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document updated 5 months ago, on Dec 27, 2023

IDA

I describe IDA (Idyll Dandy Arts) as a "queer commune in the woods". I don't know its full history, but it sounds like it might have been established in the... 1980s? in order to provide protection to queer people. It sits on many acres of land in rural central Tennessee. Most of The Land is covered in forest, but there were perhaps ~7 buildings (including a barn) and ~6 RVs there when I visited in 2015.

It's gender-diverse, and for the most part, you can't assume anyone's gender or sexual orientation, even if they're naked as the day they were born.

If I were to guess, there are maybe 10 to 15 people who reside at IDA year-round.

I don't know how its residents describe themselves, but some descriptors I might use:

There's a Radical Faerie sanctuary somewhat nearby, that has a very similar ethos, but focuses mainly on gay men.

Idyll Dandy Acres

This is the name that was formerly used for this community.

Idapalooza

Idapalooza is a once-yearly festival held at IDA. Attendees bring their own tents and camp there during the festival. Often tents are butted up next to each other, and there are.... maybe 500+ attendees?

From the Idapalooza event that I went to, the distribution of genders didn't seem heavily skewed in one direction over another. It's possible there were slightly more AFAB / trans masc folks, but I'm not sure.

I know that Idapalooza was cancelled in 2020 to 2022 due to COVID-19, but it may have been cancelled other years too.

Work Hard Stay Hard

This is a yearly event where volunteers come to help improve The Land. While there is a little socialization similar to Idapalooza, it really is focused mainly on working. The year I was there, my group focused on constructing a house — framing, insulation (such as it is), and weatherproofing.

Here are a few photos of people working on buildings and clearing brush in 2011.

URLs

They keep a low profile. And it feels like there's a decent amount of turnover in the residents, or whoever maintains their web presence, so their URLs have changed a lot over the years.

Smaller bits of content:

Visual media

Videos:

Photographs: