QCOSTARICA – Saturday afternoon a group of about 50 people paraded on the main road into Uvita, Puntarenas, with placards to protest against the Envision Festival, taking place this weekend at a private estate in this town.
This is the fifth straight year of Envision Festival. The four-day event is set in Uvita, Costa Rica—specifically at Rancho La Merced.
With messages like “No more Envision” and “Stop Envision“, protesters asked not to hold the event again (in Costa Rica).
Festival organizers greeted the protesters with fruit and water to have a conversation with them and explain the purpose of Envision. However, the villagers refused to accept the invitation and continued on their way to Playa Hermosa.
“We do not agree, because it is a mixture of nudity, drugs and alcohol that goes against our lives and that of our children,” said Johnny Naranjo, a resident of Playa Hermosa, told La Nacion.
Organizers assure they have control for these activities (drugs or nudity) within the festival, and regretted the fact that the neighbors would not dialogue.
“We do not allow drugs or nudity, but this is a free country and they (protesters) have every right to express themselves,” said Kai Ocean, Envision security chief.
Musically, Envision is sandwiched between The Dead and The Burn, with music from live psychedelic outfits like Shpongle, Beats Antique and Random Rab coexisting next to DJ sets from Burner favorites like M.A.N.D.Y and Atish.
Along with the musical options, the festival’s Village stage is a multi-purpose hub for non musical events like speaker-led workshops, a “witches healing sanctuary,” a chillout zone for kids and families, and yoga workshops from a variety of acclaimed downward doggers.
The festival was cofounded in 2011 by Miami-born Stephen Brooks, a lifelong Deadhead and Burner who studies the relationship between human and plants during his day job as an ethnobotanist.
“Everything I’ve done has been dedicated to creating transformation… [and] creat[ing] experiences to wake people up, so they can live differently and take a different path,” Brooks recently told me via Skype from the driver’s seat of his Jeep, where he was pulled over in the middle of a banana plantation in Costa Rica on the way back to his home, which is only accessible by a 20-minute boat ride.