We finally made it past Ukraines dodgy roads and corrupt police to Kazantip festival. This festival has acheived some kind of legendary status as a bit of an off the wall, krazy type of party. The way it's marketed and from videos and stuff you see on youtube etc. you kind of get the impression that anything goes at the festival, so of course I was very excited to see what's it all about!


The festival actually describes itself as an 'independent republic'. It even has its own self elected king and queen. You need to buy a 'Viza' to get entry to the festival which is basically just a fancy name for buying a ticket. This year (known as Z21, its 21st year of running), the festival ran for 2 weeks, (31st July to 14th July) though in previous years it had run on for an entire month! Definately would need to have a lot of stamina (and money!) to last out such a festival for the whole of that time.


I'd actually been expecting it to run for the whole of August and it was a bit of a shame for us that it was shortened down, as because of other plans we couldn't shift on it basically meant we only had 3-4 days to spend at the festival. It wasn't a major issue for me though, as to be honest, I'd not really budgeted in my trip a lot of money for burning away at a festival! I'd done plenty of that in the UK before I left :)


We bought our Visa's for entry but before actually going in went back to a cool little apartment room that Radu had pretty randomly managed to blag for the four of us. This reminds me of one thing I really miss about the Ukraine is their canned cocktails. In the Ukraine supermarkets, you can buy pretty much any cocktail you can think of, pre-mixed in a 500ml (beer can size) can, for less than £1 each. This seemed like a great deal to me so I was well stocked on cans of mojito's, tequila sunrise etc. as well as plenty of beer.


So after getting suitably trolleyed before entering (in order to avoid expensive drink prices inside) we made our way inside the main festival... and to be honest I wasn't massively impressed as there appeared to be basically no proper music whatsoever! There were lots of people chilling on the beach, a few bars playing tunes out of small speakers, a nice sea to go and splash around in but a lack of any decent amounts of raving going on!


Annoyingly, things didn't really change until after about 12pm...so if you are planning on going to Kazantip definately bear in mind that things don't really start going until past midnight, during the daytime you might aswell just be at a beach anywhere else in the world.


Once things did get going, it was really pretty cool to see as the venue is totally awesome, they have put a lot of effort into all the stages, good sound equipment, general decoration about the place including this cool metal walkway gantry thing (impossible to walk on bare feet tho)...good lights, loads and loads of lasers, smoke machines etc.  This was all really cool to me...


The only real issue for me was the almost complete lack of any decent music i.e. some breakbeats or some bass or something. It was almost exclusively pretty damn boring minimal techno, and not even good stuff, just a bit shit really (my personal opinion obvs im sure it is actually amazing to someone). I can't blame the festival for this at all really because on the line up there sure was  A LOT of artists I would LOVED to have seen. I think I was just unlucky that there was pretty much nothing of interest to me on the days we'd chosen to visit. If we'd been able to come a week later, my perspective would have been pretty different I reckon!


I'm also sure that its related to this fact that I just didn't really feel the vibe...it just seemed a bit too tame for my liking. People were just kind of gently bobbing away to the music, I didn't see any evidence of people properly 'aving it basically or of any authentic raving going on. I'd come to the festival with this impression of Kazantip "whoa Kazantip that's crazy mannn!!" and anybody that's heard of it will most likely give you this impression - but what I saw on those particular days seemed just a bit to civilised and perhaps even a bit poser-ish (i.e. people were dressing rave, and walking the walk etc. but it really didn't feel like a proper party to me for whatever reason!).


Kind of seemed like a load of rich Russians coming down to show off how cool they are at a bit of an over-hyped festival.


Again, this is in all likelihood not Kazantip's fault itself. I reckon the vibe might have been completely different i'f i'd been lucky enough to come on one of the drum and bass nights or something :)


So in conclusion, definately a bit of a mixed review, I'm definately happy I went and got to see what it's like but in my opinion its basically nothing massively special and you could do a lot better at many festivals in the UK. I should also add that on the second night, I got chucked out of the festival by heavy handed security dressed in military gear for the heinous offence of doing a piss in an unapproved place!  This was actually listed as the number one offence in their little pamphlet with rules in it. Annoyingly, you have to pay to use the toilet everytime, the temptation was too great and eventually I got busted!

There was some consolation though...one of the Irish guys we'd been hanging out with also got busted at about the same time for attempting to piss in the sea! I guess going for a quick dip in the sea at 1 am when its freezing cold isn't fooling anybody!









Festival entrance - no need to buy tickets in advance
APC at a festival? Only in the Ukraine!
Wicked main stage...shame it was hardly ever on!
Black Sea beach venue is difficult to beat
Coliseum Stage - was playing some crazy hardcore at this point
Have a nice trip! Just don't piss in an unapproved place!

I guess my judgement was always gonna be impaired when the last massive party I went to was French-Tek... which was a proper rave which you don't have to PAY for!  And Vama Veche beach, Romania, had a lot a more to offer in terms of good music and vibes and that was also free. More about that later...