Landing in the land of “Pura Vida” once again, it was nice to feel the buzz of stages being built, the tropical heat, the sounds of nature mixed with that of distant bass and hand saws, as temple structures and bamboo oasis’s emerged. The energy of dedicated, passionate beings creating a container for what was to come, along with vendors making preparations for the crowds of people. I felt an anticipation of magic, an expansion in my heart space as I prepared to be reunited with so many beloved souls.
Envision has the main quality of a transformational festival that I value the most. That feeling of being in a lucid dream with the people I love most in the world. Envision’s particular flavor for me personally is really juicy, because so many friends from different parts of the world come together for 4 days in this energetically potent Central American country. They flock from Colorado, California, from New York, Asheville, Oregon, all over the states and from other countries to rediscover the embrace of Pachamama in the magic lands of Costa Rica; to find once again, the embrace of each other and our collective community, celebrate our love, our creativity and our mission.
The new venue had a much more accessible spread out that included a semi-private beach and a lot more amazing shade structures compared to previous years. Nightly opening ceremonies called in the elements, while the days were filled with Yoga classes, amazing panels and intimate workshop experiences along with amazing music. Sunsets were witnessed from one of the most magnificent beach fronts I’ve ever stood upon. The expanse of the beach brought me to tears as we bid farewell to the sun together as a tribe, taking in the drums, laughter, the smell of sea water, and the relief of having made it to paradise.
Envision 2014 hosted one of the most epic line ups that one could possibly have fathomed bringing together in another country. From Nahko Bear and Medicine for the People, to Tipper and Papadosio. From Kaminanda, Pumpkin, to The Polish Ambassador, The Human experience and Rising Appalachia. To Kalya Scintilla, DJ Dakini and White Bear out of Australia. And of course the famous Random Rab sunrise set that blows everyones heart chakras wide open. Although all these sets were incredible to feel and to dance to, this year I found myself most touched by the intimate sets at the village stage each night. The village stage hosted a deeper intimacy and connected space for participants and artists. Sets by Ayla Nereo, Nakho Bear, Leah from Rising Appalachia and Dustin Thomas were powerful, unique, rootsy, super loving, deeply inspiring, healing and quite potent. Cuddle puddles emerged, people laid on the ground connecting to themselves and receiving the healing vibrations of these authentic souls. The artists were eye to eye with their community. Chills ran down my spine as all of these artists shared their truth through music, story, and vulnerability as a receptive crowd met them with total openness and love.
One of the other highlights of Envision that makes it so appealing to me, is its commitment to sustainability. From a no waste vending area, where participants either rented a reusable plate or brought their own containers, to sustainably harvested bamboo stages that would recycle the bamboo after breakdown. There were compost toilets in the V.I.P and family zones, as well as projects, innovators and visionaries spreading the awareness of eco-communities, food sovereignty, and permaculture.
Like all festivals there are always challenges to negotiating our needs, boundaries and lifestyle choices within these containers and with other participants, but over all Envision festival sets a powerful precedence in the direction of music and workshop quality, commitments to sustainability, local resourcing, and is a pioneer on all fronts for transformational culture including building international relationships.
Thank you Envision for an amazing opportunity to once again catalyze my love affair with Costa Rica, and our growing community, you are appreciated.