Swedish music festivals are notorious for drunken stupidity, teenagers behaving badly, and bad pop music. Not this one.
Welcome to Hur Gör Djur, an all-new, full-power 24/7 no-toilet no-shower Psytrance festival held last weekend in the beautiful secret forests of Småland, Sweden. 2014 is its first year, and it saw more than 400 hardcore psytrance fans attending and shit loads of artistes delivering their genius.
The name? How Animals Do. Simple enough. It’s about being in the forest, and going totally apeshit, eating and biting fellow ravers, and fighting over territories. Ok, not really. We try not to go all hippie on this shit, but it’s really about going back to our roots, being once again connected to reality, living in harmony with nature… (insert more ONE LOVE propaganda statements).
In short, it’s a festival with fucking enlightened and nice people.
The Buddha Mag crew arrived at the festival grounds at about 2am on Friday morning due to some unforeseen complications that involved traffic, machine guns, guerrilla fighters, a few moose (is meese the plural for this word?), and 4 fluffy bunnies. We wouldn’t go into details, because that’s a story for another day. But the point is, we kinda missed out 8 hours of the party.
We had a grand plan to ingest whatever herbs we could find on the ground (like animals do), dance our tits / man tits / balls off, and pitch tent when the sun rises again. I would say that was a clever plan. But what we didn’t foresee was that tent pitching is an incredibly labour intensive activity that required immense mental strength and physical abilities. So 3 of us ended up squeezing in the tiny SEAT hatchback for all 3 nights.
But fuck sleep. Let’s dance. 2 dance floors – 1 chillout, 1 main.
The main floor was all about dark psytrance. Stuff that injects nightmares, trolls, dead babies, hostile aliens, talking mushrooms and gangster hello kitties into your mindscape. BPM, or beats per minute, was at least 8,000. The music was hard, fast, and merciless. The weak-hearted, or the hipster who listens to Bon Iver, would have died in a violent execution-by-tunes here.
The chillout floor. Is. A. Big. Lie. They only call it chillout because the music is slightly slower than the main floor. It’s not the shit you would expect in the lounge area of a posh Stockholm club. At times, it’s full-on progressive Psytrance (if you don’t know what it means, it’s kinda like your Swedish House Mafia’s stuff being injected with 2 litres of liquid LSD and then propelled into a parallel universe with a rocket made out of unicorn fur, if that makes any sense at all), and yes, that shit was so damn good it didn’t let you sit on the ground. It commands you to dance. Chillout? Questionable.
Our diet – Loads of crystal-like energy supplements and dried health food that tasted like mushrooms.
The Buddha Mag gang are veterans of festivals. And this time, we came well prepared for comfort. We brought a loaf of bread and a slab of butter to feed 2 people, and an ape, for 3 full days. We weren’t there to have a fucking buffet, we were there to dance. We were there to push the boundaries of the human mind, and to test the limits of our physical body.
The ordeal we put ourselves through included tests like having only a total of 6 hours of sleep for the whole festival, dancing hardcore for more than 10 hours everyday, and not shitting the whole time. And we didn’t die. Fuck yea. I bet the U.S. Special Forces would be eager to recruit us.
Other things we put in our mouths included dried health foods that we bought from an organic store. They looked like mushrooms, tasted like mushrooms, but what we’re saying, is that they weren’t mushrooms. Yea it was kinda weird. We ate this in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night. It gave us a strange burst of energy and somehow accelerated our thought processes, occasionally delivering a pleasant, slightly orgasmic out-of-body experience. The food I get in ICA and LIDL was never so good. You know, all that processed, genetically modified, supermarket stuff.
We also brought some energy-boosting powdered nutrient supplement with us. It’s kinda like Gatorade mixed with Redbull and then brewed for 4 hours in rich Polish Vodka and aged Absinthe. It tasted like shit. But oh yes, it gave us loads of energy, and strangely, made us smile and dance for hours and hours.
Remember to visit your nearest organic health food store for these treasures.
So, under the influence of natural goodness, we also met fuck loads of fucking amazing people.
The Swedish Psytrance crowd is a colourful bunch of good, nature loving folks that really love dancing. Yes, there’s always the expected appearance of the haram pants, leather vests, dreadlocks, bindis, pois, hula hoops, LED stuff, incense, and all stuff you would associate with the modern hippie. And then there’s the T-shirt and jeans people who are just there to enjoy the music and indulge in the wonderful company.
