Saturdays waking up didn’t really differ from the mornings before, but yet it felt slightly different, because this would definetely be the last night at WOMEX. La grande finale was waiting ahead. And in less than 24 hours I would be heading back to Zagreb (again) and the trip to Budapest would be over already!
So during the day I met with a bunch of people, whom I mostly also got to know during festival season this summer. One of them is the one and only digital artist for film/photo, Botond Istvándi, who with his works has brainwashed a lot of people by creating two great Goulash Disko Festival aftermovies (2013-2014). He happened to be in Budapest also for a few days and took us to a few special places he thought we should see. Also a girl from Berlin who I had met at Serendubity festival a few months ago (and spent a paradise of a magical time with) joined us. When she heard I’d be in Budapest, she spontaneously decided to come and join me there. Way to go, dear crazy fairy! So she and a friend travelled from Berlin to Budapest by train on Friday.
We all spent the afternoon and early evening together, had some really cheap and super tasty traditional Hungarian food for lunch (even for vegetarians that worked out pretty well!). Unfortunately I have forgotten the name of the place, but it was somewhere near Octogon. Something like New House it is, I guess. Searching the internet didn’t really help, so you will just have to search for it, in case you are somewhere near! We had enough time still to go grab a beer after lunch! So we were taken out to a Czech Craft Beer bar. A nice location, central, not too crowded, with a simple, but still creative comfortable wooden inventory. And the wheat beer tasted like banana, so that’s a plus. Enjoyed the time together very much. Especially because of the female company (beautiful to look at and talk to). (No offense, guys!) My personal highlight of the non-WOMEX part of the day was a place we headed to in the evening: Szimpla. Somehow sounded familiar. Think so, too? There is a concert-location in Berlin that is called Badehaus Szimpla (and as I found out lately also one that is referred to as Szimpla Kaffeehaus). I have never been to either of them, probably so I could see the original first, but I’ll definetely catch up on that soon. Thinking December…
In Budapest wurde die einstige Faktorei bereits 2002 zu einem kulturellen Zentrum umgebaut. Das Berliner Kaffeehaus ist 2009 nachgezogen. Das Badehaus bald danach. In Wien gibt es ebenfalls einen Ableger (wenn ich recht informiert bin). Ein kunstvoll gestaltetes Paradies. Ein Paradebeispiel für Upcycling. Ein ruinierter Augenschmaus. Und wohl ein Meilenstein in der Geschichte der alternativen Szene in Budapest!
Having spent time with and talking to a lot of young(-ish) women during the whole trip (and also before), each one of them had and has a deep impact on my thoughts and feelings. And on saturday I strongly felt an overwhelmingly huge admiration for every single one. Somehow I started being even more aware of the struggles some of them had gone through, but also of the chosen paths and somewhat spiritual directions most of them are heading for now: In order to heal themselves and set themselves free from whatever kind of mental and emotional slavery they were born into or are stuck in for several reasons…
Especially since I had seen the three enchanting sisters from A-Wa on stage and felt the energy they created the night before, a whole lot of women I care for and love were permanently crossing my mind. All the women that inside are trying to find a balance between the idealistic girl they once were and the realistic woman they are becoming more and more. All these loving care-takers that have never learned to listen to their very own needs and to take care of themselves. And who are now aware. And searching! Awareness isn’t easy at all, but it is a start. It means that change lies ahead. And to me personally it feels incredible to have met so many women on the way who share their struggles, feelings and awakenings. Who encourage each other to just go for it: whatever, wherever and whenever!
So – for me – saturday was all about female power rising. (And again: no offense, guys!) Feminine energy and strength on its own very on stage. And in the center of attention. I liked it a lot. Felt it. And I bet all the men felt it, too! At the latest when sharing the dancefloor and maybe also dancing with one and another…
First mind-blowing concert was that of Tritha Electric with Tritha Sinha (vocals, guitar) from India/France. With my Pakistani background I somehow felt emotionally attached, especially when she entered the stage, dressed in a colorful orange and red sari, smiling, shining. Made me image my grandma when she was a young woman.
Tritha is from Calcutta, the two guys by her side are from somewhere in France. The sound they create together is a wild and adventurous mixture of traditional Indian music with a variety of very progressive styles of music: Rock, Punk, Indie. I actually wouldn’t wanna categorize. It’s a unique style! After their show I wanted to tell her how impressed I was and tried to sneak in backstage, but that didn’t work out very well… (although at least I met her booking agent there shortly before I was not so kindly asked to leave.) But as fortune hasn’t left my side, I happened to bump into her late at night on the boat-party and gladly a few seconds later a friend with a camera bumped into us and took a picture of this happy moment. (But I’d do neither of us a favor posting it here.)
And then awaited us some very serious dancehall and hip hop with heavily grounding riddims and strong vibrating basslines: Alo Wala (USA/Denmark/Norway) with Shivani Ahlowalia up front. Caution! Explosive. A true show-blast, also due to the extraordinary and fast changing visuals on stage. No weakness, no sentiment, no doubt. Only empowering strength.
And then followed DJ (Esta) Polyesta straight outta Amsterdam, NL as the very first and one and only DJane at this years WOMEX DJ Showcase. What a remarkable fact! Esta’s sound is highly danceable. She creates a global heartbeat. In her own words: “The world is my playground and the language is music!” There is nothing to add!
I was and still am deeply impressed. Women all over the world are in need of women that have found their voices, have chanelled and learned how to use them. Women who are being heard and are standing strong. Thank you so much, ladies, for spreading these vibes!
And last, but not least, thank you also to the male artists, who in addition to the women made this night as unforgettable as it is. Such as an highly entertaining Kosta Kostov, who shaked what his mama gave him during Alo Wala’s performance of City Boy. And who – as he was invited to do so – didn’t hesitate for one second to bring his whole booty shaking game onto that stage! An impression hardly anyone will ever forget.
Also a big shout out to both DJs that made the crowd go crazy mad on the dancefloor later that night and in the early morning hours: Rocky Marsiano from Portugal/Netherlands and Chancha via Circuito from Argentina. Friday the Line-Up of the Live-Acts made me think of the perfect DJ-Set, Saturday the DJ Showcase definitely was a perfect DJ-Set. From the very beginning, to the very end!
What else is there to say? Thank you for the music. Hopefully see you all again next year! (At the latest.)
With love from Sofia, Nomadjay*