Lost Theory July 2014

On Monday 21 July we headed out of Modem Festival towards our next destination in Croatia, which would be the Lost Theory festival and about 100km drive. Again our friends had sent us GPS coordinates, which made it easy for us to track them down.

It was still quite early to arrive at the festival seeing the music only started on the Wednesday evening, so we setup camp along with Eric & Miriam as well as another couple Marcos & Angela. After we setup our tents and shade we decided to go and stay at a local “Pension” aka backpackers or self-catering.

The Pension was a real blessing in disguise, we had all sorts of facilities and could cook ourselves dinner. Then after a fair bit of drinking and merry chats we all crashed hard in comfortable beds. There was heavy rain that night, which also added to the feeling that we made the right choice to stay in the Pension. The best part of the pension were the kittens, there were three little critters that I bonded with. I started putting them into my zip up jacket one by one and eventually had all three in my jacket sleeping. So cute!

In the morning I slept in late, then had a bath and realised I was totally on holiday! Until then I had been missioning with no breaks or time to think, we were just driving, partying, eating, barely sleeping and jolling hard!

We eventually headed back to the festival, but made a quick stop at the supermarket beforehand. We were well and proper stocked with food and booze for the party. As we arrived our campsite was of course already setup, so all we had to do was unpack a few items and move the cooler boxes into the shade. We promptly started a braai (BBQ) and started to cook some awesome Croatian beef, this became a real theme for the next few days along with Karlavakov Croatian beer.

There was no music on the Tuesday, so we didn’t do a whole lot other than get excessively drunk, swim in the river and talk shit. It was early to bed because I knew that this would be the quiet before the storm. Wednesday during the day seemed like deja vu as we did practically the same as the day before.

Wednesday evening was the start of the festival, the music kicked off at 8pm on the main dance floor, until then none of the normal festival goers were aloud through the gates to the main area. As we (myself and the 6 Germans) walked down to the main floor we fetched the Danish peeps and got ready to have a phat party!

The floor looked amazing! The decor was spectacular! Everyone was excited! It looked to me like the entire campsite had walked down for the start of the main floor music. You could see the energy was electric. We all partied late into the night and crawled back at different times.

The first full daytime mission on the dance floor was super. Stephan and I prepared by having a braai, eating more than we should have and  packing a back full of whatever we needed so we wouldn’t have to walk back to the tent. Music was perfect and we had a blast!

At 5pm approximately every day the music was turned off on the main dance floor for about 3 hours. This was actually perfect because it forced everyone to go back to their tents, relax, eat and recharge for another evening session. That evening was more of the same, good music, psychedelic colours and mates having it on the dance floor!

Before we knew it Friday was upon us and I was starting to feel a little tired. I decided to relax some more during the day, the campsite was the perfect place for relaxation, we had food, booze and awesome company…. That night I decided to sleep a solid 12 hours after the afternoon stomp session.

Saturday day we partied as per usual, but that night the heavens opened up on us and it rained like there would be no tomorrow. Somehow we managed to still have fun and enjoy some of the music. Sunday the rain continued, but luckily it did ease up for the last night of the party. I made the last night count and crawled back into my tent just before sunrise.

Stephan and I decided to pack up on the Monday because the weather was looking pretty dismal. We had a camping trip planned for after the festival, but it wasn’t looking like we would be able to go camping. Our German friends all were packed up and we headed out of the festival kinda sad to see it go. What an amazing week of fun and music.

Thank you to everyone who made my Lost Theory an unforgettable experience!

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Momento Demento July 2014

After our incident with the local dick Croatian police we went to get our wrist bands for Modem Festival. Our friends had saved a camping spot for us in the camper van area, so that was our end goal!

We drove into the campsite with GPS coodinates and found Eric & Miri immediately. I cannot begin to describe the relief and excitement I felt when we found them. At a large festival it can be practically impossible to locate people! Woooohoooo…. Let the party begin!

We quickly setup our campsite and began excessive drinking! I couldn’t believe that I had arrived at this festival with my friends, it was too good to be true. It was lovely to be around long time friends, chatting, talking about old times and catching up on all sorts.

