checking out every bit of the unimaginable scene. It was April 6, 1994 and the Grateful Dead was in town for a two-night stint. Everyone had a ticket to the show except Crispy and he didn’t care. If someone was to miracle him a ticket he would have gone in, but it really didn’t matter much. He liked to play in the lot. As it would work out, he didn’t get in to see the show and even without the use of cellphones, they all met up after it was over. Everyone fell in behind Crispy as he began walking away from the arena in concentric circles. As he paced, he held his nose to the sky like he was smelling or listening for something. What could it be? Around dark corners and down long alleys they lurked, looking for what? It became clear, several blocks away, when they finally found the fenced-in parking lot and the hidden party of hippy revelers, smack in the middle of downtown Miami.
Welcome to the bus young man. It’s your turn at the wheel.
Back in the sixties, the word hippy was used by many straight-liners as a derogatory term for the drop-out, dead-head, left-wing, pinko commie scum born of the free-thinking, revolutionary breath flowing out of San Francisco at the time. It was also used in a positive connotation by those who were proud of their traditions of love, fellowship, music, and an ideal devoted to environmental stewardship. Since that time, the term has softened a bit as America’s classification system has become more fine tuned and further subgroups have been identified.
(especially in the 1960s) a person of unconventional appearance, typically having long hair and wearing beads, associated with a subculture involving a rejection of conventional values and the taking of hallucinogenic drugs.
synonyms: flower child, Bohemian, beatnik, long-hair, radical, free spirit, nonconformist, dropout
What is a wookie?
A wook or wookie is just another word for hippy. Earlier in the term’s growth, it referred to a fan of the band Wookiefoot and subsequently, a hippy from Michigan. It has come to represent an original idea of the word hippy. Physical stereotypes include sandals, dreads, jewelry, tie dye and a strong drive toward fellowship and the scene. The term can be considered inappropriate slang, especially when used in a negative connotation. Most folks are apt to live with the use of inappropriate slang as long as it’s acceptable in their immediate environment. Regardless, slang words, even racist ones are usually funny as hell and one thing we don’t need is more political correctness. There must be several websites devoted to just that kind of thing. Let’s not get too caught up on semantics. Just be sure if you’re being hard on the wook who drifted into your campsite, you’re not the pot calling the kettle black. Everyone has found themselves alone at a party and gone looking for new friends. Hippies in glass tents shouldn’t throw rocks. There is a definite modicum of wookish behavior that all people exhibit at one time or another. Depending on your station, sometimes the hard rain falls more than others. And while labels may make things easier to classify, be wary. Your eyes don’t always know what they’re talking about.
Sky Walker, Solarwolf and Mom.
Who are you?
These are the folks who man the pizza ovens and sling the grilled cheese. They tie-dye the shirts and sell the wrist warmers.They set up the stages and work the sound. They sit around Monday morning separating the recyclables from the trash while the rest of the crowd hunts for groundscores. The sling glass and pins to every campsite and send you home with the t-shirts and posters that continue to adorn your cluttered closet.
Wanderlust: Who cares if we have to drive 1400 miles without brakes? That’s where the party is. The wooks show up in rapulances, thug vans and adventure wagons with glued on side mirrors. Girl hillbillies from Boone sleep in the back of their car on a blow-up mattress. Their vehicles are want to emit heavy cavitation when exceeding speeds of sixty miles per hour. The windshields of their school buses are covered with festival parking stickers and everyone has to jump out and help stop the bus when it comes to red lights. Just remember- when pulling over for a police check point, it might just be a bunch of frightened construction workers on the side of the road. Thank you Lazlo, for absolutely no help at all. And what exactly is hippy crack?
“You’ve got a pocket full of loose change and a splendid want for roving adventure.”
“Wookie is the new hippy.”
The Fancy Wookie: Check your six for the Birkenstocks and trailer trailers. These folks slept under tarps in the sixties and now they’ve figured out the secret to glamping camping. Don’t judge. An RV is a perfectly private spot to do the things that you do. They attend more festivals than anyone and they purchase made merch. They are the mommy bloggers and the entertainment corespondents that used to stroll around like drunk monkeys. Now they just do it with nicer cameras. Check out two of our favorite wookie websites at RoadtripMojo and Kamp Happiness. Covering festivals for free can be the best job a wook ever had.
The Energetic Wook: These teams make up the Suwannee Boche Invitational and the Magnolia Disc Golf Open. They get up Sunday morning to attend sunrise yoga and they twirl everything from flames to sticks to balls of colored light. They walk on stilts and balance on long straps. They are the beach hippies and surfers from San Diego to San Juan del Sur. During Sunday String Cheese, they are slinging the long frisbee in the big field at the main stage. They are the soldiers who get up at sunrise just to hump the desert all day and the fisherman from the coast of Mississippi who spend all day hunting the specks and reds.
