Preview: Meadows in the Mountains Festival 2014

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If you’re looking for an adventure this summer, Meadows in the Mountains – a wild mountaintop festival in Bulgaria entering its fourth year – looks set to be one of the most unique electronic music events one could find on the continent this year. While the muddy, lager-fueled festival has long been institution of the Great British summer; the international festival has quickly become a new norm.

Warm weather, cheap beer, picturesque settings with abundant sunshine, and often, cheaper tickets, have created hordes of emigrant festival-goers refusing to accept that you have to freeze and soak as a prerequisite to listening to good music outdoors. This has resulted in a smorgasbord of Balkan festivals offering the same pick-n-mix headliners. This lack of originality is the problem that Meadows in the Mountains – a purposefully intimate and unusual festival– promises to remedy.

Set above the clouds in the stunning Rhodopian Mountains, Meadows in the Mountains promises an expressively wild and bohemian hilltop party that is ‘unlike any other festival experience in the world’. The 600-man, 3-day, 80+ artist, mountain shindig offers an otherworldly vibe on the crest of ‘jaw dropping untouched vistas’ sound tracked by artists spanning Disco, House, Electronica, Accoustic, Chill, Jazz Funk.

Two main stages that amount to small wooden rave-shacks on massive sound systems – appropriately named the sunrise and sunset stages – are strategically placed on each side of the summit to create an ethereal backdrop that maximizes the sizzling Bulgarian sun as it arches over the breathtaking surroundings.

These will play host to a curated bill consisting of workhorses of electronic, house, ambient and more experimental live music, from underground scenes around the world. Berlin’s Watergate fixture Ruede Hagelstein, San Proper’s eclectic party cuts, the blissful choppy grooves of Maayan Nidam, Alex Barck of soulful house collective Jazzanova, and Gilles Peterson-endorsed British Ghanaian musician Andrew Ashong will all resonate across the expansive vistas; as well as providing a platform for lesser-known Bulgarian talent to cut their teeth.

Beyond music, the quirks continue to abound from the wacky to the downright dangerous. Horse & cart taxis to Bulgarian home stays where hosts ply you with booze, a mountain zip line, downhill grass bobsleighing, a ‘death slide’, horse riding, nearby waterfalls and natural thermal springs, and the trips across the border to the Greek Coast, mean no meadower will be bored.

Meadows in the Mountains looks committed to pushing the boundaries of the European festival circuit with a notably different and fun-loving attitude. Tickets cost a nifty 100 and can be found at www.meadowsinthemountains.com.

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