Happy Monday to my festival family near and far! Today is March 27th, 2017 and the Envision Festival officially ended one month ago today. As you can imagine, it has taken me a little time to really reflect and regroup after what was surely one of the most educational and transformational experiences of my life. After seeing a synchronistic and serendipitous amount of lucky number 777’s pop into my life over the past few months, and feeling lucky to be alive after the disaster experience of losing everything I owned in a house fire on 2/6/16, I was inspired to use the “lucky 7” in my review of my personal experience as the one and only “Hospitality Annex” Intern at the 2017 Envision Festival in Uvita, Costa Rica. I checked in for the first day of my internship on Monday February 20th and checked out in the wee hours of the morning on Monday February 27th. Over those 7 days I learned a lot. While I learned a remarkable amount, the following 7 things are my HIGHLIGHTS.
- DON’T RUIN THE SURPRISE. Apparently sharing photos of the Envision site during build is not approved or thought very highly of. I made the first year intern mistake of “ruining the surprise” and shared a photo (pictured above) of one of the main stages on Instagram 2 nights before the festival started… Oops! (hides under rock in embarrassment for committing social media crime). Awkward learning experience but impressive to learn that my good friend Justin Brothers (Media Guru, Co-Founder, and Co-Producer of Envision) actually DOES CARE about what is shared online prior to gates opening. This experience showed me just how much thought and preparation goes into the way the festival shares on social media prior to the festival.
- If you are going to WORK IT in the jungle, prepare to operate in a constant state of MAGIC & WONDER. Wow is the word that comes to mind when following up this statement. What a joy to sweat and cart heavy things around to different parts of the festival in such a mystical place. I found myself CONSTANTLY LOOKING UP at everything the jungle had to share. Emerald green abundance, a wealth of tropical color, light, and a constant melody of jungle sounds (birds and monkeys mostly). The entire Envision site and the Playa Hermosa beach is absolutely one of the most beautiful places I have ever been in my life. Such a special gift to do any kind of work outside in a place so magical.
- SOAP & WATER hand washing stations EVERYWHERE make the festival experience EXPONENTIALLY BETTER! Another WOW, What a concept!!! Seriously enhanced my experience to be able to really clean my hands so regularly. I feel my focus on hygiene through cleanliness and a little daily boost from products like Emergen-C and Kick Ass Immune are the reasons I stayed so healthy while at Envision. I might also add that I did not get sick with any kind of serious illness the entire two weeks I was in Costa Rica using these products and regular hand washing as my secret weapons.
- Bringing your own contain for food to a festival is the best concept EVER. I enjoyed this aspect of the festival much more than I initially thought. Why? Even though my initial reaction was slightly negative – “meh” one more thing to pack, carry around, and clean. I quickly discovered that the lack of trash on the ground at the festival made me much happier than I could ever imagine! Before my experience at Envision I could often be found on festival sites like ARISE, Sonic Bloom, and Gem & Jam picking up and trashing random MOOP (matter out of place). On the Envision site finding trash worth picking up seemed to be more like a super difficult scavenger hunt than a task worth my time. I did find a few cig buts backstage. When will these naughty artist and production crews learn??? BUT – the rest of the festival site was utterly CLEAN AND CLEAR of larger debris, cups, cans, and all other random ugly crap that I typically spend my life escaping. Envision 2017 easily wins award for CLEANEST FESTIVAL I HAVE EVER BEEN TOO.
- Sometimes, the best way to insure your a “Happy Camper” is to rent yourself an AirBnB. Okay so the truth comes out – I did not actually camp in staff camping at Envision this year. Although camping was free and included with my ticket, my boyfriend and I elected to rent an AirBnB that was a 6 min drive into Uvita instead of going the camping route. We paid $40 for an in-and-out parking pass in the GA lot for the festival. We rented a car and had already been traveling in Costa Rica for 6 days when we got to staff check-in at Envision. While I missed having a place to chill and rest my legs inside the festival I don’t regret the decision to stay off-site. Why? Because after 10+ years of camping and going to festivals I know myself and how my body handles the stress of primitive camping type situations. I have a hard time sleeping with lots of noise. I wanted to be able to give my internship 100% and I wasn’t sure of being able to do that if I didn’t get any sleep. While I admire those who seem to be able to work hard in the heat for 48 hours straight with no sleep, I admit I am not one of them. Having a bed + shower, privacy, and a place to re-group and lock my valuables allowed me to relax and really give my all to the experience. Absolutely no regrets.
- Good vibes, good tea, and easy to grab snacks go a long way on Sunday. The final day of the festival came too quick. I was tired. I mean REALLY TIRED. But something told me to bring the little bit of this special herbal Hibiscus Tulsi tea I had brought with me from the fancy Ku-Cha tea store on Pearl St. mall. When I arrived for my scheduled 8am intern shift on Sunday, tempers amongst some of the staff working near me were flaring. Something about that 72+ hours with little to no sleep, problems, solutions, more problems, and more solutions had seemed to wear and tear on the attitudes of the staff. I asked myself, what do I know about grumpy and irritable people??? They likely need yummy tea and food! So I went to town making my special tea WITH LOVE using the traditional Tico Chorreador and asked some of the other hospo girls to help slice up some fruit. We set out the tea and food and sure enough most of those hangry frowns turned into snacking smiles.
- Hospitality takes HEART. My high school Hospitality Management teacher Mrs. Wieland used to say something to our class school that I truly feel Envision 2017 helped me actualize and reinforce. She used to say, “You have to have a heart for hospitality”. I can say she was 100% on point with that statement after several years of slowly working my way up in the entertainment side of the enormous hospitality industry. I have discovered the hard way that working festivals in particular is often grueling and unglamorous work. Lots and lots of late nights, early mornings, getting dirty, and grinding it out until the job is done. Simply put, you have to LOVE IT to really dive deep and get the most out of a festival internship. To really learn and grow in this game of life you have to LOVE YOURSELF and LOVE TO WORK HARD. You have to set aside your pain, personal problems, and live up to who you truly are and what you are capable of. You have to wash out and walk away from the old and welcome in the new pure life you deserve.
❤ PURA VIDA ❤
WITH ABUNDANCE, GRACE, AND ENDLESS GRATITUDE
-BRIELLE BATAILLE aka HOSPO ANNEX INTERN @ ENVISION 2017