Body & Beats

June 5th, 2015

June 5th, 2015

With Paintopia sadly over for another year, we’re now looking ahead to the biggest bodypainting event of the year:  The World Bodypainting Festival.  The ‘Body and Beats’ theme should prove to be a riot of colour and sound on the shores of placid Lake Wörthersee.  We caught up with competition organiser Alex Barendregt, the show’s founder, to see what we could expect from this year’s extravaganza.


WP:  Are you making any changes to this year’s competition?  Are there any new categories/awards etc.?

AB:  Yes, our competitions are changing slightly all the time.  First we look at the feedbacks we get from the contest the year before, and we optimize then when we create the full guidelines and schedules.  New in this year’s competition we have the very exciting category WBF Make-Up Battle, as well as the Creative Make-Up Contest.


All images courtesy of WBF Erwin Heckl’s work


Wolfgang Honzejk

WP:  How did you come up with this year’s theme?  What are you looking for?

AB:  We usually come up with our themes by sitting in groups together and brainstorming.  Sometimes the theme comes up in a few minutes, sometimes it takes me weeks to decide.  It must be original and give enough space for creations.


Gerhard Lenk

WP:  What do you most look forward to at the show?

AB:  The full festival week is so exciting that I can’t really tell.  Every day has highlights, something magical when I meet up with the artists who I hardly see for the full year.  The most relaxing and fun moments are the final presentation of the winners, when I can hand over the World Award Trophy to the new champion, and start celebrating with the bodypainting family later on at the Colour Splash After Show Party!


Colour Splash Party, image credit: Bertrand Orsal

WP:  How has the show changed in the last ten years?

AB:  It hasn’t really changed, we just try to add something more, something new, to it every year.  We attract more artists and try to give them a wonderful home once a year.  Every year the participants expect something more, so we are pushed to see what we can do for them.  We’re the home of bodypainting, so we try to fulfil their expectations.


Image credit: Karsten Skrabal

WP:  Where should new attendees look to stay in the area?  Is there anything in particular they should bring?

AB:  The village has plenty of guesthouses, hotels and we have a brand new camping site available this year.  It is just two stops away on the suburban train – in less than ten minutes you can get a public transfer until late night.


Joe Aichner

WP:  What advice would you give any new artists who are entering the show this year?

AB:  First have a look on the website and the program (  Then you come and relax, you gonna meet everywhere artists in the village, no matter where you go.  As a newbie you can simply ask those who came for longer.  If you are in the competition and you are the first time here, don’t give yourself too much pressure in winning.  Enjoy and step into the surreal – Welcome at the World Bodypainting Festival!




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By Deborah Murtha

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