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PSYCLEAN WAS FOUNDED
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VOLUNTEERS CONNECTED
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ASHTRAYS DISTRIBUTED

The long
Story

of Psyclean starts way back in 2010.
This was the year when visitors of psytrance festivals seemed to have forgotten from one day to the other, why we were all meeting in the woods and not in an industrial compound.

It marks the moment, when the founders Aleksandra Muranyi & Viktor Balogh were losing interest in going to their favorite events, because the amount of garbage on the floor was almost matching the good vibes found there.

In the following years they also observed the decline of joy people would have on such gatherings and the increase of drug abuse that came with it. The development was not surprising: visitors have come to forget, that psytrance festivals should elevate us towards a higher state of consciousness and not give us an excuse to get wasted. The more detached people became from the basic responsibilities that made those places magical, the less inviting those festivals became for people, who were truly seeking connection. One of the first symptoms was the appearance of scattered garbage.

In the winter of 2012-2013 the duo set out for a prolonged stay in India. Being confronted with the unfathomable garbage problem of this most spiritual subcontinent, they decided to create a project, that would reintroduce the care that has been an integral part of their subculture. The task called for an approach that has not been there before. Just cleaning up wouldn’t do the trick, they had to come up with a philosophy that helped visitors, volunteers and organizers alike to return to the values they once held high.

These values would be called “Basic Responsibilities”. In short it means, that we are all in this together and that whatever we do, we understand the consequences of it. Once this mindset is achieved, people would automatically take care of the side effects of their existence, be that garbage, disturbing/dangerous behaviour or the consequences of their interactions with others.

The concept was drafted for many months on long train rides, in beautiful national parks and in dirty hostel rooms. Although many ways of achieving this goal have changed over time, the basic concept remains the same, showing that the idea works and leads to the desired result. Using their knowledge acquired during studies in Linguistics and courses taken in psychology, they formed the cornerstones of the project. One of them is borrowed from criminology, the “Broken Windows Theory” (James Q. Wil- son and George L. Kelling, 1982).

According to this theory, signs of crime and antisocial behaviour result in more of the same. The Psyclean Crew applies this theory to garbage and believes, that if a place is messy, it will become even more so. By creating an environment however, where all participants are mindful about garbage, the motivation for keeping it that way rises exponentially. The joy of contributing to a more pristine environment while attending a festival to celebrate life also has a profound psychological impact on all participants, which results in the next cornerstone: doing.

Festivals have always been a place that was – to some extent – created by everyone attending. After 2010 this part of involvement seemed to decline drastically and visitors started to believe, that the only contribution they would have to make, was buying the ticket. This lead to a detachment between festival and visitor, leaving them only as consumers of something they were meant to co-create in order to get the full experience.

Psyclean focuses on helping visitors to regain their involvement by making it normal for everybody to do their part. The placement and build of our bins is aimed at easy use, but already offers the possibility to separate waste into different categories.

By being mindful about their waste, visitors tend to get more mindful about everything else. On festivals we visit regularly the amount of scattered garbage is declining every year, while the ambulance is also seen less frequently. It is our firm belief, that the two are connected.

MORE MINDFUL PEOPLE take more care about themselves as well, which in turn could lead to more conscious behavior, less alcohol and drug consumption. Adding to it are the beautiful surroundings of these festivals, which now again can be enjoyed fully, without having to shut out big piles of garbage on the dancefloors. As everybody sees it as the result of their own mindfulness, the connection between the visitors and also to the festival rises. If social media taught us anything, it’s that everyone wants to belong.

WHEN WE CREATE A PLACE, where all who want to belong are also willing to do their small part, the connections have more ways of establishing, making contact with each other so much easier.

– VIKTOR BALOGH, FOUNDER

OUR MAIN GOAL is to gather a group of enthusiastic people and protect the investment of festival visitors from, well… themselves.
We want to ensure, that the magical surroundings of a festival always stays that way and everybody can enjoy their experience to the fullest.