Ibiza’s Psy-Trance movement is alive and well. A small but dedicated bunch of Psy-guys n gals continue to hold parties, some of which take the original illegal underground guise, but increasingly in times of regulation and restriction, their venues are more ‘normal’. Every couple of months or so they descend upon Shooters in Cala de Bou, a most unlikely home perhaps but one at least that allows them to party on—and they do know how to party—which is mainly on the terrace amid the pungent aromas of … well you get the idea. The latest was 8th August from when I took these photos, look up S:S Stardust Vibration (what else could it be called?) for more.
A while back we were lucky enough to be invited to one of the mythical forest parties—and it went a little something like this …
[quote_box_right]Paul Oakenfold on Early Forest Trance Parties: We did a Perfecto party once in the North of the Island at a secret location. Myself, Sasha and John Digweed were playing at Privilege the night before and we just handed out a load of flyers for it. Word spread about and 5,000 people turned up. We had to do the usual for a free party in the middle of nowhere by painting rocks different colours and using them for directions. It was amazing, we had the biggest DJs at the time playing until 11am. Not really sure how we got away with it to be honest. See full interview here Oakenfold Interview[/quote_box_right]
Having been sworn to secrecy we met in a Car Park miles from anywhere (by which I mean the North of the Island), and having confirmed that the morse-code-esque flash of the minibus headlights did not mean we had stumbled into some mass hippy dogging session, we were whisked around country lanes for 10 minutes in an entirely successful attempt to disorientate us. We then disembarked with other revellers ranging from our virgin state to those that seemed to approach the whole affair with an obsession that could only be described as geek. After a good kilometre or so—by when we were wishing we had enough geek in us to have brought one of their torches and stout walking boots/rucksack instead of the, well basically just a couple of carrier bags full of bottles that clinked to announce audibly to everybody our hopeless newbie status whenever we tripped over a rock, stump or stoned hippy.
Our route through the woods and hills was directed by fluorescent painted stones, arrows fixed in the boughs of trees, and the odd helpful pixie and goblin along the way (I wonder what was in that flask of tea we all shared at the car park).
Some way off our destination you could hear the unmistakeable thud of bass, further still and the higher frequencies came in range.
I suppose I was expecting one or two hundred watts running from a vw camper with a few friendly souls around the place. In fact there were hoards of hippies. Is Hoard the correct collective for hippies? Pride of Lions, a murder of Crows, Hoard of Hippies? Sounds a bit aggressive. I like the sound of a Happening of Hippies. So there was this huge happening of hippies (it works) but it was the equipment and staging that really got me. OK for all we knew 5 meters in the other direction could have been a main road but the way we had come made it feel like we were in the middle of nowhere. There was a huge sound system, massive bass bins, a lighting rig of impressive effect and the entire forest clearing in a natural hollow of the land was surrounded by huge decorated backdrops (lots more of that fluorescent paint and trippy patterns that reminded me of afternoons as a 15 year old sitting round Dale Jarrod’s listening to Ozric tentacles whilst feigning enthusiasm at colouring in his similarly drawn cassette covers knowing that our reward would soon be handed round in an inhalable form).
Really the whole set up was amazing. What really seems incredible in Ibiza’s anti-everything-music and denuncia culture was that there could be a spot isolated enough to escape the reach of a party pooper.
Talking of party pooper the toilet facilities were rather less impressive —but it did seem kind of cute to have a separate girls bush area and boys bush area – though any preference as to which gender’s faeces and piss I would rather stand in would be marginal at best (if pushed girl’s obviously, they being considerably less ghastly than men in such matters).
One top tip is to take some toilet paper, you might not need it but you could strike up a pretty good trade with a desperate hippy who has lived on nothing but organic prune and sprout casserole for the last week. You might even get to swap it for some of that delicious tea. Also take more drink. However much you think take more. Lots of waiting around in car parks and cross country trekking left our copious supplies severely depleted on arrival and other than a lactating cosmic earth mother alternatives were slim. Finally do not expect hippies to practice what they preach when it comes to the end and there is one minibus and a few hundred people to get away from the area. It turned into a bun fight just as bad as the last Disco Bus from Amnesia—far more push n shove than peace n love.
Then of course there was the music. I would really, really, love to love it, but I don’t. If Psy Trance is your thing you must get to a forest party. Ask about—it’s the way they do things.