Soulclipse gathering the Trance Tribe
Date: Apr 9, 2006
Review and photos of the total solar eclipse event in Turkey
Soulclipse gathering the Trance Tribe
Every couple of years we have the chance to witness an extraordinary natural incident: A total solar eclipse. In alignment the moon sheds the sun and throws a shadow on earth, which leaves us a couple of minutes in darkness. In earlier times priests and kings were using this effect to extend their power. Nowadays the trance scene gathers with so-called „Eclipse chasers“ (people that travel the world to see every eclipse) for an extraordinary party!
It all started in 1999 when a character, as extraordinary as the eclipse of that year, organized the first big trance eclipse party in Hungary. He called himself Shakespeare, Fish or Coconut and he chose the names wisely: He could talk very well and convince anybody; he was slippery as a fish and persistent as a coconut. He obviously needed those characteristics to realize his great dream of a massive trance eclipse party, which would not be forgotten for years. About 13,000 people came and had a week of peace, bliss, dance and neo-spiritualism.
Two years later the total solar eclipse hit Africa and dauntless Shakespeare organized a trance party in the center of Africa, Zambia. Although the place was absolutely remote and no Trancer has ever stepped a foot on Zambia before, still 2000 people came.
Besides of tricky eclipses in arctic regions we had to wait five years to enjoy the next incident of this kind. And like a dragon waiting for his challenger the 2006 total solar eclipse found an adequate group that dared to put everything on one card and organize a massive trance event that would unite the worldwide trance tribe and present the biggest lineup ever: Indigokids from Israel organized the 7-day festival Soulclipse in Turkey.
I arrived on Monday afternoon to the festival ground that was beautifully set in a natural reserve. I put my tent on the lush grass and was looking forward to see the “Whirling Dervishes” that are in fact a trance tribe much older then ours and would open the dancefloor. But the initiation of the festival occurred different than planned. The whirling dervishes came as a storm and drowned the whole festival in water and ice (it didn’t rain frogs though). Grass fields became lakes; tents became boats and the massive 15-meter-high main stage collapsed with all the speakers, light equipment and deco to a big scrap heap. We came for Mother Nature – and Mother Nature saluted us!
After the disaster everybody was a bit unsure if he should laugh or cry. Most of us did both. But besides of all the wet clothes, sleeping bags (and ever worse: papers!) a special feeling of unity developed: We are all together in this and we’ll stay together until the end! Shouts of thousands echoed through the valley and when after some hours the first base drum sounded from the second stage we could be sure that life would go on! And so we went to were the beat pound!
Eclipse parties have a special attractiveness to people and especially trance people. It offers that chance to combine a nice party with a unique natural incident. And it can’t happen everywhere as the “eclipse corridor” is usually just about a hundred kilometers broad. Therefore (and for the lineup) at least 7,000 people gathered in Turkey, a place where every bigger trance event in the past has been a boring disaster. There were maybe about a couple of hundred Turkish visitors among thousands of Israeli and Japanese and other thousands from every imaginable place around the world. The internationality and the dedication that every visitor brought in made the atmosphere incomparable to most other trance parties. The energy was omnipresent as were the smiles and only the high food and drink prices could bring us back down to earth...
Wednesday was Eclipse day. The main stage was still being rebuild (respect to the sound crew!) so everybody gathered at the second stage. Special Eclipse glasses were spread and my neck started to hurt as to looking up to the sky so often. The dancefloor was packed and the music was pumping. Everybody was exercising his own ideas to meet the great event. Silver glitter in the face? Climbing to a mountain? LSD, beer or spring water? Music or Quietness? Exciting! And: “Sorry, what’s the time now...?!” Finally the moon started to move in front of the sun. Everybody was looking up, goose skin, the music went off, the birds stopped to sing, it got colder and WOW it was dark! The world was ending. Or just pausing? Somebody shouted “MUSIC!” and many joined in. Could a beat resurrect life on earth? I looked down and saw that the ants were unimpressed by this quiet moment and continued with their work of transporting potato chips home – it can’t be the end then... Finally, three and a half minutes later, the sun appeared again on “the other side of the moon”. Life began again, everybody screamed, the music started - well then, let’s party!
