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Image: Kim Burrel
Image: Kim Burrel

Earthdance: More Than a Festival

Kim Burrell

Earthdance, started by Chris Deckker in 1996, has now been held in 80 countries and over 1000 locations, which makes it one of the biggest internationally synchronized music events. What makes Earthdance even more unique is that proceeds go to charities all over the world.

Just an hour and a bit out of Grahamstown, mother earth opened up and created a little paradise, between luscious farms and a seemingly untouched beach, 300 people came together to celebrate the world.

The campsites were filled with a kaleidoscope of color, and laughing, smiling faces, catching up on lost time or planning their next move. This was my first festival experience where I had met such a multitude of friendly people.

All Images by Kim Burrell
All Images by Kim Burrell

After a long walk through the forest and a stroll on the beach, the sun died and stage lights rose to life. The luminous colors of the stage were in shapes of leaves, shrubbery and trees. People moved with energy, and without restriction, some smiling, some with eyes closed, but all in their own spaces, freely moving.

At exactly 2 o’clock on Sunday morning, the Prayer for Peace music track was played at the same time all over the world, thousands of people stopped at the same time and prayed for the beauty of this earth, for their families, friends and communities. Although I could not, literally see everybody in the world praying together, it was a surreal feeling to be part of something far bigger than I have ever been in.


A couple hours after, everybody headed back to their tents bit by bit, and later that morning celebration began again. There was a real sense of familiarity this time, like everybody knew everybody. No matter how small, it felt like something was achieved, the world was a little brighter than it was before. Earthdance was not only a festival, Earthdance was an eye opening experience, illuminating on the inherent beauty and goodness in this world.

The world is magical and Earthdance showed me this.

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