A Trip to Bulgaria

A few months ago I went to Horizons Festival in Bansko, Bulgaria. It was my first time going to a music festival in the snow, and although the week was absolutely exhausting, it was one of the best things I’ve done in a long time and would definitely go again. Bansko may not be the biggest or the steepest resort I’ve ever been to, but the snow was nice, the scenery was extremely picturesque, and at night I loved exploring the festival venues scattered across the town.

 

 

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Being a Part of Earth Frequency

A few months ago I had the unreal experience of going to Earth Frequency, a music festival held in Ipswich, Queensland, around February each year. I say ‘music’ festival, but really this doesn’t sum it up at all. Yes, there is music, mostly alternative, but there’s much more to the festival than just that.

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My Camp

Before even entering the main festival grounds the campsites themselves can be an adventure. Some people arrive with just their tent, but for most this is a well prepared and thought out process. People bring trailers and vans full of stuff to personalise their camps. Proper sofas, tarps, fairy lights, bikes. Some people even go to the lengths of creating their own bars complete with dance floor and dj booth. When I stumbled upon one of these I had to look twice to work out if it was part of the festival site or not.

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Once out of the camp area I walked around the beautiful, lush, green festival site where I came across art installations and galleries, a village full of food and clothes stalls. I sat in on healing, soul and body workshops, listening to people talk and sharing ideas. I very quickly felt I was a part of the Earth Frequency community.

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When darkness fell the site was transformed into a psychedelic wonder land. I immersed myself in the music, exploring the 3 different stages, taking in the décor and theme of each stage and feeling the energy of everyone dancing together.

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As I said, Earth Frequency isn’t just about the music, but it is a big part. With both international and local artists, there were all types of genres being played from techno, to psytrance, to hip hop, to stuff I don’t even know how to categorise.

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To be honest the only artist I knew beforehand was a guy called Dub FX, an unbelievable beat boxer/singer. He creates music by looping sounds and beats made by his own voice, building the song right up and then singing over the top of it. Most of the music carries strong messages too. It was amazing finally getting to see him perform live.

But not knowing any of the artists has it’s perks. Rather than rushing around trying to stick to a pre-made timetable, I was able to just go between the stages depending on my mood, and only purposefully went to see a few artists I liked the sound of.

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The main stage was probably the most impressive. And in between music acts the crowds would come in close to watch intermission entertainment. Dancers would move in extravagant costumes to ambient, atmospheric music, sometimes dancing with fire.

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On the Saturday evening an opening ceremony was held by the original aboriginal landowners. They welcomed us to their land, asked us to respect and look after it, and then put on a show of aboriginal song and dance.

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On the final day a big closing ceremony was held. Everyone came together and sat in a semi circle around the stage. There were words from the aboriginal landowners and then dancers came on for one last final act.

As they danced to slow ambient music a girl spoke about the idea of the festival, the culture it promotes. The importance of respecting and looking after the earth. Most people sat or lay back with their eyes closed, breathing in and out, just listening to her words.

Afterwards a feast was prepared. I couldn’t believe it! Everyone lined up to grab a plate and then walked alongside a long table piled up with food, it looked like a magical edible garden. Chicken, pork, beef, potatoes, vegetables, pineapple. So much food and even better it tasted amazing.

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Me, Chris and our friend Miko

Earth Frequency is definitely a festival I’ll always remember. It’s a place where anyone can go and fully be themselves. You can leave your real life behind for a few days, and just immerse yourself in the Earth Frequency culture. There’s so much to learn, so many ideas being shared, it might just change your outlook on life.

Escaping to Rainbow Serpent

I’d completed my first road trip in the campervan from Adelaide to Melbourne, been to the Australian Tennis Open, and was now starting to think I really ought to start looking for a job. But there was one last thing I wanted to do before facing reality, and that was go to an Australian music festival.

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I’ve never been to a festival quite like Rainbow Serpent. Located in Western Victoria, this is a magical place where like-minded people from all walks of life come together, and for 4 days, they leave their ‘real’ lives behind and become whoever they want to be.

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