ENVISION FESTIVAL WHY YOU SHOULN'T GO TO ENVISION FESTIVAL Costa Rica Internet
After coming back from my second year in a row going to Envision Festival, I am now confident that this will also be my final year. I’m in love with festivals and it takes a lot for me to give up on one; However, after the conversations I had with all my friends, and the comments I read online, I know that am not alone. I know dozens and dozens of people who all have said they would never come back.I also want to say that both years, I had an amazing time at the festival and it was life-transforming. But here is the thing. You can enjoy something and also critique it at the same time. The fact that I enjoyed it so much only validates my critique even more, because I’m not writing this article from a bitter place. I had an amazing time at the festival. However, it is the PEOPLE that makes the festival experience what it is. It is the magical connections and the beautiful souls that come together to build something. With that said, this experience can be had at any festival, and there are 1000’s of them around the world. As a community, if we’re going to invest our hard-earned dollars, I think we owe it to each other to look out for each other and inform each other when something is lacking integrity. I will break down the reasons why you shouldn’t go to Envision and instead invest your money elsewhere.The weather.I know we see pictures of beautiful beaches and Costa Rica drone shots. Envision has their marketing down. It’s hypnotizing and paints this image of paradise. The truth is, it is a humid hell-hole. For the 1000’s of people who camped, the tents turned into ovens. And during the daytime? Forget it. You can barely breathe. One of the only real ways to be able to do Envision is to get an air-conditioned hotel room and avoid the festival from morning to late afternoon. But then you end up missing out on the workshops. And also the friendly conversations. (It’s harder to meet people at night when you can’t see and everyone’s dancing). The heat destroys the whole festival experience. The best part of Envision is that it’s near a beach, but consider this. 1. The water is warm and won’t cool you off. You’ll also get sunburnt without even realizing it 2. The undertow is so strong that it’s not swimmable. With that said, dozens of people tried and over a 100 people had to get rescued, including a few that almost drowned. They had to close the beach this year and there was no sunrise or sunset rituals, which was the best part of Envision. The whole environment is unpredictable.You will likely get robbed.A response to this fact is one of the biggest cop-out lines you’ll hear: “Tourism robbery can happen anywhere”. True. But it happens at a much higher rate in Costa Rica, and even a higher rate at Envision Festival. Both years in a row, there were 100’s of reported cases of theft. My hunch is the ‘tico security’ that they hire are in on it. I personally know about a dozen people who had their cell phones and laptops stolen. Some were snatched from their tents. Others were pickpocketed or a grab-and-run. I personally got robbed both years. It’s an epidemic and you can’t trust anyone there! They’re very very skilled. Even if you’re extra cautious. It sucks that you have to be super paranoid and think about your stuff every minute of your time in Costa Rica, because it happens when you least expect it.You have a high chance of getting very, very sickThis year was absolutely brutal for this. Envision has a major hygiene and safety problem. Literally, 1000’s of people got utterly sick this year. A week later, and people are still feeling it. For some, it was sharp, agonizing stomach pains. For others, it was non-stop vomiting and diarrhea. People believe the water that we were drinking was contaminated. I know many people who were hospitalized this year. And the same thing happened last year. It’s a cesspool of germs and the whole festival is not sanitary at all. From the food vendors to the water supply. I would say you’re more likely to get sick at Envision than you are to not get sick, so if you choose to go, prepare for the worst, and know that even if you prepare, you will likely still get sick.Throw in all the mosquito viruses like Dengue, and it’s just not worth the risk. You’ll be absolutely miserable, throwing up, in hot crappy porto-potties with the sun beaming on you. Why put yourself through this when there are tons of amazing festivals nearby without all these crazy challenges?Cost keeps going upWhen it’s all said and done, it would almost cost the same amount to go to Burning Man, and it’s a lot cheaper to go to other local festivals. The average person spends around $1500 between rising ticket prices and round-trip tickets and all the other miscellaneous costs. It’s a very expensive experience with little reward. Simply not worth it.The line-up and workshops sucked this yearI thought it was just me…..but once again, I got into so many conversations with people