Welcome to the jungle…
Costa Rica is a land of natural wonders and beautiful people, home to a mystical festival. When we decided to go to Envision, we knew very little about what to expect, although the amazing pictures that flooded our feeds a few weeks before we left Montreal surely got us excited.
Envision is not solely a music festival, it is a mind-opening adventure where one can achieve true communion with nature. It takes place in the luxurious jungle of Uvita, by the stunningly beautiful beach of Rancho La Merced. Its founders are deeply involved in the development of permaculture in the area and make sure festival attendees get a chance to learn more about their sustainable initiatives. Yoga is also at the heart of the experience, with renowned instructors teaching a wide array of classes every day. Specialists give talks throughout the day about topics ranging from meditation guides to tutorials dedicated to reaching deep vaginal orgasms. Every daily activity you can enjoy at Envision will lift your spirit, body, and soul.
What’s better than opening your chakras and listening to heart-lifting music? Nothing really. When we got to the dancefloor on Thursday night, the rain was pouring. Our feet were stuck deep in the mud and we could barely move. We didn’t need to, as what came down at the Lapa stage set the mood for our journey. Faceblind, one of the local rising stars, set the crowd on fire with funky techno and tech house beats. Impassioned by their set, we headed to the Luna stage to come closer to the phantasmagorical Balinese dragon that seemed to be looking after us. Charles the First played a highly danceable set, heavily influenced by nature and the adventures that coincide with it.
The next day, Patterns – a Central American band based in Costa Rica – got us fired up with a performance inspired by 80’s music, vintage synths, groove, and dance disco. Back to the Sol stage, where all the live bands were playing, Bob Moses delivered. With the recent addition of a drummer, the band was able to reach new levels of greatness. Tara Brooks brought dark, techno beats to an otherwise groovy night, albeit her set didn’t incorporate the expected usual sophisticated, haunting melodies. DJ Tennis also fell short of expectations, looping the same track for an extended period of time.
On Saturday, we decided to celebrate Mother Earth, Envision-style: spending the day in the jungle and praising the sun as it set on the magnificent beach, cheered by a sea of joyful hippies. My eyes full of tears of happiness, I watched this moving scene wondering what it would be like to never leave this place. We then caught a glimpse of Zack Walker’s set, a spiritual warrior based in San Francisco and one of Pink Mammoth’s resident DJs. His deep, funky, and soulful sounds made us forget how hot and sticky we were. We kept on dancing to Voodoo’s guitar riffs, a Rock’n’Roll band from San José whose songs evoke 70’s vintage music. A few hours later, Xavier Rudd put us to sleep and we took a well-deserved nap to be fully rested for what was to come down at the Lapa stage.
How do you describe Audiofly + Behrouz + Be Svendsen? A mesmerizing evening punctuated by tribal percussions and trippy tunes. At some point during the night, I was dragged out of my comfort zone to discover an artist whose style I wouldn’t usually listen to. I witnessed CloZee’s set in total disbelief. The Luna stage was filled with gifted performers and we stayed there standing in awe for close to an hour. Acrobats, dancers, fire spinners… The energy and the beauty of this show were unforgettable. As we danced the night away, we lost track of time and found ourselves admiring the sun rising over the trees.
On our last day in Uvita, we chilled out to the rhythms of Un Rojo, a local reggae band before turning back to the Sol stage for Santos y Zurdo, an electronic fusion project also based in Costa Rica and one of my most beautiful discoveries. To end on a high note, we witnessed another memorable triad bringing Monolink, Chaim, and Ivan Cespedes together. No longer performing in the shade of Guy Gerber, Chaim took us on a psychedelic trip, effortlessly closing Monolink’s live guitar/electronic set. Ivan Cespedes, whose name I’ve never heard of before, ended our adventure in the most magical way. I can still hear his dark, out of kilter techno resonating through the night…
I have no more words to describe this truly awakening experience. Costa Rica pierced my heart and Envision invigorated my soul.
Article by Sarah Duvivier
Photo credits: Sarah Duvivier ; Eric ; JB Photo