Monday, 1 September 2008

Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Boom!

I've already taken you on a mini tour of Boom. Dodgy guts aside, it was a really good trance party - by the far the biggest we've been to, and definitely the most spectacular in terms of preparation. For weeks before the event, there were videos going up on the Boom website of all the construction they were doing to get ready. Many of the contributors don't get paid for their input - they do it out of love for the music and the ideology behind festivals such as this one, which is basically to promote 'oneness' through peace and love, along with a little campaigning for saving the environment. If it sounds very hippie, that's because it is! Whereas the trance scene in Cape Town is a lot more mainstream, with many people going more for the camping and partying than the music or the message, European trance parties attract crowds of true hippies, people for whom this is a way of life. They don't see acid as a recreational drug, for example; they see it as a means of altering one's consciousness in order to communicate more effectively with the universe and inspire greater creativity and understanding.

While I and the majority of my friends are by no means hippies, I can't help but have genuine affection for the ones we meet at festivals. They might be a bit spacey, and they might seem far removed from what I call reality, but they're a lovely bunch of people who truly care about each other and the environment, and who view doing their bit to promote global consciousness about these things as very important. They bring their kids along with them and make it a family affair; something which I am not really a fan of as I don't believe kids should be raised around drugs, no matter that it may be a way of life for you. But outside of the ethical issue, I can't deny that their kids are raised with a sense of belonging and an unparalleled freedom, the kind that many children never experience today. They are as at home playing outside from sunrise to sunset as most other kids are with their video games.

Having said all that, I think next year when we choose another party we will go for something slightly smaller. I loved this one, but as amazing as it was to be on a dancefloor with 20,000 other people (just take a moment to think about that... it really is a spine chilling experience), I generally prefer parties where you might actually see a person that you meet a second time, and where you don't have to walk for an hour to get from one side of the festival to the other.

As always, the crazies came out of the woodwork for our amusement, and here, in random order, are some of the strangest things we saw:

*A big polystyrene fish floating in the middle of the river. No-one knew whether it was meant to be there or if it had gotten there by accident. People had hours of fun trying to climb up on it and get photos taken.
*2 guys attempting the trance party version of an Evil Knievel stunt. One crouched in the shallow water with a piece of wood laid across his back like a ramp. The other hopped on a bicycle and tried to ride up the ramp. He made it after several attempts, and came very short on the other side.
*A life-size, remote controlled bergie (vagrant) pushing a supermarket trolley. He had a full beard and was dressed in purple tie dye, and at first glance looked like a human being. He walked and pushed his trolley, stopping occasionally to turn his head and stare at someone. No-one knew who was controlling him.
*Girls on stilts in all sorts of fabulous outfits. They'd appear anytime and anywhere from 7am to 12pm with full make-up and dramatic colours, and they'd dance for hours on these stilts. When you get a good look at how tall the stilts are and how small these girls are, it's an act that seems to defy gravity.
*Freaks on the dancefloor. There is always at least one in any session. They might be dressed strangely, wearing face paint or have faces / words shaved into the back of their heads. They may climb things (poles, people) or just run around shouting loudly and making faces. My favourite was Hat Guy, who tagged on to our group and proceeded to make everyone swap hats and accessories over the next hour. It was like playing pass the parcel in Claire's (British jewellery chain store).
*A very enthusiastic hippie stripper jumping on stage and whipping it all off. Then playing cat and mouse with security as they attempted to remove her from the stage, while she shook her booty for the crowd's entertainment.

My favourite part of the party, besides some of the mammoth sessions on the dance floor, was chilling by the river in the sun and people watching. As you can imagine, you are never short of entertainment at a trance party when you settle down to watch the world go by. By the time Sunday evening rolled around, I was tired and thoroughly tranced out, but satisfied we'd had the best party possible. I was ready to leave the world of peace and love behind, and dive headlong into the culture of Barcelona.


sweets said...

love that last pic! sounds like an awesome party... 20000 people dancing?! hells bells :)

Lopz said...

Thanks - it really is something to behold. Amazing!

angel said...

aaawwwwwww, where're the other pictures!!?! i can only see the bicycle dudes and the polystyrene fish!

i can only imagine people watching at something like that.
do you know how many other people got sick?

Lopz said...

No idea - but I can only imagine it was a good few thousand. Those burgers were mightly popular. I hate to think what the cooking conditions were like! Try clicking on the pics, maybe that will work.