Written by Lauren Sadowsky
Envision a tropical paradise well equipped with ice blue beaches, natural waterfalls, and howler monkey alarm clocks. Envision a vacation jam packed with the simultaneous elation and relaxation that comes with five days of yoga, dance/movement, and energy work. Envision a community that integrates organic and localization efforts with permaculture and sustainable living practices. Now, take that bubble of a day dream, open it up, and stuff it full of some of the most talented musical acts this side of the mid-atlantic ridge. Welcome to Uvita, Costa Rica: the home of Envision Festival.
A collaborative effort of the Envision Presents team, Envision Festival from February 27th through March 3rd was created with the intention of exploring the intricate interconnectedness of the mind, body, spirit, and environment. This 5-day extravaganza literally has something for everyone. Dance and movement workshops range from acro-yoga & aerial arts to tantric practices, from Capoiera to African dance, from POI to Kundalini dance, with some Qigong and bellydancing thrown in for good measure.
Performance art will include the tantalizing Quixotic dancers, who integrate the kinesthetics of yoga, acrobatics, and ballet, as well as fashion, film, and digital effects to create a multi-sensory experience. The MOOPSquad, a troupe that began as a Burning Man collaboration, has transformed into a new genre of performance activism. MOOP is an acronym for ‘Matter Out Of Place,’ so look out for the MOOPsquad as they will be patrolling the festival grounds and serving as a constant reminder to Leave No Trace Behind. One performance you should make sure not to miss is the Animal Cracker Conspiracy, a duo of puppeteers seeking to illuminate pertinent cultural issues while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of expression and conscious exploration through the use of puppets. Visual artists include Alex and Allyson Grey, as well as an array of talented live painters and various art installations set up throughout the festival grounds. Lest we forget, the healing sanctuary, which will provide a safe space for those looking to heighten their vibration, as well as those seeking to land back down to earth.
Over 50 artists will be performing throughout these five days in paradise, with genres spanning the musical spectrum. The Sol stage will be housing the weekend’s array of live music. The Egg, a UK based EDM group, consists of Matt White on lead guitar, Maff Scott on the drums, Ned Scott holding down the keyboards, and Paul Marshall tickling the bass. These guys will be providing us with some juicy dance beats Thursday on the Sol Stage, while Emancipator will be gracing us with his presence on Friday (and hopefully some music from his new album, Dusk to Dawn). The Sol stage will also host the Earth Harp feat. Andrea Brook, an interactive yoga/music presentation. The Earth Harp is the largest harp in the world, ranging from 50ft-1000ft! Participants are invited to align themselves and stretch out under it, as it reaches out from the stage and over the crowd to create harmonic and architectural encapsulation. This interactive sound healing promises to be one of the most unique experiences offered.
The Luna stage, in contrast, will be home to Envision’s resident electronic acts. Ill-Esha, a Vancouver native, will be serving her unique blend of vocals and beatbox-infused drum and bass on Thursday, while Friday hails the musical stylings of Desert Dwellers and Love & Light. Desert Dwellers (Amani Friend & Treavor Moontribe) are one of my favorite acts. Their fusion of psychedelic trance with down-tempo bass and ambient intentions make for a multi-dimensional auditory blend that is as perfect for a crazy dance party as it is a charming yoga flow. Love & Light is another duo hailing from the southwestern United States. Ryan Anderson and Matt Madonna mesh together mid-tempo bass with melodic webs of moombahton, synth rhythms, and drum and bass, with an intention to create a vibe and atmosphere of interconnectedness that mirrors their music. Saturday marks the day that Andreilien will land in Uvita. Formerly Heyoka (the Cosmic Jester), Andreilien combines glitch-hop and heavy bass to channel an eerie, almost extra-terrestrial presence. Kaminada will also be blessing Envision attendees with scintillating fusions of bass, ambient sounds, and rhythmic melodies which integrate binaries and call upon elemental archetypes to evoke states of expanded consciousness. Govinda, Shane Madden, is an Austin-based performer and producer who weaves his classical violin training with his love for electronic music. While I am extremely elated for the artists just mentioned, Envision Festival is a treasure trove of new music, the perfect place to channel your inner pirate and plunder!
The Envision Presents team has managed to intertwine music festivals, healing sanctuary, and sustainability practices into an all-out communal gathering of like-minded folk, those whose intentions veer towards healing ourselves, our neighbors, and our planet (not necessarily in that order). I hope to see you all there, but if not, keep an eye out for Lost in Sound exclusive live Ustreams of sets specifically chosen to tickle your fancy (TUNE IN HERE).