The Voov Experience comes to London!
Reported by Jessica Alici
Submitted 10-04-18 17:41
VooV Festival, Germany is celebrating an incredible 26 years on 20th July 2018! Ahead of their legendary four-day festival this summer, on 20 April 2018, they’re kindly bringing a little taster of this epic festie to London - to whet our appetite! We caught up with Hannah & Yedi, the main organisers of VooV, to find out more about these efficacious events!
Firstly, can you tell us about how VooV was originally formed... where did the inspiration come from?
Well, this is probably the most important question, so please let me answer a little extensively. Today’s Psy-trance festivals wouldn’t exist without the Goa trance history. Goa was a Portuguese colony more than 400 years ago, maybe that's why the psy scene is so big in Portugal. Goa became part of India very late in the sixties, and it happened with military action. The population of Goa didn’t resist with violence, instead they developed a more peaceful and esoteric culture in that region. The first “Goa parties” started in the 60s and 70s with psychedelic rock music. Later on, reggae was added. In this time, a peaceful community developed in Goa, people started to exchange their products and handcrafted goods with each other, ganja was legal, and the Vietnam war and the conservative politics of the time brought many social drop-outs to India who created a unique atmosphere in Goa.
The first electronic Goa parties started at the end of the eighties, when DJs like Goa Gil started to play electronic music. Dancing oneself into a state of trance became easier with techno. In the beginning of the nineties, techno music especially from Germany became more popular and Goa music became faster and more danceable, and Goa trance developed into psytrance and progressive trance music.
People who came back from Goa started to organize gatherings in Germany and other countries in the early nineties, and more and more people came together to enjoy that spirit. The German Goa community was most effective in developing the sound, decoration and spirit of the psytrance scene. Many popular DJs and live acts came from Hamburg, Berlin or Cologne, so it was only natural that some of the members of that early scene started to organize the VooV in 1991, which quickly drew more and more people.
Our inspiration stems from the same source that is the reason why so many people like to dance to this kind of music: we feel deeply that there is a transcendental part of the body which you can discover when you dance yourself into a trance. And this ability to experience transcendence is given to all humans, it makes us equal no matter what race, culture or nationality and it connects us on a fundamental level.
The festival has been going for 26 years now – congratulations – that’s a huge achievement! What’s your secret?
There is no secret. On the contrary, people come to our festival because we are as open and welcoming as possible, trying to connect with people. We feel like members of a worldwide family, free from prejudices and full of love in our hearts for all the original beauty in humans and nature.
Tell us about the crew & how you collaborate to make it all come together?
Our crew is a bunch of wonderful people from all over the world who bring their love and their work together. We care for each other all the time, not only at the festival. Most of the team have been friends for many years, and every year we get to know beautiful new members who take part by bringing in their talents and their professions to create the festival together. Everybody has special skills, from electricians to stage constructors and helpers, everybody taking care to create a familiar atmosphere for the festival people. We keep in contact all year, exchanging information and ideas, listening to music and going to nice psytrance parties.
The VooV festival boasts an idyllic forest pond, where the chillout & workshop area are close by. That sounds great, what can we expect from that place?
The festival site is situated in a small forest right next to a beautiful pond, and especially in the night, we create a spectacular chill out area with water installations and lights decorations. In the daytime, the workshop area is integrated into the chillout space to provide an alternative to the high-level party energy, a place to relax and become calm.
Eco-management seems very important to you guys, tell us about this?
For us, nature is sacred. We have a responsibility for all plants, the big trees, the water and the living inhabitants. We try to minimize the impact of our technical and decorative installations. The time of the VooV festival is chosen especially from the foresters and nature conservationists to avoid any harm to birds and other inhabitants of the forest.
The biggest part of our crew during and after the festival is the waste disposal team. They are busy 24 hours to make sure the festival site is and stays clean. We installed a successful waste deposit system in which each visitor does his or her part, and at the entrance we give everybody pocket ashtrays for free. In our festival guide and before in social media, we inform about waste prevention and management at the festival. We try to let everybody feel the responsibility for maintaining a clean environment. As a part of our philosophy of protecting the environment, we also have a strictly vegetarian policy for all food stalls in the market street.
You’re bringing VooV Festival to London for an awesome pre-party on 20 April 2018 at Bloc, London. What made you want to bring the party to the UK?
First of all, there is a fantastic psytrance community in England. Over the years, we have made many friends here, and you can see in our line-up that we have a powerful representation of English artists at this year’s VooV. It has been our wish for a long time to realize a VooV party in London – now it’s happening, and we are so excited and happy about this!
What can UK clubbers expect from this experience?
Together with our friends from England Furthur Events https://www.facebook.com/furthurevents/ we will give you a great taste of our VooV experience! Excellent DJs and fantastic artists will create a miraculous party with some special surprises that will blow you away!
The London party has an awesome line up: Rinkadink, Dickster, Nikki S, M-Theory, Hamish & Miles from Anywhere. Tell us what you look for in an artist when compiling a line up…
Of course we have high expectations in terms of skill and professionalism after so many years. So talent and quality is a must, but what we also look for in an artist is what they bring to the festival as human beings – their open-mindedness, their friendliness, their sense of humour. So when we compile a line up, apart from taking care who plays what and when, we actually do it quite similarly to organizing a family party with close friends: we want to create a special spirit and an atmosphere of love, and everybody contributes! So when we meet artists who touch not only our ears but also our hearts, we feel like we get to know a new family member. We respect their commitment and their active role in creating an awesome party. All of them are creating great and wonderful music, but if they also have a wonderful character, this transfers a mystical energy to the dancing crowd.
Décor seems an important feature at your events. This year you’re using Mae & Moa for the main festival in Germany as well as the London pre-party. Tell us about their work…
MAE & MOA are one of the greatest decoration teams in the psytrance world. They have an incredible creative talent, having been a huge influence on many other deco teams all over the world for decades. For us, their creations are not merely decoration, this is art. We have been working with them since the beginnings, when we met at hidden forests in 1991 for small parties and gatherings. They are an international team of artists from France, Germany, England and South Africa, preparing their huge but filigree artworks in their workshop in Vienna. For some impressions of their work, make sure to check out their facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/MaeMoadeco/
What do you think are the most crucial factors when choosing a venue & location for your events?
When we look for location, we try to imagine how it can be transformed into a marvellous space for dancing to trance music. A good indoor location should have balanced proportions and if it has this special aura, then it’s really a place where miracles can be created.
Of course, the greatest locations are outside in nature, or let’s say at the border between civilization and pure nature, since there should always be areas (the more the better) that are really left alone by humans and their dancing frenzy!
With the current VooV festival site, we believe we have found a place that combines all the beautiful aspects of what we need to experience music and dance in the middle of mystical nature without us being too much of a nuisance.
What is your vision for VooV Festival this year, what are your hopes & dreams for the event?
Our vision and mission is to create a festival where everybody enjoys art, music and nature. A festival where people of all cultures and countries can meet and cooperate with each other. A place where we can feel freedom and harmony for some days, enjoy music with love in our hearts, experience a sense of unity that is full of respect for each other. Our hope is that everybody can take some of their lovely experience back to their daily lives.
Basically, what we wish for is summed up in these words from the prayer for peace:
We are one global family. All colors, all races, one world united. Let us dance for peace and the healing of our planet Earth, peace for all nations, peace for our communities and peace within ourselves.
To buy tickets for VooV Indoor London click here:
Voov Indoor London:
Images courtesy of VooV promoters and artists. Not to be reproduced without permission.
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