This is where global artists and healers come together to play, flow, talk, sing, and find stillness on our sacred Bulgarian land, a stillness that continues to unfold as people disperse back to their home communities. To cultivate a safe space where all genders, views, backgrounds and beliefs are actively welcomed.
· To acknowledge Thracian history and culture through our programming, working with Bulgarian presenters.
· To celebrate cultural traditions and spiritual practices from across the world as well.
· To honour the beauty and sacred nature of the land by minimising our ecological impact wherever possible, upholding MITM green initiatives and environmental policies.
· To present work that is joyful, celebratory and curious.
Mesa is a wellness space guided by participatory principles. Acknowledging the beauty and sacred nature of the Rhodope mountains, we aim to create a platform celebrating the richness of Bulgarian - and wider global - cultural practice. We focus on exploring the potential of a consciously lived life and the eternal question of 'how might we be of better service?' Meadowers are encouraged to leave flowers at the Mesa altar and to participate in our ceremonies, with the village Babas singing on the hill being a tradition not to be missed.
Our programme is full of sessions elevating the voices of native Bulgarian and Thracian artists. Soak up some Haven healing time, in one of our beautiful Thracian wood massage cabanas to help you unwind in the blissful hands of our experienced therapists. Recharge with either Indian Head Massage, Thai, AYM, Deep Tissue and Holistic massage or Reiki and Theta healing.
And expect experienced guides leading talks on sustainability issues or Tantric philosophy, daytime plant medicine workshops melting into ambient night time soundscapes from some of Berlin's finest, with our yoga and breathwork classes providing a balm for post partying nervous systems. Love mycelium or fascinated by the uplifting practice of Kirtan? We may just have a little something for you.
Our beautiful stretch tent overlooking the valley, which presents a diverse programme of wellbeing practices, somatic movement, sound healing, medicine song, workshops, conscious conversation and cultural exchange.
Cabanas offering floor or table-based bodywork. Indian Head Massage, Thai, AYM, Deep Tissue and Holistic massage.
Our bell tent space offering intimate readings, Theta/Reiki healing, tarot and tea culture.
Mesa sessions are ticketed and pre-bookable, with some spaces opening up on live days too.
The raw visual identity of our festival already took shape at its first edition, based on the natural surroundings of the magical Rhodope Mountains, and continued to grow organically over the years.
The helping hands of countless volunteers, friends, artists and other creative family members all left their stamp on the mountain and added to the vast portfolio of our art installations, murals, signs, structures and décor, which represent the festival to this day.
We’ve always tried to use wood from the trees on our site for building any structures, stages, fencing and art installations, avoiding unnecessary imports. Each year we learn new ways to take responsibility for our magical mountain and curate greener lines around our visual identity, transforming used materials into beautiful art that also has a purpose.
Our festival’s quirky artwork is created by our favourite illustrator, Hagen Schoenfeld. After driving down to our festival in his van with a couple of friends, he quickly became part of our family. Upon discovering his talent, we asked him to create the artwork for the 2017 edition of the festival.
This was one of his very first commissions as an artist and he has been designing our festival’s identity ever since.
While our festival is evolving, our revolutionary musical ethos has stayed the same since 2011.
Contrary to larger festivals, we keep dancing to the beat of our own drum by keeping these guidelines close to our hearts:
As a result of this policy, you’ll be surprised how many pure aural gems you’ll discover on the mountain that you’ve never heard of before. So if you love people more than names – and music more than anything – this should all sound like real music to your ears.
Introducing a great variety of vegetarian and regenerative meat cuisine to the festival through our other international vendors has not only offered alternative options to festival-goers but to the Bulgarian people as well. From Sejuice Me's delicious fresh juices to the Pizza crew's sourdough bases, Candy’s Mac and Cheese to Emil's Bulgarian Organic Cheese stand, you'll all be in for a treat.
The traders we’ve hand picked represent the values we stand for, cooking freshly made food from scratch, foraging the beautiful mountains and using the best local ingredients from the surrounding markets, farms and bakery. This has stemmed from the contacts we have formed whilst doing the crew food at the festival. All the Bulgarian traders have a long standing affiliation with the festival and have transformed some of there own ethics, for example using regenerative meat and ditching plastic packaging to reduce there carbon foot print.
