The 4/4 beat starts slowly. The high frequencies are filtered while the filter cutoff gradually opens up. The bassline now comes to the fore bit by bit. The synth uplifters set in and an unreal, mystical, abstract sound complements the composition. The sound increased to seemingly immeasurable highs. Drum rolls kick in, preparing the crowd for the approaching drop.
Drop, break, drum roll.
One last pause: BOOM!
The bass line kicks in and 26,000 people from all over the world start dancing wildly under the 27-meter-high Balinese bamboo temple complex in Portugal, which was specially made for the festival.
Some scream, some jump. Some cry, and some laugh. Almost everyone here is tripping. Plenty of LSD as far as the eye can see. I stand on the massive dancefloor while a dude with a drug vendor’s tray zips by me in an over-the-top, psychedelic pimp-like outfit, selling a hodgepodge of top-quality drugs. LSD, cocaine, MDMA, ketamine. Whatever you wanted—this guy probably had it. The Boom Festival 2006 was a parallel, interactive, out-of-the-ordinary reality. The new underground culture called Psytrance is in full swing on its way to taking over the world. At least that’s how it felt to me back then.
A dynamic duo
Michael is about 176 centimeters tall and has a rather peculiar physiognomy. His face is a bit drawn out and he has thin, pursed lips. His eyebrows are particularly noticeable in the upper half of his face. Most of the time he seems highly focused, but this is mainly due to the fact that he is constantly on speed. And that since his father sent him to the stuff at the age of 12. Michael was now 17 and a successful pep dealer in Fürstenfeld Bruck, a suburb of Munich. Both socially disadvantaged and well-off families live in the region. Surprisingly, Michael actually comes from a reasonably good family. But only halfway. His father is a Schovinist drug dealer. He is hopelessly intellectually inferior to Michael. Since he is a functioning speed junkie himself, he sends Michael to do the stuff himself at the age of 12.
When I met Michael, he was already a thoroughbred amphetamine addict. His entire life cycle was tied to the stuff.
The Status Quo
Even though I’m only eighteen, after just a few hours on the Boom, my pockets are filled with some of the best drugs money can buy, money, and toys. Every day we made huge amounts of money on the Boom. Through my numerous trips to various festivals in Europe, I had good contacts with Israeli drug dealers who sold pure LSD in laboratories. Michael, the friend who bought me the ticket and trip for the Boom earlier, had enough money to invest, so we were able to buy the drugs at unbelievably cheap rates. Over the course of the Boom Festival, he has built up an impressive collection of drugs, which he expanded even further at the following Utopia Festival. The trips were available in thousands of DIN AO sheets. The Israeli had several hundred of these bows in his well-guarded trunk. We paid just one fifty a trip and then sold them on for eight to ten euros. 25 trips each resulted in a square picture. Our blotters were decorated with the impressive portrait of Albert Hofmann, which Alex Gray had painted for his hundredth birthday and personally presented to the legendary scientist. A feast for the eyes. Many people buy fifty trips straight away. 25 to use at the festival and 25 for at home. The quality of the trips cannot be compared to today’s productions. The finest organic paper and food coloring were used for the high-quality printing. In addition, the LSD trips were glazed after completion to prevent the loss of LSD from the paper. LSD was the best you could buy back then. 225 micrograms per trip. Not the 100 micrograms “party trips” that were otherwise sold at events. Unquestionably first class LSD. The quality of our goods meant that we sold hundreds of LSD trips a day without any effort. People at Boom bought our stuff in bulk. In some cases, we made several thousand euros in net profit a day, contributing to the general loss of reality.
A Psychedelic Multiverse
However, Boom is more than just a music festival. Countless lectures, seminars, exhibitions, and performances make the festival seem like a creative paradise. The fact that I played at this lake as a little four-year-old boy intensifies my trip and makes it a personal shamanic journey through my young life so far. Despite my many years of the festival experience, the whole thing seems to me like a journey into the future of psychedelic culture. It was a gigantic spiritual journey that would soon culminate on the shores of North Africa.
To be continued…
Work in progress of the Chapter “Boom Festival 2006” from the work in progress Book “ALIT – A Life in Trance” [Working Title] by Samuel Zimmermann