Echoes from Agartha: A Gathering of Lovers, Healers, Artists, Wanderers & Aliens
Echoes from Agartha runs from June 29 - July 3 in the utterly stunning, historic, and culturally vital Cappadocia, Turkey. It is an event unlike anything you have ever experienced before.
Where it happens is where humanity first evolved - the Cappadocia region which was formed 60 million years ago by the erosion of soft layers of lava and ash from Mount Erciyes (Argaeus), composed with wind and rain over millions of years.
Soundtracking it are Lee Burridge, Mind Against, Seth Troxler, WhoMadeWho, Chaim b2b Jenial, Tarsol, Elif, Majnoon and many more with a whole wealth of music, history, Turkish cuisine, horseback riding, hot air balloon rides, ceramics making, cave exploration, and so much more for artists, dreamers and travel lovers to get stuck into.
The last remaining tickets are available at www.echoesfromagartha.com.
Here we speak to the minds behind it.
Who is behind Gate Experience and Echoes from Agartha? What was the initial idea for the event?
We are Istanbul, Turkey-born, US resident siblings Yaaz and Yalim Acar who founded Gate in 2018 with the idea of curating immersive concept shows in Los Angeles, California. To date, we have successfully created many unique and successful event concepts. All of the themes have filmic aspects to them as well as storylines. The last one we gave birth to was our dream project, Echoes From Agartha, and it is the most ambitious one we have created so far. The whole idea behind EFA was to create a playground where we time travel to ancient times in the center of Anatolia, an area known as the cradle of civilization. The idea is to bring different tribes from different cultures together to allow them to experience the rich history, arts, and gastronomy of Cappadocia. We are pretty much awakening a lost kingdom after thousands of years.
What is the vibe of the festival and who is it for?
Echoes from Agartha is more than a music festival. It is a place to gather for lovers, healers, artists, wanderers, and aliens. Besides music, we are offering our fellow Agarthians some of the most unique excursions such as underground cave city visits, an ATV safari, horseback riding in this spectacular landscape, Sufi teachings, Ebru art-making and Turkish rug-making workshops, an Ottoman dinner experience in an ancient Monastery, hot air balloon parties, and more. It is an immersive experience that exists in the center of history, art, and culture.
What makes it unique, what is the production vibe?
The unique landscape of Cappadocia makes this festival really special and the rich history and culture around it is simply the cherry on top. The production we are building is meant to complement the existing elements of the region and complete each other with the landscape as a whole.
How did you find the event location?
After long visits and scouting to the area along with countless drone shots, we found these two jaw-dropping venues and said “Yes, this will blow their minds!”
Tell us about Cappadocia and what makes it special?
The Cappadocia region was formed 60 million years ago by the erosion of soft layers of lava and ash from Mount Erciyes (Argaeus), composed with wind and rain over millions of years. Epic geographical events created its unique nature and history. A UNESCO World Heritage site like no other, Cappadocia features tufa hills, deep ravines, fairy chimneys, rock-hewn churches, underground cities, and hot-air balloons covering the sky in the early morning hours. Hosting trade colonies throughout history and founding commercial and social bridges between countries, Cappadocia was one of the important junctions of the Silk Road.
In the third century, Christians came to Cappadocia which then became a centre for education. The land was an ideal place to spread the Christian doctrine, as well as provide safeguards from outside pressure. Deep valleys, shelters dug, and underground cities carved into the soft volcanic rocks created a safe haven against the Roman soldiers.
Cappadocia was once the homeland of the Hittite power and after Hitit fell, it was ruled by many kingdoms such as Persians, Romans, Arabs, Byzantines, Seljuks, Ottomans, and now Turks. Their stories are carved into Cappadocia’s surreal landscape.
How important is location to a festival experience?
Location, location, location! Cappadocia is probably one of the most amazing landscapes on earth and it is known as one of the gateways to the Kingdom of Agartha. It is a legendary kingdom that is said to be located in the Earth's core occupied by demi-gods. We have centred everything around the myths of Cappadocia.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
As siblings, we have been drawn to weird creatures and utopic worlds since childhood and loved reading legends and fairytales. We also really enjoy discovering unique locations to “turn on, tune in and drop out” and have embarked upon our own personal journeys with plant medicine from which so much inspiration is drawn. Additionally, we come from a family that has great taste in music and life, which has definitely helped shape us into the people we are today. We are dreamers.
How many stages are there? Do they all have their own look and feel?
We have two primary venues for the main events and one additional venue for our satellite parties. The main venues are The Zion and The Valley of Monasteries.
The Zion is very much inspired by the movie “The Matrix” and is a narrow canyon that feels like a huge cave. We’ve created an experience in this venue such that people would feel like it’s the last party on earth, just as they have in the movie after Morpheus’s famous speech, right before they went into war against the machines. That scene was filled with such passion, love, and affection.
The Valley of Monasteries is another unique venue as it is surrounded by ancient Monasteries. It is a larger venue that can be considered our main stage. A design that is inspired by the Lion’s Gate in Hattusa ancient Hitit city, this portal is a center stage design representing the Gate of Agartha, a gateway that opens to the lost city of Agartha.
Our third and final venue is Yunak Evleri, a hotel built amongst a cave town. The rooftop area where we will host our satellite parties and live acts is hugged by the cave rooms of the hotel. Very unique and another place that makes you feel like you are somewhere otherworldly.
What are the core values of Echoes from Agartha?
Arts, Culture, Community, History, and Gastronomy
What is the musical vibe, how did you decide who to play in such a stunning setting?
This year we have every kind of music for everyone including acts from all around the world with different sounds. People should expect anything between house, techno, indie, afro house, tech house, progressive, as well as Anatolian live acts. We have focused on artists who can and have the ability to adapt to the environment they play in, and have communicated with all that this is the place to think outside the box. We have created a space where the artists have the freedom to elevate their wildest sides.
How important is it to you to book upcoming DJs as well as bigger names?
It is really important for us to have artists from all across the spectrum. We support hard-working, talented upcoming artists and locals as well as the pioneers who have been moving the industry with their music for years.
How helpful are the local authorities / government with this festival, do they support dance music culture?
Local authorities have been treating this festival as if it is their own. The local municipality is providing us with their resources, the governor is helping us to move things along more efficiently, and the local universities are opening up their dorm rooms to accommodate our staff. This project is being run together with the support of the entire region. At the end of the day, Echoes from Agartha has an excellent impact on tourism and local businesses in the area.
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