BSF-I had a blast!
I am a bit behind now on the blogging- how has this happened…Have I been having too much fun at The Bali Spirit Festival? YES!
Today is now post BSF and I still have two incredible days to write about. Currently pondering whether to split it into two blogs or smush it into
It’s been an intense, inspiring and fulfilling experience to be involved in the “machine” of the festival, to see the inner workings as the wheels
churn to make this magical experience unique for everyone attending. It’s also been a fun challenge to attend every musical gig in order to write
about it. When this particular challenge was set, I immediately thought of a dear old friend in London- Chris Salewicz one of the original writers
at the NME and author of official biographies on so many musicians from Bob MArley to Paul McArtney. Yes, I imagine Chris in his early days attending
so any gigs to write about them for the NME and in a way he was my muse in attending this festival as a music blogger.
If you would like to keep up with my shenannigans post Bali spirit Festival, you can follow my weekly blog which is a a diary style reflection on an
array of subjects “From Pop-Culture to Mindfulness and everything in between” The Conscious Hipster
So, back to the story of my last days at the BSF…
It began with attending a press conference on the theme of “Sound Healing” which was very poignant for me personally as I have been gathering interviews
and doing photoshoots with the Sound Healer’s of Ubud and beyond as an anthropological/documentation and study of “Sound Healing”. So, attending
a press conference on the theme of Sound Healing was intriguing and exciting for me. The panel consisted of musicians and shamans and healers including
Rob Webber (BSF co-founder/music director and lead singer/producer of Garden Underground), Shervin Boloorian founder of the Bali Sound Healer’s
Collective, Harmony Polo, Awahoshi Kawan, Joseph, Pepe Danza and Antonio Abagnano. As a panel, it was a bit of a revolving door with different
people coming and going throughout. I also noticed that there were many sound healers in the audience asking questions too, including a woman who
was banging on a tuning fork and holding it to her head and heart throughout the entire thing.
I then made my way over to setup a camera and film as a favour to Harmony Polo who was leading a Oneness meditation experience workshop which featured,
Catherine Sherwenka, Punnu Wasu, Nick Wallaki and Amma Sophia Rose. We were led through three different very powerful meditations and supported
to release mental, physical and emotional blocks and obstacles. Although I was mostly behind the camera and filming/photographing, I engaged with
parts of the meditations and at one pint when the “Oneness Band” were all jamming and chanting and Harmony lifted off into some channeled “Light
language” I felt as though they were all really the embodiment of earth angels, all beautiful compassionate , heart-centered and conscious souls-
representing high vibrations and virtuous, conscious living. As I relaxed into sivansana towards the end, I felt tears streaming from my eyes and
was certain that there was an emotional release and some deep healing taking place. I also felt waves of gratitude to each of those beautiful angles
leading the powerful healing experience and deep admiration to them all for cosing to live a life of passion and integrity with a dedication to
compassion and ending the suffering of the mind.
It was really lovely to see Nick Wallaki shine in a more spiritual context too, as I have seen him few times rocking out on stage as one of Bali’s
rising stars- so this consciousness context surround by earth angels speakinglight language or in Catherines case- a meditation which involved
channel gurus and reflecting the emtotions she could see in the eyes of others brought the concept of high vibrations to a whole new level.
As the sun began to set over Purnati Arts Centre, I found myself squashed deep in the middle of a very Ubud-style “Cuddle puddle- think I don’t know
how many people piled up on top of me and a few others- being squashed by unconditional love-mmmm and it felt so good!
That evening I arrived intentionally in time to catch my by now beloved Dustin Thomas do his thing on stage. The fact that he plays a short set every
night of this festival is such a treat, though I look forward to a time when I get to sit and listen to his entire album “Mountain High” as a live
set! Something that came to mind this evening was that he must come to England and play at The Secret Garden Party and or Bestival- heck why not
Glastonbury too if he’s in the U.K…so any U.K promoters out there- book this man for the summer festivals and he will rock the crowds with his
beatboxing, strumming and conscious rapping…like a creative love-child of Bob Marley and Tracey Chpman. He is just brilliant!
