Photo by Byron Dazey •

Legends of the Summer

Mythical faerie festival enchants Eugene

Faerieworlds, the yearly festival that encourages attendees to “live your legend,” returns. Celebrating fantasy, magic and, of course, faeries, this annual event of pixie dust and gossamer wings provides everything a faer-folk enthusiast could want. By bringing in internationally acclaimed authors and artists, featuring a “Mythic Marketplace” and presenting a diverse group of musicians from the world over, Faerieworlds — at Howard Buford Recreation Area (aka Mount Pisgah) July 27-29 — caters to the varying tastes of those who adore the faerie realm.

Recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Donovan is headlining this year, premiering his original show “The Living Crystal Faery Realm,” a multi-media extravaganza. Famous for his raspy vocals paired with catchy strumming tied together with rousing lyrics, Donovan is a must-see performer at this year’s festival.

Baka Beyond, described by its members as Afro-Celtic, will also hit the stage. Featuring musicians from Ghana, Sierra Leone, Brittany and Senegal, the group prides itself on having expansive influences and its ability to “cross boundaries between age, race and culture.” Utilizing a wide variety of instruments including marimba, djembe, kalabash, kora and more, Baka Beyond creates a unique sound that pays homage to the Baka tribes.

Niyaz, an Iranian trio hailing from Los Angeles and formed by Grammy-nominee DJ/ producer Carmen Rizzo, will perform its otherworldly music with a modern aesthetic. Niyaz fuses traditional Iranian music with electronica, creating an intensely beat-driven sound. By applying electronic effects to instruments such as the kamaan and robab, Niyaz produces hypnotizing melodies that are impossible not to dance to.

Faerieworlds founders Emilio and Kelly Miller-Lopez will be lighting up the stage late into the night with their band Woodlands. Combining mellow beats and soft vocals, Woodlands creates the perfect soundtrack for relaxation after a long day of jamming to folklore and dancing with faeries.

Faerieworlds promises to be full of “tricksy goblins, pillaging pirates, frisky faeries, beguiling bellydancers, lost boys, steam punks and horned ones.” Guests are encouraged to participate in costume workshops, where they can characterize their own legends and fantasies through intricate, hands-on costume design. The perfect occasion to dance in the summer, Faerieworlds is unlike any other festival on the West Coast.

Faerieworlds Festival is July 27-29, at Howard Buford Recreation Area; tickets available at