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Envision Festival 2017 | FESTIVALPHOTO

 

 

Envision Festival 2017

 

2017-03-06 13:50 - The Best Jungle Party Ever? Envision!

So once more we packed up our extra special festival gear, and headed off into the lush, dense, mesmerizing sea of greens that can be found in the Costa Rican jungle. We left our inhibitions behind, and crossed the threshold of personal transformation, and extensive unity. Envision Festival 2017, as hoped for, went ahead and changed our lives…again!

In the decade + I’ve been attending festivals, raves, concerts and other music-related events, there has never been an one that really left me saying, “Yes, this is my favorite one of them all,” and yet, Envision Festival in Uvita, Costa Rica, has now managed to do so two years in a row! And while I’d like to say I have no idea why it’s for me, and so many I know, the best festival of the year, but that would be very lazy of me, and I cannot do Envision such a disservice!



There’s something magical that happens when you get several thousand liberated souls together, and cut them loose in the rainforest. Because not only does Costa Rica have naturally transformative tendencies, and an energy that is palpable even to the sleepiest of sheep, but its dramatic, breath-taking beauty slips you into a walking meditation. Instantly you are more tuned into yourself, which allows you to connect more deeply with all around you. This sensation, fueled by all the love flying around the place, the absolutely amazing music vibrating the air, and all the intention being carried around, really gives you something special that no other festival does. Many times in conversations with new friends I would hear people asking, “Have you ever seen a festival [location] like this before? Have you ever been to a festival like this one?” And oh if you could hear the admiration in their voice!

The second you land in Costa Rica and catch sight of rainforest-covered volcanoes and coastline, you get very, very excited. It looks like you’re stepping into the setting of Jurassic Park, and your animal instincts kick in, you start to feel your tribal side. The excitement carries you all the way to Uvita, on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, about 3 ½ hours from San Jose, and right up to the box office of the festival. The box office, like the majority of the festival, has been constructed of locally-sourced, natural materials, and is filled all the way up with smiling faces. No one is in a hurry, small talk runs rampant, and everyone slowly begins to embrace the well-known “Tico Time.” (Locals are called Ticos or Ticas depending on gender, and are known for living in a very relaxed way. That’s to say, a dinner that you say will take place at 19:30, could end up being closer to 21h. What’s the rush? Let’s enjoy life, and by the way, did you catch that sunset at the beach?)


One of the main pillars and focuses of the festival is that it have as small an environmental impact as possible. Which is why, instead of food and drink vendors providing single-use cups, plates, forks, knives, spoons and bowls, you pay an extra couple bucks for the plate and cutlery (or opt for the banana-leaf-as-a-plate option), and upon returning your dirty dishes, get a ticket to use again on the next round. Of which there will be many, because the selection of food and drink vendors is top notch!

Usually at a festival I don’t eat too much food, because I like to eat small, light snacks to sustain my energy through days full of yoga, dancing and workshops, and keep me going till the sunrise sets. However, this year I fully embraced the eating, and was left with my mouth agape because of the fresh, excellent flavors I was experiencing. Local favorite Café Mono Congo teamed up with Envision to be the official Envision food vendor of the festival, and brought along some of their best selections. From the Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad, to the Monkey Balls and smoothie bowls, friends, family, and frequenters of their resident Dominical restaurant were able to enjoy some of the best selections from their menu.

I would be remiss not to mention Ital Vital, where the fresh-pressed juices and infinite plants-as-medicine-knowledge of the crew kept us healthy, strong and energized throughout the festival. These Caribbean-coast, Costa Rican locals are a true bounty of information, and interacting with them was such a delight, we made sure to pass through a few times a day just for the smiles and fun. Other unique, culinary delights were found in Montezuma (go for the shakshuka with their fried olives!), and in reality, everywhere else we tried!

One of the most amazing things about this particular community is the level of ingenuity and creativity you find amongst the people… I saw food combinations I’d never even dreamed of, and was even able to show some who once thought raw food just meant a bowl of uncooked veggies, that in fact, you can also have mind-blowing tacos, wraps, rolls, this’s and that’s, without cooking the food or including animal byproducts. And because so many of us are cut from the same gypsy-traveler thread, it didn’t cost an outrageous amount to enjoy these healthy, organic, local delights either!

