Annual Gathering

Firefly Gathering

July 16 - 21, 2024

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Each summer hundreds of people come together in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina for the Annual Firefly Gathering, the largest earthskills gathering in the country. Skilled instructors, artists, musicians, speakers and thinkers co-create this experience to expand our capacity to live well with one another and our beloved Earth.

With over three hundred diverse classes to choose from, days are focused on deepening our relationship with the wisdom and rhythms of nature. Both classes and youth programs dip into the deep wells of ancestral knowledge, inspiring learning, play, and sharing skills that all ages can integrate into our daily lives and communities.

Evenings are filled with live music, poetry, stories, dancing and drumming under the moon and stars, opportunities to connect, and of course–the fireflies–who dazzle us with their beautiful display of light as they find each other in the darkness! For many, coming to The Firefly Gathering is a life-changing experience that they return to year after year.

2024 Gathering News

Classes

Knowing reconnection to be a powerful force for change, our classes offer the opportunity to touch, taste, see, smell, hear and fall in love with the living world. Each year, more than a hundred experienced and engaging instructors come from around the country to share their expertise at the Firefly Gathering. With acknowledgment and gratitude to the generations of wisdom keepers who preserved these skills through time, classes at Firefly (such as firecraft, herbal medicine, storytelling, foraging, basketry, hide tanning, and bow-making) offer ancient and unifying pathways to help us co-create a sustainable future. 

Also knowing humans to be complex multifaceted creatures who need guidance and growth on many levels, we offer an array of classes (such as non-violent communication, traditional music, activism, natural building and appropriate technologies) that continue to help us form meaningful relationships with self, community and place in the modern world. With hundreds of classes to choose from, Firefly has something for everyone.

Event Details

Evenings

At Firefly, we honor our evenings together, recognizing the need to integrate the experiences of the day and simply enjoy being human together. As the sun sets, we celebrate. We sing along with our Elders and storytellers, like Doug Elliott and Nancy Basket. We sway to the sounds of local musicians like Leah Song of Rising Appalachia and Høly River. We dance ecstatically around the fire under the stars to ancient beats played out on skin drums. We play old-timey music, sing traditional Appalachian folk songs and earth centered anti-oppression heart songs. We sit in circle: sharing, listening, trading, grieving, and connecting with our ancestors. We get to know new friends, and reconnect with old ones once again.

Youth Programs

Firefly’s Youth Village is a haven for children to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. The village is staffed by loving adults whose passion is to inspire the innate curiosity of each child. Through songs and stories, arts and crafts, and games and adventures, your children will have a deep and meaningful experience that will ground them in the natural world, while inspiring their hearts and minds. We have offerings for kids starting from 3 (must be potty trained) to 12. Kids are encouraged to craft, hike, sing and enjoy age appropriate activities. This offers parents a supported way of attending classes.

Teen Camp is a place where teens aged 13-17 can gather and be heard, supported and mentored. Teens create their own community, work on projects, share food, sing, play games and hang out. Teen Camp is staffed by experienced mentors who create a safe space for young adults to be themselves and make lasting friends. Learn more here.

Sacred Land

We will be inhabiting the ancestral lands of ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏴ (or Aniyvwiyv: The Original People). We acknowledge that these people were violently removed from their land against their will; that countless treaties were broken, and that we will be gathering on stolen land. 

We offer our condolences for the suffering that has been endured by both the original people, and the land itself, in being separated from its beloved human tenders.  

These truths compel us to make relations with the Indigenous Peoples who have persisted through colonization and who are still with us today, including members of the Aniyvwiyv, the Catawba Nation, and the Muskogee peoples, to invite them into our community as our honored guests. We commit to working together to find a path of healing for all beings and invite you to connect, listen, share gratitude, and consider your impact wherever you stand.