“Yesterday’s hippies are today’s ad execs, just like yesterday’s teachers are today’s hippies.
Nice lids yo.
Hippy Names: They have fantastically fun nom de plumes like Sunshine, Fubu, Trinket, Moonpie, Cat, Sunnie Ray, Timber, Sky Walker, Wanderer, Bee’s Knees, Harmony, Lunarewolf, Solarwolf, Turtle, Turtle Soup, Cinderella (trail name), Rosie (biker name), Cypher, Murman?, Flight Risk, Baitbucket, Hambone, Arendall, Honeysuckle, Huckleberry, Tahlia, Jerry, Luke Sky Walthall, Darth Walthall, Clayopheus III, Star, River, Rain, Ridge, Thorn, Crystal, Dakota Rose, Crystal, River, Crimson, Clover, Spirit, Storm, October, Autumn, Summer, Willow, Guthrie Govan, Solongo (rainbow), Tsetseg (flower), Altansamai (Golden rose), Jaimebfly, Moonbeam, Waylon, Neil, Dusty Bubbles, Moon, Hum, Toomuch, and Arayah Sunshine, Easy, Astro Boy, Moonchild Leroy, Wonder, Sun Turtle and Pipe. You get the idea. What’s your hippy name?
The Spunion: This is the broken wookie. Like Keller said, “there’s a tweaker by the speaker.” It’s not entirely his fault. He just tried to reach for the stars…too much, too soon. And he probably didn’t have a capable doctor to help him augment his prescription. It might just be time for a Jedi mind flip. One certainly doesn’t have to be a wook to be a tweaker. Even the guy who owns his own pressure washing company can eat too many mushrooms and end up in his tent like a little lost kitten. It’s some weird business to get so spun that you get lost in your own forest, but strange things do happen to good people. If it’s your first time at a location and you’re planning on rolling the dice, you can expect to wander around some place like Infinity Downs at five in the morning looking for high field camping. Welcome to the forgotten dance of the dablatures. That’s why God invented Spirit Aid.
Try not to begin or end every single story with, “we were so spun”. It’s goesche.
Wooks Know Where To Meet: Why stand by yourself at the main stage while your friends hide in plain site only thirty yards away? Have you ever felt like you knew everyone at the festival only to spend the entire show searching in vain for your people? Here in Bohemia, serious festivarians don’t leave this kind of thing to chance. It’s usually all the way back and to the left. At the main field stage at the Suwannee look for the Hula sign and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to grab a loose ticket for Trinket’s VIP Dance Party.
The back is a nice place to gather for several reasons. It’s easy to find and one can carry on a conversation while the music is playing. (shut up. Bobby’s singing!) It also allows for traffic and netwooking with other passing travelers.
There’s also an occasional need for traveling around the venue. Sometimes it just gets right and an trek to the rail is in order. Other times, it’s a run to the sweet spot right next to the sound booth. It’s a fine place to enjoy the music and there’s always spinners behind the booth doing their thing.
Pay special heed to the elder wook for he has continued to run the gauntlet in the face of the fray. He should be celebrated for the genuine love, concern and effort. Remember the way of the peaceful warrior. Note the young wooklings playing with hula-hoops in the sun. Their tiny dreads flopping around in the breeze, they bring young energy to the camp, something every family needs.
Consider one of the positives of Facebook is that it can serve as a tool for collecting data. As a virtual focus group it can help us find out the relevant variables in a given set. In this case, we asked a Hulaween thread what were some wookish innovations to which they were introduced. We’re smarter together.
WOOKISH INNOVATIONS FROM HULAWEEN 2018:
neighbors camp chair doubles as a great toilet 🤣🤣🤣🤣
if you’re lost and trying to find a good sett right after a sett ends follow the general motion of the crowd
Blankets lots of them add them with you’re neighbors and it’s a great way to make a group if solo
Make friends with people around you at a sett not only more enjoyable but you make friends and people will watch you’re stuff more
When in a group constantly do silly things to keep everyone in a conversation it helps group chemistry and helps from getting lost
Having a good attitude and treating everyone with respect and helping people out around you creates the vibe of the fest you would be surprised how fast it can spread from just a few people
Having some type of art or tradable craft is something that’s very special and will help support you at a fest I lost my credit card early on meaning all of my money instead of worrying about it and ruining my time I kept going and having my crafts with me more then supported myself and it also created great memories
I did haircuts for trades and it was a great idea
And when in total doubt befriend an elder wook and just follow them around they know the tricks
It doesn’t hurt when a spider boofs you!!
