Pubdate: Sat, 19 Jun 1999
Source: Kansas City Star (KS)
Copyright: 1999 The Kansas City Star
Author: Hearne Christopher Jr.


One of the Cowtown's hippest outdoor fiestas, the Hempfest, is on the
ropes. That after a decade or so of outdoor grooving in support of
legalizing (for practical uses) what some call marijuana.

"The (KCK) city parks aren't allowing any live music," says Hempfest
organizer Erik Branstetter, an owner of It's a Beautiful Day at 3918
Broadway. The shop is one of the area's last-remaining hippie-style

True enough says Burt Cavin, parks and rec deputy for the Wyandotte
County/KCK Unified Government. The hempsters may have gotten away with
illegal live music at Rosedale Park last year, Cavin says, but "we
don't have bands in the parks now." Too noisy.

KCMO parks such as Swope Park, where previous Hempfests have gone
down, still are available, says new parks commish Bob Lewellen "as
long as they follow all the rules of the city." That would include
providing insurance, which shouldn't be too costly, Lewellen says. "I
mean, it's not like a rock-climbing festival or something."

Trouble is: Even cheap insurance is tough on a practically nonexistent
budget: A private landowner/donor would be a blessing, Hempfesters

So where might the Hempfest go down this summer?

"Wherever you want to put it," Branstetter says facetiously. "That's
what I always tell people when they ask where it is. But it might
still happen. I get talked into it every year."

Speaking of hemp

Joint Consensus, the area's more-or-less official publication of the
pro hemp/new age hippie movement, vanished last year after publisher
Julie Bellaart was murdered in July at the Wyandotte County Fair.

The latest: "Right now I'm working on a memorial issue in honor of
(Bellaart)," says Consensus writer Fran Stanton, co-owner of It's a
Beautiful Day. "We're just going to do one issue and just kind of
close things out, because there never was a goodbye (issue). And to
let Julia's voice be heard one more time as sort of a healing thing
for all her friends that were close to her."

Stone Soup

From the building that three years ago was KC's premier (only?)
in-town commune, Infinite Sun at 1730 Oak, will rise a new cafe named
Stone Soup on Aug. 21. So says Emily Keech, a resident of the newly
revived but unamed hippie-style organization.

"It's a vegetarian cafe, and we'll be working with the Coalition for
Cultural Consciousness, who's going to bring in art shows and
musicians," Keech says. "It's going to be kind of an all-ages venue
for poetry readings, art and live music and we're going to have a
'zine library.

"A 'zine is a personal magazine that you do yourself. People do 'zines
on different topics where they put in poetry or it can be almost like
a diary sometimes. And they just go to Kinko's or someplace and put
them together and sell them for $1 or give them away for free. It's
just basically a way to connect with other people who are doing
something positive in the community."
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