I then danced my flipflops off to Oka who took us on a journey of world sound fusiomns with an undercurrent of drum n bass flavoured beats.
MY body and mind felt pretty wiped out at this point as a slunk off home.
The next day I made my way once again to Purnati and found Lynne Franks with her grandchildren- the daughters of Jamie Catto and Jessica Howie (all
good friends from London). So it became a real girle day as we had a picnic lunch in the art tent and the girls got stuck into some painting and
Lynne and I got a chance to have a proper catchup. She is such a powerhouse and a real inspiration as she embodies a ssucessfull transition from
PR Guru in the fashion and music world to Empowerment Guru, Ethical and Women’s Business Consultant and Consciousness Facilitator. It was really
great to sit down for a proper chat and to spend some time with the “future” the next generation- aged 11 and 6 (complete with adorable wobbly
tooth about to fall out).
After a divine swim in a lush tropical garden at Lynne’s Ubud Oasis, we all headed over to a gathering of “Alchemy of Breath” a group of breathworkers
at a place called The Ark, owned and run by Antony Abbagnano (who also took part in the Sound Healing panel discussion).
The young girls and I gorged on delicious chocolate mousse and danced around the beautiful space as several people jammed on some guitars and sacred
insturments. It was interesting to meet a gathering of breathworkers all very calm and zen, with sparkling and mostly blue eyes. Breathwork seems
to be a very “trending” or zeitgit word at the moment. I have experienced breathwork in various forms over the years and studied Satori Breathwork
with Dawn Delgado a few years ago on a “Transformation Vacation” at Desa Seni. Breathwork is very powerful and I have had the honour of holding
breathwork sessions one on one with several of my private yoga or coaching clients over the years. One client said to me “It’s like 10 years of
therapy in ten minutes” which is a brilliant quote to sumamrise the depths that can be explored through breathwork one on one or even more powerful
perhaps in a group setting (as you can be triggered by the sounds of other people crying, shouting or laughing all around you throughout).
I then made my way for the last of the Bali Spirit Festival musical extravaganzas and this time arrived intentionally on time to cheer on and absorb
the greatness of BSF Music Director Rob Webber’s “Community project” and jam band “Garden Underground”. IT began with a trio including Devotional
singer Karnamrita chanting whilst dustin Thomas beatboxed and a bearded hottie played an unusual tinkly possibly African instrument (yikes- someone
help me out here please with the name of the hottie and the instrument he was playing?) Then the full band came onstage and they all rocked it
big time and worked the crowds into a dancing frenzy with a slick world music set heavy on the latin flavours and so many beautiful and familiar
Ubud faces on that stage. I mean how many festivals have a Director cool and talented enough to get on stage with original material and explode
the crowd into dancing delight?
Then after the big band left the stage Dustin Thomas reappeared much to mine and everyone else’s delight and gave us a few more beautiful and conscious
songs as he danced through the crowds singing and high-fiving everyone and hopping back up on stage to do some of his by now trademark skankin
and conscious lyrical waxing- just adore this shiny star if you can’t tell by all my glowing reviews!
Then things got kind of quiet, almost rverental as Xavier Rudd came on and set up to perform. This was my first time hearing Xavier Rudd’s music and
it was so fascinating to experience his stellar mix of channeled wisdom, multi-instrument jamming and pedal effected sounds which took his pretty
much one man band into highly produced music territory from reggae to rock to heavy head banging at times ( with an awesome drummer accompanied
him through most of it). If one artst really shone this year it was him hitting the nail on the head for all things spirit, sun, surf, beats and
It was an epic end to a beautiful festival and I apologise for squashing the last two days into one blog but I am now running to shoot a music video
with Danny Paradise and then there’s the volunteer celebration dinner tonight at The Yoga Barn- wow…maybe tomorrow I’ll sleep in and take it
easy, but when life is this good, this inspiring, this full of joy, music, connection and spirit….why would I want to stop for even a moment.
BSF and everyone who has inspired me or been a part of my personal journey over these last few days…I thank you with deep deep gratitude and hope
to see you next year!
Written by : The Conscious Hipster