Hand Wiping, self administered boof, and ground scoring golf carts
I learned all about sequin injuries lol
Netwooking for the win!
200mg of Magnesium and 1 Aleve a day. I wasn’t sore at all!
Gatorade helps so much
her and her friend were on the rail for Nectar, and a guy asked for their cigarette butts when they were finished smoking. After they finished, they each gave him a butt, and the dude stuck them in his ears for plugs 👂🙈
my totem got lost the first night, so I used a broom for the next one (had a back up inflatable banana to tape to it)
Witch fingers for bumps!!!
During polish some friendly offered me this gadget. Him and his lady applied the stickies to my lower back and I continued to get down. 30 min later I’m in pure bliss and it felt like I just did a hour of stretching while I got down to what ended up being one of my favorite sets of the week. Needless to say an eBay purchase was in order for my very own.
Solar powered LED fists. When you need to get out of being at the rail for any medical emergencies/emergent poops/whatever the hell else, you can flash them in people’s faces and dance around them to open up space and get out! (Trapped at the rail. #hippyproblems)
What fresh wookery is this?
“We are the wooks our parents warned us about.”
They are Jax and Jax Beach trash. They drip down from Michigan in great droves. They spill out from the mountains of Trashville, NC where they certainly have wooks but they are slightly fancy beer snobs, like Boulder, Grand Rapids and Denver. They are cracker trash from South Florida and the Roanoke Mafia. They are the hard-slingin’ last of the Mohicans from Mexico Beach. They are the beautiful bohemians from Horning’s Hideout, whom have olive skin and muscles. Many people refuse to camp away from the wooks because that’s where the action is.
The hippy is the part of the redneck that loves others.
You find them on the lot, smashing large jugs of moonshine on the asphalt. Take note young grasshopper, there’s so much one can learn from watching an elder wook. Remember, they own their own plumbing and pressure washing companies. Some have advanced degrees in Education Administration, which almost certainly comes in handy when selling low-brow transfer t-shirts and walking sticks on Shakedown Street.
Contrary to what you may have heard, not all of them like the Grateful Dead. Some are Phishheads, Cheeseheads and Widespread Muthu Fuckin Panic fans yo. They come from the mountains to play their own version of Chemical Bluegrass with the wiggle and jive that comes with the likes of Greensky Bluegrass, The Travelin Mccourys, The Infamous Stringdusters and Yonder Mountain String Band. Don’t ever forget that all of these festival stemmed from bluegrass shows in the seventies. They are the long-haired hippies like Waylon and Willie, who traded in their sequins for blue jeans on the sawdust dance floors of West Texas juke joints. The are the desert bikers who rock out to John Prine and Primus. They come for Moe, Pigeons Playing PIng Pong, My Morning Jacket and always Umphrey’s. Even if, like the Roanoke Mafia, you aren’t into the Dead, please don’t have any misconceptions where all of this came from. That is the creation story and there still can be only one.
Cipher and Streets, Suwannee Hulaween 2018: photo by Clay Walthall
Growing up in the south, it always figured that rednecks shared many cultural traditions with hippies; mutual respect, love of family and friends and a penchant for ecological decisions. If this were true, the Suwannee River Jam wouldn’t be so infamous for arrests and grotesque amounts of leftover trash. Maybe the hippy inside of every redneck is the sweet part that takes care of each other and the earth. It doesn’t make complete sense.
In conclusion, the word “wookie” is currently being used as the preferred nomenclature for a subdivision of hippies but that classification is a misnomer. As a stereotype, they are the real deal among us. And have no illusions, they are in charge. They have the best art, the best drugs and music, the best people Be careful before looking or talking down to the wook who fell asleep around your fire. You’ve been blessed grasshopper, so consider covering him up with a warm blanket and giving him a safe place to relax.
And also consider going a little lighter on the labels. In this day and age it’s getting ever difficult to tell what someone’s into by their physical appearance. There’s really no reason to try. There’s only so much you can learn until you sit around the fire or take a walk to the lake together. We’re all mixed-breed, fusion food anyway. It’s all one family yo.
“So I can die with a smile on my face, without feelin’ like the good lord gypped me.”
MIAMI ARENA – APRIL 6, 1994
El Paso *
Here Comes Sunshine
Samson and Delilah
Way To Go Home
Women are Smarter
Standing on the Moon
Johnny Be Goode