The Vendor Village in general was a joy to spend time in. There is a special world that exists between vendors, and the space used for this part of the festival really provided the feeling of a town center. The water hole, the gathering place of it all – the epicenter of life (and the only hub of consumerism), the Vendor Village encouraged hang time, play time, conversation, and chillaxation. It was the city center to our wonky, weird, wonderful world.

It was easy to spend time there as well, because there is so much creativity flooding the spaces between the trees that simply by sitting you feel enlightened and ignited. We got sucked in every time we went by, and would browse the apparel, accessories and artisan items each and every time. If you’re looking to shop some of the most unique, quality, hand-crafted things you’ve ever seen, then save up your pennies and pesos, because shopping at a place like Envision is The Best! Not only is it the best because of how beautiful the items are, but in most cases, you’re interacting with the artists themselves. Things can easily be altered in this way, and appreciation for the craft expressed more fully.

Within the realms of the Vendor Village was one of the coolest stages I’ve ever seen at an event: The Village Stage. Here there were a variety of offerings, from talks, presentations and workshops, to concerts and performances. The stage itself was literally the rainforest. Created entirely from plants, trees, flowers and bits of the jungle that surrounded us, the stage was absolutely stunning, and the perfect small stage to compliment the larger one of our lives at the time.

The other main stages were the Lapa Stage, and the Sol and Luna Stages.


Let’s just think of Lapa as the “Life of the Party Stage.” There was never a dull moment here, and if you yourself were looking for a little boost, it was the perfect place to swing through, or stay at all night (as many of my friends found themselves doing). Different styles of house were played throughout the night, and during the day, funk, fusion, and so much more kept the booties bouncing. I don’t really feel comfortable using these keywords to use to describe the style of music that you could experience at the Lapa Stage, because it was, like Envision, so diverse. My boyfriend aptly called the stage the “Goddess Stage,” as it was a common sight to find the most amazing goddesses hanging around, dancing, laughing, spritzing lavender-infused water in the air, fanning themselves and friends, and having fun. If you caught anyone without a smile on their face at the Lapa Stage, it was probably just because they were catching their breath before their next big dance break.

Funka, Bunny Wabbit, TuckinTyler, Fernanado Melo, Faceblind, and Bartosz Brenes opened up the festival for us at the Lapa Stage on Thursday, and 4NR Sound System, Barzo, Bushman, Dragonfly, Tony Andrews, Tasha Blank, Blond:ish, and Nicola Cruz took us from Friday afternoon into the 3:30 AM hour. Other stellar sets included Brian Hartman, Goldfish, Mario Miranda, Acid Pauli, OceanVsOrientalis, Danni G, The Funk Hunters, Dunkelbunt, Dr. Suits, Melissa O, Ivan Cespedes, Goldcap, and everyone else that played at the stage. I can confidently say I caught at least a little bit of almost every set that was played at the festival, and maybe once I walked away because it wasn’t quite my cup of tea.

Envision is THE HOME of amazing, diverse music, and the best place to discover your new favorite artist!


The full palate that is provided at Envision, as well as so much of its purpose and meaning, can be summed up in the performances seen at the Sol Stage; the Live Music Stage. I remember last year one of the production team members coming on stage and telling us that live music would not be allowed to die at Envision, and being so excited to see what groups would be brought on this year.

Imagine going to a Woodstock-style festival, but in the jungle, neighboring the ocean. That’s what you get at the Sol Stage. It’s the perfect place to take a seat, take a break, and be amazed by live performances of an international array.

The Sol Stage doesn’t open until Friday of the festival, but when it does, it’s an epicenter of energy and exploration. Killer Diller, Satsang, Systema Solar, Papadosio, Fuerza Dread, Rising Appalachia, Quixotic, Autograf, Infibeat, Zach Deputy, Lunar Fire and the Envision Orchestra headlined this main stage. Some acts kept us bouncing around, others lulled us off into lands of fairies and the ever-lovely dance move of “eyes-closed, swaying side-to-side”. Zach Deputy was the greatest surprise find of the festival for me – his voice, his presence, his sound…utterly amazing. Go have a listen at his Sound Cloud!