I kept introducing myself to random foreigners with the phrase “Hello, my name is Ash and I am from Cape Town, South Africa”, people were quite surprised that I had travelled so far for a festival. Then I introduced myself and the people responded that they were from Denmark. I thought to myself, I know these people and asked the woman if her name was “Michelle Miller”. Turns out I knew our neighbours from a Thailand new year festival. Epic!

After setting up our campsite, we started a braai (BBQ) and started getting well greased we decided to to head up to the main dance floor to see what the festival looked like while there was still some sun light. I headed up with Stephan, Eric, Miriam and my Danish friends.

The walk to the main dance floor was a long and steep journey. The campsite was strung out over a long thin route next to a river.The chill / alternative stage was next to water falls with crystal clear water. I was blown away by the beauty of the campsite!

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The stairs were killer, they went straight up, in the beginning this was a novel and pretty experience, later I would learn it was much better catching a lift with the shuttle bus.

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The main dance floor was totally covered with trees, the decor looked great and the DJ booth was incredible! Our Danish friends had a small second campsite at the main dance floor, so we setup there and started a groove session on the dance floor.

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I have gotto say that I can’t remember being as excited as I was the first night at Modem fest. I was chatting to all sorts of new people using my “catch phrase”, it worked a charm for getting random conversations going!

The night time started to set in, but we realised that Stephan and I were poorly prepared for the evening that was ahead of us. The night was cold, we didnt have warm clothes, we didnt have a torch, we didnt really plan at all…

I suggested to Stephan we make the long journey back to the campsite, he reluctantly agreed (I don’t blame him as it was a 30min walk both ways) and we started our walk down. Things looked quite different at night without a torch to how they looked in daylight. We kept thinking we were almost there because we found multiple camper van campsites, but these campsites our campsite.

Eventually we made it back to our tents and car, grabbed our supplies, a torch and some warm clothes. Then we started our half hour journey back up the to the main dance floor, but luckily as we walked out of the camper van area I asked somebody for a lift. We got a lift up to the top in a brand new top of the range Porsche Cayenne! Oh my hair fuck! That was the most epic car ride I have ever had, so epic I left my torch in the guy’s car! Shit!

We arrived at our second campsite to join the rest of the peeps and the lighting was full power on the dance floor, quite a psychedelic experience!

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The night was a blur and I lost Stephan, somehow he found his way back to the tent barefoot due to loosing his shoes. No clue how he walked home without shoes or a torch, the road back was lethal.

The Sunday morning we started with a braai first thing, got ourselves well fed and prepared for another trek up to the main dance floor. This time we were a lot better prepared! We even packed swimming pants along with whatever else we thought we needed, there was no chance I was going to trek back and forth to the campsite.

The day party at the main dance floor was quieter than expected, seeing we had arrived towards the end of the festival a lot of the people had started leaving already, but was still a fun day.

Before it got dark we decided to go back and cook some dinner before the night session. It was pretty awesome cooking 2-3 meals a day at a trance festival, back at home I would just buy food, but we were fully kitted and prepared for this!

I was pretty tired by the evening, so didn’t last long and crashed hard in slumberland. Monday the festival went on, but Stephan and I decided to head over to the next festival Lost Theory.

Despite missing most of the Modem festival we had an absolute blast and were super happy we fitted in a quick stomp before the next party!

Universo Parallelo 2013 / 2014

Day 1 – 27 December

A couple of days before we were due to leave Morro de Sao Paulo, we came across a travel agency / tour company with a hand written sign about a bus to the UP festival, so we bought tickets immediately. On the 27th December 2013 we started our journey to the festival. First we had to hike all our bags to the pier on Morro, then we boarded a speed boat to Valençia, after which we caught a bus to the festival.

The bus was not able to drop us off at the gates of the festival, we need to hike our bags close to a kilometer down the road. We arrived at the area where the gates were and saw a massive queue of people. First you needed to get your arm band aka festival passport, luckily foreigners who had bought their tickets online could go to a special queue, which was not hundreds of people and hours waiting. After getting our wrist bands we moved to the gate queue, which was unavoidable and pretty long.

