Secret Island Nation founder Bjorn chatted to Skrufff this week about preparations for the upcoming Swedish festival and revealed that they’re expecting a heat wave during the last weekend of July.
“We’ve been consulting some of the local fishermen and they’re all telling us to plan for extremely hot and sunny conditions,” said Bjorn.
“Apparently with the extra-ordinarily long and cold winter they’ve just experienced combined with certain unusual birds spotted in the area, the fishermen reckon the whole summer’s going to be a scorching hot, which is going to be a great contrast to last year.”
In 2009, the desert island event was hit be a hurricane which killed seven seaman who drowned when their ship sunk just three miles offshore while on the treeless island revellers sheltered in tiny tents, many of which blew away. Within hours of the storm passing, however, the sound system was restored, prompting a 72 hour party of unusual intensity.
“We had hot weather the year before and it was like Ibiza, with everybody dancing on the beach and in the sea, drinking cold German beer on tap, which was great but nothing compared to the vibe last year,” said Bjorn.
“There was this sense of adventure, of being at one with nature, of thinking ‘Oh my God, we’ve just survived a serious storm, outdoors, let’s celebrate and embrace the moment’. I believe the après-storm vibe was the most intense I've ever experienced among a large group of people. But having said that, this year we’re looking forward to enjoying some serious sunshine: 70 year old fishermen Kurt, who’s also the guy we rent out boats off, is never wrong,” he chuckled.
Early bird discount tickets are now sold out, though revellers who buy tickets at the warm up party at Salon de Renate in Berlin this Saturday (May 15) will get free admission for Renate (saving 10 euros). Bjorn also predicted that tickets will soon sell out altogether, with attendance limited to just 500 revellers, to protect the vibe and notable friendliness of the event.
“We’ve actively broadened the means of access this year and are offering buses not only from Berlin and Göteborg, but also Köln, Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen and Malmö,” he said. “And quite a few new party crews have registered and applied to be allowed to put up larger camps where they can provide their own activities, art or whatever they have in mind.”
“We’ve also enhanced the quality level of the line-up,” he added, “It seems like after 5 crazy years, we have reached a point of notoriety where we’ve had DJ requests from some major league DJs, such as Djuma Soundsystem, Raz Ohara and Eric D. Clarke, all of whom are playing. Plus we have the political part, the founding our own nation "Sweutschland" which consists of activities such as group role playing games or certain social scenarios, inventing our own currencies, organising a coup rather than theoretical workshops or discussions.”
Skrufff.com (Jonty Skrufff): What protection should people bring against the sun?
Secret Island Nation (Bjorn): “As there are no trees and not enough shelter for everybody under the public tents everyone should bring along good sun blocker. Due to the wind the sun may not feel so hot but the reflections from the water intensify the sun effect. One of the dance floors is literally on the beach so more often than not people end up dancing in the sea, so protection is vital. Shelters may creatively be put together with blankets and towels hung up between the tents, which makes the camping areas look like nomad camps.”
Skrufff.com: What else MUST people bring?
Secret Island Nation (Bjorn): “Apart from the mandatory state of being open-minded, hedonistic and tolerant a small but high quality camping standard tent is a must. Good shoes, a windbreaker jacket and a crazy outfit or two are also essential while swimming gear is voluntary. Great (local) food and cold drinks are available, so that's not a must-bring, though quite a lot of people bring stoves and cook; we also spotted the few Brits on the island last year boiling water each day for afternoon tea.”
Skrufff.com: Germans are famously enthusiastic about nudity: any rules concerning that on SIN?
Secret Island Nation (Bjorn): “I think that's a little bit of myth, though it used to be very common in former East Germany. On SIN it comes with the widespread feeling of total freedom of doing whatever pleases you, leaving your (mental) barriers on the mainland and living pure hedonism. Running naked over the dance floor straight to the beach with some just recently met fellow Sweutschers is one great way of expressing and experiencing this feeling. Others may prefer to choose a more remote granite rock to chill in nudity with their partner, relaxing and enjoying the waves, sun and the screams from the sea birds as a break from the boom boom from the main area. I also heard rumours about some guys preparing a group action/game involving nudity combined with Jägermeister. Of course, that's just a rumour.”
Skrufff.com: What’s happening on the island right now: when does everything get seriously started there?
Secret Island Nation (Bjorn): “Right now the residents are living on the island: sea gulls, seals, and the marten we spotted last year. The core team will begin building the camps some days before the festival begins, on Monday, 26 July and also stay a few days longer to clean up. Guests are also welcome to join in earlier than the official start. And, trust me, the very first thing that will be installed is the sound system.”