On the more local side of cuisine, we’ve formed fantastic bonds with family-run businesses, organic dairy farms and the nearby bakery.
We see this budding relationship with our Balkan taste buddies as the recipe for our future food supply.
If you thought you’ve imbibed in all our mountain has to offer, well, drink again. Providing our community with the taste of the mountain is our range of handmade and sustainably-sourced timber bars. Whether you seek carefully crafted cocktails or local artisan beer to keep your party rolling, the teams behind each saloon will be serving up the sweetest nectar at your every visit, bar none.
Since its inception six years ago Bulgaria’s pioneering craft beer company has become one of the family. Starting with a humble order of a pallet of bottles, White Stork now having two of their own craft beer bars on site. Their foamy unfiltered creations are made with 100% natural ingredients with an emphasis on hop forward beers.
Setting sail into the sunset over the mainstage is our sunset cocktail bar. Sit back in a hammocks and enjoy one of the best views on the mountain, especially in those magical twilight hours. It's the perfect place to start your day with a freshly made Bloody Mary, Espresso Martini, or any one of a range of cocktail delights with local Bulgarian specialities and foraged ingredients - so you can really taste the mountain.
You can’t miss this much loved establishment on your way up the mountain. The oldest watering hole on site, it’s the perfect place to stop for a chat and a refile on your way on up to the sunrise stage. You’ll find our cracking bartenders dishing out local craft beers, wine and cocktails from midday ‘til late!
When the sun peeps over the clouds and the dawn of a new day beckons, the Valley Bar awaits. Floating above a sea of clouds, surrounded by lush green mountains, bathed in morning light, the bar is high for our lower-lying establishment.
Do you dare to go down to the woods tonight? At the far end of the festival site is the Lower Pines - where DJs play banging techno and experimental dance music all through the night for you strange and wonderful woodland creatures. The Lower Pines Bar keeps proceedings lubricated with delicious drinks and positive vibrations.
The legendary Prosecco Bar serves your favourite fizzy beverage. By the bottle or by the glass, who says being fabulous has to have a big price tag. Get down to some prosectual healing, only to get out of your comfy bubble when you feel like it’s time to pop up som
He is a symbol of the Bulgarians who adorn themselves in elaborate Kukeri costumes and perform traditional rituals that scare away evil spirits. Keep an eye out for our life-size Kukeri protector guarding our mountain top and keeping us safe.
The surrounding area pays homage to Bulgarian folklore with a psychedelic twist. Keeping the sanctity of Bulgarian traditions in mind, this space features an eclectic mix of handmade creations by incredibly talented artisans from across the globe. Here you’ll find everything from fancy dress, vintage clothing, eco-glitter, pottery, jewels and face art stalls. We even have a pop-up hand poke tattoo stand if you fancy an everlasting memory of the festival!
At the peak of Mummar Mountain lies our renegade M’laddin’s stage, spontaneously sprouted from our need to play.
This year M'laddin's houses more music than ever, with aural delights from the likes of Brighter Days , Ella Clayton, The Romance of Babaloco and many more & a showcase of surprises in the Brighter Days Takeover.
During the day let M’laddin’s stage is there to enhance your mountain experience. Opening the space each morning with some sweet, sweet tunes from our mountain resident’s which then leads you through to an array of daily workshops. From life drawing, poetry appreciation & writing, basket weaving, laughing Yoga and many more. You will be sure to leave M’laddins with new found skills and knowledge in your heart and head. The workshops run throughout the day then as the sun sets the acoustics sounds kick in.
Don’t forget that while the music on our main stage must end, the jam space lives on. Madra Jam is open 24 hours a day for your jamming pleasure. We can't wait to hear the magical musical collaborations that come out of the space this year...
Coming down from 4 days (and nights!) the mountain can be quite the descent. Keep the spirits high by joining your fellow Meadowers to our official after party. 2022 was our last year at Orpheus SPA Sessions... This year we are dreaming up an adventure of heightened epicness. Watch this space ...