A few weeks ago, Avner and I went to Boom Festival. This is a festival that I’d been wanting to check out for many years. Now, we live only 30 minutes away from it.
Leading up to the festival, Avner and I didn’t particularly feel excited about it. After attending many Burning Man events, festivals just don’t excite us so much anymore. But since it’s right next to us, we knew we had to check it out.
The 7-Day Boom Festival happens in the city of Idanha-A-Nova in central Portugal. The land of Boom is massive! There’s a big lake in the middle of it. The event is very well-organized. There are different types of camping areas, stages, and zones. Their cashless system works wonders. We can pay for stuff using our wristband and top-ups are easy and fast. There are tons of food vendors selling food from many countries and even a supermarket! Oh, and their compost toilets are the cleanest toilets I’ve ever seen at an outdoor event! Well done Boom! 👏
The theme of the festival this year is Radical Love and it could definitely be felt throughout the festival. 40,000 people from 169 countries got together to experience the power of community. I could see people from all walks of life. From psytrance lovers to tantra hippies to 3-generation Portuguese families, no matter how we looked or where we came from, everyone treated each other with respect and love. I’ve never felt so much harmony within such a big diverse group of people.
The first 3 days of the festival, Avner and I were mostly on our own. We would go to the beach, dip in the lake, enjoy fruit cups and acai ice cream. We would walk around the venue and marvel at the art, gardens, and the infrastructure Boom has built in the last 20 years. We were truly impressed by what they are creating. We took many pictures and got a lot of inspiration for our land.
On the 4th day, we met up with my friend Scott and he introduced us to his group of friends. From here, our festival took a turn! Luckily, we clicked instantly with everyone in the group. Most of them knew each other from Shang Hai and 3 of them also lived on Koh Phangan (small world!). It was refreshing to feel like we belonged to a big family. We saw each other every day after. It’s crazy how fast people can bond and feel like we’ve known each other forever. We danced, we chilled, we talked, and got to know each other. It truly felt like a family. We were so happy to have met this amazing group of people!
After the festival ended, some of them came to visit our land and we spent a few days together visiting places around. Avner and I still couldn’t stop talking about how grateful we are to have met them and know that we will be friends for a long time. We are already planning our next adventures together and still texting each other often.
I titled this blog “The Power of People” because the experiences I mentioned above wouldn’t have that much impact without the people. People make the place. It’s the people we connect with on our journey that leaves forever memories in our heart. When people come together to form a family or a community, we do things for each other, we share what we have, we think and care for one another – these are the things that matter the most in lives, or at least in my life. I always feel a tremendous energy and like a dormant power inside me awakens whenever I get to contribute, share, and mingle with the people around me. In times like this, I feel truly alive and blessed!