Erica Brincat sits down with Duncan Fenech, the organiser of The Bubble, for an interview with The Independent.
How did the idea for The Bubble Festival materialise?
6 years ago I was going through a stage of maturity and growth in my life. My awareness so to speak, was expanding. I was noticing that we need to share more, care more, love more, be more, create more and most importantly be those individuals that we are truly meant to be. Then the whole concept occurred to me. We are living in a bubble. This bubble represents the sphere of our life here in Malta, sheltered by our family, our friends and our homes. As amazing as our bubble is, the idea of The Bubble Festival is basically an eye opener, an awakening and awareness to what’s going on outside our bubble.
Where will The Bubble Festival be held this year and why did you choose this particular location?
The Bubble started off as a small party 6 years ago at Groove Gardens at Gianpula but funnily enough before that I had gone looking to organise The Bubble at Ghajn Tuffieha. I remember speaking to the bar owner there, asking if I could throw a party for charity and have yoga sessions on the beach for sunset. I had eventually gone for the safest possible venue option at the time, Groove Gardens at Gianpula. Then 2 years later it moved on to Buskett, using Chateau Buskett and the car park and now the original location I was after seems to have come back to me. The statute and mission of what is now the Bubble NGO (www.facebook.com/thebubblemalta) of which I am the president, is completely in line and resonance with that of the Gaia Foundation. Andrew Schembri from the Why NOT? NGO could see this and immediately brought us together for a meeting. Thanks to them we will be holding this year’s festival at The Elysium and the surrounding area, supporting our various missions and this year’s main cause, ‘Garden of Smiles’ by RIGHT2SMILE.
During other music events you organise, you are now incorporating holistic activities such as yoga and free diving. What has pushed you in this direction?
Well I’ve been interested in some of these activities since the age of 20 or so. As I grew older I decided to integrate my personal life into my events. I felt that it only made sense that people learn while having fun, about better and healthier ways of living. And what better way to do it than in the company of good friends and people. I got to a point in my life where I wanted to help set a good example to people. Whilst having a good time is a very essential part of life and smiling, laughter and enjoyment are some of the healthiest things we can benefit from, there was so much more that I felt I had to share and offer.
Is it the desire to create a community feeling and give back to the community?
Well yes definitely it is about that. It is about people working more and more to create a better society, to create a better understanding of humanity and one another. And yes it is also about giving back to the community. I organise many events and play music for a living, it is what I do! I’m not rich and cruising around in a big powerboat or anything but I’m so lucky to able to do what I love and earn a living from it. For this one event a year and hopefully more in time, I hope that I can give back to the community and inspire people to follow their hearts. Possibly by coming to The Bubble they will discover new talents and opportunities, through the workshops, talks and the people they meet. New ways of living and new ways of making a living.
Last year’s festival had a magical creative ritual whereby local artists spontaneously collaborated to create art together. Will you have something similar going on this year?
The answer to that question can only come from the people reading this. It very much depends on the artists’ participation. So anyone that is experienced in art, expressive and enjoys painting… YES we would like to bring artists forward, join us for one massive collab, one massive painting.
Pop My Gallery are helping us find some artists, but we are looking for more. We would like to create an open, massive beautiful canvas. A fusion of colour born to the atmosphere of The Bubble Festival and then we will sell it for charity to support the main cause of The Bubble 2015.
What kind of activities can we look forward to?
We are still booking activities over the next couple of weeks and will probably be accepting really good ones right up until the day. Many beautiful activities will be taking place! Ranging from workshops in which people can learn about music, theatre and art in general, all the way to the healing area with massage, yoga, guided nature walks, live and electronic music. We will have a light painting organised by Peter Mercieca supported by the festival goers – more information about that soon. We’ll have debates and open discussions that will be taking place by the Tower, prompted by some very inspirational characters. So yes! Loads and loads of excitement. I cannot stress enough how much all this will only be possible with your participation. Without it all these ideas and fun projects will be pointless. So we need everybody to partake, attend the workshops, join the talks, present a workshop themselves, get on the mic and say something they want to say to everyone. At the open mic sessions, people can voice their opinion and say whatever they feel like! Just go for it!
Will it be possible to camp out for the whole weekend?
Yes it will be. Camping tickets and other ticket types are available now from www.showshappening.com/TheBuBBleNGO/bubbletickets. The €25 camping ticket will include camping from Friday to Monday but you can choose to camp from earlier or till later if you like.
The Elysium is a pristine piece of ecological land. Will there be a Clean Up Team at the end of the festival to make sure the site is left unspoilt?
All the Sustainability, Waste Management and Environmental Care is going to be in the good hands of Global Green Events c/o Gayle Murphy and her very professional team. There will be over 20 split waste bin points and cleaning will take place throughout, not just at the end. We will have workshops on waste management and signage everywhere will help create more environmental awareness. People will be encouraged to join us on our mission to ensure we leave the area in a better state than we found it in. LOVE MALTA!
How do you see the future of event organisation in the Maltese Islands?
I am a very strong believer in the people in Malta and our big heart. Yes we have a lot to learn, we are on very small islands and still quite isolated on many levels. But I do believe in time we will have a series of great festivals and events taking place here which will help set an example to the world. Green sustainable ideas, great transformational music and a good heart, which I believe we will share with the world on such a deep level. I really feel that the heart of Malta is so big that if we come together we can really make a change. The world is a reflection of what’s in our heart. Change that and we can change everything!
This interview was originally posted in The Independent on August 31st 2015.