Most of the people we’ve met exuded strong, positive vibes, were fucking friendly, and gave loads of hugs. I’ve heard that they bought their health supplements from the same store I went to. There were no fights, no quarrels and no dirty pickup lines. People danced like cosmic princesses, happy maniacs and most were as sexy as the best strippers in the world, except that they didn’t strip.
And on the dance floor, we even found our spirit animals.
Science has proven time and time again that when a person is under the influence of Psychedelic Trance music, his or her dance moves, behaviour, facial expressions and body language would reveal an obvious spirit animal.
Someone described me as a panther (fuck yea, that’s kinda hot, I’m glad I’m not like a platypus or an ant), and on the floor, I saw wolves, prairie hounds, owls, eagles, and an awe-inspiring silverback gorilla.
It was our friend, whom we affectionately call Baloo. The alcohol, organic food, and music turned him into what he truly was, an alpha-male silverback gorilla from the deep jungles of Congo. The 3-metre tall half-man-half-beast clenched his teeth and pounded his chest as he breathed heavily and pounced on imaginary prey on the dance floor. Occasionally, he would unleash his special move, “The Power Hug 5000”, on unsuspecting ravers. The look on their faces was mostly joy, but I could also sense their fear, because if the gorilla got too excited, he might just break their ribs.
But we’re glad none of that happen. Everything was love, everyone was kinda one, and everyday was fucking amazing.
And then it rained. And rained. And rained.
It was as if the gods have decided that we’re a bunch of dirty animals that needed a shower, or a collection of damaged souls that needed something to wash away our sins. But it poured for a full 48 hours. Kinda.
It bummed us out a little. Our love and joy were a little dampened, as our flip flops got stuck in the mud and our money got soiled. But when the rain didn’t let up, we didn’t wanna let it win either. So we kept dancing.
Raincoats, umbrellas, wellies. And the décor on the dance floor was kinda clever, the waterproof fabrics were stretched out across the skies and they not only looked fucking pretty and trippy, they provided some shelter as well. Yes, there might be a lot of holes. But the blue canvasses were the biggest pieces and they gave decent cover from the rain. Check out the pictures to see why Blue is our colour of choice. The organisers also pulled out other huge emergency canvasses so that we could all cuddle up and get dry, while still immersed in the hard beats and great company. Kudos to that.
And the fucking lasers. Oh my fucking god. Without the rain, lasers are lasers and they shoot green, blue and a myriad of all colours into your eyes and shit. But in the pouring shower, the lasers turned the water droplets into an infinite display of glowing crystals that seemed to be suspended in mid-air, and in our minds, and dreams, forever. Those who were on the dance floor would readily admit that they have stopped dancing at some point and stared at that shit dumbfounded.
Then a strange thought came into my head. Indulge me for just a little.
You know how taking organic health supplements kinda make us all arrive at the same conclusion that all living beings are one, and that we should seek to conserve life as much as we can? So maybe these substances are created by Mother Nature to remind us to go back to our roots and really live life as She had intended for us.
So what happens when we take such stuff, and then pee or shit on the ground? Does that make the plants grow even better? Someone should conduct an experiment on this.
And more thoughts like these flooded my fragile brain and before I knew it, it was Sunday morning.
It meant that we had one last dance, one last dose and one last burst of happiness. The main floor was still going dark, and the rain was still going hard. We found ourselves mainly chillin’ out to the progressive stuff by the chillout stage.
The DJ this morning was known as Danny. The face of Jesus was inked on his back and behind the console, I thought I saw a god. Not the white bearded dude that you see on brochures and church murals, but a wild, bald, tattooed one.
He vibrated to every note, every beat and every sound in the music, truly expressing the music and pouring out pure energy. He was either a god or a devil, I wasn’t sure, but he was a beautiful being. He was a human iTunes visualiser. Watching him DJ, and seeing him dance, was a full entertainment of the senses.
That went on for hours. And when the rain finally let up, we knew that it was time to adopt our “I’m a law-abiding citizen who has a stable office job” mode and take the long road back to Malmö.
And we headed back to the weird system that so many of us are stuck in, to rest our souls and ready ourselves for the next weekend where we will dance hand-in-hand with the cosmic gods again.