MEADOWS IN THE MOUNTAINS
Dates: 7th - 10th June 2018
Location: Rhodopes Mountains, Bulgaria
Orpheus, the Greek god of music (and poetry), is said to have had this mountain range as his homeland. The exquisite Rhodope Mountains, in southern Bulgaria – just a few miles from the border with Greece – are certainly beautiful enough to inspire great art. Started just six years ago, nearly a thousand people now come to celebrate music and arts at the legendary Meadows in the Mountains festival, a hedonistic explosion of great sound and splendour.
High up in the crisp mountain air, one can listen to fantastic music and meet wonderful people from all over the world. With one of the firmest environmental policies of festivals worldwide, an appreciation and guardianship of nature permeate the collective conscience. It’s easy, when one is surrounded by exquisite forests, rugged peaks and wide pastures sprigged with endless wild flowers.
“Where the land touches the sky and the sun cuddles nature.”
In order to keep the mountain in its natural state; and ensure the festival is nothing but a good thing for the people who live on the mountain permanently, they have a few simple rules that are strictly adhered to. These involve leaving no trace, reducing carbon emissions and composting waste wherever possible. In order to offset carbon output, they work with global partners to plant trees in the tropics, where they will be of more use absorbing carbon. Currently, they are planting their first Meadows Forest in Nepal – festival goers donate to this cause in the name of the event’s environmentally friendly ethos.
The festival prides itself on its happy immersion with local culture. It is located close to the small village of Polkovnik Serafimovo, in an area that has been, over many hundreds of years, invaded by the Romans, Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great. It has lead to an abundant cultural diversity which is reflected not just by the people, but the architecture and traditions they follow.
There are two main stages; the Sunrise Slope and Sunset Valley. Here you can expect to hear a well chosen array of underground music in house, techno, jazz, folk; and more – and a healthy dollop of literature and spiritual studies too. Robust agricultural projects are in place growing delicious fresh food for festival attendees through local vendors.
All in all, they offer a weekend filled with joyful memories in a superbly beautiful setting. Guests are invited to “cast aside [their] daily woes, shrug off the binding chains of the 9-5 and indulge in a debauched weekend of mind-expanding experience, community and free spirit to skip through the fields and forests with untamed abandon and to lay with the fireflies and nighttime skies in the long grass.” And indeed they do.