Volunteers at Coven Oldenwilde’s wristband booth. (All photos by *Diuvei.)
Good company! Bele Chere is the Southeast’s biggest annual street festival, and for the first time ever the city of Asheville invited us Witches to help out. On Friday and Saturday, July 29 and 30, 2011, volunteers from Coven Oldenwilde clad in bold Witchy t-shirts staffed a booth by the Battery Park Stage, selling $2 permission-to-party wristbands (which some term Bele Chere’s cheapest souvenir). It was hot, hard work, but a lot of fun and a great chance to meet and do a little magic for some 2000 folks who stopped by from all over the world.
This QR code on a sign we hung on our booth opens www.oldenwilde.org on a smart phone.
Count on Witches to look at QR codes and see magic sigils! (“Quick Response” codes are those square bar codes you scan with a smart phone to link to a website or capture contact information.) We used them at Bele Chere to draw tips and tell fortunes.
“Spin the tip jar and scan your fortune”: The QR code closest to the person spinning the jar contained a divination for them.
*Diuvei translated nine divinations written by Lady Passion into QR codes. We attached a big bean jar to a lazy susan, and affixed the nine codes (each identified with a color) around the edge. At our booth, we invited wristband-buyers to drop a donation in, spin the jar, then look at the QR code that ended up closest to them. If they scanned it on a smart phone, the QR code would give them a fortune — such as “Love yourself and the world will follow” or “Stop worrying and start dancing” — along with Coven Oldenwilde’s website and contact information. If they didn’t have a smart phone, we would have them tell us the QR code’s color and we would read them their fortune from a translation key.
Got a device that reads QR codes? Click link to stop carousel, and scan your fortune.
By the time we rolled up the Coven banner and headed home Saturday night, we’d performed hundreds of divinations — uncannily accurate, by all accounts. The QR-code fortunes even ran in patterns — for example, “Eat, drink and be merry” turned up constantly on Friday, but Saturday’s theme was “Love the one you’re with”.
Victory (and peace) at the conclusion of two exhausting but exciting days.
Although we heard many complaints about the bullhorn-wielding street preachers who rant at attendees every year, we had no trouble from them or any other intolerant ilk. Indeed, we received nothing but interested questions and enthusiastic compliments about the Witches’ presence at Bele Chere 2011.