It took us a couple of hours before we got through the gates, once we got through the gate we had our bags searched for alcohol, they didn’t try very hard and we managed to smuggle in a couple of liters of vodka and rum. We were allowed to take water into the festival, so I brought along a 10liter bottle. The drawback of bringing all this liquid was it weight a lot on top of our already heavy backpacks. So I had to carry about 30kg of weight to our campsite.

A friend of mine from South Africa had been to the festival many times before and he had suggested we try find a camping spot right next to the beach. I was determined to find a good spot, so Barbara and I kept walking, we must have walked another couple of kilometers or maybe more before we found the beach. Sadly it looked like there was no space anywhere, the front area was packed like I had never seen at any festival.

We lucked out and found a spot about 5 meters from the edge of the beach, we could feel the cool breeze off the sea and there was a lovely chill out stage about a couple hundred meters away. We had found our home for the next 9 days.

We were told that the heat during the day was almost unbearable and we should look around for guys who helped build shade structures at your tent. We found two guys wearing UP staff shirts who were building the structures. They helped put up our tent so that we could build the bamboo structure with palm leaves on top.

The festival has its own currency, so to buy food, water and bar stuff you needed to purchase tickets that you could exchange for what you needed to eat or drink. Being the start of the festival everyone was queuing for tickets, so we joined the queues… We were starting to realize that queuing patience would need to be managed carefully, no point in getting frustrated, we were on Bahia time which seemed slower than African time.

After grabbing some tickets we decided to get some food. There were queues are certain stalls, for example the pizza place, but they had an organized system for the pizza queue. We really needed to get the hang of the festival, Barbara and I were quite overwhelmed at first by the sheer number of people and the size of the festival.

We walked around for a while, but it seemed like there were no English speaking people… Then we heard some Aussies chatting to each other, so we introduced ourselves to them and they were really friendly. Great to be able to speak to people and understand what they say.

We had an early night because the day had been long.

Day 2 – 28 December

We woke up fairly early due to the heat, there was no chance you could sleep in the tent after sunrise, which was about 4:30 to 5am. Once the sun pops out it starting getting hotter and hotter, by 6am it was fairly hot and by 9am is was almost unbearable.

There was not any specific music we were keen to see on the first day, so we decided to relax next to the chill stage, which had some really interesting music playing. Luckily we bumped into the Aussies near the chill out stage and decided to spend the day with them getting drunk and talking shit. What an epic day, from swimming to relaxing in the shade, we worked our way through the day. We were extremely happy with our camping spot, it had an ocean breeze and was close to both the chill and 303 stages.

The main stage opened in the evening, but there was not too much we were keen to see.

Day 3 – 29 December

We went down to see Juno Reactor around sunrise, but it was only a DJ set and pretty crap, so we went back to the chill out floor that was playing really awesome swing music. It was quite disappointing because Juno Reactor is one of our all time favorites.

We had ear marked some music on the 30th December that we wanted to see, so we just decided to relax on the beach, we were loving the beach and the sea, the waves were so friendly and beach was a beautiful long white beach kilometers and kilometers long.

During the day there was little chance of sleeping properly due to the sun and the shade moving constantly, so by the time the evening came around we were shattered and decided to just sleep early. Barbara slept in the tent, but I decided to try out the beach, which turned out to be a fantastic idea, I slept like a baby until the sunrise around 5am.

Day 4 – 30 December

Today was the first day that Barbara and I saw music on the line up that we wanted to see, despite the main stage being open, we decided to stick to the 303 Stage, which was right next to the sea, so every half an hour we dashed over from the dance floor 50 meters to the ocean for a quick dip.

We stuck around the 303 stage for about 5 hours and caught 4 incredible sets:

  1. Solar Spectrum
  2. Flip Flop
  3. The First Stone
  4. Hujaboy

After the sun dipped down Barbara and I decided to grab dinner, then sleep on the beach. We got. Comfortable on our mattresses around 7pm and listened to Circuit Breakers, which sounded amazing. We were really enjoying the fact that we could party for few hours and walk off a short distance to our camp site to relax or sleep. We felt like we were at a beach paradise.

Day 5 – 31 December

It was strange being at a festival for 5 days already before the highlight which was change over to the new year. It didn’t feel like a new years party, it felt like a laid back festival with some activities.

