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Porcupine Freedom Festival

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Porcupine Freedom Festival
VenueRoger's Campground
Location(s)Lancaster, New Hampshire
CountryUnited States
Founded2004
Most recentJune 22–28, 2020

The Porcupine Freedom Festival, commonly known as PorcFest, is an event held annually every June since 2004 in the U.S. state of New Hampshire. The festival is the main event held by the Free State Project, a libertarian organization that advocates for the relocation of libertarians to New Hampshire in order to make the state a stronghold for their movement. The festival has been described as "the libertarian version of Burning Man"[1] and "the largest gathering of libertarians in the world".[2] The festival on average hosts approximately 1,500 attendees.[3]

Background

Russ Baker and Lenore Skenazy speaking at PorcFest in 2015.

The Free State Project originated from a 2001 essay by then-Yale University student (and later lecturer at Dartmouth College) Jason Sorens. The idea behind the project is to get 20,000 libertarians to move to New Hampshire, a state with a low population where a group of that size could yield significant political influence.[1] By 2014, about 1,500 libertarians had already moved to the state, and several "Free Staters" have been elected to the state government, including Andrew Prout of the New Hampshire House of Representatives.[4] The Free State Project hosts two annual events in the state: The New Hampshire Liberty Forum, a convention-style event, and the Porcupine Freedom Festival, which is a weeklong event held at a campground in Lancaster, New Hampshire.[5]

History

The festival began in 2004,[6] one year after New Hampshire was selected as the target state for the Free State Project.[5][7] The festival is named after the porcupine, which serves as a mascot for the Free State Movement.[7]

The festival is known for its embrace of cryptocurrencies and precious metals over Federal Reserve Notes,[8] as most vendors accept cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Dogecoin.[1] In 2013, Vitalik Buterin, the creator of the cryptocurrency Ethereum, attended the 2013 PorcFest along with Erik Voorhees, an early embracer of Bitcoin and a member of the Free State Project.[9] A 2011 episode of Planet Money discussed the prevalence of forges at the festival for the purposes of working precious metals (silver in the case of the episode) into smaller units for sales transactions.[10]

The event in 2020, held during the COVID-19 pandemic,[11] attracted over 1,000 attendees.[12] Jeffrey Tucker of the American Institute for Economic Research gave a presentation at the festival wherein he argued against the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.[11]

References

  1. ^ a b c Terris, Ben (July 2, 2014). "Inside the libertarian version of Burning Man: Guns, booze and bitcoin". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on July 5, 2014. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  2. ^ Harper, Jennifer (June 11, 2016). "PorcFest, 'largest gathering of libertarians in the world,' to meet in New Hampshire". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on November 8, 2020. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  3. ^ Ronayne, Kathleen (June 24, 2016). "Free Staters Host 'PorcFest'". Valley News. Newspapers of New England, Inc. Associated Press. Archived from the original on August 30, 2016. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  4. ^ Reed, Nathaniel (June 24, 2019). "Libertarians gather for 16th annual PorcFest". WPTZ. Archived from the original on November 8, 2020. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Quimby, Taylor (April 12, 2018). "You Asked, We Answered: What Is The Free State Project?". New Hampshire Public Radio. Archived from the original on October 9, 2020. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  6. ^ Eha, Brian Patrick (2017). How Money Got Free: Bitcoin and the Fight for the Future of Finance. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-78074-659-3 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ a b Hill, Kashmir (June 12, 2014). "The Free State Project: A Libertarian Testing Ground For Bitcoin, 3D Printers, and Drones". Forbes. Archived from the original on November 13, 2020. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  8. ^ Moody, Chris (July 10, 2015). "The movement to free New Hampshire". CNN. Archived from the original on July 7, 2019. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  9. ^ Leising, Matthew (2020). Out of the Ether: The Amazing Story of Ethereum and the $55 Million Heist that Almost Destroyed It All. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 59. ISBN 978-1-119-60295-8 – via Google Books.
  10. ^ "Episode 286: Libertarian Summer Camp". NPR. July 5, 2013. Archived from the original on August 3, 2017. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  11. ^ a b Tucker, Jeffrey A. (June 29, 2020). "Broadway Closed but Porcfest Stayed Open". American Institute for Economic Research. Archived from the original on October 13, 2020. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  12. ^ Hayes, Paul (June 28, 2020). "Left, Right Outrage Meet At PorcFest". The Caledonian-Record. Archived from the original on September 21, 2020. Retrieved November 12, 2020.

Further reading

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