ZNA is a retro-futuristic celebration happening every two years at the magical Montargil lake in Portugal. The festival vision is a legacy of psychedelic emotions from the 90s, and focused on the Goa Trance spirit reawakening.

With a superb line-up on its three stages (Zambu Temple, The Peninsula, and The Market), The Peninsula one hosts Chill-Out performances from some of the essential figures of the scene. In particular, we recommend to not miss sets from Zen Baboon, Gabriel le Mar, Aes Dana, O.T.T., Kaya Project, DJ Shahar, Trala Lama and Gagarin Project.

A great opportunity to enjoy electronic psychedelic music in rooted forms. Not we invite you to read this fresh interview by the psybient.org team on 10/06/24.

Hi ZNA Team, thank you for finding time to talk to us. It looks like your festival is one of the highlights of summer events in Europe and we would like our readers to know more about it.

Hello Psybient.org, thank you for having us. ZNA Gathering is a bi-annual retro-futuristic festival situated in an idyllic location amid the beauty of nature, surrounded by a picturesque lake. At our gathering, you’ll be immersed in the rhythms and harmonies crafted by visionary psychedelic artists from the 90s, all accompanied by state-of-the-art audio and visual technology and top-notch infrastructure. Our aim is to ensure the safety, comfort, and enjoyment of our entire Zambu community.

Let’s go back a bit in the past. What has inspired you to make the festival?

For many of us, our emotional connection to psychedelic culture began during the early days of the scene. In Portugal, Herdade do Zambujal became an iconic birthplace of this culture, where we first bonded with the music and lifestyle. Over time, as the scene grew and evolved, those of us who organized and attended the Zambujal parties—the Zambu people—noticed changes that both strengthened and challenged our connection to this world. In 2011, we realized that we weren’t alone in feeling a sense of detachment from the new reality. That’s when we started to create our retro-futuristic vision, which has since become a significant landmark within the current scene, surpassing all expectations.

When was the 1st edition and how did it evolve over the years?

Inspired by the retro-futuristic concept, our initial gathering was a 24-hour party held in a secluded forest just outside Lisbon in September 2011. This event was followed by two more in 2012, which helped us realize that our unwavering dedication to our vision, coupled with our meticulous attention to detail and the incredible demand for our events, called for a transition into a bi-annual gathering. This allowed us to create the ultimate party experience that we had always envisioned.

Are you doing events all year around? If yes, please tell us a bit about them.

We made the decision to channel all of our passion, love for the scene, and attention into our ZNA Gathering and Zambu community. By doing so, we can address all matters on a more personal level, creating a more intimate and familial experience for everyone involved.

What’s new will be at the 2024 edition of the festival: New stages, new activities? What will be the biggest changes from previous editions?

With each edition, we strive to exceed expectations, continuously improving and expanding our offerings. This includes upgrading our infrastructure, providing more areas and options for attendees, and maintaining our three music stages with dedicated artist teams who have been planning and creating since late 2022. We’ll also continue to invest in other areas, such as our ZenBuSpace (healing area), ZambuKids, and various services. Additionally, we’re addressing any issues identified through our own analysis or feedback from supporters to ensure that this edition surpasses the success of the last.

Are you permanently installed on the location or do you change it?

ZNA Gathering = ZNA Land. This formula is not eligible to changes.

Do you have many international visitors? What do you think will make people travel from abroad to join your event?

We are incredibly grateful to welcome Zambus from around the globe. We believe that our ZNA Gathering concept, commitment to quality, and the unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences we’ve been able to provide have resonated far beyond our borders. This recognition only strengthens our resolve to deliver the absolute best experience possible, as we feel it is our responsibility to do so for our ever-growing international community.

How many stages do you have this year and what are the musical genres that will be presented in each of them?

Our ZambuTemple (mainstage) is split into two distinct moments. The first, spanning four days, is dedicated to the pioneering artists responsible for the birth and creation of our scene. This segment culminates on the fifth day with a curated selection of artists who, in our view, embody the perfect evolution and formula of the music we all love to dance to. These artists are carefully chosen to showcase their latest work on the world’s best dancefloor.

The Peninsula, our other stage, is also divided into two parts. Firstly, we have our Goa Guardians night, a 24-hour tribute to those individuals who have dedicated themselves to preserving, discovering, cataloging, and safeguarding our music. After this special event, The Peninsula transforms into a haven for psychedelic chill-out music.

Lastly, we have The Market, an alternative stage where all are invited to explore music created with a more open, sexy, and diverse psychedelic mindset. This stage aims to recreate the unpretentious atmosphere of the old flea markets that many of us experienced in Goa during the 80s and 90s

We know you put Goa trance on the highlight, why is that?