We didn’t have much on the agenda for the day. We knew that the new years night would be long, so we decided to avoid the sun and sleep as much as possible before midnight. We woke up around 10pm after a fairly decent sleep and got dressed in our white clothes. In Brazil it was customary to wear white to the new years parties as a symbol of a clean or new beginning.

As we walked down to the main stage we noticed that most people were wearing white, so exciting, this is what we had been planning for so long, the moment was finally here. The main stage was closed for a break until about 11pm when Etnica in dub started playing so very chilled out beats. The main floor filled up really quickly and it was no time until the final count down…. 10, 9….. 3, 2, 1 and HAPPY NEW YEAR or Felis ano nova as the Brazilians say.

Day 6 – 1 January

At the Main Stage we stayed to watch two of our favorite acts called Atmos who played from at midnight and then Cosmosis who played a little bit later. This was the first time we had really enjoyed the music on the main floor, wow, what an experience.

We got some rest in becuase around lunch time on New Years day we went to the 303 stage to see Cosmosis again, the floor was small and not to busy so we could stand up close to the front and watch him do his thing. He played all his old school music thatwe loved so much and played a guitar with classic for at least every second track. We were hanging with the Aussies and they were also loving the music! I can say that Cosmosis played the best set I have ever seen, he engaged the audience, he even came down off the stage with his guitar and played for us on the dance floor, incredible!!!!!

Rinkadink played an old school set after Cosmosis and he is a South African living abroad, so I went up and introduced myself to him, he sounded just like a saffa. Once Rinkadink started playing we decided to take a break and go for a swim. The Aussies were sitting in the shade, so we joined then for some much needed sitting time.

I saw Cosmosis walking down to the beach, so Barbs and I decided to go and introduce ourselves and thank him. His name is Billy and he turned out to be super down to earth, so I took a gamble and invited him to sit in the shade with us. He joined us and sat around talking for over an hour. Then Rinkadink, whose name is Werner also joined us and the Aussies, Barbs, myself, Billy and Werner all parked off for a further hour.

Hanging with the artists really made our day! The music was incredible, what more could we have wanted. After a long afternoon Barbs and I went off to get some dinner, which was followed by bed. Luckily our neighbor had moved that morning meaning we could move our tent and sleep under our bamboo and palm leaf shelter. Not so important at night, but in the morning it would be a blessing.

As we were falling asleep we had the privilege of listening to the chill out stage where Etnica in dub was doing another set, what a lovely way to fall asleep!

Day 7 – 2 January

The day started extremely slowly, we were tired and seeing we now had space at our campsite with shade we decided to stick around the camp site and just take periodic dips in the sea to cool off. When we were hungry we would buy fruit from the stall near by and Açai from another stall, nutritious and healthy sustenance.

A friend of ours from San Francisco who is living in Cape Town introduced us online with two of her good friends from San Francisco via Facebook before the festival. When we got to the festival and saw how big it was and how many people there were we were convinced we would never find Jill and Pandelis.

Late afternoon we headed Main floor to go and watch Rinkadink, when we got to the dance floor somebody I didnt recognize walked up to me shouting ASHLEY and it was Pandelis! How awesome was that, we actually found them! We then met Jill and a bunch of their friends. We all ended up having a phat boogie to Rinkadink’s new music and then after that Burn in Noise.

We said good night to our new friends and headed back to our campsite to go and sleep, tomorrow was another day!

Day 8 – 3 January

The 3rd of January signified our last day of music, so we decided to make the most of the our time with our new friends from Sweden, US, Australia and many other countries. We went down to the main dance floor after a hearty lunch. We specifically went to see the following acts:

  1. Shiva Shandra
  2. Headroom
  3. Ital

What an amazing way to end off the festivities, when the sun dipped down and dark was upon us we said good bye to our new friends, then i took Barbara to go and sleep. That evening after Barbs went to sleep I walked to the band stage to watch a Brazilian band, they were incredible.

My last stop was to watch D-Nox at UP Club Stage, which was pumping, he played an awesome set. What a way to end my festival!!!!!

