I didn't attend the first edition. I was too busy with my work and the life I considered real. School, home, twelve hours a day teaching, and working in the office to feel alive. There was no time for the Bliss Beat Festival.
This year I resigned and came to the Cascina one week before the Festival. I saw it coming to birth. The main stage, gazebos, bar, fridges, tables, bathrooms, showers, the camping, and all of the sudden, it was Wednesday and people started to arrive. Shaking hands, smiles, hugs, and my heartbeat accelerating and now a few days after the end it's still beating hard.
The energy of this place is magical all year round. Now, after 4 full days of music, practice, art, and healthy food, the energy is still pure enchantment and marvel.
The Festival officially started on Thursday morning at 7.30 with Sergio Di Loreto and his meditation, using his thousands of instruments and Tibetan singing bowls, he touched the internal vibrations of everybody. And then, practice all day until the first kirtan with Liza LilinthaI, who warmed up the spirits with her mantras and harmonium. Then came the DJ Set by DJ Yatu, followed by the opening ceremony which introduced the calm and sweetness of Kevin James Carroll's music. Wah came next. She made everybody dance, jump, and sing with her bass guitar and two great support musicians who filled the air with love for music and joy of the spirit.
For those like me who love music and live off concerts, the Bliss Beat Festival was just practicing some yoga, hanging around with musicians as well as playing some music.
Well, let's talk about it. I've never sung or danced that much in my life. Wah performed almost entirely with eyes closed, we could perceive and almost touch her energy.
I went to bed sure that I had just had the best day of my life. I didn't know yet that the same thought would be with me for the following three nights.
Friday morning, 108 Sun Salutations with Diego Azzaroni, the Dance Flow by Liina Tael, the inversions with Céline Fraefel, the pranayama class by Marco Fasanotti, and all the other classes lead a renewed energy to the concerts of the afternoon and evening. Emy Berti, wonderful voice as usual, and then Janin Devi, a young German girl (one of those girls with no flaws that make you go green), beautiful, skillful, in love, a natural talent for singing, playing, dancing and moving (she treated us an astonishing Salabhasana with her feet up over her head). With her music, she lead the public, ready to receive the magic kirtan by the master, David Newman.
And then a new day, and the shivers during Marco Mandrino's class together with Gosia Turzeniecka. He is the creator of this event and she is a figurative artist. This mix involved all the participants in art and meditation. She painted simple lines with brushes connected to a bamboo cane capturing the practitioners in their special way. I've never seen a line better representing Marco, from a simple black line it was possible to recognize everybody, I found myself in a ruffled brush of hair, perfectly identifiable. And then Rosalba Piarulli's vinyasa made everyone leave the class aching for working that much but with an intense smile on their faces.
And then came the Kirtaniyas with their percussions and virtuosity. Satyaa and Pari, when she stood up and danced it seemed like walking in the clouds surrounded by her long dark hair and her flowing light blue dress. Dave Stringer and wow, 12 other musicians on stage with him, everybody wanted to participate and sing together and his great voice was probably heard kilometers away.
And a new day started. Tired, super tired, going to bed late and happy, and waking up early and happy made everybody's energy go low.T o recover it took 2 espressos and the energetic Shakti Groove by Yatu and Marco who amde the man dancing like "Brazilian hookers in the brothels of Caracas" and then the sweetness of Anita Boscaglia's Tibetan singing bowls with Lisa Perfumo's leading voice through the asanas. And how do you forget Emanuela Genesio's Ching, a genius artist who is always available and smiling.
And then more concerts. In the evening, when everyone was ready to go back home and get back to real life, then came Brenda McMorrow and her Kirtan. The folk influence was felt by every part of the body, down to the feet, which couldn't stop from dancing, like they were possessed by the dance spirit. Philippo Franchini was the perfect ending for a festival that printed, imprinted, impressed, and tattooed one word in my heart.
Thank you to those who worked very hard to organize these four days of pure joy.
Thank you to those who lived this joy and gave back even more.
Thank you to all those smiles and hugs and eyes that will be inside of me until next year.
Thank you to Marco, Lisa, Maura, and Simona, and the long list of people of made this weekend of magic possible.
I have no other words, because I have no other emotions, just immense gratitude and happiness. Can anybody be happier than listening to great music, meeting beautiful souls, dancing everything out, and go back to look at love in the eyes?
See you next year. July 11th-14th 2013. Don't miss it.