There are around 100 permanent residents in our festival village where history is all around. It used to be called Alamider (the Valley of Apples), but it was renamed after Polkovnik Serafimovo (Colonel Serafimovo) after he fought a heroic battle here, helping to free Bulgaria from Ottoman rule. You can still feel it lies on the silk road corridor to Asia, with an interesting mix of cultures and religions ever present.
Surrounded by the pristine Rhodope Mountains, one of Europe’s biodiversity hotspots, the village is situated between 700m-1100m altitude with abundant water reserves, a dense network of mountain springs and deep river valleys. It’s one of the few places on the continent where griffon vultures still breed, bears still roam and wolves still howl. Here, the wild things still are.
Since the birth of our festival, we have been collaborating with the nearby town of Polkovnik Serafimovo and its lovely people. They have opened their hearts and homes for us, while we have helped them by renovating their buildings and by supplementing their modest state pensions.
You can stay overnight in the village during the festival or you may meet the villagers onsite as we invite them to participate in our cultural program and on our food market. If you want a break from the festival madness, why don’t you take the free shuttle down to the town and get a taste what Balkan village life is like? There’s some particularly good tea to be had with local herbs and honey, plus the family vibes are as friendly as can be.
Our festival lasts 4 days. But it would be a shame to not extend your trip in order to explore this magical country for at least a couple of weeks more, as it features years’ worth of cultural and natural wonders that are still under the radar of most travellers. Whether you enjoy exploring pristine nature, taking in ancient culture or just hanging out on sandy beaches, you’ll be met with exceptional hospitality and friendly prices on its many destinations. Out of sight.
As the name of our festival already reveals, Bulgaria is a mountainous country filled with a network of trails for trekking and mountain biking. Many ancient tribes walked the same paths, as you’ll discover when bumping into its many historical sites that range from the dawn of European civilisation to today’s clash of cultures. Ten UNESCO-recognised World Heritage Sites await. If you prefer your experiences quirkier, you can always rely on Atlas Obscura’s list of unusual things to do. Time to go horizontal? Then head east for some lazy beach time at the Black Sea. Don’t hurry too much.
Preventing litter in our natural surroundings starts while packing. Please leave any disposables at home, including glitter and confetti. Be mindful of bringing packaging, decorations and outfits that may be taken by the wind.
Reuse your cup. Use your portable ashtray for cigarette butts. Dispose them in the bins. That goes for all your other litter too. Use the toilets when you have to go. And don’t even think of starting a fire.
Want to dance, touch, kiss or have sex with someone? For every new interaction, ask for consent. It should be given with enthusiasm, like: “Hell yeah!” If consent is revoked or even hesitant, respect this boundary and don’t take it any further.
As a safe space, our community has a zero tolerance policy for discrimination, harassment or assault of any kind. We encourage you to report all cases to our well-being and security staff which is on duty 24 hours a day.
As a community we are all responsible for the well-being of all. If you see someone having a difficult time physically or mentally, keep an eye on them and offer your help. Know that our staff is ready to take over if it’s too much to handle.
Don’t feel too good? Please get help, either from your friends or from the festival staff. We won’t judge, no matter what you ingested or experienced. Your safety and well-being is our biggest priority and medics are available if needed.
Well-being includes STD prevention. Nobody wants to take home such an unwanted souvenir. If you haven’t brought your own condoms, please visit the Safer Spaces area which should have plenty in stock for you.
No matter the substance, control what you consume and how much. Be aware of combining and mixing. Alcohol can increase risks. Be aware of your physical, mental and emotional state, not to mention the set and setting.
Water isn’t just the source of life, it’s the source of a healthy festival. Please stay hydrated, especially while indulging in alcohol. Your head will thank you the next morning. And do piss clear.
Don’t peak too early in your peak experience. Take breaks to take it all in. Rest up to come back with more energy. And be aware of your surroundings. Take care of your personal belongings and don’t bring them if you don’t need to.