Inside Regeneration Festival - Osijek

By 2 September 2017

TCN's Deane Thomas gives us a closer look at Osijek's Inside Regeneration Festival.

Sometimes I become very jealous when I see my colleagues sailing on the sea, watching football and generally enjoying the ''other side'' of Croatia. Now I tend to be covering the various festivals that are manifesting in this region.

Osijek and Baranja are generally overlooked by visitors, mainly because no-one has ever heard of them. But there is plenty to talk about, especially when the main tourist destinations are already bursting at the seams.
We are still able to enjoy what is technically the final weekend of summer, despite the kids getting prepared for school on Monday! Regeneration Festival has been created by a small group of DJs from Osijek who have a passion for their work.

The list of DJs from all over the greater region has grown over the past few days and is quite impressive. Set on the banks of the River Drava, in a small location on the outskirts of Osijek, one could imagine being lost in sunflower fields. As dusk drew closer, I ventured to the coordinates given, to enter a time warp to the 80s and 90s. Reminiscent of Stonehenge, Glastonbury and Woodstock festivals, that
I was only ever privileged to hear about. Or read something published by a non-objective newspaper, after the events have finished.

Seeing the hand built counters, and the smell of home made food wafting in the air, was a good place to start, then within a few metres walking on to a sandy beach. Breath taking views of the River Drava, as well as the native woodlands around. A hive of activity as the ground crew continued to prepare the scene for the night time. The first DJ began to perform his set, lighting the stage for a spectacular two-day event.

As dusk came, party revelers began to arrive, from all age groups, which was very pleasing for me to see. The over 40s (like me) getting the chance to repeat something we did twenty or thirty years ago, in our own youth. Revellers were carefully navigating the small forest, to pitch their tents, and make their home for the weekend. Oh, what fun to see them making themselves adjust to their new surroundings and environment. A merging of sorts with Mother Nature, something we as a species had to rely on many centuries ago!

Electronic Music and the waft of incense filling the air, the moon shining brightly from above, the scene was set, for the camp fire to be lit. Groups of friends gathered around the fire and began to dance in some sort of ancient fire ritual. For those that resonate with Shamanism, the fire ceremony is one of the core rituals for healing. The mythology around the fire has always been in our lives and is often referred to as a sign of transformation.

Fire rituals are particularly significant around the time of a full or new moon and are often carried out across the world in many ancient cultures. Fires well alight, the stage became the setting for its own transformation of light – greeted with an intricate display of clever graphics and lights. I was beginning to wonder why the team was carefully mapping the scenery, and now it made sense. Again there was another dimension added to the
whole encounter.

Trying to be a journalist and a party goer simultaneously can be a challenge sometimes, last night I allowed the party spirit to take over.

It was clear once the scenery and stage had come to life the true creative genius at play, and one that did not require thousands of euros in the best light and sound. The organisers can be proud of what they achieved on such a small budget, it was this that made the whole evening humbling. Despite the weather warnings that were issued the show had to go on, and fortunately until now the weather has held off.

The Regeneration Festival continues until 17:00 on Sunday with full details on Facebook.