Boom Festival Transforms Hearts and Minds in Portugal

by Akhil Kalepu

Jul 3, 2017

© Anna Omelchenko | Dreamstime

Trends / Spring Break

The EDM high is starting to come down for many people introduced to the wonders of electronic music at festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival and Ultra. While the mainstream fad dies down, plenty of novice ravers seek out events that uphold the progressive values of the underground dance community.

In Portugal, that outlet takes the form of Boom Festival, a self-described transformational festival that started as a psytrance event in 1997. While it’s firmly rooted in the rave scene, Boom has grown beyond a simple concert, focusing on wellness, sustainability and art, filling the space between EDC and mindfulness conferences like Wanderlust.

Much of the soundtrack is dedicated to psytrance, always associated with the hippie scene, so you’re not going to find any corporate logos. Everything is funded by ticket sales, which pay for an extensive sustainability program that earned its organizers two environmental awards and an invitation from the United Nations to raise awareness about the planet through music.

If you’re not trying to rave, there are four other stages playing a variety of music for your mood. The Sacred Fire stage is popular for its world music and natural trance performers, who use traditional, acoustic instruments to recreate the transformational music used by indigenous shamans. Alchemy Circle has underground dance while the Funky Beach features a variety of mainstream EDM sounds.

Boom is a biennial festival, so the next one is in 2018. Check out the website to stay up to date on the upcoming event.


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