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July 04, 2018
“There she is..”
The sun sat itself on the Rhodopes mountains as the last of the all-nighters partied their way into her warm yellow glow. Every person had a smile on their face, the energy was passing from one dancer to the next... and she was beaming back.
It began sitting next to strangers that soon became friends through the joint realisation we had to set up camp in midst of a thunderstorm. The torrential rain soon reversed to summer mist and the most breathtaking view anyone could imagine appeared right on our tent doorstep. That’s when we knew it was gonna be good.
Meeting our fellow backpacker neighbours that turned out to be some of which mutual friends from back home in Cornwall, we watched the festival goers arriving in their tribes (even though by the end we were one collective family). We painted our skin with glitter, downed more than enough beers and partied until the early hours to see the yellow lady herself.
The warm and safe to say fairly hungover afternoons rolled into another after waking up to the sound of strangers sharing their antics from the night before. Not to mention the heat of the morning sun making you fly out of the tent and flee to sleep off the drunken-ness in the surrounding forests.
Hammock trips spent in sizzling blue heat, hexagonal bee hive art installations, yoga, painting with strangers on a giant mural that oozed community of pure love, watching tame butterflies of every colour greeting our feet…It was the energy from both the nature and the people which made this festival like no other- all living consciousness’ were in harmony.
The days blended into the nights as the music transitioned from soul to afrobeat, from folk to DJ sets. Outfits became shinier and faces became weirder. The cascading rhythm from the oversized disco balls danced on the trees as the floor became littered with people laying down in admiration. People partied amongst what I heard “scenes of Avatar” (couldn't be more accurate for comparison) all the way until sunrise where those faces of undercover night trippers soon became friends and then strangers again.
The whole crowd swayed in unison, nude was normal, a dancing man dressed up as a chicken kept us energised at the front of the stage in hope for an even crazier night from the one before. We flew off air beds and soared on swings amongst the treetops.
photo: Aron Klein
The proposal at the barn stage in Liam Baileys set was truly mesmerising, watched through the surrounding eyes of tears. The warmth of everyone feeling the exact same bursting happiness which brought the strangers surrounding the couple tangled in each others arms too. The sound of the band that blissfully accompanied the synchronised hugs had the crowd muted in awe for a stop time kinda moment.
The last night was a fizzling (out) drunken high state absorbed into conversations of trees breathing and bands playing. Fleetwood Mac and Dolly Parton echoed the sunrise stage, feeling as though it was 1973 we stood mesmerised and hysterical under the pink sky of dawn by a man spinning a hand-sized disco ball on his finger (probably had to be there for that to sound funny).
People rolled into the long flowers or had races to the bottom of the hills - although no one wanted to leave; a vision of hexagons among the rolling valleys as the last of the strangers dripped pure happiness from every cell of their being. The last purchase included a bottle of prosecco which is not shameful in the slightest; a long ribbon in the other hand, laughing and twirling until we couldn’t remember the time… nor the time of our coach home.
Eternally grateful memories followed us back to society; almost numb and unbelievable to think so much energy had been ignited on such a small space on a mountain top. Trying to compare the silence that must be there when the festival is non-existent to when you are stomping and singing with what feels like a new family almost close enough to feel part of the stars... simply electric.
They aren't lying when they say how magic it is when the land touches the sky and the sun cuddles nature. Thanks Meadows, see you soon x
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Dana was the icon we used to write about in our sketchbooks influencing our own artworks, so working with her and seeing the sun drenched locations we used to research behind our products was almost surreal.