Musical Veggie Café

The second time I attended an annual Gathering was in the Allegheny National Forest (PA) in 2010 and I hooked up with Musical Veggie Café. The apparent focalizer of the camp was a man named Question Mark, who most notably welcomed people to dinner and performed his official duties in the nude.

The camp was very well organized (at least from my viewpoint) and featured an elaborate water filtration system, as well as an efficient dishwashing setup with rinse, wash, and sanitize taps. They had a “family group shower” pagoda type setup that was available to use after dinner in the early evening, complete with hot water!

At meal times, Question Mark would have attendees gather around before dinner as he gave the camp news of the day, established the rules of washing hands before dinner and dishes after, and asked for people to gather firewood for the cooking and showering. The group would then hold hands and Om. Dinner followed afterwards, with women, children, and families being served first. Breakfast was commonly oatmeal with fruit in it, sides of fruit, and whatever else was available that day. There was always very strong coffee (REAL coffee!) available at every meal that was specially ground and brought for the national gathering. Lunch and dinner (from what I experienced) featured mostly cabbage prepared in a variety of ways. On the morning of the 5th I think breakfast even included some cabbage. (I really had my fill of cabbage that week!)

The camp also maintained their own shitter with a two-seater box over the pit, which was very enjoyable. Regarding the “musical” part of the camp name, I don’t recall any major playing going on aside from some nice guitar music in the late evening with an occasional mandolin, drum, or some other type of riddim maker.


My first encounter with that name was at the 1988 Texas annual gathering and at that time it was “Musical Vegetarian.” They have been to almost every national gathering since, usually setting up in the outer reaches of the gathering. They have offered hot showers nearby many times.

September 14th, 2016 by John Anderson