An Unexpected Headliner
The main headliner for Meadows in the Mountains has been the same every year of its seven-year run. Ask anyone who’s ever been to this little festival in Bulgaria’s Rhodopes Mountains and they’ll tell you that the most important act to catch at this festival is the sun rising over the misty mountaintops at dawn
Located near the border that Bulgaria shares with Greece, Meadows in the Mountains takes place on a literal mountaintop in the town of Polkovnik Serafimovo. British brothers Benji and Damian Sasse started it as a party, after their parents bought a house in the town (which now serves as a festival meeting point, when it’s not utilized as a tea shoppe during the other 362 days of the year). At first, Meadows in the Mountains hosted no more than a few dozen people, but these days, the festival welcomes closer to 1,000 people while still working with locals to maintain a familial atmosphere.
Due to the remote location, Meadows in the Mountains only has two main stages, from which DJs play soul, funk and folk during the daylight hours, and techno, house, and deep house music — especially highlighting unsigned and underground European artists — at night. If you wander around the festival grounds, however, you might find quirky spots like a garage with a champagne bar attached to it deep in the woods, the magical Wishing Tree, or a pirate ship in the sky that floats on the mist.
Wear Your Trippiest Wares
While you’re dancing on a pirate ship that’s floating on a mountain, it’s important to dress the part, and Meadows in the Mountains is not for the faint of fashion. The festival has been described as “house music for hippies,” so wear whatever that means to you — feathers (but not appropriated native headpieces, thanks), glitter, bright colors, tie-dye, mesh, and more. The more psychedelic, the better.
Additionally, the festival is committed to sustainability, so your accessory choices aren’t just limited to those on your body. Meadows in the Mountains has banned all non-reusable plastic from the site, so be sure to grab a metal reusable cup to be served at the bars, or bring your own snazzy water bottle/carrying contraption for fashionable, eco-friendly hydration.
Post-Festival Pool Party
Even though the festival technically goes on for three days, the party doesn’t stop afterwards. The day after the festival officially ends, the Orpheus Spa Hotel hosts the official Meadows in the Mountains after-party. Located about four hours away from the official grounds, the hotel is in the center of the town of Devin — still within the luscious Rhodopes Mountains, but considerably closer to Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital city.
The hotel itself, which opened in 2011, looks much older than its years. Its exterior has a 16th century half-timbered design, while the indoor and outdoor thermal pools feature modern touches. Amenities include a sauna, steam bath, soccer field, and access to hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and more.
This 24-hour post-fest fete features DJs from the event spinning poolside, indoor festivities during the day and night, as well as access to all of the hotel’s spa facilities. Tickets to The Orpheus Pool Party are affordable and generally sell out. But in addition to entrance to the event, that pass includes transportation from the festival to the hotel, one room for one night at the hotel, and complimentary breakfast the following morning. Not a bad deal.