and everybody said they felt something was different this year. That the festival shifted. I believe Envision Festival peaked in 2015, and I believe 2016 is the beginning of its fall. While they’ll probably use their well-edited videos to continuously market their ‘paradise’, and it’ll keep selling out during the next few years to naïve new-comers….I believe that eventually word will get around the festival community. Envision Festival has the lowest level of repeat ticket purchasers than any other festival and it’s with good reason. This is a one-time experience. The workshops this year were terrible and there were barely any recognizable names. What makes this so strange is that I know at least 3 people that applied that are very, very successful at what they do, and neither of them got in. People with huge followings! This tells me that Envision is a big circle-jerk. It’s one of those things that you have to know the right person. They’d rather choose crappy low-level people because they don’t have to pay them. This is pure greed. Which gets me to my next point..The people running the festival don’t give a f*** about you.This is hard for me to say because I’m sure in their eyes, they’re well-intentioned. But from everything I know and have seen, they’re a bunch of lazy narcissistic hipsters. Out of all the festivals I’ve tracked, they not only have the slowest response time, but also the lowest response rate. They will literally just ignore your email and never get back to you. Ever. What makes it messed up is that they intentionally rob our community of money. People will apply to lead a workshop or to volunteer….early in the process….and they won’t get any confirmation. Nobody will reply to their email in months. What ends up happening is that not only does the ticket price go up, but the air-fare goes up as well. These people are set on going to Envision festival, but are struggling financially already, which is why they offer to volunteer. So to wait that long, and to not get selected, means your overall price is now doubled. Now here’s what bugs me. It’s not that they don’t have the man-power, or the time to reply to everyone. It’s that they simply don’t give a fuck about you. I know this because I remember seeing many of the organizers the week before the festival, and they’re just partying and surfing. Now, I’ve ran a festival before, and I know that the few weeks leading up to the festival, you have a duty to be busting your a**. There is a lot of work required and many emails to get to. I worked with a staff of people who chose to sacrifice their time (because hey, they signed up for this….plus, most of them are getting paid to do this)….If I was responsible for 7000 people’s lives and festival experiences, I wouldn’t be chilling on the beach all day, while there are hundreds of emails of people needing help. They may call it ‘pura vida’ – I call it a lazy-hippie who only cares about himself. These are people’s lives! And it’s their hard-earned money that these greedy bastards are messing with. I simply can’t support these people. They’re a disgrace to the festival community, especially Justin Brothers, who’s just a leech who feeds off of people and uses them to feel validated. Pretty boy is on a power ego-trip.The local hate us.Imagine a music festival in the USA where only 5% of the attendees were from the USA…That would make you question why? Why don’t people who live in Central America go to Envision? Because they think we’re loud, obnoxious Americans who come into their land and destroy it. Envision paints itself as this eco-experience. It’s a cute effort and mostly an image. Did you know that the locals were protesting this year outside the festival grounds? We come in once a year, suck up all the local’s water supply, and introduce our ways to a culture that doesn’t live the same way. The young teenagers and college locals who come to Envision are often introduced to their first drug-experience in an unsafe party environment. Now I know that everyone is responsible for their own path, but we can still pay homage to the fact that the younger locals can sometime idolize us and want to party with us, and we introduce them to a lifestyle they’re not usually living.Speaking of, Envision festival presents itself as a ‘conscious’ festival, and this is once again, complete bulls***. 3 out of 4 people are high out of their minds. I guess you can do a yoga class in the morning….lol… but let’s keep it real. People come here to take drugs and party. And speaking of, the drugs are way over-priced and are often laced with dangerous ‘unknown’ elements.So out of all the festivals in the world,Why would you spend over a $1,000 to go into a humid hell-hole full of germs, diseases, and local perverts who disrespect females, and rob from tourists? Why would you support a festival that cares very little about it’s attendees, that has terrible customer service, non-stop technical issues, and a s****y line-up? Friends don’t let friends go to Envision.