When it comes to describing Taka Tuka Festival in words things become a little tricky, its somewhat the same as trying to render the idea of enlightenment into written or spoken language, you fundamentally just cannot and actually, the more you try, the further you get from explaining it. Thats because its a feeling, and feelings must be felt, not understood.
The best way I can describe Taka Tuka however, would be to imagine the period surrounding Christmas, when you know Christmas is just going to be the best Christmas ever, your extended family is complete with around 350 beautiful people with lots of energy and special musical/artistic skills. Put all this festivity onto a small island on the Danube with a limited supply of electricity yet unlimited supply of alcohol, food and music, pepper that with casual nudity and glorious sunny weather and you have the recipe for a great festival.
Compared to last year everything was 100x better not only from the weather, the fact that there was a well and access to abundant clean drinking water, but also the construction and basic infrastructure were massively improved. Previously the bar and kitchen in the main area were basically built from oversized twigs, however this year, tree trunks set a solid foundation for the structures to live on for years to come. Even better is that no trees were cut down to build the structures but the trees had been fell by beavers and reclaimed by the gang to build. The dance floor went from flooded muddy swap land to smooth beach stones centred with an all new DJ booth which took the form of a pirate ship extending from the base of a dead tree. The ship was complete with its own sails and mast, which you could really climb! The tree house was also more solid and better established with ropes, rings and things to play on. A new addition was the hate bar, here you could release your inner demons and let it 'all' out. What was the chill/jam stage last year was only a seating platform for the new Esperanto stage. A medium sized tensile structure over a solid, surprisingly flat, stage and this year there was a much needed bar in this area too. There was also a new area, probably my favourite addition, the Garden of Eden. This area was located a short walk down the island, separated from the music, it was a paradise in its own right. Even though there was no stage so to speak, here I heard some of the best music of the festival as musicians would rock up with their instruments and go acoustic and jam together. Best of all were the dijurido and the flute, both sounds sent from above!
My personal experience of the festival was one of much drawing and a lot dancing, I held an Adam and Eve themed Life Drawing session in the Garden of Eden then became horrendously ill with flu and other things... The sickness stopped me for 16 hours but not for longer, I continued to draw and dance and see out the rest of the festival in good spirits. I drew so much that in 5 days I filled an entire sketchbook (roughly 150 pages) with pen drawings of various moments I found myself in.
Here is a selection of the best drawings. Please bare in mind that a lot of the drawings were made with in extremely low light conditions which makes legible drawing a challenge.
A few more...
I hope you enjoy these drawings, whether you were able to make it to Take Tuka or not, I hope they give you an insight (or my insight) into the island and the people that inhabited it for this small period of time. Maybe you recognise some of the faces in the scribbled lines, possibly even see yourself. I cannot thank the Taka Tuka crew enough, the Brothers, their lovers and everyone who pitched in big or small, you made the best festival I've ever been to, with that you get all my love and respect & my attendance next year!