Stihia Electronic Music Festival, Ship Graveyard, Muynak (landmark: Mayak Cafe)
Date: May 6-8, 2022
An electronic music festival called "Stihia" ("Element") in Muinak is waiting for you in the lunar sands of the Aral Sea at the so-called "Graveyard of Ships." Its mission is to raise awareness of the Aral See's environmental disaster and to help the region achieve sustainable development. Until the 1960s, the Aral Sea ranked as the world's second undrained lake after the Caspian Sea. However, over time, it has transformed into the Aralkum desert mainly due to anthropogenic factors.
The festival includes the following social projects: Stihia Arts, Stihia Gen, and "Six Billion Trees."
The organizers are selective in their choice of performers preferring not fashionable directions of electronic music but non-standard authors, distinguished by their unique approach. Genre-wise they can be referred to Electro, Progressive, Techno, and Acid. However, the original concept of the event attracts people of a special kind - the trip to Muynak is an adventure, and the living conditions are far from the usual modern comfort. But if you long for self-expression, and the idea of getting out of the ordinary environment and scenery seems attractive to you, "Stihia" will exceed your expectations and generously reward your courage.
Tickets should be purchased in advance – it is not possible to buy them at the venue. (All events to be held on all three days of the festival are included).
It is recommended to think in advance about the route and mode of transport that you plan to use to get to Muynak.
• The nearest airport is Nukus, from which it is a 2.5 hours drive, you can take a local taxi. Make sure that air tickets are still available because in previous years the flight was fully booked.
• You can take a train from Tashkent to Kungrad (20 hours of travel time) and then take a taxi to Muynak (40 minutes).
• On the arrival day of May 6 and the departure day of May 9, the organizers run paid shuttle-buses between Nukus and Muynak. Seats need to be booked in advance.
Take care of your accommodation as well. The organizers are presenting the festival as an extreme tourism event, and it is necessary to take this into account to get an idea of its format. The following accommodation options are available:
• Yurt Camp on the territory of the festival;
• Guest houses;
• Rent rooms and apartments in the private sector.
Muynak does not have the usual tourist infrastructure, it is remote from major cities, so there is a reasonable concern about comfort and safety.
Interaction with locals. Residents of Muynak are as hospitable as any other people in Uzbekistan. Polite and courteous communication with them, and tolerance for local culture, mentality, and customs will ensure an extremely positive experience of getting to know them.
Natural conditions and precautions. The festival is held in the desert, so basic precautions should be taken - take closed shoes, watch your feet carefully, and do not disturb the fauna.
• The sun is blindingly bright during the day, so take a pair of sunglasses. At night, only stars will light your way, hence a self-contained flashlight is essential.
• Do not place your tent directly on the sand. Place it on polyethylene film and the sleeping bag - on the insulating mat.
• Use earplugs while sleeping.
• Take the first-aid kit containing antiallergenic, essential medicine, habitual medicines, and aerosol against mosquitoes.
• The nights are cold in the desert - the temperature drops to 5 degrees. Take really warm clothes on your trip.
Alcohol will be sold at the camp bar and on the festival grounds, and you are also allowed to bring your alcoholic beverages. However, in case of antisocial behavior, security reserves the right to escort you from the venue.
Mobile connection is available without restrictions and interruptions.
Currency exchange, bank cards, and other payment methods on the territory of the festival.
• Better exchange your currency to local in advance at specialized centers and terminals in Nukus, Tashkent, or any other major town of Uzbekistan, from where you will be heading to the Stihia Festival.
• In the bar and catering area you can pay in local currency, Uzbek sum. You can pay with cash or via Payme App. Please note that Visa and MasterCard are not accepted.
Security at the festival will be provided by representatives of the National Guard and MIA. Firefighters and medical personnel will also be on duty at the festival regularly.
• The area of the camp will be under round-the-clock video surveillance. But do not leave your documents and valuables in the tent unattended - the organizers are not responsible for their safety.
Sanitary conditions. There are bio-toilets and washstands at the festival. It is necessary to use water reasonably as it is the most limited resource in Muynak. Getting ready to travel, buy supplies of dry and wet wipes.
Nutrition. There are several cafes in Muynak. There will be a snack bar and catering area at the festival. You are allowed to bring your food so prepare supplies of water, sandwiches, and snacks.