Envision Festival: A Transformational Experience

Many people have asked me about my trip to Envision Festival. I have tried to describe it as best I can, but I feel like I have failed to express just how deeply moving the whole experience really was for me. The connections I made with some of the people at the festival were profound and I will cherish them forever. Love was given and received freely as we all shared in the collective joy of the event. Every moment of the festival I felt like I was exactly where I needed to be. It seems like a special kind of magic happens when so many people from all around the globe come together in a conscious celebration of life. Most come with intention and are seeking to improve themselves, the communities they come from and the world as a whole.   

Few things recharge me in the way that music does. I was in a state of pure auditory bliss all throughout the festival. The musical line-up was staked full of some of the best musicians in the world. I happily floated around discovering new artists and jamming out to old favorites, the soundscape of each stage was crafted beautifully. Musicians from across the globe added their own unique sounds and styles to create a diverse musical experience on the stage and off. Impromptu jam sessions were a common occurrence. Some of my favorite performances include Rising Appalachia, Autograf, Goopsteppa, Opiuo, Clozee, Filibusta and Govinda just to name a few. As good as all of these acts were nothing was comparable to the spiritual experience that was Random Rabs sunrise set. His music flowed through my body and took root in my heart, filling it almost to bursting, as the power of the new sun refueled my soul. Nothing but smiling faces could be seen as we all greeted the new day together. I was in a state of total euphoria as I head down to the beach to sit in the surf and watch the waves come crashing in. It was an experience I will carry with me forever.

 Random Rab at the Luna Stage photo by: Bradford Watkins Creations

Random Rab at the Luna Stage photo by: Bradford Watkins Creations

 Envision Festival is like one giant art exhibit from the stunning art installations, to the mind bending stage designs, even just the beauty of the location itself. No matter which way you looked there was something beautiful for your eyes to behold. I found myself wandering through the art gallery almost every night. It was definitely one of my favorite places. With the soundtrack being provided by the Luna stage, it was easy to get lost in the beautiful visionary art that was on display. Live painters could be found all throughout the festival grounds and it was a delight to see their art evolve over the course of the weekend. To all the amazing artists who contributed their work and to the people who ran the gallery, thank you so much!  

 The art gallery! Photo by Jennifer Lee in association with Beatmaps

The art gallery! Photo by Jennifer Lee in association with Beatmaps

 Each of the four stages had a very distinct atmosphere to them. The music, stage design and overall vibe of each were unique. The Village stage looked as if it had risen up from the earth itself to provide a shady space for the speakers to share their wisdom with everyone during the day. A couple speakers that I really enjoyed were Rob Greenfield who gave a talk on minimal living and sustainable travel and Kip Anderson who gave a talk on activism through film making. At night though the stage transformed into an intimate jam space where musicians shared their passion with the crowd.

 The Village Stage during the day! Photo by Bradford Watkins Creations

The Village Stage during the day! Photo by Bradford Watkins Creations

The Village stage wasn’t the only stage that underwent a complete transformation as night fell. Both the Luna and Sol stages, designed by The Reliquarium and Zebbler Studios respectively, came to life as vibrant colors and psychedelic patterns danced across their surfaces. The effects of the video mapping were dreamlike. That in combination with the spectacular fire dancers and flow performers made these stages an absolute treat for the senses. Pyrodanza, who performed during Clozee, deserve a special mention. I don’t think I have ever seen so much fire on a stage before.

 Autograf performing on the Sol Stage! Photo by Jennifer Lee in association with Beatmaps

Autograf performing on the Sol Stage! Photo by Jennifer Lee in association with Beatmaps

Whenever I was feeling a little stiff or woke up with aches and pains from sleeping on the ground, I would attend a yoga class. The Yoga Village was the place to be for those looking to stretch the kinks out and center themselves or those looking to slowdown and chill out for a little bit. From sunrise to sunset there was some sort of yoga or movement workshop taking place at one of the two areas dedicated for this purpose. My favorite workshop of the weekend was Shamanik Yoga hosted by Juan Pablo Barahona. It seemed like the definition of jungle yoga and was unlike any yoga class I have been a part of. There was a lot of movement involved as you flowed through the poses and kept your connection with the breath strong. At points it seemed very tribal as we all bounced up and down to the beat of the music that was present throughout the class. As the music grew more intense we all came together in a swirling mass of sweaty bodies. As the music grew softer we were encouraged to place our hands on someone else’s heart and form a connection. We were all one tribe in that moment, everyone connected through love and the beating of another’s heart. It was a beautiful experience.

 Back bends on the beach! Photo by Bradford Watkins Creations

Back bends on the beach! Photo by Bradford Watkins Creations

Out of all the things that make the festival great the thing that made my Envision experience so memorable were the people. You would be hard pressed to find a better group of people to spend 4 days with. Smiles were in abundance and laughter could be heard echoing across the grounds. It was easy to approach people and strike up a conversation because everybody was so accepting and willing to meet new people. Weather it was a quick conversation about where the other person was from or an in depth discussion about the origins of consciousness every person I met was open and friendly. I travelled to Envision Festival by myself but I never felt alone the entire time I was there. It was like I was surrounded by thousands of friends that I had yet to meet. I met a great group of people who weren’t even attending the festival down on the beach. We grew closer every day as I met them each evening to share in the beauty of the setting sun. Getting to know them over the course of the festival was one of the highlights of my trip.  

 The beach! Photo by Bradford Watkins Creations

The beach! Photo by Bradford Watkins Creations

Envision Festival is a transformative place and I think that is the reason why people flock to it from across the globe. The jungle vibe and tropical location only add to its appeal. It’s a place where you can go to escape the drudgery of everyday life and be your real authentic self. It’s a place where you can learn to be the best version of yourself so you can get out there and help a world that is hurting. If you hear the jungle calling you be sure to take the plunge and pick up the phone. You won’t regret it.