Stories, thoughts, observations, rants and dribble. Just another of my attempts to keep the interested people informed ...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Episode 12: In which I review SoulClipse

Location: SoulClipse
Date: 26/03-01/04/2006

Disclaimer: This isn't as thorough a review as I would like to provide, but bullet points help with time constraints and readability.

In general I had a great time at SoulClipse, but this has to be due to the following:
  • the fabulous, interesting, tolerant, organised and fun group of people I was with (and also those I met along the way)
  • loads of sunshine to offset the storms
  • the eclipse itself
  • my lack of knowledge of the trance genre, which meant I was never disappointed by scheduling, cancelling etc
  • my strangely increased tolerance for camping
I have a lot of gripes about the way that things were organised, communicated and implemented by the organisers, but there were also some disappointing behaviours from fellow festie-goers. The main ones are as follows:
  • not providing any notice that daylight savings was to start the day most people would depart for/arrive at the site
  • ticket exchange booth:
    • having the ticket/wristband exchange ridiculously far away from the site and not telling people they can still drive on after (i.e. we lost our driver and van)
    • not having signs up early in the morning so people drove right past and had to go all the way back
    • having a very unorganised shuttle system to the site from there
  • actual site:
    • most of the camping areas within flood plains of an obviously swollen river
    • main stage collapse (see Episode 5)
    • lack of communication with regards to scheduling of acts etc
    • marketplace prices extortionate (also found out that food vendors were banned from offering tea and coffee, a large part of Turkish culture)
    • toilets badly planned and revolting
      • supposedly composting toilets just large (too shallow) pits with 6 plywood squat cubicles hovering on two-by-fours (built by volunteers!)
      • above toilets flooded during heavy rain
      • western toilets available, for a ridiculous 1 YTL each time
    • drinking water ran out
    • supposed recycling stations were not labelled correctly
  • further issues, moral and otherwise:
    • free eclipse glasses not handed out until the morning of the event, meaning many people had already paid for those for sale on site
    • information booth didn't have much information, and shuttle buses were expensive
    • volunteers treated badly, left unfed, badly organised - many quit which left less people to do things like clean up rubbish
    • festival purported to be environmentally focused, yet most vendors provided plastic or polystyrene containers
    • groundrules not enforced until too late (see below)
  • problems with the punters (especially considering how hippified most of them looked):
    • rubbish everywhere, from the first day onwards, even thrown into the toilet pits
    • fires lit in national park grounds, even though forbidden (I admit partial fault, but we were only told off on the 5th day)
    • scant clothing and public nudity, despite local custom for people to cover up
    • as an alternative to the disgusting squat toilets, people turned the hillside forest into one huge latrine - learn how to go in the wild people: dig a hole and/or take your toilet paper with you!
Even considering all of this though, I have to say the people made it worthwhile. I won't necessarily attend the Indigo Kids' next endeavour, but at least the only way they can go is upwards and forwards ...

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