Fifteen years and not counting! Boom celebrates its anniversary during a most profound year marked by neo-mythology and the Maya prophecy of global awakening. It’s been one crazy adventure and we’ve come a long way…
The year was 1997. The place: a five-hectare plot of land, 60 km south of Lisbon. Three and a half thousand people stomped to a sound-system in the heart of a Mediterranean forest where a handful of fluoro-trance DJs ripped up the DATs with old-school classics such as Doof’s Mars Needs Women. Fifteen years on and it’s pretty clear that the Boom is more than just an electronic music festival: it is a portal dedicated to uncovering new pathways that deepen contact with cosmic consciousness.
Back in ’97, the simple infrastructure of the Boom comprised the main dance floor, chill-out area, camping, caravan-park, 10 stalls and a few vegetarian restaurants. The botanical theme of the vivid fluoro-décor was a sign of times to come as was the underground well, constructed to provide access to local mineral water.
It was a significant time in dance culture history. All those blown away by the revelation of the Goa Trance movement converged at Boom during the peak of its success; the evolution of the psy-sound made possible by the likes of Gus Till, Joti Sidhu, Hallucinogen, Man with No Name and Green Nuns of the Revolution – pioneers that took the work of originators such as Fred Disko, DJ Laurent and Goa Gil to another dimension.
Change arrived by ’98 as Boom began to differentiate itself: it would become a biennial event, allowing the program and its concepts to mature until it was ready to take those early days of euphoria to the next level. It became a meaningful experience for the 5000 people that converged to absorb the incredible sounds of artists such as Quirk, Kox Box and Space Tribe. It was also a comical and memorable encounter, particularly when Max from Etnica cranked up the volume and blew the speakers… Yes, those were wild times!
Boom’s innovative approach to the whole festival experience became stronger. It was transmuting into a gathering for the psychedelic culture. The Conventions Area in 2000, known today as the Liminal Village, represented that innovation and it arose from evolutionary ideas that continue to infinitely spiral deeper into the dimensions of anthropology, spirituality, science, environment, activism, symbolism and ancient futurism.
It became a mouthpiece for channeling groundbreaking, powerful information that challenged pre-conditioned values of the dominant culture on practically every level; morphing into a consciousness portal, communicating solution-based ideas for change.
When 10,500 people turned up at its forest location in the year 2000, the place was so rammed that it was exploding at the seams. It was time for change. The new lake-side location in 2002 provided the freedom of a wide open space. This marked the transitional phase of the Boom as it transformed into an entity that distinguished it from previous editions. Conventions became the Liminal Village and revolutionized the program. It was a defining moment that amplified the psychedelic response to a world in spiritual crisis.
Since that time, the Boom continues to embody values such as peace, environmentalism, healing, art, psychedelic culture, consciousness and love. Its website has been viewed by more than 1.2 million people across 212 territories. Since its inception, it has grown 10 times in size, attracting in 2008 some 35,000 visitors from 85 countries: an edition gone down in Boom history as one of most intense experiences ever encountered.
Sustainable survival has been key to Boom’s continued response to the catastrophic conditions of the environment. Its application of permaculture principles and technologies such as composting toilets, plant-based water treatment, bio construction and clean energy reaped awards including the Greener Festival Award in 2008 and 2010 (for Outstanding contribution); and the European Festival Award 2010 (for Green ‘n’ Clean Festival of the Year)
Boom has come a long way since the construction of that very first water-well in 1997. From electronic music festival to global psychedelic Mecca, the Boom has given new meaning to the global phenomena of contemporary psychedelic culture and alternative way of living and has become a multi-faceted, transformative experience that gets stronger with each edition.
Just as the festival has evolved, so have the Boomers that have been converging here. With the rich energy projected by their art, love and knowledge, Boomers have stimulated the interactive portal that Boom has become, their contribution becoming more powerful with each edition.
It is thanks to all the workers that have been with the Boom since 1997 – to the founders, close friends, the Boomers, and amongst them the artists, musicians, designers, technicians, environmentalists, electricians, volunteers, activists, architects, scientists, construction workers, flea market traders, restaurant people and every psychedelic traveller that has frequented the Boom over these amazing years – that 2012 has been made possible.
A big thank you to each and every sentient being for being who you are and for making Boom what it is.
The Boom Team