Pacific Fire Gathering was born from Axis Mundi Collective’s initial desire to begin a network of fire dancing and flow arts festivals throughout the USA, in order to expand the community beyond their local niches. FireDrums, the country’s first fire dancing festival, had been wildly successful for many years since they began in 2000. However, the festival remained inaccessible to those who could not easily travel to California.
Zan Moore, founding member of the Axis Mundi Collective (now Flow Arts Institute), was empowered to begin the foray into regional flow arts events and established Pacific Fire Gathering in 2010. His home in the Pacific Northwest provided fertile ground for the experiment, as the Portland and Seattle areas already had an ever-growing community of fire dancers and individuals interested in relating art forms including circus, yoga and dance.
Zan created a management team of Directors including his wife and performance partner, Aurora Moore and Portland fire community organizer, Randy Schless, and Burning Man conclave boss and Portland fire marshall ambassador Shireen Press. The original PFG Director team created a mission to guide the development of the event:
1.) To build community
2.) To learn & share knowledge
3.) To broaden and interconnect the spectrum of flow arts
The Directors found a magical location on the Oregon coast to host the event, a Boy Scout camp that allowed participants to camp in the woods and play on their own secluded beach on the Pacific ocean. Despite the nearly constant downpours that first year, the event was hugely successful and regarded as intensely special, cementing the dedication of both the staff and participants to create an annual event.
The long term volunteer organizers of PFG have been indispensable in the development of the event, as they have created the stellar PFG family through their dedication, hard work and creativity. Long term organizers, Abby Woodington (former Volunteer Organizer) and Zac Mallon (former Fuel Depot Organizer), both stepped into Director roles as founders Zan and Aurora stepped down.
PFG has become a favorite way to wrap up the summer festival season for many local, national and international flow artists and jugglers. Every year, feedback from participants includes multiple reports of a life-changing experience, reinvigorated practice and finding a home amongst a talented, fun-loving and kind family of spinners camping in the woods. We hope that you can join us there in September!