The eclipse changed us; it gave us something that we have experienced together. Like the stormy initiation. And like the week of partying that we finally completed together. Every day the crowd got a bit closer, and wiser. Every day we had more stories to tell and our looks were rich of these experiences. Our normal jobs, our normal occupations were locked out of this dream world full of beautiful people, great encounters, river-side-meditations, amazing music and cold beer (ehm sorry!). The trance tribe manifested its society for one week in Turkey.
On Thursday the main stage was completely rebuild, in the same size as originally planned. It opened with the non-electronic trance band Hilight Tribe and continued for a great night of electronic artists. The sound was absolutely phat. This was the first good setup that I heard of the hi-tech Nexo sound system. Besides lasers, scanners and other light equipment did their best to entertain the world travelers. The second stage became sort of obsolete with this amazing new dancefloor!
Friday night and the succeeding morning presented probably the most amazing lineup of the festival: Sub 6, Infected Mushroom, Digital Talk, Azax Syndrome, Oforia, Deedrah, Son Kite, Vibrasphere, Phoney Orphans, Emok, etc… and this all in a nearly perfect sequence. Just Infected Mushroom didn’t fit well at 1h as they played something like a Pop-Rock concert instead of dance music.
But not only the dancefloors were the attraction. The party was set in a nature reserve, which was very sparely populated. Walking past the chillout and out of the party you could walk for hours through amazing forests, fields and riverbeds. Wherever you went, you would meet freaks having a walk, relaxing at the river or having a talk. Some camped outside the party along the river or at another field for more peace and silence. Turkish Mamas offered Gözleme and Chai right in the forest for better prices.
My doubt that police might be a problem in Turkey didn’t come true. Although Military and normal police were present in big numbers (probably 20-30 men constantly in duty on the site) I did not see nor hear about them limiting the freedom of the visitors. It seemed that they were “on our side”, especially when 10 of them danced with the crowd in the middle of the dancefloor at the last day of the festival!
The festival ended on Sunday evening with a big circle of the remaining party people on the dancefloor. They hold each other’s hands and thus visualized the connection that now everyone had. But this wasn’t the real end. After the party thousands of freaks spread out to spend a couple of more days somewhere else in Turkey. Probably most of them went to Olimpos, a small resort in a valley at the sea. Others went to Capadocia in central Anatolia. The rest went either to Antalya or somewhere else in this fantastic land.
I went to Olimpos to take a holiday from my holidays. Relax some days without beats and party stress. Desperately needed. But not everyone had similar thoughts. The protagonists of our never-get-enough scene were watching out for one of the after parties, some of them happening in Olimpos at various locations. Instead I was testing several pensions for a sufficient distance to the after parties.
Olimpos is an alternative hangout for decades. The crowd is nice, many pensions offer tree houses to live in and the prices are more then friendly: For 10 Euro you get accommodation, breakfast and dinner! Besides of comfortable pensions you have the ruins of old Olimpos lying enchanted in a forest and featuring an acropolis, an amphitheater, a bathhouse and various tombs. Passing the ruins you get to the beach.
And Olimpos is crowded with freaks. You recognize every party guest right away and the smile remains. Finally you have the chance to hold extensive chats with everybody without stress of having to run to the bar, dancefloor or toilet. You are actually in a typical holiday situation but with the add-on of being together with like-minded people that share a common experience. And by this the term “party-holiday” suddenly makes sense. You don’t fly thousands of miles only to have an exhaustive party. Instead you go on a full holiday (relaxation, inspiration, exploration) that also contains a party. Instead of hanging at tourist places with a lot of totally different people, you enjoy these places together with your trance family. A family that meets several times a year on different spots of the world, most of them equipped with great nature and different cultures to explore.
Welcome to the age of the trance nomad tribe!