World Bodypainting Festival
The World Bodypainting Festival is an annual festival. From 1998 to 2010, the festival was held in Seeboden, Carinthia, Austria, near the Millstätter See, every year in July. The venue since 2011 is Pörtschach at lake Wörthersee.
The World Bodypainting Festival was created in 1998 by Alex Barendregt. At the time, Barendregt was working in a local travel agency and was given the task of organising a new summer event in Seeboden. He chose body painting on a whim after seeing a photograph about it. Although the festival wasn't very popular at first, today it is the biggest annual event of the body painting culture and community. The festival is the first of its kind in the world and has become the Center of Bodypainting. It draws the best body painting artist from over 40 countries and models, as well as tens of thousands of visitors, from all over the world every year.
The festival lasts a week, of which the first four days consist of over fifty special workshops and lessons run by the WB Academy, and the last three days consist of the actual festival event in the body paint city, which is open to the public without prior reservation. The festival event is open for both adults and children, and many families come there together.
The artists compete in many categories: brush and sponge, airbrush, and special effects are World Champion titles. At night time there is also a special UV effects contest giving the title for World Champion in UV bodypainting effects. There is a World Facepainting Award and a special award for special effects face make up. There are also semi professional student awards. All categories have separate prizes and trophies. Artists can use either male or female models as they wish. All models must be wearing underpants while painted, but female models can go topless if they want. Many body painting models are unpaid and volunteer for the unique experience of transformation by the body painting artists.
Body painting is not simply painting a body, body painting is to replant the body into an entire scenery, to create a body scene with choreography and music. The WBF Institute of Sound is the community music project that developed through the World Bodypainting Festival. Every year the festival brings together international musicians, specialists in electronic music and technicians from many different countries and cultures. It is the festival's goal to develop the music scene like the community of body painters, photographers and models that has already existed for years. The creative thoughts of both groups can develop many new ideas.
The WBF Fashion Department focuses on body painting for fashion with many artists working alongside designers and with stylists around the world in the fashion industry.
Also the BodyCircus is one of the biggest event highlights in the festival week. Music, shows and costumes in the unique location of the medieval castle Sommeregg.
After the 13th year of the event in Seeboden, the local politicians decided not to host the event there any more. Alex Barendregt had to move on and chose another beautiful and charming town for the future to recreate and develop the next generation of the World Bodypainting Festival.
- Pörtschach wird in den nächsten drei Jahren bunt In: Kleine Zeitung, 20 September 2010, accessed on 15 February 2011
- Hänninen, Lauri: Väri maalaa tarinan. Kamera magazine 6-7/2010, pp. 14-18.
- Official site
- Photo Galleries from the past World Bodypainting Festivals
- YouTube Channel
- Facebook Page
- World Body Painting Festival 2007 slideshow