My time at Envision Festival in Costa Rica was so eye opening, it couldn’t be contained in one piece. Read on for my wrap up write up on this incredible Festival experience.
Most music festivals these days will have an arts component, but I’ve never experienced once as vibrant as at Envision. All around the festival art was coming to life. From the stages, stark white wood by day, painted in moving, colored lights by night; the fire dancers and hula hoopers, bringing a stunning visual component to human movement, to the more traditional forms of visual arts, set to music. Live painting would happen round the clock, the artists inspired by the music, the festival goers inspired by all the media around them. Combining technology with creativity, there were even instances of electronic painting – an artist painting on what could be a giant iPad, using only his fingers and the power of his imagination.
One of my favorite aspects of Envision was the educational seminars that took place throughout the weekend. Enlightened and conscious minds from around the world set up camp just like the rest of us, and took the stage to share their wisdom and ideas, captivating the hearts and minds of hot and sweaty festies along the way. There were several memorable talks I attended, or took in from the comfort of a well placed hammock. Weaving threads of meaning was a particularly great one for me as it showcased the power of storytelling, featuring (find names of people in talk Israeli guy vice writer), and taught listeners that We are all story tellers. I also loved Accessing creativity by David block, where the musician shared his creative process with us, and reminded us of the value of collaboration as he gave a little teaser of his new collaborative project Gone Gone Beyond. In his words, “We must collaborate to create a sustainable future” a sentiment I couldn’t agree with more, and one that came to life as I went from that talk to the Lapa stage to dance to the fruits of that collaboration. Finally, I was truly moved and inspired by the Dolphin Tank talk, where socially conscious entrepreneurs and visionaries were given the chance to pitch their enterprises. I connected with some great individuals through that talk, some of whom may even be featured right here very soon!
One of the most incredible aspects of Envision, and truly of any conscious festival, is the people who attend. At these festivals you don’t just say hello, you don’t shake hands, you reach out and hug every single person you meet. It introduces an element of warmth that is sadly lacking in modern human interaction, and also allows you to tune into your own instincts and intuition about the individuals you come in contact with. Those with less than pure intentions are easily found out (and are luckily few and far between) and those who are genuine can quickly and naturally turn into dear friends for life. There is a great sense of openness, trust and security in this community. Entire families attend, children playfully and safely interacting with perfect strangers. Sex and body positivity are very important in the community, and consent in all its forms is obtained and enforced by all, ensuring that no matter what level you are looking to explore yourself or your interactions with others, you are doing so in a safe and secure space, surrounded by people who want the best for you. Environmental consciousness is a theme that flows throughout as well. From properly sorting garbage, being cognizant of your own water usage and even using compost toilets (yup, I did it!), waste reduction is a priority for everyone, and you leave the festival with a new awareness that is hopefully taken back to everyone’s daily lives. Everyone at the festival is of the mind that we need to come together for the sake of our planet and our species, and it’s truly special to be around that level of intention.
On my last night I had a conversation with a man from Italy, a man who had turned a life of drug abuse, casual sex and wanton disregard for his own personal well being into one of celibacy, freedom from all substances and heightened consciousness. His dream is to change the way the world works by building a global network of social and conscious collaboration with the end goal of building physical villages that are modern embodiments of the global conscious community. We spoke at length about his work and mine, shared ideas and talked about life as a whole, all while being cradled in hammocks under a canopy of palm trees and a starry sky. After all of that, we also discovered that we shared the same birthday, something that felt not quite coincidental. After we spoke he said he wanted to leave me with a gift, as he was so happy to have been seated next to me. He asked me to close my eyes as he pulled something out of the child’s backpack he used to carry his few belongings. With my eyes closed, he anointed me with an essential oil that smelled wonderful. He rubbed the oil between my brows to stimulate my 3rd eye to see deeper, my left and right temples so I may analyze what I see with my left brain and open myself to creative thought with my right. Then came my nose, to smell beautiful things of course, followed by my heart to be open to love and finally my hands to do the work I am meant to do. Perfect strangers now United by a common thread. It was simple and beautiful and a physical embodiment of what a festival like envision can be; an awakening of the body, heart, mind, and spirit. That is, if you let it.
Tickets for Envision 2017 are on sale now. Secure your spot today (February 23rd – 26th, 2017)!
*photos by Nadia Elkharadly unless otherwise indicated