Forest Star is a magical gathering in Urla Forest in Sweden, which embraces togetherness and claims to be all about the love and unity of the people. Indeed, it has been described by visitors as “the most loving festival that has taken place” over the Swedish summer and Emma Vilda, one of the organisers, told me that for her, Forest Star is about learning from the past and remembering the sacred ways of living, finding a way to heal and grow in the modern world, so that people can help one another create a better world with more love.
The festival first came about when, after years of travelling, Emma realised she longed to find her roots and create a life with a deeper meaning. Back in 2009, around a bush fire in Australia, a vision appeared to her of returning to her home in the north of Sweden to her family’s land, where she would gather the tribes and bring back the roots of the land to them. She envisioned a place in the nature where people could meet and share the magic of life in a safe environment, heal and grow together.
Not long after the first gathering in 2010, Emma made new friends and connections and, together with some of them, she studied old ways of living, including traditional songs and ceremonies, which they wanted to bring back to life. Shortly after, their crew, Urla Tribe, started to be shaped. Now, this tribe come together every year in June to celebrate the summer solstice. They dress the midsummer pole, a symbol of both male and female energy, with flowers and encourage festivalgoers to dance around it as a celebration of life.
Besides this, there are daily yoga and meditation classes, workshops, a handicraft market and plenty of delicious food on offer. There is also a children’s section which includes theatre performances, face painting and a playground in the forest. On the Saturday night, women from Urla Tribe perform a sacred dance on the main stage, undoubtedly one of the highlights.
Emma claims that Forest Star would probably be long gone if it wasn’t for her stubbornness and a very few strong souls supporting them with unconditional love; everyone involved in the festival is fundamental in making it happen year after year. “I think our visitors can feel that we are doing this from our hearts and it’s important for us that every visitor has a beautiful time”, she added. “The festival site is a blessing to us all.”
Forest Star takes place from June 21 – 24. Click here to purchase your ticket.
Written by: Milly Day