By Michael Milano/Music Reporter
Photos By Eric Roderick/TheHollywoodTimes
Uvita, Costa Rica (The Hollywood Times) 5/17/19 – Ridiculous surf. Incredible stage design. Like-minded community. Do-ers. Seekers. & you. ENVISION IT. This is the motto of Envision Festival, a 4 day music, art, and community festival that recently finished up its latest event. The experience is so transformative, in fact, that it took me a good while to wrap my mind around it and put it into the proper words.
Located in Uvita just outside of Dominical, Costa Rica, this transformative festival stays true to it’s local Central American roots and books massive musical talent from seasoned veterans such as Tycho, GRiZ, and Lee Burridge, to up and comers like Too Many Zoos and The Floozies.
“The 8 Pillars of Envision”, or “The foundation of why and what we do” is the key to fully immersing yourself in the vibe of the festival. Movement, Spirituality, Music, Radical Acceptance, Community, Permaculture, Health, and Art are truly what this festival was built upon. You can feel that immediately once you have entered the grounds. Staff and festival goers alike are some of the most kind and warm people you will ever meet. You can’t look in a single direction, or walk more than 20 feet before seeing or stumbling upon some incredible art piece being created right in front of your eyes. Even though I had never been to Costa Rica before in my life, as soon as I walked through the festival entrance, I felt at home.
Movement: This one seems obvious, since it is at a music festival full of people dancing, but it’s much more than that. It’s about the whole festival moving together as one collective group, in total unison. Not to mention the popular yoga workshops that happen daily.
Spirituality: Not your run of the mill religious affair, the spirituality of Envision Festival is best seen through the ebb and flow of every single human being inside of the grounds. Plenty of spiritually-based workshops happen throughout the weekend.
Music: Some of the most respected musicians and DJs in the industry make up this lineup, as well as a bunch of of young rising and local talent sprinkled in.
Radical Acceptance: No matter who you are, where you come from, or what religious or socio-economic group you may be a part of, as long as you yourself are accepting of others, you will also be accepted at Envision.
Community: Nobody feels left out at this festival. Even if you go alone, odds are you will meet a great group of people who will accept you into their group. The whole festival feels like one big family.
Permaculture: Along with the other workshops mentioned before, Envision offers Permaculture workshops as well to help promote sustainable, environmentally friendly ways to help save the planet.
Health: While promoting physical health through yoga workshops and dietary options, there are also plenty of opportunities to improve your mental health with plenty of meditative and restorative workshops happening almost every hour.
Art: You won’t walk more than ten feet without witnessing live art being created right in front of you. Truly greatest pieces that grab the attention and capture the imagination.
While Envision is truly a homegrown smaller boutique style festival, they have some of the most incredible stage designs, even more creative than some of the big North American festival juggernauts like Coachella, Bonaroo, or Lollapallooza. The Luna stage was easily the most impressive stage set up that I have ever seen in my 13 years of attending music festivals, looking like something out of a scene from Pan’s Labyrinth. While the Sol Stage, only a couple hundred feet away, boasts an incredible visual panel just above the musicians, creating a beautiful moving picture that looked infinitely better than anything a simple screen could showcase. Outside of the Luna and Sol stages exist the Lapa and Village stages, which hosts more local and underground sounds and vibes.
“Transformative” is truly the best way to describe Envision Festival. Each attendee might come to the festival with different expectations, but once the festival is over Monday morning, it honestly feels like everyone there is on the exact same wavelength. While the festival has been over for a few weeks now, I still feel the effect it had on me, and I’m sure the rest of Envision-goers feel the same way. This really is an experience that everyone, no matter your age, background, or how much previous festival experiences you have had. This writer and The Hollywood Times are looking forward to attending Envision Festival well into the future!