Aurora, Wonderfruit and Glastonbury festivals and an example of festival creativity in focus...
Aurora festival was a trance festival that happened on the beautiful and magical Greek Island of Samothraki, near Thessaloniki. It is an ancient island with a rich history and it is said that Cleopatra, Alexander the Great, Julius Caeser and many more of the ancient greats made the pilgrimage there to take part in the sacred rituals.
It is an amazing island with an immense energy and it is said to have magical powers. The whole island, which is actually a mountain, is a geologists dream, made of crystals and awesome rocks; on the beach, for example, there are the most beautifully coloured stones. It really is one of the best and yet most undiscovered Greek islands. The whole place was a wonderful setting, right on the beach with a forest nearby and good spaces to create into event spaces. The whole build, despite some problems, was a really good time too and we made lots of new friends and really enjoyed the build up. Aurora festival will go down in my memories as fantastic and it is a shame the owner didn't really know how expensive and complicated festivals can be and the festival is no more.
We were led by the creative directors of Boom festival (who had just left the festival for pastures new) Pedro Barros and Amala Shakti Devi. All we had to do in such a great space was to add to it, delicately, enhancing the already beautfiul areas. For example a clever projectionist from Germany was brought in who created a 3D coloured overlay version of the treeline surrounding the space; it made the whole effect stunning and was one of the best areas in the event. We cleaned, made sculptures, interest pieces and painted art; mostly all the materials came from things we could find on the shore or recover from recycled materials. Very low budget, but, big effect. I also built and ran a kitchen there! Check out the photos below and the two links in the text.
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Wonderfruit is very dear to my heart as I was there the first two years and I had such a magical time there. It's set a few hours south of Bangkok and is well worth the trip, with big name acts, excellent DJs, amazing food, past times, areas and surroundings; it's a great festival on the circuit. One of the organisers/programmers is of Robot Heart (Burning Man fame) so you know the music is good!
Wonderfruit in the first year was a challenge with new experiences for the organisers and the nature of Thailand to deal with too. There was expert help from Secret Productions who I was attached to but it was still a struggle nonetheless. For example having to wait to finish because of two King Cobras being found a few meters from where we had just been working! Having said that it was really fun and at the end we all pulled it off and it was a great event! The main thing I was working on was with Andrew Cross's team in the Quarry; we constructed a glitter ball, bamboo structure under his expert direction. It was another messy space that needed tidying up, but one that could use the existing surroundings a little, with a big eye catching, light refecting structure to augment the space and give it a boundary. A lot more budget and work than at Aurora, but also a really memorable and beautiful space. It looked really great and everyone said it was the best space of the festival. Check out the photos below!
Glastonbury is probably the most famous festival in the UK. I've been going for years and I was really happy to get an opportunity to work on The Common. It's also a very special festival that is one of the oldest music festivals in the world and is in another magical landscape. Glastonbury itself with its stone circles, Tors and being so near to Stonehenge is another sacred place.
At Glastonbury I was charged with helping to build and decorate, authentically, the Cave and Temple structures. It was another great build with lots of good friends made, we had a great three weeks in the glorious english countryside. There we had a big space, a field, that needed huge structure built, with show stopping fire and water features, an attention to detail (again because of the large space involved, and also some attempt at dividing up the space, making areas for people to be and to pass through and generally needing to go that little bit further so that it could look good. A shoddy, small piece of work looks really bad in a big blank space. Big and bold but with attention to detail is the way to go!
Check out all the pictures below!
Festival art and creativity photos: Click on the arrows to scroll, or on the image for a larger version (in a pop-up)
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