The Nowhere festival takes place in Spain from 3rd to 8th July. I’m going and maybe you should come too. It is in the middle of a desert and it’s a festival made by it’s attendees. If you’ve heard of Burning Man then imagine the same thing only smaller and with less burning (damn those European fire regulations). In fact, Nowhere is a European regional Burning Man and is built by Burning Man veterans and plenty of others based in Europe, who like the idea but can’t afford to go to Nevada (or missed out in the ticket lottery). Nowhere follows the same format.
Nowhere is built on the principles of:
- Radical self-expression: The freedom to be yourself
- Radical self-reliance: Being responsible for yourself, in a harsh desert environment
- No commerce: Forget about money – there’s nothing to buy
- Leave no trace: Dust to dust – leave only footprints
- Participation: Get involved – Nowhere is what we make it!
Not wanting to be left out, and since I can’t make art, I’ve decided to run a few drugs workshops. Burning Man was founded by San Francisco hippies, so needless to say, drugs are inevitable/integral part of the festival. It also has a tradition of hosting talks and discussions all about them from luminaries in the field. They’ve had Ann & Sasha Shulgin, Rick Doblin of MAPS, Daniel Pinchbeck of Reality Sandwich and many others. It would be nice if Nowhere had the same engagement with the European psychedelic community. So I’d encourage all of you with an interest in self-experimentation to come along.
This year to get things moving, I’m going to be giving a short talk every afternoon at 4:20 pm.
Tues 3rd July 4:20pmA new golden age for recreational drugs?Spice, Mephedrone, Methoxetamine are just the tip of a very large iceberg. In the last 6 years, nearly 200 brand new chemicals been have taken recreationally in Europe. Where do they come from? Clandestine labs in china and elsewhere. How do I get them? Your best bet is the internet. What exactly are they and what do they do? We are only just beginning to find out.
Wed 4th JulyStudying drug use with smartphonesIn my own research, I’ve been building smartphone apps to study recreational drug users as they are actually getting intoxicated. The Boozerlyzer is our first app. It’s a completely free app on Android that tracks what you’ve drunk, how it is making you feel. Using fun simple games it can also measure how your memory, coordination and reaction time are effected.Thurs 5th July 4:20pm
Marijuana really is a medicine.Perhaps like me you thought medical marijuana wasn’t really a ‘medicine’? Think again. Medical marijuana does more than just relieve the pain and improve the mood of its users. It has real positive and measurable effects on the symptoms of many serious medical conditions. Patients with over 100 different conditions ranging from arthritis and insomnia to MS and HIV. It may even cure cancers. Yet research and patients are still hamstrung by marijuana’s illegal status.Fri 6th July 4:20pmPsychedelic therapies, at last.Thanks to the hard work of MAPS, the multidisciplinary assocation for psychedelic studies, governments are finally letting doctors, therapists and researchers investigate the potential benefits of psychedelic therapies. Many exciting projects are underway looking at using psilocybin to treat depression, MDMA to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, LSD may treat cluster headaches and fear of death in cancer patients.Sat 7th July 4:20pm
This is your brain on psychedelics.
British researchers recently gave people magic mushrooms and put them in a brain scanner. It was the first research with psychedelics allowed in the UK in 40 years and the first time anyone, anywhere had done anything like this. What they found surprised everyone, including them. The results were exactly the opposite from what everyone had been predicting. But what they found could finally explain how psychedelics work and even help treat depression and give insight into near death experiences.
There will also be dancing, mudfights and nakedness. What’s not to love?
Remember, you can come too.
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