By: Kai Teo
Photos: Baobab Festival, Cindy Nilsson, Malin Davidsson, Behroz Ahmadi
Event: Baobab Festival 2013 – Folkets Park, Malmö
Date: Friday, 31 May ’13 – Sunday, 2 Jun ‘13
Bands and DJs: Full lineup available here
Entry: Free. Fuck yea. Unless you’re going to the afterparty.
Our rating: 4/5
We’re cheap bastards. And we love anything that’s free.
Free music, free food, free drinks, free dancing, free minds, and free love. That’s how Buddha Mag experiences the world, and that’s how we enjoyed Baobab Festival over the weekend.
You see, we walked into Folkets Park expecting another regular day in the sun, lazing on the grass and rolling around naked in a sea of empty beer cans.
But there was no sun. The sky was overcast with hardcore dark clouds and the summer rain was threatening to ruin our plans of getting a tan, and ruin the spray tans of Malmö’s orange-skinned community.
What replaced the Swedish sunshine were little stalls selling all sorts of handmade trinkets, tie-dyed dresses and ethnic handicraft. The stage, of course, took centre stage, with bands from all over the world giving their all to entertain the crowd. Cozy tents resonated the tunes with even more performances and children’s shows and bubbles.
Yes, there were loads of bubbles in the air and we spent a good 3 hours pretending that they were unicorn farts and catching them with our mouths.
Folkets Park was turned into a full-blown carnival. There were clowns, hippies, hipsters, fire performers, loads of hysterical kids, and tons of tired parents running after these kids. The sight was an enchanting one.
And then rain came.
That was our signal to begin our tribal rain dance. Drums thundered and splashed our bodies with an uncontrollable urge to groove to the primitive beats. The rain came down hard, and as if it was a breath of new life, everyone’s mood was uplifted and we went berserk.
We took off our shirts, threw our shoes into a corner and jumped straight into a thick puddle of mud. Splash. Fucking splash. And splash again.
That crazy ground stomping covered us in therapeutic brown paste and washed away our insecurities. The tribe has spoken. Today, you ditch all your menial concerns, you throw away all your reservations. Today, you fucking dance.
We swung our wet hair wildly and released our inner beasts. For an instant, I felt that I was transformed into a hyena, reveling in the summer with my pack of like-minded predators. We were hunting, not for food, but for joy.
Of course we found it.
There’s something extremely moving about dancing in the rain. It’s almost like a celebration of life’s uncertainties, the embracing of the crazy shit that external circumstances sometimes throw at us. And no matter what happens in our little lives, we’d always be celebrating the fact that we’re actually alive.
Sorry, didn’t mean to be didactic there. Now back to the festival.
The rain didn’t let up. Neither did we. The drumming got even harder, and we danced even more. Nothing could bother us. Ok, maybe except a lightning strike. But I’m glad that didn’t happen.
At some point, in our lewd minds, we thought it might be fun to start an impromptu mud-wrestling competition right there and then. But we didn’t. Because we didn’t want to hurt anyone. No kidding. My kung fu is too powerful.
And a few hours later, we were briefly at Moriskan, then to Far I Hatten for more tunes, more alcohol, and more dancing.
As a result, right now, my back is aching from all that animal dance moves I was trying to emulate. I might not be able to walk tomorrow. But it was worth it.
Thank you Baobab. I’ll always remember the rain dance. And I’ll always have my new wrist bands (I bought them, not everything comes free) to remind me of this weekend.
And I’ll be ready for you next year, in my speedos.