Police Fail To Foil Secret Island Festival
‘Secret Island Nation’ – “this is the roughest part of the Swedish west coast, weather and thus our plans will change or go wrong, expecting the unexpected is part of the concept.”
When a hurricane strength Force 12 storm smashed through Secret Island Nation (SIN) three years ago, the fact that only 20 odd of the 80 or so tents blew down was one of the most unexpected results though this year, save for one shower, what’s most surprising is the sun.
Shining virtually permanently for all four days, the Mediterranean style weather provides a perfect backdrop for what for more than a few of the 600 citizens appears to be one of, if not, THE best weekend of their lives.
Scrolling through the Facebook page afterwards (http://on.fb.me/NQzobE ) scores of idyllic photos accompany comments such as ‘Matthias Buchhorn’s ‘Wow … The best year ever !!!’ and Félice Gritti’s ‘this was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in my entire life, honestly’ while first timer DJ Marvin Hey is even more euphoric,
“When I was a little boy I always dreamed to make a magical journey as I knew them from films like ‘Peter Pan’ or ‘The Neverending Story. 15 years later my wish came to fulfillment and I was getting invited to play at the Secret Island after winning a DJ contest,” he writes.
“I saw many things in the last years of traveling in the world and being a DJ, but I never felt soo much LOVE, RESPECT & NATURE as here on Secret Island.”
Arriving on the deserted treeless tiny island via boat on Thursday afternoon with the usual planeload of Berlin DJs and party people, immediate impressions are as expected, as light rain hints at the dreadful forecast my weather App continues to insist is certain. Drying up a little, it continues to rain sporadically throughout the first evening though the first major surprise appears as darkness falls when a shipload of Swedish police accompanied by sniffer dogs suddenly sails into view.
Not exactly friendly and clearly a little nervous they’re curious rather than intrusive, looking almost embarrassed as they scatter around the island, quizzing groups of people chilling on the rocks or sitting outside tents. As the dogs’ presence indicates, the raid is clearly a search for drugs though when they eventually arrest and remove one unfortunate reveller who makes the mistake of collapsing right in front of them, it turns out later he’s simply been drunk.
Released the next day, the sobered reveller (who’s been drug tested back at the station) returns to the island and no drugs have been located while a local press report says cops have been even unexpectedly surprised by what they found.
“Almost 600 people had gathered on the island and several police officers who Bohusläningen’ve talked to highlighted the good atmosphere at the festival,” the newspaper reports.
“(Officer) Jorgen Persson says that it has been quieter than a Friday on the bridge in Grebbestad, where there are often three cases of assault on a Friday night. There were no reports of violence on the island at all,” it added.
Police raids aside (they return twice more, at one point stopping the music for an hour on Saturday night) it’s business (pleasure) as usual as revellers dance, sunbathe, swim or take part in workshops including learning survivalist skills and rock climbing. For many though it’s the music that counts the most and highlights this year include two sets from Watergate/ Kater Holzig resident Red Robin, a brilliant afternoon set from Luna City Express and Swedish trio Locus Soundsystem.
Locus Soundsystem, in fact, somewhat steal the show on Saturday night, delivering a stunning deep house (vinyl) masterclass on the beach, that draws many from the (much bigger) main stage 50 metres away. Another unexpected gem is the new sound system located via a tortuous trip over the rocks, where DJs play day time sets of chill out, hip hop, disco and dubstep from a yacht moored ten metres offshore.
As the boat heads for the headland on Monday morning at 6am, the captain issues a statement through his loudhailer to the 50 odd Berliners.
“Nostradamus predicted that 2012 will see the end of the world, but he’s wrong,” the Captain claims. “Because I know I’ll be seeing you all here in August 2013’. He certainly will.
Jonty Skrufff: http://listn.to/JontySkrufff