Envision Festival co-founder and CEO delve into curating a boutique expertise in Costa Rica's jungle paradise [Interview]
With 2019’s pageant circuit taking form, we’re beginning to see a shift within the panorama that largely started final yr, the place middle-of-the-pack festivals started to drop by the wayside. The occasions pool reached a degree of dilution the place there weren’t sufficient ticket consumers to go round, and this yr, what stays are the established energy gamers like Coachella and Lollapalooza and smaller, curated boutique experiences that depend on setting, intimacy, aesthetics, and expertise to attract in a calculated crowd of a way more manageable scale. Envision Festival, now getting ready for its ninth version, takes place the guts of Costa Rica’s jungle paradise every year — and at a crucial level within the ageing strategy of a pageant, amid an in any other case tenuous and unsustainable ambiance stateside, Envision’s roots appear firmer than ever.
The key ingredient that differentiates Envision isn’t only a concentrate on sustainability and eco-friendliness — its the best way during which Envision’s Co-founder and Production Director Josh Wendel and CEO Reuben Walker weave these traits into each granular side of the occasion. The attendee basically will get to decide on their very own journey. Ahead of Envision Festival’s ninth weekend, operating from February 28 – March three, Wendel and Walker sat down with EDM All Day to delve into the how the brains and braun behind a regularly rising and evolving boutique pageant expertise in Costa Rica handle to face out in new methods every year.
“Envision just isn’t a couple of particular idea. It is about you, the pageant goer,” emphasizes Wendel. The Envision co-founder continues, “It is about you discovering what you ‘Envision;’ in your life, for your online business, for well being and ensuring that you’re following your personal highest path. We implore our viewers to come back to Envision with an open thoughts and expertise one thing new, whether or not or not it’s music, efficiency, workshops, yoga, eating regimen or simply strolling round nature barefoot.”
“We purpose to create an setting that sheds the ego and opens every particular person as much as true connection and self discovery.”
The kind of sustainable outlook that fuels Envision’s longevity hasn’t simply been on a weekend-by-weekend foundation annually for the final decade. The thought course of runs a lot deeper than that, and in the end it solely works in addition to is does when paired with a real year-round take care of the pageant’s host neighborhood. Reuben Walker elaborates on Wendel’s thought, clarifying, “Sustainability is a course of. It isn’t as if a pageant is sustainable or not, It is a journey of determining what issues could be executed higher and taking the steps to place these ideas into apply. Now, with a brand new working baseline, the occasion can re-assess and establish much more aware targets than earlier than. It is a apply that’s embodied within the Calling, or Mission Statement, of Envision: Awaken the self to a better consciousness in alignment with the pure concord.”
It has been practically a decade of trial and error, planning, and constructing a year-over-year effort to harmoniously present a second of breathtaking escapism to pageant goers whereas additionally lifting up the neighborhood the place the occasion takes place. Walker continues, “It seems like this grand and big problem however actually it’s a sluggish and gradual course of that requires taking one step at a time. Sometimes the strides aren’t so long as we like, however the vital factor is to maintain transferring ahead. Personally, I’m targeted on supporting our inside group to be as synced up as attainable in order that they’re in a position to ship an occasion that’s as curated, minute-to-minute, as could be.”
Walker speaks passionately about Envision’s inextricable tie to Uvita and the way an occasion that attracts a world crowd with the likes of GRiZ, Tycho, Lee Burridge and extra, manages to carry such a concerted, localized effort to uplift its neighborhood. “We are continually on the lookout for methods to help the local people. [One] group we try to help every year are native farmers. We go instantly to those laborious working native individuals and submit very massive orders that present secured work for the subsequent few months permitting for them to have the safety of these massive purchases and we profit from having such properly cared for meals and pleased relationships. We have a full roll out of seaside clear ups up and down the coast which has change into extra vital than ever as extra trash is discovering its approach ashore,” says Walker.
“We put plenty of consideration into listening to the local people to grasp how they wish to be supported, not simply rolling in with what we expect is finest for them.”