This year, we are so excited to announce that the annual Firefly Gathering will be held at the Wild Human Preserve, located on the pristine Toe River in Green Mountain, NC. We can’t wait to explore the 70 acres of this preserve together, reachable within an hour from Asheville! We’ll share classes and dances in the beautiful 2300 square foot Historic Hay Barn and separate covered pavilion, enjoy the stunning panoramic views of this land’s rolling hills, and frolic in the cool running river, where we are likely to see otter prints. 

Attend

Firefly Gathering

July 16 - 21, 2024

Energetic Exchange

Firefly is a year-round entity offering workshops and community connection opportunities in every season. Your purchase supports these endeavors; thank you. Without you, Firefly would not be possible. Income from ticket sales at our annual event goes towards venues, fair staff and instructor pay, equipment rental and supplies, and creating a beautiful and safe experience for you. All proceeds from the event are channeled right back into Firefly’s other programs, including making Perennial Workshops more accessible, and our Community Connection events. To learn more about Firefly’s finances, please see our Annual Community Report.

If funding is a challenge for you, please consider applying to be a Worktrader. You can also read about our Equity Fund below to determine if you might be eligible to receive a discounted or fully supported experience at Firefly.

Worktrade & Volunteer Opportunities

Worktrade & Volunteer Opportunities

In an effort to make The Firefly Gathering more accessible, we offer discounted tickets for those who help us create the magic and organize the event. These Worktrade passes are discounted half to all of the ticket price. Plus, being part of our crew is an awesome way to connect with the community, get to know people, and become an integral part of the fun! Worktrade Applications close on June 15th.  Learn more and apply below!

Equity Fund

The Annual Gathering offers our Equity Fund to support reparations and an equitable redistribution of wealth, created to welcome those from the following communities who would not have access to the Firefly Gathering without this discount:

We offer this support with the hopes to nurture a powerful diverse community of earth-centered people steeped in the knowledge and skills that Firefly has to offer. We also welcome the wisdom that flows into our gathering from these participants. We invite you to apply to our Equity Fund if you are a part of these communities and would benefit from financial support, or to Donate to our Equity Fund below to welcome more folks to our Gathering. Our Equity Fund Intake Form for the 2024 Gathering is now closed. 

Want to learn more about our current efforts? Click here to read more from our blog.

Teach

One way to connect with the Firefly community is to offer your wisdom through teaching. The Firefly Gathering is honored to work with so many insightful instructors who offer classes spanning a broad range of topics, skills, and perspectives. We seek out local masters who are excited to come and share the knowledge that they have refined over years of practice, as well as new instructors who are excited to share their passions! Our goal is to offer a wide range of skills that empower and connect us to the land, ourselves, each other, and our ancestors.

To apply to share a class, please fill out our New Teacher Form so we can get to know you! The deadline for new teachers to apply is May 1st. 

Perform

Evenings at Firefly Gathering are an important time to unwind, connect, and integrate our learning from the day. If you have talent that will enrich the evening hours at Firefly, please fill out this form so we can get to know you! 

Cancellation Policy

For information on canceling, our credit policy and transferring tickets, please click here.

FAQ

Have questions about the Annual Gathering that weren’t answered on this page? 

Check out our FAQ Page here. Stay tuned for more details & updates as we get closer to the event! 

Sponsors

Become a Sponsor

Connect with Firefly's Community and Sponsor an Annual Firefly Gathering this year!

Learn about our Sponsorship Decksor E-mail 
[email protected] 
today to learn more.

Thank You to our Current & 2023 Sponsors. We couldn't do it without you!

Thank You to our Current & 2022 Sponsors. We couldn't do it without you!

Special thanks to: Blue Ridge Market, Edward and Sons, Gaia Herbs, Ginger’s Revenge, Great Eastern Sun, Lusty Monk, Malaprops Bookstore, Maté Factor, Mountain City Coffee Roasters, New Belgium, Printville, Warren Wilson College Farm, Wild Abundance, Smiling Hara, and Spicewalla.