OPENING CEREMONY — SACRED FIRE
After a bit of confusion, at 6pm thousands of sun-drenched Boomers re-directed themselves to the peninsula between the Chill Out stage and Dance Temple to converge around the sacred fire pit for the opening ceremony.
A shamanic ritual with Satya began. Wafts of sage and incense filled the air as the fire was lit. Boomers offered their prayers to the fire, vocalising intentions for guidance from higher powers, love, abundance, oneness and global justice, amongst other powerful manifestations.
Cristina Kalyani from Brazil said: “I’ve been to many festivals, but this is my first Boom. The ceremony was very touching and beautiful. I really like the idea of bringing the traditional culture of the elders to the sacred fire with their chants, prayers, music, drums and costumes. It’s beautiful how they blessed the land with their tradition and how they invited us to bless our parents, so for a moment, all generations were there around the fire holding space.
She added: “Satya has a very powerful presence so it was very beautiful to see her holding the ceremony. And oh my God, Iris, the older lady who was co-presenting the ceremony — she is so amazing, she’s like the embodiment of an elder good witch. You can feel her vibe.”
While hundreds of people occupied the space around the fire, thousands of others felt the vibe from a short distance. Stephanie from France was one of them. She said: “I didn’t see a lot but I mostly saw through the eyes of others. I really appreciated the second part with people who offered their prayers to the fire, it was way more intense, specially with the sun setting.
She added: “At first, many Boomers went to the Sacred Fire stage area instead. They were all sitting waiting and it was so funny when someone finally spoke out and said: ‘Hey guys, the fire ceremony is happening at the peninsula!’”
La Brujar Cavar Nicola said he only had one thing to say about the Sacred Fire ceremony: “FLUC.”
He said it stands for Free Love Unlimited Cosmos Kingdom. “And that’s all. And I’m fixing my back while I dance at this festival.”
His friend Adriana added: “The ceremony is really invoking freedom and good energy.”
Boomers who could not get to the sacred fire pit had ceremonies of their own, with some meditating and others sharing jokes and stories of their journeys to the Boomland or swimming in the lake. As with so many events at Boom, the lake was one of the best places to be in the hot sun as Boomers could watch the procession to the fire pit while still hearing the chanting and clapping and feeling the incredible vibe while staying cool.
OPENING OF THE CHILL OUT GARDENS
A breeze wafted through the site in time for the opening of the Chill Out Gardens where live one-man band Sage put on an incredibly moving performance. The beautiful bamboo structure was absolutely packed as many Boomers sat and chilled out for the first time since arriving, while others got their wiggle on to the intense percussion and atmospheric throat singing. At one point the sound converged to make a unified “Boom, Boom, Boom”, and the sense of anticipation could not have been higher. Later the sweet psy chill sounds of Hibernation lulled us off to sleep, for the sounds could be heard throughout the site.
20 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
At 9pm Boomers headed to the Liminal Village to attend not only it's opening, but also the celebration of Boom’s 20 year anniversary. The area’s curator, Chiara Baldini, gave an inspirational speech — and although she joked a lot, humour was not just being used as a buffer. Some hard truths were spoken: the need for a more feminine presence in the scene, specifically on the Boom line-up; the need for effective action in contrast to the usual hippie passivity; and the necessity of facing our dark side, not only as a society, but also as individuals.
With the Liminal Village designed according to the principles of sacred geometry — specifically the Golden Ratio — and being a site where the multiple strands of activism from all around the world have converged, Chiara encouraged us to get involved and to face our ‘inner Trumps.’ Indeed, we are the ones we have been waiting for.
The world premiere of the Boom Festival 20 years documentary did not receive a standing ovation. Instead, it received a roaring round of applause and love — the right kind of reaction in an environment that does not resonate with glorification. By the show of hands, we saw how a huge number of Boomers were there for the first time. Simultaneously, while watching the film, it became clear that many lifetime Boomers were there as well.
A POEM FOR BOOM
As the credits for the Boom 20 year anniversary film began to roll and the music kicked in, Aja from the Amsterdam Balloon Company and protagonist of the free cultural spaces movement delivered a powerful poem about the festival.
Later on he declared: “I wish for Boom to become a permanent party because it gives you the feeling that life makes sense and that love is possible. It shows you a glimpse of a fantastic society that we could all live in. That’s why I like Boom.”
He compared Boom to Copenhagen’s New Society — a festival that never stopped. He said: “It’s interesting how Boom has gone from a festival zone to a permanent or semi-permanent zone. When Christiana got squatted, many people formed the New Society. The land was owned by an old anarchist and hundreds of people stayed and survived there. So Boom is the second place that I know which started as a festival before turning into a permanent autonomous zone.
“And now we are here, in this new society. It’s interesting because it’s important you create the idea of autonomy while being surrounded by the restrictions and routines of normal life. It’s very important to find inspiration to be free of all that and to do what you think is best to be done. If you have this state of mind, you will always find your place on this earth, because the possibilities are plenty. It’s very important to generate new thoughts and metaphors for life — and we do that here at Boom.”