| SXSW |

A Sojourn in the Enchanted Forest

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

So my dad hooked up with his network of old hippie buddies, and Armadillo World Headquarters poster artist Jim Franklin turned him on to this place called The Enchanted Forest. Dad went over there on Wednesday night and was thunderstruck by it. So much so that he difficulty explaining what is was. "It's five acres of folk art...flames are everywhere, people sleeping in tents, everybody smoking pot. You have to bring your own beer."

So on Saturday night, around ten, just when I had about overdosed on South By, we headed out there. We parked at a Home Depot on South Congress at Oltorf, and walked across the street into what looked like a mere roadhouse. Once past the parking lot, we picked up a trail through some scraggly woods. Here and there, artists had laid out there wares, and about a hundred yards back in the woods, we stopped and bought tickets and headed deeper in to the forest.

Over a rickety footbridge and we came to the stage. A band of psychedelic San Franciscans in weird facepaint were playing on the stage while a dancer spun multicolored hula hoops in dizzying patterns. A ten foot iron pyramid periodically erupted jets of flame, while disco ball mirror lights danced through a grove of live oaks like fairies.

Further in the woods, another man put on a three-flamethrower performance piece that was something like a propane-based fireworks display. You had the feeling that maybe this guy had not gotten all his permits, and that this was vastly illegal and certainly ininsurable.

So yeah, I'm having as much trouble explaining what the Enchanted Forest is as my dad did. Maybe Austin's version of Burning Man with a dash of Cirque du Soleil. Brad Tyer joined us there, and he put it like this: "Hippies need malls too."

And it will vanish later today -- after SXSW it will return to disused railway right of way land. -- John Nova Lomax

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.