Envision 2012 Costa Rica – what was up? [Updated 3/10/12: New videos]

We’re still in Costa Rica and have been slowly uploading videos from Envision 2012. We found some bandwidth in Escazu, although it’s not quite good old Silicon Valley upload capabilities, I’ve managed to add a few more videos to this post. We also heard that the Envision Festival was a news story on CNN Espanol – don’t have a YouTube link for this to post yet.

I’m pleased to report that, as usual, Lucent Dossier knows how to throw down a bad ass after party!

DJ Imagika Om rocked some tribal beats poolside at the Lucent Dossier afterparty

I would recommend any large groups visiting Costa Rica to stay at the Mar Y Selva EcoLodge – ask for Carlos.

Luckily for our loyal Burners.Me fans the fabulous event was full of talented videographers. Here’s a documentary that says it better than I possibly could.

To me, it had the feeling of happiness and goodwill like my first ever dance party. Love all around, in a spectacularly beautiful environment. A choice between dubstep, glitch, tribal, progressive electronica; or a
live stage with a mixture of local and imported bands who just oozed passion and inspiration.
Everyone at the festival shared the joy of being at such a beautiful place together. Almost everyone we spoke to was a Burner – although we didn’t find a single one who had tickets for this year – and we heard many favorable comparisons to Burning Man.

Envision was more like the Rainbow Serpent or Outback Eclipse or now de-funked Earthcore parties in Australia, or the DoLab’s excellent Lightning in a Bottle coming up May 24-28th in SoCal.

Costa Rica is ranked #1 in the world for biodiversity, and is the most peaceful nation on earth – they lead the list of countries who have no military. The country scores very well on the GINI index of income equality and makes the Top 3 in Central/South America for least corrupt. Envision is a great party, it was only its second year and it was awesome, we’ll be back for sure. Dominical, Puntarenas is heaven on earth whatever your budget – even if it’s $0. I’m not kidding! I missed the Art Cars of Burning Man, and the music was not quite WMC – but the jacuzzi-warm water of the ocean and the abundance of “Pura VIda” more than made up for that.

Envision 2012 Costa Rica – Burners by the beach

by photographer Pixie

I think it has become pretty clear to most of us that the Burner culture has vastly outgrown the capacity of the Burning Man Organization to define and dictate it. The Facebook page has 333,000 Likes as I write this. Luckily, Burning Man is no longer the only game in town for Burner Culture. Remember that the whole party is created by Burners – it’s not actually the event promoters who create the entertainment of Burning Man, they just sit in a high-rise corporate office in downtown San Francisco and set all the rules and sell all the tickets. Almost all major Burner camps are created by passionate and talented crews who are involved in their own off-Playa events too. The DJs and other performers who love Burning Man also play to massive crowds of party people, all over the planet.

If you want to hang out with amazing people with great energy, who are dancing to fantastic music and letting their souls be free, there are plenty of other options around the world.

This week, Burners.Me is lucky enough to be coming to you live (well, sort of!) from the Envision festival in Puntarenas, Costa Rica.

There are some immediately obvious differences from Burning Man. We arrived and were welcomed by Stephen Brooks, one of the world’s leading experts in permaculture, singing on stage songs about the potential within all of us to make the future better than the past our parents handed us. Later singers acknowledged the presence of different tribes, and asked us all to unite as one to protect the earth. The message was that tanks, bombs, machine guns and torpedos could not stop the love that all humans have for one another. We found it very inspiring, and great to dance to.

From the musical side, the score was Hippies 1 Ravers 1 – a lovely balance, and nice to be able to move between the two. The music was great on both counts. All the people were happy and everyone’s attitude was great. If you were thirsty, a mere $2 got you a giant refreshing coconut.

We’ll be back again later tonight for night 2, to see and hear and smell and taste and feel some more. Heard today about some initial problems for the campers with water and showers, none of that in our crew, we are “slumming it” in a villa with ocean views, chef and a semi-Olympic pool, in the middle of rainforest jungle canopy. The cost is less than a Motel 6 in California. So quite glad we didn’t stay in tents, just a short drive to the beach and the warmest waters I’ve ever swam in.

Summary so far of Envision compared to Burning Man:

Positive Differences

  1. It’s in Paradise, not a post-Apocalyptic wasteland
  2. Dancing on a soft surface
  3. You’re surrounded by beautiful nature, breathing clean air and hearing the sounds of the jungle all around
  4. If you get hot you can leave and go to the beach for a swim, then come back
  5. When you get home, all your stuff isn’t coated in dust; neither are your lungs and nostrils
  6. Lots of great organic food for sale
  7. You can get a water any time you want, from one of many bars or food stalls
  8. Bars – that even sell Grey Goose! The prices were very reasonable, $8 for a generous pour of Goose
  9. Smaller – easier to get around
  10. Lot of cool market stores of Burner-made clothing, art, and accessories
  11. When you want to leave, it takes a few minutes not 8 hours
  12. Will-call line took 10 minutes

Negative Differences

  1. No art cars
  2. Limited interactive/participative art installations
  3. You had to pay for things, sometimes with a clunky ticket system
  4. Smaller – less people to meet
  5. Everyone camps together in tents, there are no big theme camps or RVs
  6. Nowhere near as much glowing shit
  7. No major music stages during the day
  8. You have to beware of crocodiles if swimming at night

About the Same

  1. instant manifestation
  2. there’s a playa!
  3. portapotty service has much room for improvement
  4. all ages event – kids and old people welcome
  5. lots of beautiful people there
  6. travelling time from San Francisco to get here
  7. there’s no showers and restricted running water for the campers

More to come later…the playa and then the party is calling!