Kazantip is more than just a festival. It's not just the twisted metalwork sculptures or the weird little bars dotted around the site. It's not even that it has a rich political theme, setting up a "Republic" with ministers and a "PreZident, " and guarded by military-style "Typhoon" guards (they look mean, but they don't bite). It's that this unique event genuinely goes beyond being a great party—which it is—to create something that feels more significant.
But really, the music was just a backdrop. Visually, for example, Kazantip is breathtaking. A ceremony takes place a few times over the festival, where hundreds of people gather on the beach, take a yellow balloon, make a wish, and then release them together at the moment the sun goes below the horizon (sunsets at Kazantip are beautiful, and an event every day). At night, the whole site is lit up by a boggling array of lasers, coloured lighting and searchlights. A wide and imaginative variation of costumed dancers frequently appear on the stages and podiums: storm troopers, robots, girls with huge hats like something out of Fantasia. And that's not to mention the sea, which stretches to the horizon without interruption, giving a kind of edge-of-the-world feel to the Republic.
But the most remarkable thing about Kazantip is the state of mind everyone is in. It's subtle and implicit, and difficult to describe. In the Kazantip Republic, there's a new set of rules, and as a result you feel free from the social pressures and barriers of the outside world. People interact and express themselves just as they feel. On the dance floor, for example, everyone was jamming out in a way I've never seen before. It's easy to be cynical when reading the festival's constitution, which talks about a project with utopian aims, but ultimately, Kazantip is exactly that.Daniel Petry (RA)
Carl Cox: “You really have something unique here. Everyone who has played here, they put this on the map, they wanna come back every year to play. I'm gonna be one of them.”
Seth Troxler: “It's like a mix between the UK Glastonbury and the Burning Man in America. It's a big festival vibe, but in the same time it got a really alternative lifestyle.”
Guy Gerber: “It's something like expression of freedom, and it's few places where you can do that anywhere else in the world. It's kind of like represented utopia.”
Sven Väth: “It’s like a Mad Max movie, but much more colourful and friendly.”