read part one here.
As a bit of a festival fanatic I was sceptical when I read a review of MITM that proclaimed, “Rather than redefining the idea of a festival, Meadows is a reminder of what a real festival is”... However upon arrival in the remote village of Polkovnic Serafmovo I began see what the fuss was about.
We arrived at the festival site a few days early but most of the work was done already; carpenters had built the whole site from wood they had sourced locally; stages, viewing platforms, stalls, tree houses and even a giant wooden horse you could climb. The site is permanent and these structures stay in place all year long, meaning they can be built upon every year. Meadows prides itself on this sustainable attitude; “One of the things that makes meadows different is that it is extremely environmentally conscious, there’s a strong awareness of its impact on both environment and people, for example there was no plastic on the festival site last year” Rhi told me.
The aesthetics in ways are similar to those of Secret Garden Party or Wilderness festival in the UK, this is unsurprising as its probably much of the same crew… but even the most beautiful spots in the UK could never compare to being at the very summit of a mountain in Bulgaria.
I was out there painting faces for Miss Lippy, as their foreign ambassadors whilst the bosses worked at Gottwood. We spent the first couple of days on site building our stall.. literally building the tables and furniture! We also adorned it with some pretty fabrics and flowers and I did a bit of sign paitning for Gypsy East which you can see below.
The actual festival started on Friday with music split across two stages, the Main Stage which hosted an eclectic mix of acoustic, hip-hop, soul acts (including my pal Lucie) and the Sunrise Stage for dance music. It's called the sunrise stage for a reason... the music carries on until 9 am and there is the perfect view of the sun as it rises over the opposite mountain. This is definitely the best part of the festival - feeling the sun come up whilst sitting above the clouds and gazing over an untouched Bulgarian landscape is an experience quite unlike anything else.
Meadows in the Mountains is an example of a different kind of festival with hedonistic, utopian ideals; working on the principles laid down by the legendary Burning Man in the Nevada Desert. It has the distinct lack of commercialism that festivals like Glastonbury have been unable to keep up as much as they would like. It’s a chance to meet likeminded people but without completely removing yourself from the inescapable local culture. It’s also a chance to be able to enjoy an incredible yet remote site with its natural beauty amplified. Tickets are still on sale for this year, definitely one not to miss.