Day 9 – 4 January

We decided to wake up early and pack the tent before the sun started scorching us. We needed to catch a bus at around 9 to 9:30am. We grabbed our last festival pizza and açai as breakfast before boarding the bus. The bus drove us out of the festival and then dropped us off, just outside the festival gates, we were confused as to why we were stopping, well it seemed we needed to disembark.

We boarded another 3 busses and packed on then unpacked our bags, not quite sure why because the entire discussion was happening in Portuguese, this was highly frustrating. We eventually got on a bus that drove us to Camamue. Next we boarded a slow boat that was took us to our final destination which was Barra Grande.

When we arrived at the Barra Grande pier we were told the area was quite fully booked up with holiday makers and festival people. Barbs and I met an Indian couple Karan and Shaneez who also needed to find accommodation, so we teamed up. First things first, we grabbed a bite to eat where we could leave our women and then go hunting for a Pousada.

Karan and I walked around the entire area, we must have asked over 25 places if they had accommodation, but we got the same answer from all of them = NO! The sun was started to go down and we were loosing faith, but then we met a young woman who spoke English and offered to help us find a place.

The wonderfully helpful woman walked around with us for almost half an hour before we found an apartment that was available. The apartment was huge, it had a living area, big balcony, 2 bed rooms each with their own bathrooms, 3 airconditioners and a self catering kitchen. It was R$500 per night for the apartment, split four ways was not to expensive.

Karan and I went to fetch the women who were getting worried by this stage. We headed off to our new home for the next four days, where we could all have a decent shower and nights rest in a comfortable bed. We were all looking forward to a few days of relaxation and recovery, which was great way to end off after our incredible Universo Parallelo festival experience!

Cryptic Symmetry High Tech Gwaing Party

Drove to the party from the end of the Cape Pioneer, the organisers were the Cryptic Symmetry Records crew and the name of the party was Phantasmagory V4, very appropriate name.

Put up tent

Bike on back of car

Neighbors were rad

Sunset as amazing

Decor was dark

River amazing

Best sets for me were on Sunday morning, Killawatt (Byron), then Higherwattska (Byron and Corbin) and then Highstyle (Corbin), amazing music

Bangkok and Kachanaburi

We flew in from Bali on an AirAsia flight, Thailand is 1 hr ahead Bali, so we landed at 3pm in Don Meuang airport, after a 4 hr flight. We caught a metered taxi to Khoa San road area for about 350 Baht. It was a painless experience and we were super happy to be in Thailand. People in Thailand were so much more friendly than the crazy rude people in Kuta, Bali.

Our hotel, Vieng Thai, was in Rumbuttri road, a road was parrallel to the famous Khoa San road. As we stepped into Rumbuttri road we immediately bumped into a Singaporian friend of ours Dax. It felt like we were “home”! We stayed in Vieng Thai Hotel a few years before, so it was exciting to return to a place we had enjoyed previously.

Once we had checked in, we dropped our bags off, made ourselves comfortable and then we headed out into the surrounding streets for some exploration. Barbara wasn’t too interested in shopping, but I was amped to shop shop shop… I didn’t bring much in the way of clothing, so I went out looking for tshirts, shorts, underwear and whatever else caught my fancy. It was great fun to go shopping, made me feel like I was really on holiday! Fun fun fun….

In between everything I was chugging away at Chang beer, what we affectionately call “Chang O’Clock”! This also made me feel like I was on holiday! All the indicators were flashing, holiday holiday holiday!!!

I took Barbara to see where I had my Tatoo done and managed to convince her to get one done after the Moon Mountain Xmas party, when we returned to the Khoa San Road area.

Barbs and I took a nap before went to Ooze bar at 11pm. We popped in for an hour at Ooze bar to find out a bit more about the party that we were attending the next day. The Ooze bar team organize a party every 3-4 months in Kanchanaburi on house boats on a lake. The Xmas party signified 10 years of these parties, which meant it was going to be fairly big for a lake party, they expected 150-200 people.

We got some sleep, then woke up for breakfast at the hotel. I had to buy a few last supplies for the party, so I headed off for a mission, the main thing I needed was Benzine fuel for my little gas burner. Luckily I could get Benzine at a normal petrol station, this was because in Thailand some vehicles use Benzine as a fuel source, I found this interesting.

