Part II - Letter to the Boomers (Post Boom 2014)

Dear Boomer

In this 2nd letter to you, we review some feedback you’ve sent us by email. It was an amazing edition. Some say the best ever, who knows? Boom is built upon collaboration and transparency; in this letter we’ll focus on some of the areas where we’ve had more constructive criticism despite the fact that 99,9% of your emails are extremely positive. We thank you all for your words!

The Boom Team: Love and Dedication
There were several new members working in 2014. The sense of family amongst the team is one of the reasons Boomers are in sync with the invisible vibe of Boom… Everything is created by friends from all over the world that live together for months, surviving cold winters and hot summers, working countless hours with love and dedication to present the Boom for you. We once again thank all those that have been working at Boom!
More on this HERE

Toilets and Showers: More than Ever
Toilets at Boom are a result of the input of many different technologies combined with years of experience. According to most people, Boom toilets have become state of the art and have raised the bar for festival sanitation. There were 53% more toilets and 30% more showers compared with 2012. In order to raise awareness on the overconsumption of water we limited use in the showers during two periods of the day (00h-06h; 12h-16h).
There were more queues for toilets and showers but only in very specific hours of the day, not all the time. Despite this, they were kept extremely clean throughout the festival.  
We acknowledge that we need more showers and that they must be open for longer periods. We will work on finding new systems to decrease the water consumption. And surely we will keep increasing the number of compost toilets in the Boom Land; we love turning poo into soil!

Camping, Car Park, Caravan Area: Bigger Areas for More Space
There were several new camping zones and new caravan areas; they had showers and toilets at a close distance. The Camping and Caravan Park A was overcrowded, while some camping areas (like the new Low Noise Camping Area) still had a lot of space available. There was more public lighting and garbage collection than in previous editions. We did not anticipate so many large trucks and caravans that  occupied more space in the caravan areas.
In the future we will increase the services and lighting of all camping and caravan zones, we will focus on better organization and distinction between tents and caravans to avoid overcrowding.

The Water Quality Was Great
The water was free at all water points across the Boom Land. Both drinking and shower water come from the public grid, and is regulated by health and safety licensing in Portugal. Some Boomers commented about the chloride in the water. We understand and feel the same, but we can’t do anything, as public health is an imperative and that is the only solution we are currently allowed to work with. The quality of the water is monitored before, during and after the Boom with good results.
The lake water is used for recreationally and also for irrigation of the gardens. Analysis show that the lake water has quality for recreational use (same standard as at the beach), although for some hours the water at the Funky Beach was not the best, some low-awareness-people probably piss or shit in the water, which led us to put signage at the Funky Beach on August 8th. Few hours later the situation was normal again.

The Queues at Restaurants
There were queues to eat at most places, though not at all times. There were 45 food spaces in 2014 (45% more restaurants and chai shops compared with 2012). We anticipated the amount of people and shared this information with the restaurants so that they could be prepared and organize their methods differently to process more meals, but Boom has no direct control of the restaurants, we just oblige restaurants to use biodegradable cutlery. Most restaurants did their best; it is a hard job to feed thousands of people. We were not fully happy with the quality of the food in some places and for the next edition there will be replacements.
In the future we will allow more restaurants at Boom, we are redesigning the Central Plaza and other areas to have more food spaces.

Amount of People and a Great Vibe
We are happy to confirm that the decision of not selling more tickets was positive. If tickets had remained on sale, there would have been thousands more people, which would have been chaotic. Some criticized Boom for not selling more tickets, not understanding the reason for this while others criticized Boom for being a capitalist machine despite the fact there was no more ticket sales. It is hard to understand human beings and their preconceptions of “the other”…  
There were more people than ever at Boom and we admit sometimes there was a sense of overcrowding.
But there was also an amazing vibe, a wonderful feeling of togetherness with Boomers from 152 countries (data from etickets system) that defies all preconceptions that a large number of people translates to a bad vibe. It was friendly, peaceful, fun, blissful, and the love in the air was absolutely overwhelming!
Opinions among Boomers diverge on what a growing number of attendees brings: for some the spirit gets deluded and lost, but for others it shows there is more people ignited with psytrance, psychedelic culture or alternative ways of life and the spirit is not lost at all.
Boom Team members are also festival people. We participate in festivals, we dance in dance floors, we attend retreats or conferences, we wait in line for toilets, showers, we don’t go to VIP camps in events, we dance near you, we eat together with you, we live alongside you and most of the feelings you have we also resonate with. Boom is always designed from the perspective of the festivalgoer; it is for you. Our commitment is with quality, contrary to most events that aim growing and getting bigger, Boom doesn’t want to grow in numbers of people, expect less tickets available in the future.    

Dogs: Too Many of our Best Friends
We love pets! But Boom is not a space for them. There were too many dogs, especially in the camping area. Dogs are not allowed at Boom and although we control their entry as much as possible at the gates, many dogs find their way in. There were incidents with dogs without owners. One positive aspect was that answering our call during Boom, many dog owners started to use a leash.
In the future the control for dogs will be bigger and we are trying to create partnerships with local kennels.

ATM Machines: Not Enough and Won’t Increase
There were 3 ATM machines and you can use cards on vendors that sell basic needs. We acknowledge ATM machines were not enough. But we don’t want to promote overconsumption, being at Boom is not being at a shopping center, organize differently and don’t be dependent on the banks,
the number of ATM machines will not increase.

Kids and Special Needs
We are very happy to see more kids and families at Boom. The special needs Boomers also had better conditions with a dedicated team to take care of them, new facilities and even an inclusive shuttle transporting people with low mobility across the land.
We will keep expanding the area for the children with new ideas and new teams. We will keep on improving the support for the Boomers with special needs.

Cigarette Butts and Garbage After the Boom
There was a team of 315 people cleaning Boom 24/7. In the beginning of the festival most Boomers were very committed to cleaning their living spaces. The large majority display conscious environmental behavior but some people didn’t get it yet. Towards the end there was more accumulation of garbage and the amount of cigarette butts on the ground was not according to Boom standards.
On the dance floors, confetti was widespread this year and this means a lot of garbage left behind. At the time we are writing this letter (September 15th) we are still cleaning cigarette butts and confetti onsite.
We will increase the numbers of cleaning teams; we’ll need more pocket ashtrays, more ashtrays around the site and will improve on more eco-signage! But no matter how many projects we take on, you are the one that can make the difference! RESPECT NATURE!

Lack of Programs and Newspapers
This year we debuted the Boom App, more than 6.000 downloads in just a few weeks. The idea was to reduce paper, as the App is handier than pocket programs. Distributed on location there were 30.000 Boom newspapers, 30.000 pocket programs, 2.500 Liminal Village booklets, 2.000 Healing Area booklets. Were they enough? No. Were there programs on the walls? Yes. We don’t regret not printing more, we want you to be surprised with content and not with names, Boom is an experience. (Note: if you want to know more about the programs you can download them all now at the Boom website)
Being informed is what makes humans evolve so we will keep expanding our multi-media communication projects in the future.

Lost & Found: Get your Lost Items!
A few of you have left behind some of your belongings and we would very much like to see you receive them back! For those that lost their belongings we have a microsite with what we’ve found. Please go HERE. You can also connect with us:

We are sure there is a lot more to talk about Boom 2014. We had many positive achievements and we failed on some levels. Still, we were driven by the brightest intention to work hard - we tried our best! It was a wonderful edition that will stay in our hearts forever and will motivate all of us to do better in 2016.
We will continue our series of letters to you in the following weeks. In order to revive the Boom memories, tune in with our social media channels and website to get music, photos, videos and talks of Boom 2014.