For those of you who love festivals, take note. For those of you who don't, take lots of notes. This festival is for all spectrums of people (even kids are welcome). But don't worry, there's still plenty of fun for the 20 somethings. While I have always enjoyed the obnoxious, colorful mess of festivals, I understand that's not everybody's cup of tea. Here's are a few reasons why Envision is the party of the future...
1. IT'S CONSCIOUS
Festivals are environmental disasters. But not this one. Envision is a Leave No Trace event, which aims to leave the area the same or better than it was found. You're highly encouraged to bring your own reusable water bottle and plates or bowls. If you forget any of these items (like myself) the vendors have a ticket system for reusable ware otherwise you're served on a palm leaf. Why don't we always use these? Composting bins, recycling bins and sinks for washing dishes encourage a waste-free environment. Most festival-goers bring or rent a tent, although small huts are available for a more costly price. Envision has partnered with Community Carbon Trees, which does everything from helping to sequester carbon and preserve local species to fair employment and empowerment of Ticos (Costa Ricans). In 2016 they planted 179 trees in the Envision Festival Offset forest.
2. IT'S IN THE (REAL) JUNGLE
This is not your run of the mill jungle party with a few staged palm trees and fringed garland. This is the real deal - sweat, heat and bugs included. Located in a small village in the southwest part of Costa Rica, the festival embodies the exotic land. The trees are lush, the fruit is fresh and the sunscreen is clay. Buckets of clay. You can't help but flinch at the local vendors wacking open another Pipa (coconut) with a giant machete. (Nothing beats cold coconut water in tropics.) Also, did I mention Rancho La Merced is right next to the beach? So after your head banging sweat fest, you can have a swim in Uvita's crystal waters. Or catch some waves for the surfers out there.
3. IT'S EDUCATIONAL AND FAR FROM BORING
Is it bad that this is the first time in my life I was completely engaged in class? It's true, Envision offers hundreds of classes throughout the day covering everything from permaculture to African dance lessons. Yogi's can help you find your inner peace or even just help stretch out your muscles from the night before. Speakers come from all parts of the world teaching about Ayurveda, biodiversity, living a minimalist lifestyle, yoga, the Dakota Pipeline, Cowspiracy, herbalism, dance, meditation and countless more. A few of my favorites were Rob Greenfield, Sahara Rose, Gina Woods and Erin Schrode.
3. THE ENTERTAINMENT
What I really enjoyed about this festival was not the amount of stages they had, but the diversity between them. I could dance my face off to house music and then walk over to watch acrobats flip high above the crowd, or sit down to watch fire dancers and later get my hips moving to a quirky latin beat. The entertainment was endless and the party never ended. That is until I hit the peak of my head cold, and sleep was forcing itself upon me. Fortunately, the festival has an onsite Herbal Clinic, so after a swig of some (terrible) cough medicine I was ready to rock and roll.
4. ARTISTIC COLLABORATION
Envision invites people from all over the world to sell handmade jewelry, clothing, trinkets and homegrown foods. I found a golden hand dyed tank and green elixir (to boost my immune system in this ongoing head cold) Local vendors then flooded the path between the festival gates and the beach with beautiful bracelets, cacao nibs and ice cold beers. Vendors were not the only form of art at this festival. An art gallery was built inside the grounds, showcasing a variety of media and emotion. You're even encouraged to create your own art! Designated walls invite festival-goers to pick up a brush and add their own unique touch.
All in all, I praise this event because it didn't sacrifice fun for responsibility. Good vibes all around.
This article was not part of an affiliate or promotional program. It was written to purely share an experience. All photos original.