We are firm believers in the power of music to evoke emotions, alter perceptions, and shift priorities. Our love for various spectrums of psychedelic music drives us to continuously explore and integrate these diverse sounds into our Retro-Futuristic experience. We understand that achieving euphoria on the dancefloor is not merely a matter of playing certain types of music; it requires a perfect formula.

This formula, refined through over 25 years of experience, is our unique method of guiding the dancefloor towards that elusive and powerful momentum. When that momentum is reached, we know that Goa Trance holds the key to the ultimate climax of a deep psychedelic musical journey. It is this knowledge, and the unparalleled experience it offers, that fuels our addiction to this incredible genre.

Do you have other genres on mainstages?

Indeed, we firmly believe that presenting these various styles of music at the right time and place is of utmost importance. We are committed to crafting a seamless musical flow, one that incorporates different versions and spectrums of the music we all adore. However, it’s crucial to note that the meaning behind these musical styles has evolved over time. To truly appreciate what we offer, it’s essential to understand the meaning behind our psychedelic subgenre.

That being said, we love to explore and incorporate progressive, groove, minimal, industrial, and of course, melodic elements into our soundscapes. The common thread that unites these diverse styles is the mindset that the artists had in the 90s when they were crafting these sonic landscapes.

Who will be your headliners this year? What is special about this year lineup?

Quoting Dj BIM “ZNA does not have a headliner. And the reason is that all the artists invited were at some point headliners on the scene.” This statement emphasizes the high caliber of artists that are invited to perform at ZNA Gathering, highlighting that each artist has had their moment in the spotlight and is considered a prominent figure within the psychedelic music scene.

The fact that ZNA Gathering provides a platform for these renowned artists, coupled with the potential rarity of some of their performances, contributes to the once-in-a-lifetime experience that attendees can expect. Performances by artists such as Doof, KoxBox vs Psychopod, Little Blue Men, Man With No Name, Midi Miliz vs Spirallianz, Nick Barber vs Xavier Fux, Process vs Nervasystem & Aether, Shakta, SID Shanti, Talamasca, Tsuyoshi Suzuki, and Virtuart & Friends are likely to draw large crowds and create unforgettable memories for those in attendance.

Tell us about your chillout space. What music do you host there? How important is ambient/downtempo for your festival?

The Peninsula is indeed a sacred gem within the ZNA Land. Nestled amidst a stunning 200-degree water panorama, this idyllic setting provides the perfect backdrop for hosting the very best chill-out music that our scene has to offer. The 24-hour non-stop atmosphere, filled with mind-expanding sounds, is an integral part of the Retro-Futuristic experience that we strive to create. It’s a place where attendees can fully immerse themselves in the transcendental vibes, taking in the beautiful scenery while indulging in a continuous stream of captivating and soothing tunes.

What are the biggest difficulties for festival preparation?

It’s being away from our family for so long. The demanding work, intense heat, and unforeseen challenges, all contribute to the unique experience of ZNA Gathering. These factors, while challenging, are integral to the event’s character and ultimately make the gathering what it is. The sense of accomplishment and camaraderie that comes from overcoming these obstacles is a significant part of what draws people to this remarkable event. Without these elements, ZNA Gathering would simply not be the same.

The summer is very charged with many festivals, what do you think about the concurrence between different festivals?

Diversity, options, and healthy competition are beneficial for the growth and evolution of any community, including the psychedelic music scene. By fostering positive relationships with other players in the industry, we create an environment where everyone can learn from one another and continuously strive to push the boundaries of what we can offer. This dynamic encourages innovation, creativity, and a shared commitment to exceeding expectations. Ultimately, a vibrant and diverse scene benefits everyone involved, as it ensures that we are constantly challenging ourselves to deliver the best possible experiences for our audience.

What message would you like to send to people who will join this year’s edition?

The time has come to set aside all that weighs us down—prejudice, greed, ego, and our differences. Let us allow our music to fill the space around us, creating an atmosphere of unity and shared experience. In this moment, we can collectively reach a state of euphoria, bliss, and love. Let go of our inhibitions and surrender to the power of the music, for it is through this transcendental journey that we can truly connect with one another and embrace the magic of the present.


next edition fb event => https://www.facebook.com/events/3459050931039474

next edition lineup => https://znagathering.com/program/

picture report (s) from previous editions => https://znagathering.com/gallery/photos/

video report (s) from previous editions => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5LpIaevlWA