As the cosmic creations coming from the Chill Out Gardens helped lull some exhausted Boomers recovering from their long journeys to the Boomland off to sleep, it was the sweet sounds of Pedro Martin and Dub:Burn that had us starting off the day with an extra groove in our step and a smile on our faces. The feeling of anticipation in the air was hanging so heavy you could almost touch it and the vibe was second to none.
LIMINAL VILLAGE: PARTY LIKE A FEMINIST
Evidently one of the first all-woman feminist panels ever to be held at Boom, ‘Party like a Feminist’ tackled serious issues like harassment and consent, with the panel advocating that consent can be a sexy concept. Indeed, the idea that ‘No is no’ was considered very dangerous, as it implies that if there is no ‘No’, then the answer must be yes!
The psychedelic community was called upon to look after each other and an end to rape culture and victim blaming advocated. We need to create a culture of consent, with the notions of dynamic consent and positive emancipation proposed.
The session raised as many questions as it answered: how can we make sure women are attracted to the industry and create our own space, without it becoming a black and white discrimination issue? What does restorative justice look like? Could women ever join forces and make their own old boys’ network?
Input from the Boomers on the floor was equality fascinating, with one Latino cis Boomer from Brazil providing a non-European and non-Liberal perspective, pointing out that gender equality is in every aspect of our lives. We need to understand the depths of intersectional feminism and the trans community. She reminded us that Boom is a privileged community and more work needs to be done to make it more inclusive.
Another Boomer raised the issue of the spectrum of ‘male’ and ‘female’ ‘traits’ and how she had reconciled them, while hats off to the Boomer whose comment on the issue of consent was that “Grace is overrated” and that woman should fight off any unwanted attention any way they can. He advocated seeing the person next to you as a person, not a a male or female. The overall message was that every single person must participate to create change.
DANCE TEMPLE OPENING
Boomers congregated around the Dance Temple and the sense of anticipation was absolutely incredible. Soon the barriers came down, the temple was blessed and live band Prem Joshua had tens of thousands of Boomers wiggling to their incredible sounds. With their bass player stuck in traffic their set probably progressed a bit slower than they would have liked, but he got there in the end and certainly took things up a notch. The big green dinosaur dancing at the front only added to the insane party atmosphere. Wearing his coolest Indian hippie festival attire, this dinosaur has become a legend at parties around Portugal. When Iboga Records’ main man Emok came on and dropped his first track, Boomers blissed out to his crisp progressive psychedelic sounds and went bonkers – the Dance Temple was well and truly open!
We returned later for the first full-on psy set of the festival from English-born Barcelona-based Sonic Species aka Joe Markendale, who was as blown away as we were by the epic vibe in the Dance Temple for his set. When asked about his experience of Boom he said: “Ten years ago I was here on the dancefloor just having fun, and you know what, I had dreadlocks down to my arse and it was a great time of my life! Boom 2008 was one of the best parties I’ve been to in my entire life. So wow, what a privilege to be playing now 10 years later! I’m absolutely loving it! With short hair, and I’m a bit cleaner and a bit smarter now, but I’m still the same person!”
ALCHEMY CIRCLE OPENING
Hailing from Michigan, Shigeto’s live set is a banging combo of live drumming and electronic beats, so his opening set at the Alchemy Circle was always going to be very special. As the sun set over the lake he created a truly magical tribal vibe that had Boomers stomping and shaking to his powerful rhythms. He said: “The vibes were really nice! It’s undeniable, you’re in a paradise with the water, the weather, the sun, lovely people, lovely stage and lovely sound, so overall it was a really good experience – and I hope to be back as soon as possible!”
When asked how he managed to nail his impeccable drumming alongside such fast electronic tempos, he replied: “I’m kind of in my own zone. Sometimes I don’t even see you guys! You can’t think too much. Let the sound be a blanket and disappear!”
Shigeto perfectly paved the way for French duo Landswitcher who hypnotised us with their divine downtempo vibes. They were followed by Desert Dwellers, who made their first Boom debut when they opened the Alchemy Circle in 2014, and their two-hour set for this edition only built on the magic. As the vj was now fully warmed up, Boomers were transported to another dimension of light and sound.
We caught up with the Dweller flying solo who said: “Boom is one of the best festivals on the planet! Boom and Burning Man are my favourites, so it’s just such an honour to be here and share the music with so many beautiful people from all over the world, there’s nothing like it. It’s a treat to be here and I’m just really grateful to all the people who put so much time and effort into creating such an awesome production, with so much art, intention, permaculture and community. It’s such a wonderful family. I’ve been looking forward to this for the last four years!”
We went to check out a sound journey by Luke Elijah of Sacred Geometry Sound Healing, where he introduced a curious fact… 2018 is actually Boom’s 21st anniversary. Simultaneously, on Friday 27th July at 21:21, on a full moon, the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century will take place. Coincidence? This interesting fact was received enthusiastically by the Boomers present.
As the meditation started very calmly, we could hear Boomers in the distance, doing one of the things that gives our gathering its unique vibe – that moment when one, then two, then ten and finally thousands of Boomers burst into screams of celebration, howling and whistling, in a contagious moment of tribal communication, of just going absolutely bat shit crazy wild and shouting your excitement to the world.
Just as the meditation was getting more intense, in the exact moment that the music got faster and the chanting intensified, the very same thing happened again! It was like they were right there with us. And in all truth, they were!
Thank you for being ever present. The Boom spirit lives on!