The air was filled with a sweet smell of nature. The ground felt soft under our feet. The energy was uplifting, light and friendly but filled with sincere and deep energy. The jungle beats traveled and bounced off the trees as stage lights cascaded over heads and up into the vast dark sky. As if a true magic worked – we envisioned a perfect world to escape to, clap our heels together three times, and now opened our eyes. We were here – Envision Festival.
Tucked away past a row of travelers and through an illuminating gateway, the beautiful music festival land of Envision flourished. Campers already marked their territory in predicted shady areas under the canopy, and circles of friends set out to explore their new home for the next four days. Running towards the back to the main area, electronica South American duo, Lulacruza, set the tone for a cultural, exotic getaway on the Luna Stage. As others pioneered the bamboo jungle gyms, Living Light blended soothing, worldly beats and spoke welcoming prose that seemed to unite all of us newcomers to theCosta Rica experience. Our feet were warmed up and covered in forest floor just in time for Lafa Taylor to turn the dial up on the party, as world distinguished festival dancers performed rotating routines on the stage.
In awe, the audience looked from peer to peer, meeting eyes as if to reassure themselves, “you’re seeing what I’m seeing right?” We were mesmerized. We were under the clearest sky, surrounded by tropical trees, sweat just rolling off our skin, watching a tiger bamboo stage be lit up with renowned artists. “We made it! We’re in a jungle!”
As a co-conscious community, Envision attendees welcomed the new day with drum circles and cheers on the beach during sunrise. The days were filled with yoga practice, movement workshops, and enlightening talks in-between sips of machete opened coconuts and excursions to waterfalls. We all slowly awakened our bodies during the day and unleashed our built up energy at night.
Ayla Nereo’s soothing voice amplified over the mic as she greeted all of us to the first act on the Sol Stage. Her precocious compassion was made evident as she spoke positive messages of change, sustainability, and of envisioning a better future between songs. Her uplifting tracks were accompanied with a live band, beautiful female dancers, and complementing background vocals. Putting the guitar aside and adding in David Sugalski (aka The Polish Ambassador) behind a DJ setup, Nereo transformed into Wildlightfurther escalating the crowds’ enthusiasm and teasing their excitement for Polish’s set. After squeezing in some Cali house vibes with Porkchop in the Lotus Stage area, it was time to get down to the beats that helped put Envision on the map. Suited up and ready, The Polish Ambassador took the stage and led us on a jungle-esque, spacey musical ride. The atmosphere was more alive than at any other moment as if everyone poured their love and energy into creating this set – the audience collaborating with the performers to manifest what we’ll all remember as Polish Ambassador’s incredible performance at Envision. The electricity in the space built up as Lafa Taylor joined him on stage spitting lyrics that described our indescribable experience, “Catch a vision of the stars. Living in the moment, forever getting lost.”
Night continued into early morning with energetic and soothing waves with the up-tempo Ill-esha, the violin dreamy sequences of Emancipator, and the future animalistic sounds of AtYya. As the next day and night followed in, the fire dancers, aerial acrobatics, and hip-hop stylized improves only grew more insane to watch. Envisionaries kept going strong to the heavy dance beats brought by Stickybuds and other artists that ultimately led to the back-to-back performance that would mark the start of the last day of our festival adventure. Ott’s ambient, psychedelic dub tracks flowed into Random Rab’s liquidity electronic sunrise set as attendees soaked in the final Envision morning.
As music and yoga continued on, visionaries paid visit to their favorite places on the festival grounds and gave souvenir goodbye hugs to their newly made friends. The humidity in the air became our comforting blanket and memory trigger for the fact that we flew from winter and plopped into paradise. Our feeling of gratitude to be able to hear, see, and feel all that was around us sprouted our first day and strengthened to a life changing appreciation by the end. These four days we anticipated to be a memorable journey, but who knew it would leave a lasting mark on our hearts and open our minds to a new world we’d keep within us as we traveled back to wherever we called home. Clap, clap, clap your heels….