As SpringFlare is coming up next weekend, we thought it was fitting to chat to festival co-organisers Mcklein Javeri and Pulkit Gupta about the event they’ve created that is inspired by the ancient festival Holi, which is celebrates every spring throughout South East Asia.
When SpringFlare rolls around on October 10, thousands of festivalgoers dressed in white will come together to dance and listen to live music as they throw coloured powder into the sky in celebration of the festivals core values. This year, the festival organisers wanted to combine the traditional ideas behind Holi with a modern music festival, so SpringFlare 2015 will see The Delta Riggs, Jackie Onassis, Willow Beats and Paces take to the stage to join in the colourful fun. We caught up with Mcklein and Pulkit to chat about the upcoming event and the unique festival concept that is set to tour Australia.
Brisbane Threads: Let’s start from the beginning, tell us about SpringFlare?
Mcklein Javeri: SpringFlare is now Australia’s biggest colour festival. On the surface it is a music festival with great artists like (this years talent) The Delta Riggs, Jackie Onassis, Willow Beats and Paces thrown into a world of colour madness. Every hour at SpringFlare is celebrated with a major colour-throw, where everyone counts down in unison and unleashes their favourite colours into the sky. At that moment when you’re dancing with friends and strangers it’s like having found yourself in a rainbow cloudland of happiness!
BT: What inspired you to organise this event in Brisbane?
MJ: I’ve always been interested in sharing Vedic (ancient Indian) wisdom, which is one of the messages from a principal scripture called the Bhagvad Gita, as it refers to the idea that beyond our temporal or material designations such as gender, socio-religio-economic status, age, cultural background, etc we are all essentially the same – [with] human spirit! On this platform we can find true unity and togetherness. SpringFlare embodies this philosophy because when everyone is covered head to toe in colour there’s not much room for looking out for differences. We’re all the same! And engaged in our festival ethos of cultivating human spirit!
BT: Can you tell us more about the ancient Holi festival?
MJ: Holi has been celebrated for thousands of years. It originates in the north-Indian kingdom of Vraja. There, within the celestial forests of Vraja, the divine couple Radhey and Shyam sported with their associates. Every year during spring the forests would bloom and so to express their love for Radhey and Shyam the villagers would gather beautiful petals, fragrant powders, herbal spices, coloured water and throw them at each other in a grand celebration. The word Holi itself is derived from a completely different story to do with the vanquishing of a great evil king by his pious son. Suffice to say that it refers to good always overcoming evil.
BT: How has the event grown?
MJ: Incredibly! From an event with a few thousand people in 2013, then SpringFlare got onto the world stage as part of the opening weekend of the G20 Cultural Celebrations at the Riverstage in 2014. SpringFlare is only growing and will be touring Australia very soon!
BT: What is your favourite thing about SpringFlare?
MJ: My favourite part is the very first colour countdown of the festival and then every one after that! It is just amazing to witness. But apart from the colour throwing I love that SpringFlare has a deep significance and I hope people recognise and engage with its meaning also.
BT: And finally, what’s three fun facts about yourself?
MJ: 1. My background – Born in Hong Kong, raised in South Africa, India, and a bunch of different places and now living in Australia. 2. I spent some years practicing as a monk in a scholastic monastery in India. 3. I really like coconut water.
SpringFlare 2015 will be held at the University of Queensland, St Lucia, on Saturday 10 October, from 12:30pm – 5:30pm. The event is all-ages and alcohol free, and is all about celebrating diversity and cultivating human spirit. Tickets are on sale now, student tickets start at $22 and adults from $27.50. You can purchase tickets here and here.