If you have heard about the Boom Festival in Portugal but aren’t sure if it would be something you’d like, read my Boom Festival review to get a better picture:
But this year I tried something new. After my weekend trip to the Southside Festival, where I saw great artists like the Arctic Monkeys, Jeremy Loops, Tom Walker and CHVRCHES, I ventured into a new genre of festival. The Boom Festival is a psytrance music festival, which also offers a lot of stage for art, theatre, and activism.
Boom Festival Review
Every 2 years this festival takes place in Portugal, near the border to Spain in Idanha-a-Nova and attracts tens of thousands of people from all over the world. In addition to two large dance stages, the extensive grounds – aptly named “Boom Land” by the organizer and thus also found on Google Maps – are home to countless art installations, sculptures and lovingly decorated gardens where you can linger.
In addition to a week of dancing to trance, psy and techno, visitors can take part in daily meditation and yoga classes, watch lectures and discussions on current topics such as environmental protection or politics, listen to world music on various small stages or even take part in dance classes.
Boom Land is located on a large lake, and that is a good thing. Because in July, when the festival takes place, it gets hotter than 30° Celsius every day and as a visitor, you are very happy about this bathing opportunity. Because of the heat and the location in the rather rural area of Portugal, it’s very dry and dusty. There are no meadows where you can pitch your tent comfortably on soft grass. Instead, you camp on hard “desert ground”.
This does not detract from the special feeling you get at Boom Land though. Instead, you quickly start feeling like you are on a completely different planet, far away from the old way of life.
Boom Land in Idanha-a-Nova can only be reached by car or, if you are an experienced and persistent hiker, probably on foot. But the way there is unbelievably long and one first has to pass two gates and a lot of long country roads before you even get to the parking place.
We specifically arrived one day before the official beginning of the festival so we wouldn’t have to queue so long. But even then we had to wait for more than 7 hours in total until we could finally pitch our tents. We spent many hours waiting in the car in the scorching heat. But funnily enough, the time did not seem so bad to us as it may sound now!
Because when you arrive, the atmosphere is already quite good among all visitors while waiting. There is music playing from cars and people get out onto the streets, go for walks and chat with each other. Only the heat puts a damper on the whole thing. But at the latest when you finally arrive at the camp, the whole wait is soon worth it!
As mentioned before, Boom Festival really gives you a feeling of being far away from everyday life and the rest of the world – even after only a few hours of being there. Due to their large, lovingly designed area full of works of art, beautiful lanterns and the fascinating stages you will never get tired of the scenery and discover something new with every walk.
The atmosphere at the festival is very positive and peaceful right from the start, people are friendly to each other and you give everyone their space. I felt very comfortable and accepted right from the start, which I can’t say for most other festivals I’ve been to. In my opinion, this is also due to the fact that as good as no hard liquor is served on the festival grounds.
Of course, one should not immediately assume that all visitors to the festival are sober. If you don’t feel comfortable in the presence of drugs or drug consumption, you are probably in the wrong place at Boom Festival. Personally, it hasn’t bothered or affected me in any way.
I want to say one thing: You should already like the music style of Boom Festival when you travel to this event. Because it’s very, very hard to avoid listening to this music for an estimated 15-20 hours a day. 😋 But for fans of techno, minimal, goa and trance the festival is the perfect place to be!
Throughout the week, two dance stages, as well as the chillout stage (and several small stages), offer DJs and artists from all over the world a platform to showcase their music. This results in a huge variety and you can easily discover a new favorite artist among them.
What I personally liked best was the message that the festival tries to convey to its visitors:
Cultivate Freedom & Love
This is what’s written on your wristband that allows you entrance to the festival. And that’s what the boom is all about. There are no national borders, no racism and no hatred at Boom. Instead, the emphasis is on respect, love and generosity. One is encouraged to leave one’s own comfort zone and discover something new, to get to know new people and cultures without prejudice. 💛
Despite the heat and dust and short nights on the hard ground I really enjoyed my time at the Boom Festival. It didn’t feel like I was only there for a week, but much, much longer. Seldom has a holiday or even a festival managed to tear me away from everyday life in such a way that I could completely forget all my stress and duties at home.
I don’t know if I will be back in Idanha-a-Nova in two years. But I don’t want to rule it out completely, because if I’m honest, my heart is already longing a little bit for this peaceful place, which at least for one long week seemed like my second home. 💛
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