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Envision Festival 2016 | FESTIVALPHOTO

 

 

Envision Festival 2016

 

2016-03-08 10:26 - An Amazing Envision Festival in Uvita, Costa Rica

I am so excited to write about this festival, and yet, have no idea where to even begin!

Envision Festival in Uvita, Costa Rica, is, most simply put, T O P S! And for so many reasons!

It’s the kind of festival you attend, and mid-way through, you know you’ll be back the next year, and the year after that, and the year after that, and every year as long as you can make it. It’s wonderfully curated, and the amount of thought and consideration put into each aspect of the festival does not go unnoticed. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a festival in which I was more aware of the conscious effort put into it, in regards to planning, organization/arrangement, and sustainable practices.
For example, for a festival expecting 7,000 plus +/- 1,200 crew, staff and support, how many plates, cups, and sets of silverware would you expect each food vendor to go prepared with? A lot, right? Well, at Envision, there wasn’t even ONE single use fork, knife, cup or plate to be found! They use a plate rental system, in which the first time you go to get food somewhere you pay $2, and they give you the silverware and plate you need. Then you return it to the dish return when you’re done, get a reusable ticket, and use it to get your plate the next time. Brilliant! I can’t tell you the number of people I spoke to that said, “I haven’t generated a single piece of trash in the last four/five days.” It’s astounding really, and such a great example of what’s possible, and what Envision stands for: symbiotic, sustainable life.

Other highlights of the festival’s sustainability practices included the endless amounts of compost bins/piles (coconut shell piles were abounding all over!), mass amount of clearly marked recycling bins, and the compost toilets. (Let’s hope we see even more of them in the years to come!) Also, it’s pretty easy to rave about an event in which cleaning crews are brought in at least once a day to clean the port-a-potties, and the Green Team tells you they’re going to sort your trash for you if you won’t.

As for the festival grounds, Envision is held on private, beachfront property. It’s a trozo (piece) of land that was looked for specifically, and attained for the use of the festival because of a beautiful relationship cultivated between the festival producers/founders, and the family that owns the land. (Another goal of Envision: fuse the local culture/population and that of the festival, to share ideas and grow together.) The hope is that Envision will someday soon be able to buy the land, and begin to turn it into a year-round place, designed to encourage sustainable living/building, as well as permaculture. Just imagine going to a festival at a place where the plants and trees are nearly all edible! For now there are banana, papaya and mango trees, which is still pretty special!

As I said, the property has beach access, but what makes it especially delightful is the fact you are literally fest-ing out in the rainforest. Envision is in the jungle, so you’re camping, dancing, learning and loving all amid trees and the sounds of the jungle. Howler monkeys wake you in the morning, bugs will do whatever they can to get in your tents and hammocks, and glistening spider eyes in the night are a common sight. The beach is only a 5-10 minute walk from the stages (depending how distracted you get by all the amazing craft/food vendors lining the beach path), and even though the full moon’s full effect on the tides meant we couldn’t go to the beach for sunset (too dangerous), it was a much appreciated aspect during the blazing hot, humid days. The heat was so real at this one, something you absolutely have to keep in mind when you’re there – drink lots of water and coconuts!!! So there was no shortage of sweating, although the free mud packing station was of great assistance to those who used it.

But if the beach wasn’t your daytime ticket, all day long there were workshops, yoga classes, 5 Rhythms or Ecstatic dance classes, talks, presentations, ceremonies and more. The yoga zone was beautifully done, and I’m happy to say it’s the home of the first two permanent Envision structures! The teachers and presenters they brought in were absolutely fantastic, and I know many people who spent their entire festival in this zone. Classes and activities ran from the early morning all the way till the evening, and the zone was set far enough away from the rest of the festival, there was minimal noise interference, and a definite vibe of peace, calm and tranquility. (A great place to head for a nap if you needed one!) And if none of that floats your boat, you could still head over to the Lapa Stage, arguably the best at the fest for many, and dance on during the day, enjoying freshly cracked cocos to cool off and replenish the electrolytes!

This year was the first year Envision had a house stage (Lapa), and I think many people will return, or come, just for this one in future years. With top headliners from the electronic world like M.A.N.D.Y. and Bedouin, the Lapa stage was going off nonstop. I myself deemed it a Black Hole, because I actually could not pass by it, day or night, without bopping on into the mix to get down for a bit.
The music was so carefully handpicked, it was evident a lot of thought went into each artist selection. Between the Lapa, the Sol and the Luna stages, there was always something incredible to hear, and everyone seemed pretty pleased.

One of the bigger surprises of the festival was the “main stage,” the Sol Stage. It’s pretty rare to find a festival of this sort (psychedelic/bass/electronic) that has a stage dedicated to live performances and especially, bands. But that’s what Josh Wedel, Co-Founder of Envision has promised: that live music will not die at Envision! With acts like Colorado’s Elephant Funk Revival, and the ever-amazing Beats Antique and Dirtwire, it was easy to get sucked into the Sol Stage and stay there for a long time. Also much appreciated, was the opportunity to see and hear local groups, like Sonambulo and Santos y Zurdo that literally blew us all away.
Around 2AM each morning, the Lapa and Sol stages would shut down, making way for the sunrise sets that took us all the heaven at the Luna stage, where many of us left our hearts behind. It was home to the sunrise sets of Random Rab, Shphongle, and The Human Experience, as well as the visionary art gallery, live painting, and an enormous and beautiful bamboo structure.

Most festivals have golden moments you go back to on darker days, when things aren’t feeling quite right, and you need to take your mind to a happy place. Random Rab’s Sunday morning sunrise set will forever be one of the moments for all that were there. The paradigm shift was palpable. Everyone suddenly saw through their third eyes, and were exchanges looks of pure, unconditional love and joy. Not a single face in the place didn’t adorn a blissed out look, and we all swayed together like the family we really are. Mission accomplished: #vivalaexperiencia.

To say that Envision was a great festival almost sells it short, so hopefully all of my others words will do it some solid justice, and can help paint a picture of the paraiso we just experienced. And as a new, lifelong friend I met at the event said, “Envision brings out the beautifulest people in the world we live in, or at least 7,000 of them! Envision was dope. Envision has vision all the way, so does Costa Rica.”

Thank you so much to the Envision team for all your hard work – it did not go unnoticed or underappreciated in any way! YOU ROCK! And to all the Envisioners out there: KEEP DOING IT! We’re changing the world, baby!

Many blessings to all who participated in this epic experience, and who have the passion to follow their internal fire and contribute it to this movement! I love you!


Envision 2017 dates have been announced, and we’ll see you back in Uvita for more from February 23 to 26, 2017! A limited number of tickets are available now at http://holdmyticket.com/event/238977 :)

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  Writer: Allison Fedor
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