First held in 1992 as a means to celebrate the end of the windsurfing season, Kazantip has grown exponentially since. Moving in 2001 from its original home of the turbine hall of the unfinished Crimean Atomic Energy Station, to its new home on the peninsula, Kazantip is now a massive lifestyle event that entertains more than 150,000 people each year.
These days, kaZantip presents itself as a Republic, where individuals need to obtain a viZa to gain entry and observe and obey a constitution written by the eccentric founder of the festival, Russian Nikita Marshunok. Whilst previously the play ground of Russian Mafia and esoteric and peculiar Eastern Europeans, the gradual relaxing of Ukrainian visa regulations means each year kaZantip welcomes more and more people of the Western persuasion.
Whilst supposedly all about free love (which is often seen literally taking place on the beach and surrounds of the festival), kaZantip’s drug use is increasingly making headlines, much to the chagrin of the post soviet government and festival organizers. Despite the constant media releases distributing information to the contrary, it doesn’t take a genius to draw the bow between neo-trance, drum and bass, body painting, 21 hours of music a day across 14 dance floors, and illicit drug use. However, this drug use is merely fact and this observation has only been noted to draw attention to the ironic manner in which the organizers continue to ignore its existence.
What is truly a unique experience and seemingly as much about nudity as music, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. So, if you feel that way inclined, jump on a plane to Ukraine and enjoy the sans judgement, sans mind experience that is kaZantip.
- Looking for an alternative to Ibiza or Burning Man this year? KaZantip Republic could be it (shinesquad.me)
- Music festivals guide 2012: festivals in europe (guardian.co.uk)