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Not in Nepal

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015
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Stéphane Huët

More than 1,000 people were expected to attend the trance festival, Universal Religion, this weekend in Kakani, Nuwakot. But the four-day event has just been cancelled, 36 hours before its start.

Universal Religion 2013

Universal Religion 2013

On their Facebook page, the organising team mentioned ‘some unexpected last moment serious legal issues involving safety of the participants’ to explain the sudden cancellation of this ninth edition.

A volunteer of Universal Religion told Nepali Times they had received permissions from the Home Ministry, Tourism Board and local administrations. “We only needed the District Administration Office of Nuwakot to provide security,” he said, “but they denied us on Wednesday afternoon.”

Kosh Hari Niroula, Chief District Officer (CDO) of Nuwakot, said there was a lack of coordination with the local organisers of Universal Religion. “They only promoted their event on Internet but we never saw them – they were invisible,” he told Nepali Times.

“They were going to organise a trance party in the guise of a music festival,” said Niroula. “They would have tarnished the image of Nepal in the international community by organising events promoting sex and drugs.

The post on Universal Religion’s Facebook page provoked different reactions from the festival-goers. Some showed their support to the organisers stating that cancellation is always a possibility here for psyche events. Still, most of those who had already bought their tickets were criticising the lack of professionalism of Universal Religion.

Caroline Nitya, an Australian, had taken an annual leave to attend Universal Religion. She recognises the risks involved with hosting an international music event but feels the organisers showed a distinct lack of forward planning. “I won’t come to Nepal again to attend a festival but I’ll go to Goa instead,” she told us.

Many tourists like Nitya travelled from different countries to attend Universal Religion.

Universal Religion 2015 had an international line-up of 70 artists, including big names such as Avalon and Kalya Scintilla. The event was announced in January and 600 tickets have already been sold.

The main concern of Universal Religion is now to refund the participants. “We’ll then see if we can organise alternative gigs in Kathmandu,” added the volunteer from Universal Religion.

In the meantime, a group of festival-goers created a Facebook group “universal religion alternative” to find a plan B for those who have already arrived in Nepal.

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11 Responses to “Not in Nepal”

  1. bairagi khukuri on Says:

    “Psyche-trance festival”; not intended as an insult but lets just called it what it really sounds like: lost souls searching to atain nirvana through orgy-fest under severe drug induced altered state of mind. Nuwakot, a moaist stronghold, was perhaps not the best place for the event. In fact I would have thought Nepal itself was the wrong place to practice such freedom of expression and explicit love. As everyone knows, we in Nepal are transitioning from our old-fashioned, traditional, religious and conservative society to a relatively modern and open society like that of our immediate neighbors. But events like this orgy-fest would have shocked even the most progressives among us. Call me naive but i think this event would be considered immoral and not to mention illegal even in developed nations. After all, use of illegal drugs and nudity, explicit sex acts in public are still in violations of codes and laws in every civilised society It is a blessing that this event was cancelled and I hope the organisers and patrons move their events somewhere else. Im not sure if our genius leaders will have any provisions in the constitution to protect us from this kind of decay in our society but in the meantime, folks, hide your children and be more vigilant. The hippies are back with a vengence!!!!

  2. Grimalzee on Says:

    Elme Chin , huzzate Bangal, Kashi ,Kashmir azab Nepal! -goes the age old saying.

    Means: Industrious China, Hooligan Bengal, , but Varanasi Kashmir and Enigmatic Nepal,.
    No one can understand the sublimity that is called Nepal,s.

  3. not a hippie! on Says:

    Same story for the last decade. Psytrance seems to be permanently welded to this stigma of sex and drugs. Whereas no-one even blinks when there is actually a half naked ex-pornstar turned Bollywood actress gyrating while drinking out of a bottle of whiskey and smoking on daytime television. I saw a 4-5 year old girl mimicking some lewd hip thrusting step for step in front of a television at the airport waiting lounge, parents sitting on the side and smiling with pride.

    Seems like those who claim to be protecting the culture of the nation are blind to what is actually happening on a daily basis.

  4. Mas-K on Says:

    LOL bairagi khukuri an orgy induced fest ! are you still a bit retared. Look @ all the EDM festivals around the world.. Ozora. BOOM. Tommorowland and how they hv grown as a business..Then look at Porn sites with the key word ORGY.Is there a difference. Pls spot it.

    …Nepal is poverty stricken Under Developed coutry as Tourism as its main forte …This festival was really getting big .I feel really bad for the organisers as its impossible to get outta this .Who would ever want to come back after this Farce ? Think of how many ppl were getting employed and making some sort of money.
    .Instead of the Govt trying to send everybody to the middle east and get exploited by the Sheikhs n then Cry Save Us from the Qatar World Cup and stop the women getting trafficked to the Red Light areas in India .Look for more progressive ways of self sustainability my friend. A little Knowledge is a dangerous thing.

  5. nycto on Says:

    Bro its not bout sex and drugs its about power of love and our statement like this gonna ruin the image of this psy scene and anyway u should try making then u can talk and fuck or news

  6. ravi raj kaur on Says:

    haha there is a government?

  7. ramesh on Says:

    “They would have tarnished the image of Nepal in the international community by organising events promoting sex and drugs.

    Nepal doesnt have a good name internationally to tarnish. it is a byword for corruption, cheap labor, cheap soldiers fighting other peoples wars etc.

    the image of nepal in the eyes of a make believe ‘international community’ are neither here nor there.

  8. ramesh on Says:

    to call their festival ‘universal religion’ however, is blasphemous and insulting to real religion. they should call their festival ‘universal dance’ or something along that line.

    nepal is a country that sells itself and its people to foreigners. I dont even see why Nepal is independent nation.

  9. pfff on Says:

    Those who says psytrance festival are full of orgies, i can clearly see that you have never been too one; those who say it’s full of drugs, there is just as many drugs in a psy party as in any club or bar. iv been too psychedlic events around the globe for the last 15 years of my life, and i don’t take any drugs. and i have never seen an orgy or any public sex act in any psy event. people who have made the comments above are just people who are afraid, afraid of something that they don’t understand. ignorance is a bless. to that i would like to add that from my experience, in the psychedelic community i have met the most kind and open minded people in my life, people who do not juge anyone. people who are pacifist and people who love life…

  10. Elena on Says:

    Hallo, with what happened in Nepal these days there is nothing to celebrete. Any further comment is unneccessary.

  11. Ramesh on Says:

    Here is the point of view of the world just belong in this world one nature of the world just belong in this world.
    MUsic is purely for the people who are really good at the comunnity around the world be able connect to the people who are interested in meeting up for the next generation of Nepal forward to seeing change in this world. .there is a safe and secure in Nepal forward to develop Musical Tourism designed tourism in Nepal for develop the skills and knowledge of the unity of life create a unique opportunity for a share of the unity of the love of the world. .we create a unique opportunity to make more sense to have a good idea to advertise the world just a little complement about the experience of working with a mother nature with myself working with communities and the music industry and festivals and events ecovillage lifestyle culture comunnity around the mountain and helping to make a contribution to build a Eco lifestyle and organic culture around the mountain in Nepal.
    ECO FARMING and living with music and creative solutions for mother nature with personal duties forward to seeing change in this world. .

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