My personal favorite stage remains the same from last year, though this year the Luna Stage itself received a mega-upgrade, and became a Pirates of the Caribbean, Open-for-Interpretation, creature that none of us could quite name, but loved all the same. The details in the wooden design were just stunning, and the 3D mapping had us stuck for hours staring. Throw in the addition of the live painters art gallery, and the flow zone for people to practice and play with fire, and you’ve got yourself that quintessential festival view: flow toys flying in the air, people dancing everywhere, and art, art, art, art, art!

Music artists like Fore Movimiento, Traveler, Ryan Viser, CloZinger, Late Night Radio, Bumble (!!), Govinda, Goopsteppa, MartyParty, DubColing, Filibusta, Nico Luminous, Opiuo (one of the best sets of the entire festival, hands down), Clozee, PantyRaid, CharlesTheFirst, OTT., Of Porcelain and many more kept the funky beats bumpin, the bassheads happy, and all those that love to get down to some dirty, nasty, sick trappy-Cali-style stuff twerkin’ the nights away. The Luna Stage is also home to Random Rab’s highly-celebrated sunrise set that seamlessly transitions us from the high we’ve been building and riding through Saturday into the easy comedown and comeback-to-reality-ish-ness of Sunday.

Something that caught some extra attention this year were the Final Five of the Luna Stage – PantyRaid, CharlesTheFirst, OTT., Of Porcelain, and Frameworks. As I’ve said before, all the artists selected to bring their craft to the Envision stage are the best of the best and brightest of the brightest, but there was definitely something a little extra special about the final eight hours.
The creators of Envision place a lot of emphasis on how they want the festival to flow. So they think heavily on who to put when, where, and also why. They want to take the family, the commUNITY, the festival itself, through a collective flow. Start us slow, work us up, keep us going, and then ease us back down. This way, we rise and fall together, and can also have a bit of a comedown before we’re forced to leave the festival gates for the year, and walk back into society and all its expectations. For this reason, there are noticeable shifts in the atmosphere at Envision, and the community as a whole takes notice.

Last year, the most-talked about time was Random Rab’s sunrise set, and how completely transformative, powerful, and amazing it was. Many of us had never experienced such a collective shift before, and we were all left feeling like we’d been blasted wide open with love. All seeing through our third eyes, and spreading goodness with full force. Well, this year it was experienced by being taken on the hyphy ride that is PantyRaid, then dropped back into slow, sexy and All The Feels with CharlesTheFirst. OTT. delivered his glory of drips and drops, and Of Porcelain and Frameworks took us into an ethereal, blissed-out state with some upbeat, semi trop-house-style stuff.

By Sunday night of a four day festival, being a bit tired is to be expected. So if we’d felt the need to be getting wild until the sun came up on that last day, it would be a little harsh. But because the tones were taken slightly down, while the tunes remained better than expected, that collective feeling of light, love, joy and presence we’d all wanted from the year before, was ever-present. And once again, we all walked away from Envision Festival feeling like whatever messages needed to be delivered unto our souls had been sent and received, and all the deep cracks and fissures within us had either been filled, or were now simply running with love. The jungle, the sea, the sun, the stars; everything spoke to us, moved us, and enabled us to move with ourselves out of our old shells, and into the new ones we’re destined to carry until we reach our next station of transformation.


Aiding in all the progress, transformation and self-and-commUNITY-exploration were the Yoga and Healing Zones.

With sunrise sessions all the way till classes at night, there was useful information and great tips for growing being expressed, passed, shared, and collected endlessly. If the conversations between attendees weren’t deep enough, then popping into a workshop, class, presentation, discussion or demonstration on anything from handstands to hypnosis, Mayan rituals to Activism, Capitalism & Mysticism, and everything in between were available. Sustainability, permaculture, co-existence, and cacao. Asana, pranayama, mantra and meditation. Ceremony, song, freedom to express, and permission to dance. Sound healing, Tai Chi, Shakti, and Uterine Self Care. Human Crystal Clearings, how to hoop, Shamanik sharings, and Shanti. Backbends, acro, and appreciating silence and subtlety. An abundant offering of health, healing, wellness and tools to obtain deeper happiness were everywhere, and the teachers and guides that took us on the journey are the best in their classes.

