MY SOUL FAMILY GET-TOGETHER.
Two weekends ago magic happened upstate New York, at a summer camp in Catskills. A bunch of people got together and created something so beautiful that it’s hard to find the right words to paint the picture. Describing this experience is like trying to explain the taste of some great, intricate dessert. No matter how hard you try to depict to someone the many ingredients included and their complicated effects on your taste buds, you still can’t make them feel the way it tasted in your mouth and the joy you felt while savoring it. It was an experience shared among 300 people. It was the first music festival by I FEEL and it was an experience we all still talk about.
I think that is a way, we all left a little changed. For the better.
The weekend long celebration of music, dance and art, I FEEL, Summer Escape, took place at what usually serves as a summer camp ground for kids. The I FEEL crew took over the land and managed to create an absolutely magical environment with top of the line sound system, amazing installations, creative and beautiful art and a line-up of DJ’s that kept you dancing your hart out non-stop for three days straight. We danced at the beach, we danced on our way to the cafeteria and while walking back from the dance field in the woods, making our way back to our cabins, exhausted, yet not being able to contain the beat still pumping through the veins.
There was that time when I ended up getting out of bed in the middle of the night, because one of my favorite DJ’s, Peter Pony Clement, started his set at 2 am and there was no way back from that! The body suddenly felt rested enough to take me to the open fields in the woods, to slowly melt into the vibe of the crowd. Three hours of dancing under the stars, to the echo of your friends magical beats, sweating bodies, mad stars over our heads, light projections onto the woods that play with the lights of the Milky Way- all of that will take you out into space and back again! How can one not still be under the spell two weeks later?
And just so that you know, I spent the entire weekend without phone or camera, because I dropped my iPhone in the toilet on the first night of the festival. I took it as a sight from the Universe to completely unplug and take inn the experience. Which is exactly what I did! So, thank you my amazing friends Dennis Cahlo for most of these pictures!
We stayed in cabins and some of us camped in tents and we named our nests. 🙂 We had The Sexy People Cabin and Cabin Magic.
In our cabin (that was made to fit 10 people) two of my friends and I decided to empty half the pace and turn it into a dance floor. One of us is an amazing DJ and we ended up partying at our house for half a day on Saturday, constantly surrounded by waves of friends who kept on getting lured out of their environment into ours by the sexy tribal sounds of JTh3ory.
One of the most beautiful things about this community is that age doesn’t exist here. No one thinks of age, we have no dividers. Twenty-somethings party and hold an in-depth conversations with those who are several decades older. Freedom of expression is encouraged. Swinging from tree swings, covered in glitter on a Saturday afternoon is a normal thing among us. You don’t grow out of things, because happiness comes in all kinds of colorful and weird, we just often choose to forget this as we age.
First night of the event, on Friday, was epic.
The stage, the field under the stars! We were hit by a thunderstorm in the middle of the night; lightning bolts dancing to the beat of the drum below, with every new strike the cowed raising voices in unified cheer to the Gods, to themselves, to the DJ. Connecting, sharing this common vibration, riding the same wave, breathing inn the same air, charged with nature’s magical creation- this thunderstorm! Until the sky broke and a massive waterfall dissolved us into a mad pool of energy: we were getting soaking wet, splashing water from the grass below our feet, cheering to the thunder. Not leaving the dance floor. One more track! One more!
This act of union was incredible. When you dance with the energy of your friends to the beat of a great DJ, you feel the moves come as your blood directs them, you almost have no control over these actions, they come naturally, flowing, as though lead by a spell.
You dance past the point of body ache, past the point of return. And you keep on moving, living the tracks, feeling the beat in your ribcage. You dance and you feel!
I call DJ’s who can do this to a crowd – Modern Day Shamans. I am blessed to know a few and several of them were playing during this festival. Friday night was the most intense dancing experience for me in a very long time. The rain continued for a few hours and while some crowed in the Junxion Buss (image below), where a smaller party continued, others stayed in the field, dancing, bonding, feeling.
The mood was set!
As I mentioned above, this felt like a party at a friend’s house. Special shout outs have to go out to Roee Carmel, Yael Carmel and Peter Clement for orchestrating this fantastic event!
We came together, several hundred of us to celebrate life, to share an experience and to start something beautiful. The organizers had put so much thought and love into this event, that it felt like you were visiting a huge, fun, exciting family for the weekend. Right before we all headed back home to our usual environment, many words of gratitude were exchanged among us. And the best quote of the trip was by my friend James, who later posted on the event page, saying: “ I have never had so many REAL hugs in my life! It was truly amazing connecting with each and everyone. My eternal gratitude goes out to you all!”
And so to sum it all up, here are some images of the actual experience.
You can find the links to some of the music from this weekend at the bottom of the post.
And if you like this story, you might also want to read about the parties I FEEL throws in the city, HERE.
There were workshops and classes. Friends sharing skills and knowledge. 🙂
The fact that this already felt like a house party at some close friend’s estate was enough to make this a remarkable experience, but the fact that we also had access to a private beach, was like a cherry on top of a cupcake! And, of course, there were DJ’s, bubbles, water activities here and party basically never ended for three days, just changed locations.
And here are a few of sets recorder this weekend
Please enjoy and share the free music and the love that comes with it!