PHOTOS: MOLLIE MENDOZA & ROGER COPPOLA
COVERAGE: ROGER COPPOLA
Each February, some of the festival scene’s most colorful characters descend on Costa Rica's south-Pacific coast for a weekend of jungle revelry. Once a year, the lush area of Uvita rapidly fills with an eclectic assortment of top-notch musicians, world-renowned permaculture activists and organic foodies, and creative minds of all kinds collide to become part of something more than a simple music festival; Envision is a Mecca for the conscious community. It is a place where healthy living, sustainable design and world-music converge in a beautiful symphony of celebration.
The routes to the festival are as unique as the individuals who find their way on them. As people from all corners of the globe board buses, collectivos, and planes, a common thread gets woven; a desire to be part of something truly special in the festival scene that justifies the sweat-drenched journey to get there. The destination is home to a beachside jungle where howler monkeys play amongst the over-hanging trees, and parrots adorn the high-topped canopy.
The orchestration of artists, food vendors, musicians, and speakers hits all the notes on all the senses. Let the day begin with a sunrise ocean swim and an early morning yoga practice to sweat out last night’s festivities. Hungry? Grab a freshly squeezed juice or coffee, locally caught fish-filled sushi rolls, and stroll around the Envision Village to escape the scorching midday heat. Listen in on one of the many world-renown speakers and workshops or find a cool, comfortable seat in the tea lounge.
The Envision team plans a perfect schedule - focusing on shade friendly workshops during the day and high-energy dance parties by night. David Wolfe enlightened the crowd on the secrets of superfoods, renegade gardening, and even questioned the curvature of the Earth itself. David Block shared words of wisdom with an inspiring discussion on “Accessing Creativity”, along with his own music in multiple sets as both “The Human Experience”, and his newest project, “The Cat’s Pajamas”.
The main Sol stage featured a projection of a smiling, mustache’d sun that smirked and shifted as illuminated snakes slithered past. The stage hosted an eclectic array of talent. David Satori (Beats Antique and Dirtwire) and Sidecar Tommy demonstrated their versatility with a broad musical quiver, banging, plucking, and strumming any and every instrument imaginable.
Dirtwire's set rightfully drew the largest crowd of the weekend; David Satori’s warm violin played back and forth across the stage with Evan Fraser’s unique mix of jaw harp, slide guitar and percussion. The duet’s seductive set inspired the crowd to groove in unison as Eastern music met West with an electronic undertone. Colorado based quintet Elephant Revival provided a beautiful change of pace, as folk melodies filled the air with washboard runs, banjo whines and wholesome acappellas. The Sol stage showcased local talent with acts including Calavera y La Canal- this Latin American Rockband play a unique blend of Electronica, Rock, and Ska, and perform with an extravagant, costume-filled, Flaming Lips-like flair.
The Lapa Stage was the beating heart of the festival pumping house tunes into the warm, damp surroundings with the likes of Bedouin, Lee Reynolds, and Tara Brooks. A canopied dance floor and close proximity beach access made it ideal for those looking to boogie down while the blazing sun still lingered in the late afternoon. Once the night was upon us, playful lighting and Funktion One sounds pushed the party till the early hours of the morning.
The Luna stage once again captured the hearts of the festival with an on-stage butterfly art installation, abundant fire, silks and even pole performers. The surrounding treehouse style platforms allowed for the perfect aerial view, as a series of overhanging bridges provided the perfect perch above the pulsating crowds. Shpongle’s rattling jungle drums ignited a frenzied crowd in what felt like his natural landscape, while mind-melting projections spilled over the large butterfly. Lafa Taylor bridged the gap between intelligent hip-hop and electronic by picking up the mic and laying down lyrics over original tracks. CloZee justified the hype with her genre defying glitch-hop future bass, paired with a team of local fire dances that lit up the stage and captured the attention of all.
This epic collection of creative minds and excellent music seemed a sign for great things to come, both in the up-and-coming music scene and in the movement for a more conscious, sustainable world. I left feeling hopeful, inspired by an event that was far more than a party in paradise; Envision was a celebration of creativity that continues to push the boundaries of festival culture, setting a high standard for the season to come.
Limited Early Bird Tickets for next year’s event are already on sale, be sure to get them here!