Other occasions are beginning to place a heavier emphasis on the the place, the how, and the why — so to talk. Creating a very impactful occasion expertise has outgrown the confines of an honest expertise roster and carnival rides in a giant open subject, or worse, some car parking zone. Wendel, who directs the annual four-day manufacturing, posits, “I’m all the time essentially the most excited to see how briskly our desires change into a actuality; from spreadsheets and pencil marks on paper, to elaborate hearth respiratory constructions with world class sound. Every yr amazes me greater than the final, as we flip fantasies into actuality.” Wendel and Walker can create this escapism for his or her attendees as a result of in the end, they’ve discovered one of the simplest ways to rise above the noise, enveloping themselves in Costa Rican tradition between iterations of Envision. “We have the distinctive benefit of being based mostly in one of the vital lush locations on this planet, with an abundance of pure sources. It’s simpler to construct a stage out of pure supplies in Costa Rica, we don’t need to ship water in and we actually have a wealth of meals rising proper on the land. Most different festivals don’t have that benefit. That’s additionally why we stay right here. It makes it simple to talk about the message of sustainability, permaculture and pure constructing in a spot the place you possibly can thrive within the pure setting.”
“It feels good to be a human in Costa Rica. It simply feels proper. Locals name it ‘Pura Vida’ and it’s one of the vital vital awakenings individuals have after they come right here.”
Fans need extra, and festivals’ survival relies on intentional, considerate programming and in the end its committal to security and accountability. “I actually hope that Envision can encourage different occasion producers to implement extra sustainable practices and stick nearer to their ethos and values. That is the great thing about whenever you view profitability not simply when it comes to monetary, however environmental and social impacts as properly. We are pleased to share that wealth and are all the time trying to different like minded occasions for inspiration on how we will do our job higher,” says Wendel.
Now, that’s to not say lineup isn’t vital to the typical pageant goer these days. It simply implies that the general pageant expertise depends extra closely on ambiance than it could have earlier than. Wendel’s admiration for the programming facet of the pageant is evident in the best way he talks about billing this yr’s lineup — considered one of Envision’s most numerous, and impressive billings to this point. This yr’s lineup contains some dangers, and even probably some unknown curveballs, based on Wendel. Envision’s 2019 lineup additionally locations a particular emphasis on Latin American sounds, representing the pageant’s internet hosting area in with a mix of bass, techno, electro, and extra. Wendel explains, “Tlisted below are so many elements to think about when reserving a lineup, however we all the time prioritize the expertise. It has to suit into the story that we try to inform. We clearly think about headliners that flip heads however essentially the most thrilling [thing] to me is how we introduce new artists or sounds to an viewers that doesn’t know them. There are plenty of totally different kinds of music that we carry, together with plenty of genres which might be comparatively unknown. The enjoyable half is how will we current them to our viewers.”
This yr’s billing contains acts like CloZee, The Floozies, Electric Mantis, Bedouin, and extra. Walker, the pageant’s CEO gushes, “Many of those artists are coming to Envision for his or her first time and seeing these favorites of mine out right here within the jungle goes to be a spotlight of my yr.” Bottom line, when it comes to occasion programming the pair appear to genuinely view the pageant’s music choices as merely the car for human interplay on the seashores of Uvita. Walker expresses,
“Festivals have far higher potential as cultural cultivators than we’re at the moment seeing and as occasions proceed to discover these frontiers we’ll discover that we’ve solely simply begun to learn from these celebrations of artwork, creativity, and the human spirit.”
As the ultimate weeks of preparation start forward of Envision’s early spring kickoff and followers plot their returns to Uvita come early March, Walker and Wendel are primed for what they imagine will probably be Envision’s most vibrant and impactful iteration but. When requested for a phrase of recommendation to the incoming pageant goer this yr, every responded in variety with messages of open mindedness and compassion. “More than only a sustainable expertise at a pageant, let’s be a bit extra formidable than that. Be aware in every motion you are taking. Whether that’s packing your bag and desirous about what goes into it or deciding the way you’ll make that ultimate leg of the journey. Are you creating plenty of waste in your wake? What steps can you are taking to whittle away at that? Are you being environment friendly with the sources that you just’re utilizing to perform your journey? Do I do that on a regular basis? Absolutely not,” concedes Walker, “nevertheless it’s a course of and the extra we work at it, like all issues, the higher we get.” Wendel completes his counterpart’s thought, emphasizing the concept of sustainability outdoors of simply journey or pageant practices. “I’d say, make an effort to implement small issues you are able to do on a regular basis. Whether it’s water or trash or one other useful resource, I’ve discovered protecting a apply of contemplating the lifelong journey of waste within the ecosystem and who it impacts alongside the best way to be a form of compass at festivals in addition to in life.”
Envision brings the celebration to paradise with actual intention and function, with out having to compromise in any route. See the complete lineup and buy your tickets to Envision Festival right here.