Bali Spirit Festival, Ubud Bali 2025 Dates TBD

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Pre-Festival Pechakucha

Aho Bali Spirit!

The Conscious Hipster is appearing as a guest blogger this week fresh and living full of Bali Spirit.

As Ubud “The New Age Capitol of The World” becomes even more flooded with Global Yogis, Gurus and Clean, Conscious Living Enthusiasts…I am gearing up for an even steeper learning curve as my patience will surely by tried and tested and even more preacher teachers showup with a desire to tell me that everything I thought I knew about life and living was bullshit and that I have so much more work to do in order to be anywhere near enlightened, awakened or conscious… Bring it on!

I am ready to learn and grow and expand, also to be of service this week. I am open to magic in all it’s shapes and forms and excited to meet some of the talent, icons and experts who are arriving in town for the festival.

It was awesome to experience the Ted like Pechakucha presentations at Betelnut last night, designed to appeal to those of us who are sonically oriented (through the talks), visually oriented (through the slideshows) and probably also kinesthetically oriented through the Q &A’s. All the presenters were truly gutsy strong public speakers, and inspiring in their heartfelt presentations delivered in under 7 minutes!

I was delighted to see old friend (first meeting nearly 20 years ago in London) Jamie Catto, who had jetted in fro the U.K and headed pretty much straight onto the stage after 25 hours of travelling- what a trooper.

Jamie stepped up to share his humility and vulnerability and to be completely honest about how rough raw and even dark he was feeling. Not what you would expect someone to deliver after travelling so far to show up, however that is his style being really very real, risking being very unliked and encouraging other to explore and embrace the shadows and the shame and the ick in our personas. I adore him as a filmmaker, a musician and even more as a change catalyst. So naturally I was delighted to welcome him to Ubud with the gift of a fresh young coconut to drink.

Tahir Faridi from Canada was so kind and lovely and his Sufi music was really beautiful. Baba Kauna had such a strong presence and some seriously wise words about being kind to nasty people as they are very likely hurting.

Local Ubudian Human Reuben delivered some funny minimalist life observations through his art and graphic textisms. I congratulated him afterwards and he replied “Thanks bro” excuse me but wtf? I definitely don’t look like a man…do I? Ouch!

A voice jumped in to casually defend me saying “You’re beautiful girl, ignore that”.

It was a musician called Dustin Thomas who had appeared on the sofa behind us with a guitar. We got chatting a little bit and then a man appeared saying “Dustin you’re on” and he jumped up to start performing.

He completely blew me away- not only because he stood up for me out of nowhere when I was being momentarily dissed by the human art sandwich but because his style, his voice and his tunes were so completely brilliant. I am totally one hundred percent certain that Dustin Thomas is going to go far. He deserves it because he sticks up for random people, because he is one of a kind, because he is very talented and his songs are great. Whilst he was singing I couldn’t help but jump up and dance to the beats and I was thinking of how Island Records Chris Blackwell needs to sign him up or maybe Geoff Travis from Rough Trade Records…

I wondered if I was feeling similarly to what Chris must have felt when he first discovered the talent of Bob Marley in Jamaica.

Dustin’s got a belter of a voice a quirky emotive folk twang fused with a beatboxing rap edge and he looks like a Peter Pan Beethoven. I immediately bought his album after the gig and he didnt seem to mind how much people wanted to pay for it, he was happy to accept donations- what a col dude. I stayed on to catch the live set by another Ubud local talent Greta Orion who delivered some quirky love songs in a powerful, melancholic tone. I particularily     liked the one about sex on a volcano under the moon (appropriate as it was also a full moon last night). Greta looks like an angelic childlike mixture of Sinead O’Connor and a Budhhist Nun and sounds like a mix of Coco Rosie and Nouvelle Vague….and well otherworldy sound references I haven’t yet heard in pop music such as alien tonining and miaowing.

If this pre festival wowness gives a taste of things to come with so much talent and freshness in town then I am definitely excited for what lies ahead.

Also on a footnote, I had breakfast at Kafe this morning and who came bouncing in but Dustin Thomas himself- this seemed kismet and he took some time to sit down and tell me a bit more about himself and his life and musical story. Unsurprisingly, he’s been involved with music as an artist and manager for years and he’s had all sorts of major labels pursue him too. He has chosen to keep it real and follow his intuition and heart rather then sign on, take orders and follow the money. I imagine that with the right label backing him he will become a global superstar and more importantly he is the type of talent I really wish to see touring the major festivals and performing for millions because he is conscious, authentic, smart and charismatic enough to truly make mainstream and the pop world a brighter and better place. Give the man a big global stage, he is a true survivor of some painful hardships and a free spirited joy to be around. He is in one word AMAZING.

Photo by TCH

Below is the press release I wrote for the event with all the info on the presenters plus some pics and links to their websites.


In the run up to the Bali Spirit Festival, we are really excited to deliver an evening of short inspirational audio visual presentations.

The brief:

You have precisely 6 minutes and 40 seconds and 20 visual slides to tell a story- Go!

This pre-spirit fest event will be held at Ubud’s iconic Betelnut which boasts a chic two story interior, comfy lounge seating, cocktail bar and the best audio visual system in town. It is also a venue renowned for being the local and expat regular live music hotspot.

This Pechakucha event will feature Bali Spirit Festival presenters as well as local Ubud Superstars.

This is an evening designed to inspire you through listening, thinking and deep discussion before we get our groove on and start moving every day in celebration of physicality and wonder at the Bali Spirit Festival 2014

Book your tickets in advance to ensure you get a seat as this event is sure to sellout.

Live music in the courtyard by: Dustin Thomas & Greta Orion

“What is hated was once loved”

by African dance sensation Baba Kauna


by Sufi musician & yogi Tahir Faridi Qawwal

Photo by Ulrike Reinhold

“Transformational Typography”

by Artist & Thinker Human Ruben

“Innovation spaces in Africa”

by green solutions advisor and expert Markos Lemma

“Africa Moo Balu”

by African-inspired musicians SouSou & Maher


by award-winning producer, filmmaker, musician and transformational workshop Guru Jamie Catto

Written by : The Conscious Hipster 


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