Monday 26th 2016 at 5:50 a.m. and the motorbike pulled over at Distant Relatives Backpackers. After seeing last years edition of the festival, I knew I had to be part of this amazing event and being such a curious human being I had to be part of “behind the scene” team.
A radically creative two-day explosion of epic music and tropical beach culture with good food is how you can best describe Kilifi New Years Eve Festival (KilifiNYE).
I walked through the main gates and I instantly fell in love with how calm the environment was. It was my first day of work at Backpackers and as much as I was very sick that didn’t keep my excitement at bay.
The festival happens yearly at Distant Relatives Eco lodge & Backpackers as of 31st December at 16:00 to 2nd January at 6:00
A huge thanks to my Mr. Shady who believed in me and was quick to ensure I was comfortable on my first day. I need to point out on how I enjoy keeping the environment clean but when you’re feeling woozy and nauseating trust me it’s not fun going around the compound picking litters and garbage.
I’m not a quitter, I pushed through Day 1 with an awesome cleaning team I got to meet that day.Watching people from all walks of life working their hearts out to create a handmade playground with a sea illusion come to live – something I only see on a YouTube documentary was super cool.
People are encouraged to come early to camp before and during the festival to explore the community and the areas around.My team and I spent each day (before the festival) ensuring the compound was constantly clean as people started to trickle in and setting up their tents in the camping site within the festival compound.
As the festive day approached people “Behind the Scene ” got busier . You could see the lighting people on trees setting up the lights, food stalls being stocked with food and decorations by their respective owners, Gareth working shirtless with the bar team was a sight worth seeing, I fell in love with cleaning toilets and hanging around the showers which I must say were pretty rad.
I looked forward to my 12 hour shift ( 6 a.m.- 6 p.m.) Just being part of something that attracted people from different geographic areas was exciting and fulfilling for me. Oh. And the advantage of being a casual worker was you get to attend the event and in the process get paid for working obviously! The festival aside, that was a win win deal, right?
On 30th, everything seemed to be coming along as more people arrived and more camps had been set. The food stalls were stocked as everyone was set to try out different meals mostly from the coastal cuisine. The “Deep Sea Illusion Decorations” ( Which I must point out were made out of plastic) were all set up and ready.
Speakers, Check. Bar and Booze, Check. Booty, Check. Food,Check. Party People * Cue people screaming* Check. Local and International DJs and Entertainers were present and at around 16:00 the Party was LIVE, LIKE LITERALLY!
Two hours later, and I was done with my shift. I took advantage of the showers and I had everything set in my backpack. It took me about 40 minutes to get all my fineness on the dance floor and Mehn! It was CRAZY!
I was high. I was in my own world yet with so many people surrounding me.
I remember asking the person next to me whether David Guetta was of the list of people who will be performing ’cause that’s how good the music was.
And I’m not ashamed to admit that 10 seconds to January 1st 2017 got me on the dance floor screaming out the countdown and jumping around with my Red bull as I hurried through the crowd screaming happy new year to everyone (Believe it or not, I don’t take alcohol so I only had two bottles of Red bull throughout the night)
Everything after that is blur. I think at around 5 a.m. I slept on some mat that was lying around and by 6 a.m. I was up for my 12 hour shift Nope, I didn’t go home and I didn’t shower. I just went straight to collecting litter and all the empty bottles from last nights mess.
I was neither sleepy nor tired and did I mention the Party was still going on non stop music my friend!
During my lunch break, I sneaked out to go home, shower and bring some change of clothes I was living life. Later on that afternoon as people continued to enjoy the music, drink, party and just chill. I continued working and walked around to meet and talk to new people. My shift was over at 6 p.m and just like the previous night, I changed into my “party suit” – Now thinking back, I feel like spider man Changing in and out of suits and characters, you know!
Food, Music, Red bull and off we walked down the beach at around 9 a.m. to watch the “Hand being burned down” .Best way to start the year for sure, standing by the beach as we watched the hand burn into flames
PS: (So many details and photos have been left out ’cause the post became long than I had anticipated. Though I will update more photos BELOW as of tomorrow just to get the feel of the event LOL . )
After a stressful year 2016, this was the best way to unwind – New experiences, meeting new people and loosening up under the sea illusion set dance floor. I will definitely do this again but I would want to have a friend come along (wing man) so that I can have someone to enjoy and laugh with – create memories with by the beach and on the dance floor. This is the place to be on New Years Eve; a combination of chill and epic merged creating the dopest festival ever
I will give this event a 9 out of 10 for sure.
Over To You …
What did you do for New Years Eve? Favorite memories? Would you want to attend this event/ If yes, Leave a comment