Taking place in Cascade, West Virginia on the third weekend in July, Transformus is an outdoor camping experience like nothing else. Unlike a music festival, there are no vendors, there are no overpriced meals, there’s no watered-down beer for sale. The artists aren’t trying to sell their albums or get their names out into the business world—in fact, they’re probably not even using their real names. You won’t find business cards being exchanged. The rangers, technicians, and service providers are working tirelessly—yet they have smiles on their faces the whole time—even though they aren’t being paid a dime for their services.
What you will find is a wild world of self-expression: Music, art, parades, games, performances, gatherings, meals, shows and magic. This is where creativity runs wild producing experiences that are seen nowhere else in the world. This is where one can be mystified, shocked, astounded, exhausted, exhilarated, and yet feel completely safe. This is where total strangers are best friends.
Transformus is inspired by Burning Man and is a sanctioned regional Burn experience dedicated to the principles of inclusion, gifting, decommodification, self-reliance, self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace, participation and immediacy. EVERYONE at Transformus is a participant—there are no spectators. Everything you see at Transformus is done for its own sake, and for the enjoyment of those who experience it. It is an experiment in temporary community; a small city is formed by and for its citizens for only a few days and then it vanishes, leaving absolutely no trace behind.
For one long weekend this city comes to life and brings with it a magical experience, elevating us together, from the wild journey in, to the communal creation process, to the rejuvenating days and revelrous nights, the magnificent effigy burn on Saturday night, the solemnity of the Temple burn after, and the final breakdown and disappearance of Mysteria.
No description can ever do Transformus justice, because it is not about the parties, the fire, the light shows, the music, the lakes, the food or anything that one would use to describe any other festival. At the end of the day, there is only one way to express what this experience really is:
YOU ARE TRANSFORMUS
“The name Transformus was an evolutionary process. It started as Ars Transforma, which just didn’t flow trippingly off the tongue. We kept batting around a variety of names in e-mails, including Transformafest, Transformania, and others. Finally I proposed TransformUs because that was the goal. Not sure when we started referring to the community as Mysteria. Transformus is the event, Mysteria is the community.”