“What's the overall vision? It’s going to be an Ibiza superclub style party with a super-positive atmosphere generated by state of the art electronic dance music, light and visuals and a gathering of the tribes: at Wembley Arena on the 12 December, culminating in 12,500 people chanting the Big Om together”
Chatting about his upcoming event at London’s 12,500 capacity Wembley Arena, Taoist teacher (and esteemed Skrufff contributor the Barefoot Doctor) is both enthusiastic and upbeat about what will be on offer at The Big Om.
“As well as the pure party elements there will be a discreet but focused shamanic narrative with the beat provided by interventions from various gurus, street-dancers, free-runners, yogic chanting masters, laughter yogis and assorted wise people,” he continues, “Starting with the more hypnotic side of dubstep, sliding into tech house, culminating in moving the house into the deepest state of consciousness.”
Plus a climatic moment (or two) involving everyone present on the night, he smiles.
“The peak moments will happen when all 12,500 people’s intentions are aligned and everyone is dropping the OM simultaneously,” he hums.
“They’ll be 12,500 people toning together with an electronic pulse, the sound miked and fed back through the system, creating a humongous sound wave to do something profoundly healing for everyone there and the world at large.”
Not yet releasing details of either which electronic bands, superstar DJs or inspirational gurus will be taking part (‘we're still in the thick of meetings and negotiating on the line-up but you can be assured it's world-class’, he promises), he’s otherwise keen to expound on his vision.
“As it says in the website animation we’ve done, the universe is primarily built on a sound wave and sound has been known since ancient times to be the most powerful healing medium there is,” he says.
I've had the vision for this and have been preparing for it for 30 years. It's like when I was given the gig by Manumission to 'bring the Tao to Ibiza' and I'd stand on the mike four times a night and do it with 6,000 people just for a moment and it totally shifted the atmosphere - and this is taking that and amplifying it over a whole event.”
Speaking on the animation video announcing the Big Om he cheerfully chats about gurus, so what makes him so what makes him more of a guru than the next person?
“I dedicate my life to it - but we all have our inner guru - and that's what I help people find - so no one is more of a guru than anyone else, other than in the pragmatic sense of how you spend your time,” he begins.
“I happen to have spent mine; to have dedicated my whole life to studying, training, then teaching the Taoist martial arts, meditation system, medicine and magic, and I trained in psychotherapy and lived with the Native Americans for four years, which is where I learned the shaman craft. I have written 16 books and taught and interacted with millions around the world, so guru-ing is my job.
“I could have been a taxi driver or even a taxidermist or tango instructor- though I doubt it, but I became this instead.”
Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): Starting with the event’s timing you mentioned you’ve been working towards it for 30 years, why does now mark a new beginning in particular?
Barefoot Doctor: “Sure, even every nanosecond is a new beginning, but there are certain moments in history when it's evident something unprecedented has built itself into being with such presence that it can't be ignored.
Since the 60s and even way earlier, there's been an exponentially growing spread of supra-consciousness - or what you might lazily and possibly inaccurately term ‘spirituality’. According to the Mayan calendar, the 21st December this year marks the end of a cycle of thousands of years, which either indicates the end of the world or the start of something entirely new and fresh.
My vote is with the fresh and new option and I have felt guided to assume the sound wave we're going to collectively produce will be an agent to help prompt that into being. There are some incredible minds on this planet and more and more of them are coming together faster and faster now, in what seems like a call from the subatomic realm to wake up the world. Something great is coming and I see it as a new golden era.”
Skrufff: On the video you also say ‘this event is going to be a portal" a healing for the world; how specifically?
Barefoot Doctor: “It's been proven that when just a few hundred people meditate together in any particular city, crime and depression rates drop around 30%. Sound healing is a super-powerful form of meditation and when 12.500 people's intention is aligned through it through the beat, pulse, tone, visuals and narrative, and embodied in sound as one voice, the effects will be huge. This has never been done before so how it will serve as a portal isn't yet revealed - all I know at this stage is it will be a portal.
Skrufff: looking at the ticket prices; for £2,500, people can buy 'the ultimate Big Om experience – we’re investing £2,500 in return for 20 priority front of arena tickets, PLUS access to the Hospitality Lounge throughout the event, PLUS access to the EXCLUSIVE after show party in the Barclaycard Unwind Lounge’: how can you prevent commercial sponsors like Barclaycard from diluting the overall vibe/ impact?
Barefoot Doctor: “Barclaycard are sponsors of Wembley Arena and part of their business equation and Wembley are totally behind this because they love the concept and can really see it, but this doesn't in any way reflect, impact or impinge on the event itself. The creative input is totally aside from anything corporate. We've just making it possible for people to get the first thousand tickets half price to get the ball rolling while we get it all set up, using crowd-sourcing and the above is just the maximum anyone can put in, in exchange for which they get a bit pampered. Seems fair enough to me.”
Skrufff: It also says 'Only three groups of people will have the chance to mingle with all the Big Om performers at the exclusive after show party, as well as get priority front of arena tickets and hospitality lounge access': how do you prevent elitism from damaging the collective consciousness?
Barefoot Doctor: “I don't know, you tell me - all I know is you want the good energy to last as long as possible and of course we'd all love everyone to be there and did discuss it but realised that if we did that, have an after show party for 12,500 people, we'd have to rehire Wembley Arena so thought better of it. In any case the best way to stop elitism dominating an event is to not be elitist yourself.”
Skrufff: How on Earth are you going to attract 12.500 people? Seems VERY ambitious . . .
Barefoot Doctor: “The concept and the line-up will attract the people - who wouldn't want to be part of this potentially historic life-changing event - like being at Woodstock back in the day, or the start of acid house parties - and at the very least you'll be part of a record-breaking crowd filling the subsonic stratum with a sound to blast the cobwebs away - that in itself will do it.
Along with that making a proper good noise about it through all channels and the deep need we're all feeling to join together in positive constellations now, and I'm feeling confident we'll have a full house. Already the energy and enthusiasm of the team is immense and it feels like an unstoppable force.”
Skrufff: What happens if only a few thousand show up?
Barefoot Doctor: “Naturally ahead of any event, the best you can do is project - you can't predict and I almost hesitated to say all the above lest it sounded arrogant in any way, as that’s the farthest from how I’m feeling about it - I feel humbled to be charged with serving in this capacity, and excited all the time about it - I've been working steadily towards it for 30 years after all - and whatever happens, I'll be spending the next nine months promoting a positive spirit and a celebration of humanity and we can never get enough of that.”
Barefoot Doctor is putting on The Big Om, electronic dance fest and mass sound-healing at Wembley Arena, London on 12.12.12 tickets at
Jonty Skrufff: http://listn.to/JontySkrufff