Envision Music and Arts Festival 2015

by Cait Deane


Stepping off the shuttle and entering the festival grounds, you immediately are aware that you have been transported into a magical place. Palm trees tower above and provide shade from the tropical sun. Waiting to check in you can hear joyful chatter in a slew of different languages. Conversations are overheard from friends reuniting, and travel distances discussed- from as far as Australia, Sweden, as well as all over the United States- travelers who have not slept in over a day in order to catch a bus, a plane, and a shuttle to reach their final destination: Uvita, Costa Rica. Regardless of their weariness, the crowd is beaming. Smiles are ubiquitous as we look forward to our weekend together. Envision is here.

Envision Music and Arts Festival is a transformational event that occurred February 26th until March 1st of this year. It takes place in the ideal location for a wintertime festival: Costa Rica. If the venue alone is not enough to persuade you to attend, than the dynamic and diverse lineup, composed of both native and imported music, with headliners including: Groundation, The Polish Ambassador, Emancipator, Ott, and Govinda would surely convince you to take the journey to Uvita.

Envision is a feast for the senses. Outstanding musical performances fill your ears, and you will find yourself hurrying from stage to stage to get a taste of each show. An incredible line up of visual artists, with creators including Amanda Sage, Chris Dyer, and Stephen Kruse (to name just a few) captivate you and allow their creations to blossom before your eyes. The food vendors consist of a blend of local and more specialized foods, catering to every diet- with rich and unique flavors that tantalize your tastebuds. Merchandise vendors were impressive with a wonderful amount of variety- from clothing made from recycled material, gorgeous handcrafted jewelry, to leather boots and beaded apparel, there was something for everyone. Every booth was full of treasures.The location of the event provides you with a thousand different physical sensations- warmth from the sun, coolness of a rejuvenating blue clay skin treatment, a beach with an ocean that is heated like bathwater, and luscious vegetation that you can spread out on and take a nap when it is finally time to give in to sleep.

chris Dyer


Creation and collaboration were strong themes at Envision. A fantastic gallery hosted many intricate and inspiring pieces of artwork, festival goers could lose hours examining each work and appreciating their beauty. There was huge wall in the middle of the grounds on which attendees could paint together, as the mural was filled, the canvas was replaced and displayed throughout the venue. Everywhere you looked, partner yoga, dancing, hula-hooping and workshops were occurring. Located centrally, a colossal slide had been built and children and adults alike took turns climbing to the top to take the carefree plummet to the earth. Envision was home to some of the best vibes I have felt at a festival. Veronica Bertolone put it best in a conversation I had with her relaxing on the jungle floor: “We recharge each other.” Everyone’s energy comes together and motivates our imaginations.



Thursday night was an excellent start to the festival. After camping spots were scoped out (careful not to set up under a coconut tree) and tents were quickly set up, we rushed to the music. The crowd at the main stage was packed tight and we danced before a momentous jungle cat, constructed for the stage, made from wood with fire bursting from its palms. Projections displayed a stimulating array of visuals above the head of the tiger, and its eyes glowed brightly as performers played from its center. Artists like Lafa Taylor, SaQi, and Push/Pull had the crowd going wild, despite their day of distant traveling.

amanda sage

Friday I was careful to catch presentations at the gallery by Amanda Sage and Chris Dyer, who spoke about their work and their visions. That night I caught the sunset. Thousands of people gathered on the beach to watch the giant glowing orb descend into the ocean. Horses trotted down the sand and fire poi began to emerge with the setting sun. After a day of workshops, meditation, and yoga we were prepared to dance the night away. Wildlight began my night and peacefully prepared me for more energetic acts like The Polish Ambassador and Ill-Esha. My night concluded with the graceful and soothing tunes that were played by Emancipator.



We woke with the sun shining into our tents on Saturday, its difficult to sleep through the heat but also a blessing in disguise as there is too much to take part in during the day to sleep much of it away. Every moment of your time can be utilized learning and listening to speakers, and participating in yoga sessions. Groundation’s performance added a lot of diversity to the night with their reggae- reminiscent and jazzy songs. There was so much wonderful music with Artists playing like Ott, Phaeleh, and AMB. Random Rab coaxed the sun back into the sky asSunday morning dawned.



Sunday offered activities like plant walks, first aid workshops, and sessions on awakening your chakras. Everyone tried to participate in as much as possible to soak up the opportunities of the last day. AMB and SaQi played second sets, and I found myself climbing a carefully crafted bamboo platform to get the best view of Govinda’s set. Silk dancers and poi performers danced on stage to add to the visual appeal of the evening. Murals and paintings were finished by visual artists, and as the night disappeared, I had to travel back to catch my shuttle home before the sun came up.

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Envision was an enchanting time. I learned so much and am so grateful for all of the friends I met, experiences I had, and time I spent in Uvita. The production, care for the festival grounds, performances, and helpfulness of the staff were all so wonderfully executed. I can’t wait to return to my new home in Costa Rica!