About This Festival
Not every festival can claim to have had horse riders in Mongolian dress shooting flaming arrows into an unlit hearth as their opening act, but O.Z.O.R.A is most certainly not every festival. For the thousands of revelers watching last year’s opening ceremony, it was the first of many mind-bending moments at an event that gleefully twins the spiritual world with the hedonistic.
Big & Trippy
O.Z.O.R.A is Europe’s biggest psychedelia-focused event, and unabashed in its love for Psy Trance and Goa Trance. Its roots snake all the way back to the free-loving sixties, and across the 16 areas you’ll experience everything from 24 hour Psy DJ sets to crystal therapy and head-bobbing 6am dubtastic sets to a 10,000-people letting out an almighty collective ‘Ommmm’, as the festival seeks to create what it calls “A universe of openness and togetherness where we can evolve towards becoming one with cosmic energies.” Indeed…
Situated in the village of Ozora, some 136km from Budapest on a 100-acre estate deep in the Hungarian countryside, the festival site offers total respite from the rest of the supposedly-free world. Despite its remote location, the Ozora crowd is hugely cosmopolitan and you’ll find representatives from every continent dancing up dust and beckoning you into their spiritual family, and with 60,000 revelers making a pilgrimage to O.Z.O.R.A you won’t have any trouble gathering up new intergalactic brothers and sisters.
In keeping with its all-encompassing attitude, kids are welcomed with open arms and hearts. This year there’ll be an all-new area called Bushyland, that has a swath of plays and entertainment to keep them so amused they’ll forget iPads even exists (at least until they get home).
Aside from that though, much of what goes down on O.Z.O.R.A’s watch is probably not suitable little ones, with a dawn-to-dawn party vibe pervading throughout. Goa Gil - the legendary Psy Trance DJ that helped found the genre on a Goan beach back in the early 80s - even plays a very special 24-hour set at the festival’s onsite pre-party. Last year, incredibly, the 65-year-old ended up DJing for a marathon 28 hours! Let’s hope someone gave that man a medal… and a seriously comfortable bed.
The rest of the lineup pulls in the biggest names on the psychedelic scene, including the likes of Ace Ventura and E.Clip, while, last year, dub pioneer Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry got behind the wheels. Mixmaster Morris and The Orb have also had the crowds in raptures in years past.
Way More Than The Music
As with all the really great festivals - the music is only a small part of the bigger kaleidoscopic picture, and you’d have to be bereft of imagination to not find a multiverse of distractions. The Artibarn has a plethora of interactive arts and craft workshops, whilst the Chambok House has a packed schedule of speakers opining on everything from building your own eco-community to the perspective-altering potential of psilocybin.
Naturally there’s an abundance of massage on offer, whilst if you’ve ever had a hankering to try your hand at acro-yoga or even tribal belly dancing this is the place. Wellness is also a passion here, so staying up for a week trying to ride the sky unicorns with Albert Hoffman is not your bag, you’ll still not want to go home.