Envision, co-founded by Josh Wendel, is more than a music festival

Envision, co-founded by Josh Wendel, is more than a music festival

Photo courtesy of Envision Festival

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“It’s like the bait and switch,” says Josh Wendel, Co-founder, CEO, and Creative Director of Envision Festival — an epic experience inspiring love, unity, and connection to nature, set in the heart of the Costa Rican jungle paradise. 

Wendel is speaking about the mission statement of Envision Festival; or as he coins it: the spark. Officially, the inspiration was born from the founders’ desire to live a sustainable lifestyle that brings the individual into harmony with the earth around them. Unofficially, he tells us there’s no time to sit around and talk about creating sustainable communities. “It’s time to stop talking, the world’s kind of ****ed. We need this more now than ever.” 

If Wendel’s call to action sounds familiar, it’s because the 2023 edition of Envision was orchestrated with the shadow of the Pandemic still lurking. “There is a lot of division in the world right now,” he told EDM Identity. “A lot of fear and trauma that need to be brought to the surface and healed, and quite frankly the world is very ‘charged.’”

Despite barely being two months into 2024, the ongoing crisis in the Middle East shows no sign of slowing down. Therefore, the 12th edition, as with the pandemic, will address the controversial topic and hone in on the necessity to stand as a pillar of unity and light instead of choosing sides. “It’s time to be that change and stand for unity and togetherness,” Wendel emphasizes. 

So how will this be achieved? Wendel suggests utilizing similar methods they employed in 2022 to overcome the collective trauma of the pandemic. “The message then was about compassion, unity, and learning from what we went through rather than just forgetting about it and coming back to party,” he reflects. This year, bringing in as diverse a cast as possible is the recipe for bridging the cultural divide. 

Photo courtesy of Envision Festival

Addressing the times, Wendel’s team has brought together DJs and producers from Iran and Israel, and peace activists from Israel and Palestine all demonstrating the same message; providing a platform with which people can shift their consciousness to have a positive impact on the world — and ultimately, become a beacon of hope and change. 

And with that, Envision becomes more than just a music festival. “It’s more of an experience than a festival,” Wendel says. “It’s about curating a full experience and taking people on a journey. We want music that inspires people and plays the heartstrings.” 

Whereas a Burning Man or Coachella may be a catalyst for an inner transformation, Wendel insists that it’s not the festival’s obligation to ‘transform’ a person, nor should anyone expect some automatic radical transformation upon the conclusion of the event. “It’s about how you take what you experience and use that to reflect internally,” he says. “Making whatever changes you see fit in yourself and the world around you.” While the message behind the experience is not dissimilar to that of Burning Man, “The concept is different. It is not just about a personal awakening, it is born out of the need to urgently change our impact on the planet as well” 

Photo courtesy of Envision Festival

Envision was given its name as an ode to inspire people to create the ideal world they want to live in, in alignment with nature. The festival invites participants to tap into their inner voice to manifest their complete vision, but this year, rather than simply holding space as an inspiration, the festival represents a call to action. “The world needs you” to promote a sustainable and unified lifestyle outside of the festival. 

“Everything’s built out of natural materials, and everybody around you is living an inspired life. How do we take that and create a call to action instead of a sample pack of some cool concepts?” asks Wendel. 

Certainly, being surrounded by ‘where the jungle meets the sea’ helps with that awakening. 

Sourcing natural materials for infrastructure, harvesting farm-to-table food, no single use plastic, composting bio-waste, and reforesting local lands, Envision sets the bar for economic and environmental sustainability in the entertainment realm. “You came to see a headliner, and take cool photos of the stage, but when you’re here you’re also barefoot in the jungle observing monkeys in the trees. Everyone’s living that inspired life.” 

Join the movement that is Envision Festival, taking place March 4-11, 2024 in Costa Rica

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