Campground owners stick by reasoning for cancellation of sex festival

Published 10:27 pm Friday, March 9, 2018

The owner of a local private campground maintains that a renaissance-themed sex festival was cancelled because of potential illegal or rule-breaking activity at the camp.

“Honestly, if they want to have sex indoors, that’s one thing,” said Laurel Faircloth, who owns the Southern Pillar Campground business on County Road 2262 in Springhill. “But outdoors or anything like that I think is illegal and we don’t allow anything illegal out there. The flier said something about intoxicants and we don’t allow any intoxicants, legal or otherwise.”

Faircloth and her husband, Patrick, announced this week that they were cancelling the Southern Dark Ages Festival scheduled for March 23-28 at the campground. The decision was reached after public concerns about the nature of the festival were raised.

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On Wednesday, Patrick Faircloth, who said he owns the land on which the campground is located, said the festival was being cancelled because “some of the stuff in their flier could be construed as illegal.”

The festival was billed as a “weekend of fun-filled debauchery” and “sexual play” with a medieval theme. The fliers promoting the event included information about “sex play” and how “consensual kink” would be monitored during the festival, as well as references to the use of intoxicants during the weekend.

The organizers of the Southeast Dark Ages Festival did not respond to a request for comment, but tweets from the event’s official Twitter page said the festival was cancelled due to threats against the camp’s owner, Laurel Faircloth, and protests that were planned.

Patrick Faircloth said some threats were made on social media. However, one comment from Spring Hill Baptist pastor Keith Reynolds struck a nerve for the professor.

“He said I started the event and that’s a lie,” Patrick Faircloth said. “The coordinator is from Georgia. I was only brought in for advice once we saw the flier. (Reynolds) used his position to lie about my involvement and called my employer to see if they would fire me. To think a person with the public’s trust and power without having all the facts is terrible.”

Reynolds told friends on Facebook to pray for the event to be cancelled and for Troy University to remove Faircloth from his position as a professor.

“My whole concern is the children,” Reynolds said, adding that he is concerned about Faircloth’s influence on students at the university where Faircloth is employed. “What he says to kids at the university (is) up to public scrutiny,” Reynolds said.

This is not the first time the festival has been held at the campground, Laurel Faircloth said, but added that she did not know the exact nature of what occurred previously.

“They used Southern Pillar Campground last year and that was the first and only year they’ve been here,” Faircloth said. “We don’t go down there unless there is something that is needed; we had no complaints, didn’t get any calls from anybody and they left the place in great shape, so when they asked to come back this year, we said sure.

“When they said it was a dark renaissance festival, I thought it would be like the festival in Atlanta where they dress up like knights in armor. I assumed they had people who breathe fire and do those kind of things.”