1. People And Community
In all honesty, I preferred the crowd in Boom festival rather than Ozora. Even though Boom is much bigger, the people in Boom seem to share some sort of common vibration that Ozora doesn’t quite satisfy. I felt like Boom was much more of a community of like-minded people, whereas Ozora was pretty fragmented. The crowd in Boom is more peaceful and psychedelic whereas in Ozora it’s more crazy, rough, a lot of drunk people, and a different drug environment. I felt more alone in Ozora walking around alone than I did in Boom (relatively, because I didn’t feel alone in either and made lots of friends in both).
And this makes all the difference when you’re tripping as well; I went to Boom alone, and in Ozora I went with friends but I spent a lot of time alone too; and doing acid was a much better experience in Boom. It was just a lot more comfortable and fluid. In Ozora, there were points where I wasn’t entirely comfortable. It’s all well and good that I can handle the drug, but at even larger doses I wouldn’t have a second thought in Boom, but in Ozora I would because of the vibe of the crowd. Of course this also comes down to personal preference. I made a lot more friends in Boom, and I even lost my phone in the middle of the Dance Temple on the second day (think 20,000+ people). I got it back the next day – and people were getting back everything from combs to wallets full of cash, in the Lost and Found area. This isn’t as common in Ozora, which says something significant about the type of community in each.
2. Not Commercial
I guess the main difference between the two boils down to a conversation I had with the guy beyond the Info desk in Ozora. “I don’t even like this type of music,” he said. What? You don’t even like techno? And he said, “No I hate electronic music.” So why are you doing this? I asked him; “It’s a job, I’m doing it for money,” he said with a smile on his face. And at that point my whole feeling of Ozora made a lot more sense, and I realized there’s just no comparison between the two. In Boom festival, most of the people who work there are volunteers. They are people that attended the festival and love it for what it is; you can register to be a volunteer when you go there, for the next one. They don’t do it for money, because they just get free accommodation, passes and food; they are doing it because of love. And this makes all the difference in how you feel in that type of environment and what kind of vibe you get. After all you wouldn’t just be incentived by free stay if you didn’t even resonate with the psychedelic community.
3. Setting + Lake
Though Ozora is a lot more green, I preferred the setting of Boom Festival. It’s situated around this huge lake which you can easily swim a kilometer in. Because the weather is so hot, the lake is awesome to jump into during the day. Ozora recently made a man-made lake but it’s not that great in comparison. They have a restriction as to the number of people that can go in at a time and there are a bunch of attendants just standing there. Also, the area where Boom is situated is a lot larger, and so even though there are more people than Ozora, it feels much less cramped. There’s plenty of random spaces in Boom to go and chill; they’ve tied hammocks all around the healing and chill-out areas and because the campsite is so far, I would just go and pass out there in the morning and then start again in the afternoon. However, there isn’t as much greenery in Boom as there is in Ozora. So it can feel a bit dry especially in the heat but it didn’t make too much of a difference for me.
4. Availability And Quality Of Drugs
In Portugal, drugs are decriminalized. This means that there is no checking when you enter, and also inside the festival, sale and consumption of drugs is very open. They even have an area where you can get your drugs tested for purity, for free, to check they are safe to consume. In Ozora, most of the drugs are sold on the stairs that go down towards the main stage and it’s super shady. It’s more like people are trying to sell you drugs without any consciousness; and it’s not always that good quality. It was extremely hard to find weed in Ozora though in Boom it was super easy. My friends managed to score some weed but it was literally like the bush weed you get in Asia. In Boom, there are bunch of ‘candy shops’ where people set up stalls and you can purchase