On the beach and in the jungle. This is how Envision Festival was first billed to me, and I was sold. Held along the ‘whale’s tale’ of Costa Rica on a divine parcel of jungle-meets-coast (Rancho La Merced), Envision Festival is now in its eight year.
The festival started as the brainchild of several founders (who very humbly roam the grounds mixing and energising participants during the festival period) as a way of spreading their vision of a new paradigm. Having grown to 7,000 participants, Envision is designed to further nudge the world, and more importantly inspire participants to nudge the world down the path of: sustainability (permaculture, eco-building), community/health and quality (art, music, movement). ‘Envision can happen all the time’ was an oft repeated phrase by speakers over the four days. It’s up to us.
The setup of Envision Festival is one of the best that I have seen for any festival. You genuinely feel like you are frolicking in some kind of glorious lost paradise. I, like most participants, was left constantly pinching myself to remind that it is real.
Music: Three main stages are supplemented by a yoga area, meditation space, an art gallery and several smaller stages along with the Playa Hermosa surf beach. It’s a veritable wonderland of discovery and adventure that never leaves your senses wanting. The main music stages are Sol (live music), Luna (electronic) and Lapa (dub step/various). The diversity on offer along with the international acts and crisp Function One sound systems provides for a sublime quality experience for the audiophiles among us. I don’t actually know how they do it – even at peak set we could stand next the speakers and speak to each other. Crisp.
Talks: A standout for Envision was the quality of talks and the interest shown by participants in them. I would actually say that almost as many people were drawn to the dozens of talks throughout each days as turned up to dance at night. I myself loved the talks on permaculture, blockchain and gender communication. There were some incredibly inspiring first-class speakers enriching us with their knowledge around such as Wilma (a Native American water protector) and Nina Simons (founder of Bioneers).
Paradigm shifts: while it can be easy (and lots of fun) to poke fun at some aspects of ‘transformational’ festivals I felt Envision struck a good balance. Nothing was forced and it was all about learning if you chose to. For mine, I’m going to be do be doing a lot of reading on permaculture over the next several months. It’s a concept that I have oft heard thrown around but never really had explained in a way that made sense.
I absolutely commend the Envision team for putting together an incredible experience for most participants. If you’re based in Australia and find yourself in the Latin region during February I highly recommend experiencing this festival for yourself.
Co-founder of The Plus Ones, Rukmal lives and breathes events.
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Envision Festival