About This Festival
With Carnaval de Bahidorá, Mexico’s stake in the pantheon of hipster destinations is complete. If Mexico City is the capital of cool then Bahidorá is a shimmering outpost off the well-tread path. It’s been called “the global festival circuit’s best kept secret,” and now, entering its sixth season, it’s putting Morelos, Mexico, on the map for music-loving experience hunters.
Just look at its lush natural surroundings, the beautiful setup with pops of color and so much attention to detail, and oh, the vibes! You can feel them emanating from any screen or device as they go straight into your heart. The people are as gorgeous as you would expect them to be, and the community seems to be knit with love.
Beyond the gaga setting is Carnaval de Bahidorá’s expertly curated programming, which puts mucho substance in the sauce. Musical and regional diversity are clear first principles. Performers have included worldwide names such as Coco Rosie, Modeselektor, Slow Magic, and De La Soul, along with Central and South American talent like La Yegros, La Banda Boston, Chancha via Circuito and ÌFÉ. Also nicknamed the “Carnival of Flavors,” there’s plenty of tasty (and plant-based, natch) fare to keep the vibes nourished and high.
Note that Bahidorá doesn’t call itself a festival, and that’s intentional. “Carnaval” is more like it for an event that weaves in experiential elements like processions of local performers, magicians, art installations, and classes in the circus arts. The creative force behind the event is called The Magic Community and anyone is welcome to apply to help build the event from the ground up and contribute to vital aspects of its culture, which include:
As with other events with a leave no trace ethos, Carnaval de Bahidorá’s hope is to leave its site as whole and picturesque as it was before the 6,000 punters come to enjoy its grounds. Led by the Impacto Cero organization, Bahidorá’s sustainability practices include separating trash, encouraging attendees to pick up out-of-place garbage, promoting carpooling, and using compostable/recyclable materials wherever possible.
“La Linterna Forum” is the space for creatives to pursue their dreams through learning, experimentation and exploration. Stop here for educational workshops, science experiments, magic tricks, lively debates and life reflections. In addition, the Bahidorá Art Circuit contains ten ephemeral installations developed by plastics artists and sculptors. Built to stimulate the senses, the pieces pulsate with lights, lines, movements, sounds, and more.
Through meditation, yoga, food, and sound therapy, Isla B is a place to find enlightenment, heal inner wounds, and conquer personal obstacles. Step into this zone to connect with tall trees that expand into the clouds, or to experience trickling sounds of water that evoke peace and relaxation.
If Carnaval de Bahidorá looks and sounds like an idyllic oasis, it is. You’d have to pinch yourself hard to remember that it takes place in a sometimes volatile country. Bahidorá co-founder Iñigo Villamil addressed this in 2015, when he told The Guardian: “We know the gravity of the situation but we’re not scared away by it. Although Morelos [where Bahidorá takes place] is a pretty violent state, it’s focused. It’s definitely not here. Ten years ago there was a cartel located 15 minutes away, but it’s gone. So if you know where to go, it’s not dangerous.”