The Annual Firefly Gathering: June 20 - 25 2023
Early Bird Full Passes Now On Sale
Near the summer solstice each year, over 1,000 people convene from around the world for The Firefly Gathering. Here, folks come together to connect and share skills with the common goal of expanding our capacity to live well with one another and our beloved Earth. Days are filled with a wide variety of classes focused on deepening our relationship with the wisdom and rhythms of nature, dipping into the deep wells of ancestral knowledge, and integrating these skills into our daily lives and communities. Evenings are filled with live music, dancing under the moon and stars, opportunities to connect with each other, and of course–the fireflies–who dazzle us with their beautiful display of light as they communicate in the darkness! A variety of nature connection programs guide children and teens to engage through learning and play. For many, coming to The Firefly Gathering is a life-changing experience that they return to year after year.
Near the summer solstice each year, over 1,000 people convene from around the world for The Firefly Gathering. Here, folks come together to connect and share skills with the common goal of expanding our capacity to live well with one another and our beloved Earth.
Days are filled with a wide variety of classes focused on deepening our relationship with the wisdom and rhythms of nature, dipping into the deep wells of ancestral knowledge, and integrating these skills into our daily lives and communities.
Evenings are filled with live music, dancing under the moon and stars, opportunities to connect with each other, and of course–the fireflies–who dazzle us with their beautiful display of light as they communicate in the darkness! A variety of nature connection programs guide children and teens to engage through learning and play. For many, coming to The Firefly Gathering is a life-changing experience that they return to year after year.
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. Many of our topics reach deep into our ancestral lineages for guidance on how to form meaningful connections to self, community, and place in the modern world.
With acknowledgement and gratitude to the generations of people who keep these skills alive, classes at Firefly such as fire craft, herbal medicine, storytelling, foraging, basketry, hide tanning, and bow making offer ancient and unifying pathways to help us co-create a sustainable future.
Firefly Gathering is also known for its breadth of classes in communication, activism, and modern technologies. The history of the land, ethnobotany, solar power, safe chainsaw operation and environmental remediation with fungus are shared alongside food sovereignty, permaculture, and cultivating our breath. And we can’t forget the bounty of beautiful creations that emerge from our nature-based art classes each year.
Whether you are looking for a deeper connection to Earth, your ancestors, healthy global ecosystems, a sustainable future for humans, wilderness survival, farmsteading, an ecologically sound craft or hobby, or just a beautiful experience to share with loved ones, Firefly has something for everyone!
Excited to know more? Explore classes from prior Gatherings & Current Perennial Workshops
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.
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.
We will be holding our third consecutive event at Deerfields in Mills River, NC, June 20-25, 2023. We will be inhabiting the ancestral lands of ᏣᎳᎩᏱ ᏕᏣᏓᏂᎸᎩ (Tsalagiyi Detsadanilvgi) the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. 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 Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Catawba Nation, and 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.
We have been profoundly touched by the beauty of this sacred place. With two spring-fed freshwater lakes, meandering creeks, and 900+ acres of pristine hiking trails all interwoven with mature forests, Deerfields is locally known and loved. Firefly is honored to return and be able to invite you to gather with us here again. There is an abundance of great camping, from car camping, to flat grassy open fields, to hidden wooded getaways. Located just 30 minutes south of Asheville, Deerfields offers a truly beautiful location for us to share and grow together.
Early Bird Sale5% OFF Full Passes to the Annual Firefly Gathering
Limited to 40 Full Passes
Additional Youth & Teen Discounts available
Includes onsite camping, all nine class sessions with hundreds of classes to choose from, live musical performances & evening entertainment, and more!
Firefly is now 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 supporting land use fees, staff and instructor pay, equipment rental and supplies, and creating a beautiful and safe experience for you. Any proceeds of the event support Firefly’s other programs, including making Perennial Workshops more accessible, and our Community Connection events.
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 discount half to most 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! The Worktrade Application is Now Live. Click Here to Learn More & Apply!
The Annual Gathering includes an Equity Fund, created to welcome those from the following communities who support reparations and/or an equitable redistribution of wealth and would not have access to the Firefly Gathering without this discount:
Indigenous or Native American, Black, Latino/a/x
Ethnicities underrepresented in the Southeastern earthskills community
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. The Equity Fund Intake Form will be available in March, 2023.
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!
For information on cancelling, our credit policy and transferring tickets, please click here.
Thank you to our primary sponsors for the Firefly Gathering 2022 !
Click below to learn more about our sponsors!
Interested in becoming a sponsor for Firefly Gathering?
Contact us for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org