Pictures: Giovanni Baroni (mysticalpics.ch)

This weekend, AUM Ritual takes place, organised by those who brought us Forgotten Ritual. To understand why people refer to it as ‘legendary’, requires a history lesson in Psytrance and Psytrance festivals.

AUM Ritual
AUM Ritual festival grounds. © Giovanni Baroni (mysticalpics.ch)

From Goa, To Full On to Dark Psy

Up until the late 90’s, what people now refer to as ‘Old School Goa’, was the dominant (electronic) psychedelic music style played at Psytrance festivals. This is also around the first time Ozora Festival was born, as well as Boom Festival. Now two of the biggest Psytrance festivals in the world. But the sound had to develop. While Full-On started to develop shortly after, it was still the same, light, happy beat. But where there’s light, there’s also darkness. You can’t have one without the other. It’s the yin and yang. It completes us.

Where there’s light, there’s also darkness

What we now call Darkpsy, came up in the early 2000’s, when Parvati Records started with the likes of Dark Nebula, Droidsect and Parasense. Especially Russia, France, Israel and the Scandinavian countries were big into this new, darker psychedelic sound. It has a different baseline, different melody than the Goa trance you would commonly hear at Psytrance festival up until then.

AUM Ritual
AUM Ritual festival grounds. © Giovanni Baroni (mysticalpics.ch)

It wasn’t until Boom Festival booked KinDzaDza (playing Monday at AUM Ritual) and similar artists the darkness was unleashed upon a crowd that partly ran off to their camping grounds. But, those who stayed heard a sound they had never heard before and gave a counter reaction which opened the doors to Grapes of Wrath, Polyphonia, Naked Tourists and Jellyheadz for example.

The disastrous year for Psytrance of 2007

This gave light in 2007 to several festivals, but 2007 is known in Psytrance as one of the disaster years, were festivals like Freaky Dragon Festival in Spain and Shamanic Festival in Portugal completely went wrong.

2007 is known in Psytrance as one of the disaster years

Freaky Dragon Festival for example, was already building up months before the festival would take place. Things were looking good as the back then 16 years sitting Mayor of the nearby town, had given out the license already in May. The festival was in full buildup, when the elections in June caused for a shake-up in local politics, with a change in Mayor (from a right leaning party) who swore to do everything in her power to stop the festival.

They did, with help from Spain’s notorious military police Guardia Civil can.

Forgotten Ritual

Forgotten Ritual invited the Freaky Dragon festival organisation, DJ’s and volunteers, who had been working tirelessly for months, only to see all of their hard work and promised party to go up in military violence.

As you can imagine, what followed was a very intense, healing and emotional experience.

AUM Ritual
AUM Ritual festival grounds. © Giovanni Baroni (mysticalpics.ch)

DJ Milosz, one of the Forgotten Ritual founders said in an interview earlier this year:

“Last year we realized that almost ten years had passed since that unforgettable gathering and we decided to celebrate our ten-year-anniversary with a similar event. You can’t imagine how happy we were when we found out that the owners of the location and the local authorities were interested in working with us again.

“The idea is to go back to the roots of these gathering and of rave parties and to unite on one stage artists from many different styles”

So from 3-8 August we will organize a 4-days-3-nights open air festival with more than 25 artists from all over the world. If I’m not mistaken all continents (maybe except Australia…) are represented. The idea is to go back to the roots of these gathering and of rave parties and to unite on one stage artists from many different styles. We will feature everything from Ambient through Dub and Techno to hard Drum’n’Bass and very fast Psytrance. Since the idea is very new and people are not used to it, we have decided to invite mostly older, experienced artists who have their original sound.

One of the main reasons why we organise this gathering is because we believe in magic. For us magic can be defined as action with intention. We gather during the days leading to full moon and connect with the universe to create a transformative collective experience. So it’s not just a party – it is also a magical ritual ;)”

AUM Ritual

Aim of the festival, as it reads on the website, is “to go back to the roots of rave music when the boundaries between genres were not as rigid as nowadays. We are united in our diversity.”

“We are united in our diversity”

We go back to the same, beautiful festival grounds in the Jura Mountains near the Swiss village of Soulce. A stream divides the festival grounds, fresh out of the mountains so clear you can in fact drink it.

AUM Ritual
AUM Ritual festival grounds. © Giovanni Baroni (mysticalpics.ch)

But an important a Facebook post from the organisation reads:

We got some last minute stipulations from the government that we need to share with you:
Please do not cross the stream to the right side!
If you want to drink the water from the stream (we can’t give you guarantee for purity), do it in the most upper part of the location. Below the dancefloor it is not clean enough to drink.
On Saturday and Monday there might be hunting in the forests. Please be very careful on these days in the forest.
Because of hunting season: Dogs need to be accompanied by their owner or attached somewhere on a leash when not accompanied.
Also we already announced this but in case you haven’t read it:
No glass allowed.
And very important for finding the right place:
The village is called Soulce, not Saulcy!!
Bom bolenath!
AUM Ritual team

ps: yes, we do have all necessary authorisations and the festival is taking place as planned. The energy and the weather here in Soulce are amazing and everyone is super excited <3

So if you’re reading this from Europe and don’t have plans this weekend, make it to AUM Ritual on Friday to get the complete experience. Tickets are as of writing only available at the gates:

At the Gate: Enough tickets should be available. But please come early to avoid disappointment!

99 € – CHF Tickets whole festival

33 € – CHF One Night Pass – only for Friday night

Can’t make it? The Stoned Society will be there to report back from the other side. You’re going? See you on the dancefloor!