A weekend of festival and arts | Sunday Observer

A weekend of festival and arts

It was an event for the young and old and they gathered at Kite surfing Sri Lanka, Kandakuliya to imbibe the spirit of the place and enjoy the upbeat happenings – the whole reminiscent of Woodstock, Cochella and others of their ilk with strong traditional Sri Lankan overtones.

Kalpitiya, a peninsula located on Sri Lanka’s North Western coast with many attractions like sun kissed beaches, blue seas , whales, dolphins and donkeys is also Internationally famed as one of the best kite surfing locations in the world.

And on April 5, 6 and 7 Kalpitiya rocked as Wild Collective Kalpitiya took place in high gear. Wild Collective Kalpitiya was Sri Lanka’s first truly holistic festival celebrating the arts, culture and much more with a strong focus on protecting the environment. It was the joint effort of a group of friends and business men; Dilsiri Welikala ,owner of Kitesurfing Lanka (KSL) in Kandakuliya and Vayu Resort, Mannar; Keira Perera and Anais Garcia owners of Kite House Café, Kapallady and Arrvinda Salawatura artist and designer based in Unuwatuna in the south and all of whom have have opted out of the ‘corporate’ world to pursue their passions.

It was an event for the young and old and they gathered at Kandakuliya to imbibe the spirit of the place and enjoy the upbeat happenings – the whole reminiscent of Woodstock, Cochella and others of their ilk with strong traditional Sri Lankan overtones.

The décor was symbolic of the multi ethnic, multi cultural nature of the event – traditional Sri Lankan ‘Gok’ (tender coconut palm decorations), overhead drapes, large dream catchers and art and artefacts.

Music played a major part in the celebrations. From Fusion Flamenco (Barcelona) to Kaffir Musicians (Sirambiyadi, Puttalam) the music was truly awesome. Mad Scientist, Magic Banda and Lion Art were among the many artists who provided the music to suit the mood.Music by DJs fused into the atmosphere with Dors (UK),Echonid and Fued (Maldives) joining Dank Mac Daddy, Ashen, Lara and several others to keep the beat of the event going.

The Spirit of Wild Collective Kalpitiya was embodied in Drum Circle. Steven Philips’s masterly orchestration of the event meant that from grandpas to toddlers they belted out the beat to their heart’s content bonding with each other through the various beats.

Focusing on nature through art and culture was a main aim of Wild Collective Kalpitiya .Guest key speaker Dr. Ranil Senanayake focused on the grave danger of oxygen reduction on the planet. This was an interactive session. On Sunday morning John Wilson, Attorney-at-Law specialising in Environmental Law, spoke on the threats to the protected areas in Sri Lanka and it was a very informative and inspiring talk.

Arts and crafts saw adults and kids bringing their creativity to the fore with the kids reveling in clay sculpting.

Julianna, a corporate executive from Russia was full of enthusiasm for the festival. She said she was enjoying what was on offer in her own space and time. It is truly entertaining, informative, relaxing and rejuvenating was her verdict of Kalpitiya Collective Wild.

Ushenya, who was part of the Mad Scientist crew found the festival to be very well done and was having a load of fun. “ I love the atmosphere” she said.

Clare and Paul, both architects from Brisbane , Australia and quite often travel and act as volunteers. They came to Sri Lanka in March and was heavily involved with the décor, carpentry and other aspcts of the festival. The Youth Observer met them while they were manning the entry point. Again, they too were enjoying the Festival in their own space and time.

Being able to participate in the event in your own space and time was something which most participants valued and appreciated.

Nirmal Dias, a tattoo artist from Colombo said that Kalpitiya Collective Wild was different from the usual run of the mill festivals found in Sri Lanka. “Normally, it is mainly music” he said.” Here, there is much more like focusing on the arts and nature and I am enjoying myself very much”. Sulakshana from Colombo had learnt about the festival on FB and decided to attend. “First time I have been to a festival. This is really relaxing, artistic and I love the atmosphere”

Sander, a Dutch national from Le gzoningen in Holland and a videographer was volunteering at the Festival and found it to be a very rewarding experience in every way.

Kelum, a vendor of products made from the kola patha (covering of the stem of the arecanut branch said it was a different atmosphere at the Festival and he was glad to be there to enjoy the difference while marketing his products.

Everyone we spoke to was full of praise for the organisers for a job well done and the Youth Observer crew heartily endorse this view. 

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