Over the last eight years Brazil’s Universo Paralello (‘Parallel Universe’) has grown from a small gathering of Brazil’s psychedelic trance movers and shakers to become the best New Years Eve party on the planet. Imagine seven days and nights of amazing music and culture set in one of the most beautiful locations known to man.
Located on Pratigi Beach, found amongst the last remaining stretch of the Atlantic Rainforest, Universo Paralello is paradise found. The venue is a coconut farm on the beach six hours drive south of Brazil’s original capital Salvador De Bahia. After being dropped off in a car park on the edge of the rainforest you are whisked through the jungle and dropped off on the edge of the world. White sand underfoot and camping under grids of coconut trees provide your home for the next seven days. With raw jungle on one side and the beautiful endless turquoise expanse of the Atlantic ocean on the other, as you step onto the beach there is no sign of modern life in either direction, just picture postcard perfect white sand beaches lined by coconut trees and jungle melting into the clear, blue sea making this one of the most experiential parties on earth.
Music-wise, with a heavy leaning towards psychedelic culture, Trance is the mainstay of the main floor drawing a line up consisting of the biggest and best international psychedelic and progressive acts in the world. Elsewhere the Alternative dance floor features a mixture of electro, techno, minimal and progressive featuring a mixture of international and Brazilian talent. The Goa stage will make an appearance this year following last year’s success, add to this a chill out area featuring world music and dubbed out grooves and a live bands stage Universo Parallelo offers something for everyone.
But this is much more than a seven day rave as other attractions include the Circolou, an area of artistic and cultural activities; expect workshops, movies, children’s activities, theatre, meditation and much more. The site is also fully equipped with restaurants, bars, alternative fair (market area), Internet access, travel agency for onward journeys, showers, toilets (with 24hr cleaning crew) medical facilities, lock ups and security.
The festival itself is geared towards Alternative culture as well as understanding and supporting environmental issues and sustainability. With an onsite recycling plant all previous editions of Universo Paralello has seen the area left cleaner than it was found.
For the sixth consecutive year the festival will be held at Pratigi Beach, in the township of Ituberá in the state of Bahia. After years of recognized benefits for the local inhabitants the festival is increasingly considered as part of the city’s heritage by the local population.
Situated 160km south of the capital city of Salvador, Ituberá lies in a privileged position between the Island of Boipeba and the Barra Grande Peninsula – two of the countries most beautiful tourist attractions.
Pratigi Beach is surrounded by a network of mangroves and is the home to a wide and lush variety of wildlife. The area is also surrounded by preserved fauna and is one of the last remaining preserved Restinga (littoral) Forests in Brazil – which grants it the official title of Environmental Preservation Area.
Salvador is the main arrival destination for international festival goers, the event organises a shuttle service running from 26th – 31st Dec and returning 1st – 4th Jan costing between 64 euros and 71 euros for a round trip shuttle and 35 euros and 42 euros for a one-way shuttle. There are also buses and travel agencies running buses and transport from most major cities in Brazil so check the ‘Travel Tips’ section on the website for full info and contact details.
Due to the location (the nearest town is approx 45 mins drive by car) festival goers are strongly recommended to bring sufficient funds to make the journey to and from as well as their stay comfortable. Even if you can get to the nearest town there is no guarantee the ATM will accept you card. Always check whether your card will work in this part of Brazil but by no means rely on it. There are sufficient ATMs in Salvador airport as a recommended last port of call to withdraw money.