If you ever have the chance to attend Envision, do. If you have the chance to volunteer, do. If you have the chance to get involved in this commUNITY of people, do. Because you will find yourself literally swimming in the warm ocean, watching the dramatic landscape of the jungle behind you, as the sun sets and lights up the sky in colors that provoke thoughts and emotions begging to be released. And you will find yourself spiritually swimming in a sea that might even be deeper than the ocean, surrounded by visionaries that aren’t just talking, but are doing. People dedicated to creating a better world for all of us, and finding ways to bridge gaps of divide. Souls that are ignited as can be, burning brightly, and affecting positive changes everywhere they go.

This commUNITY is supportive unlike any other, and this festival is at the core of it all. Fusing indigenous with mainstream, traditional ways with the modern world, and accepting, welcoming, and LOVING everyone and everything in between. Envision Festival, you remain a Number One Love, cheers to a great 2017!


To stay updated on all things Envision, follow along on Facebook www.facebook.com/envisionexperience, and go to www.envisionfestival.com

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2017-02-16 17:45 - Envision Festival Less Than a Week Away!!!!

Have you gotten your festival passes to Envision yet!? The event begins NEXT THURSDAY! So organize those flights, get that camping or sleeping arrangement set, and get ready to release yourself to the healing power of the Costa Rican jungle! There's no place like it on earth, and this festival is not one you want to miss!

The whole theme of Envision is unity, sustainability, and sourcing locally, as is expressed in the very threads that make the festival...

"Our build crew has learned so much from locals about construction using bamboo and other local materials, a skill that has allowed us to locally source nearly all our building materials."
- Lane Funjum
(Taken from Envision's Facebook page)

Also to be expected and excited for is an official menu from the AMAZING Café Mono Congo, just down the street from the festival. They'll be serving up some of their dishes that have brought them epic fame locally, to spread and share their goodness with the lineup of international attendees, coming from countless countries!

If your taste and earbuds are tingling by now, head to www.envisionfestival.com to score your pass and get your trip set before the wonder begins!

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2017-02-11 21:49 - ENVISION-ing a Fantastic Future

Envision Festival, held in the lush, green rainforest jungle of Uvita, Costa Rica right on the ocean, has easily become one of the most talked-about festivals in the transformational festival scene. Transformational, meaning that there is as much (or more) emphasis on sustainability, yoga, movement, art, and learning/personal growth, as there is on the music!

Envision is one of the leading festivals when it comes to sustainability, and we were so pleasantly surprised last year to learn there's not one single-use plate, cup, fork, knife or spoon generated at the festival. Which is utterly surprising when you consider there were roughly 7,000 attendees + staff and volunteers!

Their Eight Pillars include permaculture, spirituality, movement, art, music, community, health and ecobuilding, and it is all beyond evident whilst you're in the midst of it all.

This year's event is just ten days away, and will run from the 23rd till the 26th of this February!

Musical delight will be taken in the likes of Opiuo, Autograf, Rising Appalachia, Pantyraid, OTT, Papadosio, Random Rab, Goldfish, Acid Pauli, Blond:ish, Nicola Cruz, Govinda, The Funk Hunters, Satsang, Goopsteppa, Clozinger, Dragonfly, Bumble, and countless others! Plus, the yoga and workshop/speaker line-ups are equally as packed! With everything and everyone from 5Rhythms with Amber Ryan, to various yoga and movement classes with teachers like Ashleigh Sergeant, Sianna Sherman, Kevin Courtney, Hareesh Wallis, Kishan Shah, Hoopalicious, Sofiah Thom, Sitara Bird, Heidi Michelle and more!

Whether you're going to boogie your brains out all day and night, or prefer to pass all your time fully immersed in yoga and dance classes, workshops, talks, and presentations, you are definitely going to find your flow at Envision!

So come join us in the sand and sun in one of the "Greenest Countries in the World," and let your vibes fall in with those of the beautiful people around you! It's a family affair out there, and all are celebrated and welcome!

Head to www.envisionfestival.com to get your experience passes, check out the lineups, and get answers to all your questions!

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  Writer: Allison Fedor
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