Pictures: Mystical Pics.

It had been 10 years ago since the legendary Forgotten Ritual was organised in the Swiss Jura Mountains. But this year saw the return of familiar and new faces to these sacred grounds for AUM Ritual. We were lucky enough to attend and what follows below is a written recollection of memories based on my notes and conversations.

AUM Ritual Day 0: Thursday

We arrived late in the night at the festival grounds, where we had to leave the car behind and be driven by a shuttle up the mountain. We had to pay 5 euros/francs fee each for this nightly trip, but it turned out you had to pay this each time you would make use of the shuttle services. From a visitor point of view, this can be very annoying, but organisation wise I understand why they choose to do so. Having constant traffic up and down the hill while people are indulging themselves, is also a particular safety measure. It would be nice however if after you paid the fee, next trips would be free of charge.

Moving on to the camping area, it took us a while in the dark to find a horizontal place on the mountain to put up our tents. But we managed and got some sleep before the festival would start.

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AUM Ritual camping by day. ©

AUM Ritual Day 1: Friday

After having woken up, a seemingly estranged being was moving himself quickly over the camping grounds and as he got closer, turned out to be a friend of ours. We catched up and decided to go for a walk along the festival grounds. Here we met DJ Milosz, one of the main organisers and who would play when the night kicked in.

But not before we had the opening ceremony, in which Milosz himself reminded us to set our intentions firsthand.

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Opening ritual. ©

Musically we started off with Robert Rich’s chillout set however, which left many people wandering around or simply getting ready for some dancing later in the night. It added up perfectly to the magical feeling you would get high up on the hillside.

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Robert Rich at AUM Ritual. ©

At the top of the hill at the back of the festival grounds, we found a beautiful, huge tree stump that would easily fit 4 people. Perfect spot to make a sunset chillum and sharing it with some new friends we made.

We had dinner at the Italian pasta and crepes place, which took a while but was explained by the absence of a second Italian catering team who were supposed to come with a pizza oven. While there was also a vegan catering, this also meant there was no meat available at the festival. A big loss for some, for others it didn’t matter. Either way I’m sure someone will fill in this gap next year.

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Crêpes and pasta at the Italian foodstand. ©
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Vegan food. ©
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AUM Ritual bar. ©

The first night continued with DJ Milosz, Takaaki Itoh and more techno well into the next day, with no musical breaks.

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DJ Milosz opening the night.

I believe around sunrise I went back to the camping for a fire, some more food and sleep.

AUM Ritual Day 2: Saturday

Waking up around 11, we had some coffee and a sugar cube with our breakfast after we ventured back to the festival grounds. The camping and festival grounds were on the same piece of land, only divided by a little house from presumably the owner. There was only one security guy here usually, pointing out you couldn’t bring glass on the festival site for example. But otherwise you weren’t bothered.

‘You can’t always get what you want’

Meanwhile, Gaudi was playing on the main stage. Apart from the main stage, there was only a chillout stage. Of course, some people might like to see more stages, but this meant everyone was on the same level and with a lineup like this, it would always be good anyways.

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Gaudi at AUM Ritual.

Gaudi’s live performance was terrific and ended up with the highly ironic ‘You can’t always get what you want’ for the enthusiastically dancing crowd.

After a refresh and some food, coffee and beers at our campfire we would head back to the festival grounds for Atriohm’s set around 1.00. We catched up with him at the Italian food stand and it was interesting to witness how a DJ gets ready.

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Atriohm at AUM Ritual. ©

His set was phenomenal and one of the highlights of the festival for me. But what happened afterwards is difficult to remember, only that around 7.30 AM I had to lay down for a while.

AUM Ritual Day 3: Sunday

I woke up either from the heat or the clanging bells of the neighbouring field of sheep and with music still going on at the mainstage. It would’ve been nice to take a shower, but much more than two buckets to clean your hair wasn’t available.

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Showers ©

Some people brought sun showers, others just continued on their ‘no shit, no shower, full power’ mission. Toilets, especially the eco toilet at the festival grounds, were fine however.

Around 15:00, an interesting ritual took place at the main stage as a collective jam session united people in joy.

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Not much later, I finally got to meet Whrikk who would play later early in the night. Here too we found a funny Belgian collective from Ghent we met before.

Somewhere this afternoon I leveled-up after eating Super Mario’s favorite treats, which was great for that afternoon but sadly enough also made me so tired around the night I managed to miss Kindzadza, which my friends liked to point out long afterwards as the musical highlight of the festival. Or maybe I just blew too much of my energy on dancing during Whrikk…

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Whrikk at AUM Ritual. ©

AUM Ritual Day 4: Monday

I thoroughly enjoyed this final, extra day. I got back to the dancefloor after the morning ritual around 12:30, where DJ Milosz and his brother Carol played roughly throughout the day. I especially liked this set Carol played around 18:00 and the D&B in the afternoon!

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Carol playing Monday afternoon. ©

The festival would finish around 20.00, but not before blasting the beautiful and unexpected Atom Heart Mother from Pink Floyd.

We hung around, conversed with the new friends we had made, said goodbyes and eventually made it back to the campsite before leaving the next day.

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Last moments and goodbyes.

AUM Ritual 2017: Last Words

Intentions and rituals are keywords of the thoughts I’ve been having since AUM Ritual. It is important to set your intentions first and make them clear, not just for this festival but in general. The same with rituals. Festivals are one big ritual, composed of many smaller rituals whereas it be making food, coffee, dancing, love…

Intentions and rituals are keywords of the thoughts I’ve been having since AUM Ritual

I was happy to be able to see Milosz and have a quick chat before we left too. He reminded me this wasn’t a psytrance festival as I wrote in the warm-up article, but rather a rave. I liked it very much actually and the various music genres that passed, I think everyone who likes to party would enjoy. Through this building up and shuffling from acoustic/chillout to dub, to techno, tekno, Psytrance and Old School Goa, you aren’t left seeking other kinds of music as you sometimes have with other festivals. Everything was present and diverse!

As promised, the water upstream was clean and none of us got sick after regularly drinking from it. A good reminder why we should be more careful with our water reserves and nature in general.

Clean water from the mountains. ©

Milosz also reminded me to be honest in my review and there are certainly points of improvement, but I believe they’ve really set the base for what has to become a 3 year project.

Big thank you to Milosz, Carol and the dedicated crew who made this all possible. And if you attended the festival, considering making a donation because while the atmosphere was incredible, more people were expected to show up. Fore more pictures of AUM Ritual, visit the Mystical Pics page. There’s many more festival pictures up there too. Like to continue reading? Check out some of our other festival reviews