Going to Farmtek felt a little like slipping into a hidden world filled with dreamlike music and fantastical artwork tucked within the folds of a forgotten garden. A few days before the event the up-till-then-secret location was finally announced. On a gorgeous winter day we drove down the winding streets of Saar, trying to figure out if we were on the right track or hopelessly lost. Towering on either side of our car were compound walls covered in razor wire and tumbling curtains of bougainvillea.
“There!” I shouted, spotting a twinkling sign around the next corner.
We passed through the rusty gates and knew instantly we were in for a special day. You would never suspect from the road, but just behind the gates lay a walled garden flanked by grandly crumbling walls, flowers hanging heavily over every path, and palm trees that seemed to touch the clouds overhead. I have an overwhelming fondness for plants and adore being outside among trees and flowers, so I was swooning from the start. We paid for our tickets and continued down the winding dirt path.
As we wandered deeper into the walled garden a friendly faced rushed up to greet us.
“Thank you so much for coming! You guys are the first ones here!”
We realized we had forgotten a critical fact. Although it was a little after 2pm, and the event was advertized to begin at 2pm, Bahrain runs on Island Time, which as everyone knows, means everything starts at least an hour late.
We weren’t bothered in the least. The set up was so beautiful, the organizers so friendly, the art displays so interesting, that we were more than happy to sit beneath the trees and enjoy the afternoon.
Over the sweet smell of the jasmine boughs and frangiapani trees, I noticed the smoky richness of barbecue. We followed the scent and stumbled upon a heartwarming sight.
I have to admit when I see a sign advertizing Texas BBQ I feel a little skeptical. Anyone who has been to Texas knows that proper Texas BBQ is the best in the world and an art form not easily replicated. Experience shows that outside of Texas, when people advertize Texas BBQ, it’s usually anything but. But…this smelled legit. I ordered a beef brisket sandwich and settled down to enjoy the music.
I am happy to say the sandwich lived up to its Texas title. It was incredible! Perfectly cooked with a deeply smoky flavor, the meat was tender and juicy and the bun was sturdy and tasty enough to stand up to the flavor punch of the brisket. The vendor told me he was opening an actual restaurant in Juffair soon, and I can’t wait to visit.
The music was also fantastic. Farmtek showcases electronic music, which I admit I don’t know much about, but I actually really enjoy. Here was the lineup: SynthPunk, Jazz HouZe, Yakumi b2b Sami Dee, Hameed b2b Nezar, Daylomar, Atish. Each of the DJ’s read the crowd well, setting a perfect mood and allowing listeners to relax and talk and just bliss out as the sunset put on a spectacular show of its own.
As the evening wore on the crowds grew bigger and the music got louder and more otherworldly. Fires were lit in barrels to keep us warm and the shadows they cast of those dancing stretched across the garden, adding to the beautifully surreal atmosphere. I think events like Farmtek are emblematic of the exciting artistic vibe happening in Bahrain right now. Organized by the mad geniuses of Boho Baha and brought to life with the help of Vuruz Vision, Farmtek is a DIY event that shows just how much can be accomplished when enthusiastic, creative people band together.
After a gorgeous day filled with brilliant music, delicious food, and a lovely setting, we headed out into the chilly night to go home. We hated to leave the magical garden but we knew Boho Baha would be back with another unique event soon.