The busses to Kanchanaburi left at about 10am we were told, so we went to the meeting point and were herded to another point (a traffic circle) where more people gathered. There were about 150 hippies gathering on this traffic circle, that’s definitely one way to draw attention in Thailand, but nobody seemed to care much. The party goers were getting excited, specifically the crazy French group were getting messy… This proved to be the French theme over the next few days as the they drank themselves into a state.

The troop of trancies boarded the 3 busses, we tried to avoid the noisy (and smelly) French connection, but somehow were stuck with them, luckily they were downstairs. Our Singaporian friends were behind us on the bus, it was great to see them again. Directly opposite us was a guy called Dara, who is a Cambodian French guy, he was very interesting guy, we chatted to him for ages. The bus trip was about 4-5 hours long before we arrived at the lake in Kanchanaburi.

The 3 busses stopped in front of the lake, we all got off the busses and started to board the 6 house boats that were tied together. It was all very exciting! Once on the boats we decided to move closer to the back, so we could chill when we were sick of the music.

Earlier in the year i had done research on camping gear like 2 man tent, mattresses, pillows, gas cooker, pot, plate, bowl, knife / fork / spoon set, etc. We had brought all this stuff with us for the party. Our idea was the house boats would stay in one place, but the reality was the house boats were being dragged out into the lake. So we pitched our tent, setup our campsite and made friends with our neighbors Natalie (Canada) and Rhyo (Germany). There were people from about 20 countries attending the party! This would make for an interesting experience!

The lake was so beautiful, Barbs and I had never seen a party like this, interesting and exciting. As the house boats were being dragged across the lake we started to get merry. It was Xmas Eve, although it didn’t feel much like a Xmas environment. We had brought along some Vodka and strawberry juice mixer. What a great drink mix! We kept hitting the strawberry mix all night.

We met a guy called James Waller who played as Spirit Moon, we chatted to him for ages early on in the day, then he came on and played his set from about 8-10pm. Great music, sent us flying into the the evening. Not sure who played next, but the Scotty from Vuuv came on and played from about 12 till 3am. His music rocked, we were loving it! After that we were somewhat broken, so sleep, rest and rejuvenation was in order so we could party the next day and night.

The Xmas morning was a very different Xmas experience, I didn’t even think it was Xmas, then realizing “Oh yeah, it’s Xmas”, it was the most un-christmassie christmas ever. Hahahaha…. Good times!

The heat was turned up to the max with a solid dousing of humidity from at least 8am…. We could sleep in, it was too hot. The day was spent wiggling about on the dance floor intermittently, with a lot of swimming in between. It was great that we could just flop off the boats into the water whenever we wanted to. In between the swimming and the dancing we chatted to interesting traveller type people about their experiences around the world.

The day of lack of sleep, drinking, dancing and socializing took its toll on us, so we decided to hit the hay early…. I was in the hammock by 9pm and passed out for almost 10hours. Sleep is essential and we are never shy when it comes to sleeping.

Boxing day we knew we would be heading back in the afternoon sometime to Bangkok on the busses. The boats were moved a bit closer to our starting point, we arrived back at our starting point around 3:30pm and that’s when they turned off the music. All the party goers were bussed back to Bangkok in the same busses we arrived in.

After arriving back in Bangkok we checked back into Vieng Thai and grabbed our bags from the lockup room. Barbs was getting a tattoo done, so after a quick shower we headed out for some dinner and the down to the tattoo place. Barbara was getting her late father’s name “Jack” tattooed on her ribs. While she got her tattoo done I repacked bags and prepared for the next day’s trip to the islands.

I fetched Barbara around 11pm, the tattoo had been extremely painful and she was ready for bed! We promptly fell asleep after returning to our hotel room. Then woke up up at about 5:30am to head off to the airport. We were catching a 8:30am Bangkok Air flight to Koh Samui, when we checked in they offered us a 7:30am flight, so we took the flight, but that meant we had to move about arses to get to the plane in time.

Our Bangkok / Kanchanaburi trip was most successful, next up Koh Tao and Koh Phangan for a New Years festival and then some other parties! Woooooo……