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Review: Holi Garden Festival at Benimussa Park, 16th July

The impossible has happened as Ibiza has its first cloudy day...

Holi Festival is a traditional Hindu celebration found dominantly in South East Asia and India. On this day, all castes of the indian caste-system are nullified and put out of force, bringing a day of commemoration as all people are made equal. Attendees of the festival rejoice on the streets by covering each other in paint, dancing and eating. Wednesday, marked Spotlight's first team night out, as we all became one for Holi Garden Festival at Benimussa Park.

Strolling in, Spotlight's finest were dressed in their crispest whites and fresh faced smiles. As we began to approach the main stage I began to see the cloudy dust hovering around the gauntlet we were walking into. Zoo animals were locked away, meaning the only predators I could see were the splattered paint bandits waiting for our arrival. Armed with bags of multi coloured paint, their weapon of choice looked a bit different to the conventional paint. Powdered with a consistency resembling flour, this stuff is lighter and moves noticeably faster than wet paint.

Resident DJs Tom Pool & Claudio Ricci were behind the decks, playing the smooth piano riff of Colt by Dense & Pika, easing me into my demise. The first few hits dusted my back and shoulders giving my skin a painless colourful powdery glow. Once in the gauntlet I knew there was no turning back, and therefore shifted my attention to the music rather than running. Spinning a collection of tech-tingled deep house, the boys kept the massacre anthems centered around popular Ibiza club hits over the past two seasons. One of my favourite summer tracks this season Forget by Patrick Topping (featured on our June 2014 soundtrack) was surely a crowd pleaser, hitting them with an infectious vocal hook and heavy bass line carried by notes from a discoey cowbell. Yes, thats right a discoey cowbell. I don't even know if thats a real thing, but the idea alone is enough to make me dance.

Grooving to music, the dance floor army grew in size as stilt walkers and hula hoopers invaded the battle scene. Running around my duck and cover tactic needed to a new approach as the stilt walkers made it rain paint covering my head and any inch of bare skin left. Once the prey, team Spotlight now joined in on the hunt of looking for anyone looking remotely clean. Taking our tactical positions to throw, blow and dump the paint on them - we crept up on all of these wide-eyed late arrivals taking them right into the pit with us.

Saved by the MC, we were all called to the stage to countdown our first paint explosion. Hands filled with powder, the crowd went wild throwing paint into the air creating a multicoloured cloud of dust that hovered right above our heads. Scrambling to grab more and dust each other even further, it was quite obvious that we were all approaching that tragic point of colour mixing also known as brown. This of course didn't stop the fun as I looked for more ways to amp up my powdery appearance by painting warrior stripes on my face, zebra stripes on my arms and even giving myself a little pedicure (fancy!) The DJs set a more peaceful tone down our antics, while using the classical piano melody from chillout house track How Intensive by Sun Trust as a drawn out buildup taking us into the night. Wrapping the night, an industrial sized leaf blower greeted us at the exit, blowing off layers of paint powder making us now look like dusty zombies - also known as the disco bus standard.

WORDS | Sara McNutt PHOTOGRAPHY | Holi Festival

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