Thursday, 26 August 2010

Post-Boom; initial thoughts



Access to the lake and cleanliness of the water - 5* Europe´s “Burning Man”; Physically VERY tough (for many).  A one-way hike of 5km from the campervan field, and that just to take you into the party.  So a potential of 10-15km walked everyday, even if you only made the journey once.  Getting to the party each day was like planning an expedition; either you had to take everything with you you could possibly need (meaning carrying baggage in the heat of the sun and risking losing something), or leaving it behind (risking getting cold later etc. or make a second journey!!).  How many of the Boom organisation would be prepared to do that themselves I wonder.
General cleanliness around site was much improved on previous years. As a result of the physical challenges, energy dispersed around the site, rather than focussed at the dance temple
Magical energy; from the Earth, from the Lake and from the Boomers was very strong.  Much synchronicity was experienced by many and there must be thousands of fantastic stories waiting to be told. Either through ignorance, or deliberate intention, the campers were so far off site that many felt excluded – and no showers in that field!!!!  Come on guys, be fair.  Many of the live-in vehicle belong to trancers that were into the scene before most Boomers were even born.  Without them, none of this would be possible.  Where was the respect?
The relaxed attitude to experimentation with entheogens and plant spirit medicine. No provision made for those that had travelled from far, far places to be there for the last couple of nights but were forced either to buy a ticket for the whole week or clear off.  And because “Boom-off” had been dispersed (I refuse to use the “A” word), they were stranded with nowhere to go.  Boom should be made to justify this policy.
The lectures – as always at Boom, top quality and cutting edge. Sacred Fire location was not a patch on the previous years.
The decoration was very good – however, I would rather have much less decoration and the money saved spent running a little boat taxi, if only for the poor sods that had to make several journeys carrying their tents and stuff from the entrance to the tents area. The compost loos, while otherwise well designed, were like climbing a hill to use, for tired legs.  Please put another couple of steps in – not all Boomers are under 30 and super fit!
The creative inspiration.  I´m sure even the Portuguese / Spanish cocaine dealers who pirated Boom in large numbers right at the end of the festival, could not fail to take away something positive from the experience. Dharma Dragon was not printed this time in Portuguese as well as English.  I don´t think it is acceptable to be told at the Info Stand, that it is because “We love you, Brits”!  Whilst I´m sure this was a cost saving measure, I think it is a misjudgement, as local Portuguese, who may well have been interested to read about many of the very positive benefits of the Boom, (such as the Star water treatment centre) are now excluded from doing so. 

For the next few days, I expect the Portuguese media will be full of news of the many drug busts that will no doubt happen post-Boom.  What a missed opportunity to present a more positive image!
A noticeably quieter campervan area, allowing sleep most nights to those who wanted it.  Also, people running their own generators (not eco-sustainable, I must concede), were generally very cool about turning down their noise if treated with respect and asked pleasantly. This one is purely personal; I could not find the right music for me to dance to (to really let go to), with the exception of one sunset at sacred fire.  The psy-trance at the Dance Temple was just not happening for me.  Many people disagreed with me on this one and thought the music was spot on – just that there was never enough people dancing at the same time.
The dogs, although officially banned, were tolerated in a way that seemed to influence their behaviour positively.  I saw very little dog crap (or human, thankfully) and the dogs seemed content to do their own happy, doggy thing, despite the searing afternoon temperatures. Increase in negative vibes coming from both security and local people.  In the first case, if security become more heavy, they will end up squeezing the life out of the festival, as happened in Glastonbury.  As to local people, why on earth not spend less on decor and more on obtaining full support of all those living in the immediate vicinity by addressing their needs FULLY.
If you want to go to India but can´t afford the flight, come to Boom – the experience will be the closest you will ever get. One of the very positive initiatives from Boom 2008, had been dropped ie. having vegetables growing in the gardens for Boomers who had no money for food.  While food at Boom was generally good quality and reasonably priced, this is still not accessible to people who spent their last money on a ticket and travelling to Boom.  I saw a very thin young couple begging for other customers´ leftovers in the Cantina.  Not cool.  Patches of Basil and Lavender are positive in their own right, but won´t fill empty bellies.
The LOVE vibrations were very strong indeed.  With all the cosmic events unfolding around us, this energy bubbled up like a fountain everywhere you looked. A definite increase in people who had come to Boom to totally “large it”.  This aspect of youth culture is, to me, a sign that they are feeling lost and disconnected with spirit.  I think it is vital that more experienced Boomers continue to attend, despite the difficulties in doing so, to provide a good example and gentle guidance about the softer, yet stronger approach that works best at Boom.  After all, this is not some 3-day binge like Glastonbury or the Big Chill – this should be a total immersion experience that gently unfolds over the course of the week.
Access in and out to the main entrance was improved and traffic flowed much faster. Road signs to Boom need to be less confusing.  While I refuse to be drawn into conspiracy theories that this was a deliberate attempt to dispirit attendees and drive the festival into the ground, it must be remembered that the majority of Boomers are not local and do not know the layout of the land around the lake.
  Not the best vibe for a chillout by locating Ambient Paradise in the middle of a thoroughfare.

1 comment:

Simon said...

It didn't take me long to realise that this time around, Boom had become an exclusive event. Very different from my 3 previous experiences of it being a showcase for oneness and inclusivity. Remember the slogans, We are one and We are all!
Many folk where dis-enfranch, ised in taking part. If you wanted to visit Boom for a day or two you could not purchase a ticket. I met many people who had travelled very long distances. Only to be told in no uncertain terms that they were not wanted and given no provision for anywhere else to park or stay.
I heard from first hand knowledge, that quite a few "pirates" managed to get in and sell all manner of dodgy shit though..
Others like myself, who practice permaculture daily and work hard to live as sustainable lifestyle as possible, were refused entry. Where is the real spirit of an all emcompassing vision for the Now?
I'm not anti-boom either. As I think the big mistake made there was to use the word Anti! in the first place. That may have led to the authorities drafting in large numbers of commando style units, up from the city and set up a clampdown. Did the Boom organisation cave in under pressure from them? - Who Knows!