By: Brendan Clemente

There are almost no words to describe the heavy feeling that comes over me after Cali Roots ends. It’s the same feeling every year. As I pack the car and think about the long ride down the coast to San Diego, random memories from the weekend flash in my mind like a hazy slideshow.

Laughing under the beautifully twisted Monterey trees with good friends and bands; watching lasers from the main stage pierce the dark night like peaceful swords; feeling powerful songs so deep in your soul that you know they’ll always be a part of you.

It’s special moments like these that make up the magic that is the California Roots Music and Arts Festival. As sad as I am to part ways with the perfect weekend each year, I’m happy knowing that I have hundreds of new memories I’ll be able to tap into for the rest of my life.

California Roots offers a unique experience that makes it easy to smile, laugh, and enjoy the moment. But just as importantly, you must cherish the memories that these experiences bring. Think about it – these are stories we’ll tell our kids and grandkids someday, our smiles growing each time we think about the historic fairgrounds, the amazing bands, the powerful feelings of love and acceptance, and how fun it was to experience such a cool place and time.

The reason it’s so hard to leave the festival Monday is you feel like you’re leaving this wonderful dream world for the less exciting and imperfect realities of everyday life. But you mustn’t think of it this way.

There is magic everywhere in the world, and California Roots has managed to capture some of the best parts of that magic and bring them to us in a really fun, meaningful way. At California Roots we smile at strangers, accept people for who they are, and open our minds to the infinite possibilities that life has to offer.

Don’t let the fact that the world isn’t perfect get you down. Let the positive memories and experiences you had at the festival color your life every single day. Things won’t be as happy and perfect as they are at the festival, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still smile at strangers, laugh with friends, listen to music, and create your own positive impact on the world, no matter how big or small.

Take the love that comes with Cali Roots and bring it to everyone you can, every day of your life. Just because the festival is over until next year, it doesn’t mean the vibes have to stop. Live everyday like Cali Roots!

I look forward to creating many new memories with you all next year. As always, it is an honor to be able to share my thoughts and feelings about the festival with the world, and I thank the entire Cali Roots team and all who are reading for the opportunity.