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Review: Holi Festival at Benimussa Park, 20 June

All the colours and all the fun

Who doesn't want to get covered in rainbow-coloured powder paint at an open-air venue in the sunshine, with top DJs within touching distance? No one, that's who. So people appeared in their droves on Monday for Holi Garden Fest at Benimussa Park. A nod to the Hindu festival that takes place in spring to celebrate the harvest and the beauty of spring's abundant colours, Holi Fest sees revellers coming together dressed in white, all in the name of throwing vibrant masses of coloured powder at each other in wild celebration. And yes, it really is as fun as it sounds.

Myself and a fellow Spotlight writer ventured to Benimussa Park to see what all the fuss was about and to be honest, we couldn't wait to get messy. At 6.30 PM we entered the venue and already an impatient crowd had formed in queues for paint. Once served, every inch of ground almost immediately turned into a vivd painting - within minutes there wasn't a dry patch of land to be seen.

"Even my eyelashes had been transformed into pink and purple butterfly-like wings - peoples' eyeballs were probably the only things that went untouched."

Crowd pleasing classics provided the soundtrack, with nods to big tunes like ‘Horny' (Mousse T) and ‘Lets Jack' (Breach) reverberating through the open air. Smokes of paint peppered everyone's faces - I looked over at my friend raving in the middle of the mayhem and she was plastered in every colour imaginable. She flashed me a smile and the paint had turned her teeth and gums green. Even my eyelashes had been transformed into pink and purple butterfly-like wings - peoples' eyeballs were probably the only things that went untouched.

I was stood on the jam-packed dance floor when the DJ started a 10-second countdown. Everyone was melted to the spot mesmerised - we counted down together and prepared to launch our bags of paint like weapons. But before the DJ had even got down to one, paint explosions had already gone off. A multicoloured halo hung over the crowd's heads and there were happy faces all round - with some demonstrating better aim than others. By the time the night was over, the crowd looked like dusty zombies, filing out in a blaze of paint-induced euphoria. I can't wait to get back there and smother myself in more kaleidoscopic colour, and Holi Garden Fest should be at the top of your Ibiza hit list too. Just remember to leave your best attire at home for this one.


WORDS | Caoimhe Harkin

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