As the destination festival market expands within music culture, a vast array of locations around the world – from desert raves to sandbar parties on remote islands – play host to the most intricately crafted productions with many of dance music’s acclaimed artists and fans alike opting out of traditional tourist traps for premiere “ravecation” experiences.
About three hours south of San Jose, Costa Rica, along the country’s pristine Pacific coastal region of Uvita, sits Envision Festival. The intimate, Burning Man-inspired gathering is founded on eight primary pillars: permaculture, spirituality, movement, art, music, community, health, and eco building. Among the four-day transformational affair’s numerous amenities are quaint retreats, dozens of speaker workshops, surfing, an oasis center for patrons with children, herbal elixir bar, sacred temples, eco villages, an international market, healing sanctuary and a diverse roster of musical talent. Autograf, OPIUO, Pantyraid, Papadosio, Goldfish, Blond:ish and Acid Pauli are among the enticing names on the festival’s lineup. As the multi-sensory encounter draws nigh, here are five acts that attendees can’t afford to miss at this year’s edition.
Photo courtesy of Viveylate
Hailing from Andes, Ecuador, enchanting producer and live performer Nicola Cruz hypnotizes audiences with a rapturous blend of tribal-inspired hymns, Amazonian embellishments and South American influence. Cruz embarked on an international fall tour in 2016 bringing his talents to exotic locations such as São Paulo, Mexico City, Barcelona, Paris, and Milan, culminating with his Cantos de Vision EP released just last month. The inventive artist has also collaborated with the illustrious Woo Moon party in Ibiza alongside ethereal acts Bedouin, Guy Gerber and Valentin Huedo. If the jungle had an official soundtrack, it would be produced by Nicola Cruz.
Photo courtesy of OPIUO
Australian (by way of New Zealand) producer and musician OPIUO’s experimentation of genres knows no bounds. The funk-meets-bass maestro is approaching a decade of propelling electronic forward with otherworldly music projects that span a diverse array of influences such as glitch hop, psychedelic house, breakbeat and the comical, self-coined “gutter slush” style. With an extensive catalog of remixes, EPs and albums, including his current Omniversal LP released last summer, the artist’s live performance setup – whether solo equipped with drum machines and synths or with his multi-piece Opiuo Band – is an interplanetary escapade of trans-dimensional proportions.
Photo courtesy of Systema Solar
Outrageously entertaining and visually enticing, Colombian collective Systema Solar are an extraordinarily captivating band. The group’s high-octane shows are evocative enough to inspire even the most socially awkward person at the venue to gyrate with reckless abandon. While drawing inspiration from various Afro-Latino influences, the group is best known for their signature sound called “Berbenautika” with every song emphasizing the “worship of dance and joy.” Systema Solar achieve this essence thoroughly with their latest album, Rumbo a Tierra.
Photo courtesy of Moses Pini Siluk
After a chance meeting during Winter Music Conference in Miami a decade go, Anstascia D’elene and Vivie Ann Bakos, known as the production and DJ duo Blond:ish, have evolved their talents into a globally-renowned force in electronic music. Hailing from Montreal, Canada, but currently based in Barcelona, the esteemed pair and Kompakt Records ambassadors have graced some of the world’s most elaborate destination parties such as Robot Heart at Burning Man, WooMoon Ibiza and Southern California’s Desert Hearts. Moreover, last year saw them solidify their rank as ethereal sirens with a spellbinding set for BBC Radio 1’s Essential Mix. While their music is certainly electronic, Blond:ish’s sound comes from a deeply human place.
Photo by Jonathan Clark
Deep house diva Tasha Blank is a needle in the proverbial saturated DJ haystack. The New York City DJ and producer has become one of the Big Apple’s dance music treasures as of late bringing her soulful house vibe and carefree spirit to yoga classes and international festivals alike. Whether it’s her weekly motivational emails or spiritually invigorating mixes, Tasha executes with a purpose ,and her mission statement is simple: “She loves you.”
Headlining production duo Autograf are gearing up for their Envision debut and have curated an exclusive Spotify playlist for Dancing Astronaut ahead of the paradisal affair. Listen below!
Also, be sure to stream Autograf’s new melancholic single “Nobody Knows” featuring WYNNE below.
Envision Festival is held on Rancho La Merced in Uvita, Costa Rica on February 23-26. More information is available on their website. Envision will also be one of the global festival brands participating in this year’s once-in-a-lifetime Oregon Eclipse Gathering located on Oregon’s Big Summit Prairie in the Ochoco National Forest on August 17-23.