As I crossed the threshold from polite society into the entirely volunteer-led gathering called Confest, friendly faces welcomed me ‘home’. This, I thought to myself, is a place to lose yourself and find yourself all at once.
There is no doubt unusual and sometimes outright bizarre experiences occur at festivals – sights we wish we could unsee, feelings we never knew we could feel, moments of thought that end up changing the course of our lives forever.
The 2019 Autumn Confest did not fall short in this regard. Whether it is the infamous ‘Mudtribe’ who run around shouting jibberish like a bunch of apes threatening to take you back to primitive times, the fire drumming dance circle that doesn’t seem to stop until five in the morning, or maybe just the blatant absence of clothing; this festival has something to put any less-than-seasoned party veteran out of their comfort zone.
But don’t let that scare you off! Confest has been alive and kicking since the ’70s and has a lot more to offer than nudist hippies. With hundreds of workshops including breath work, yoga, Ted Talks, sound baths, tarot readings and acro-aerobics, there are boundless learning, professional development and self-healing opportunities for anyone and everyone to partake in.
And yes, for the more adventurous, naked river swimming, self-pleasure classes, death meditation and even organised orgies (with consent) are also on offer.
Confest truly is a place that respects the choice and freedom of the individual. You can get as involved or uninvolved as you wish. For some, Confest is a big, exciting family camping trip over Easter that just happens to be shared with thousands of strangers. For others, it’s an opportunity to make love to a stranger and contemplate the passing nature of existence.
No matter why you are making the trek to Moulamein, the beauty of this gathering is that once you arrive there’s plenty of time to realise your desires.
With six glorious days under your belt to relax at your camp, admire the art installations, hit up the silent disco, try out all the incredible vegetarian food stalls and be entertained by the nightly performances at Open Stage, Confest gives you the time to get ‘DTE’ (down to earth), pave your own way and explore any avenue to your heart’s content.