Ah, the wonderful world of festivals, how I love you so. It’s almost as if no amount of dust or sleepless nights can keep me away from chasing after the beauty that surrounds these magic events. This past weekend, I was lucky enough to attend my first ever Symbiosis Gathering. Looking back, the days we spent dancing under the stars, gazing at the neon art installations, and wandering the vibrant festival grounds are some of the most divine moments I’ve experienced at a festival. I’m almost at a loss for words writing this post because my brain is still processing the incredible energy that engulfed Woodward Reservoir the weekend of September 23rd.
The following images are a collection of memories through my lens and those of my festival family, Natascha Elisa, Zander Price and Mimi Elashiry. When I look at them I can’t stop smiling.
Symbiosis is unlike any festival I’ve attended. We were constantly surrounded by water which made long days dancing and exploring so much easier than I’ve experienced in the past. Whenever we got too hot or felt too dusty, we would simply jump in the refreshing reservoir and continue our day. We woke up to the delicate ripple of the water’s edge and fell asleep to starry skies and glittering moonlit reflections. Everything about it makes me feel at peace.
Our first day included an afternoon dance extravaganza to Desert Hearts at the Swimbiosis Stage. After a desire to rest and refuel, we trekked back to our campsite. As the evening glow began to set in, we dusted ourselves in glitter and danced around our shared camp shore, rushing out to the festival at near dusk to catch the last set at the ever so loved Swimbiosis.
As the sun set across the reservoir, a glimmering golden haze cast its light upon us and I watched people on floaties drift along the shore, playfully paddling to the beats that echoed across the dreamy festival grounds.
On the second day, we decided to partake in the community activities and lectures that take place throughout the festival. Symbiosis is a rare breed in that it offers so much more than music and art. It’s a full on experience, designed to awaken, inspire, and share knowledge from around the world. Nearly every hour is jam packed with so many options, whether you’re into yoga, the environment or learning a new perspective on life, this festival is flooded with information and insight.
FESTIVAL GIRL GANG
After a long day in the heat we decided to regroup at camp and change outfits in order to go all out in festival attire (in true Wild & Free style). Natascha, Mimi and I dressed in crowns, embellishments, and coordinated cream hues as our side-kick Zander documented all the fun. I’m convinced the dancing fairy wings I’m wearing are the BEST investment I’ve ever made. Seriously.
Since so many asked on Instagram, Mimi’s crown is from Amaroq Design (which by the way is AMAZING – coolest collection EVER). Natascha and I are wearing Wild & Free Jewelry mermaid crowns – Sandy Shores and The Natascha (coming soon). My turquoise necklace you can find at the wonderful Tribe Jewelry.
Our final day at Symbiosis wasn’t quite as well documented on account of living in the present and enjoying our last moments in the festival magic. We spent most of the day dancing and relaxing at a single dock near the Juke Lagoon Stage. From our outstretched dock we listened to the booming music behind us and took turns swimming in the glistening water.
These moments were some of my favorites all weekend. The serenity of the desolate horizon and kindness of strangers approaching us on the dock really encapsulated the energy I felt all weekend. It made my soul feel full and reminded me that despite everything that’s going on in the world, it’s possible for people to come together and love, despite differences in culture, religion, gender and age.
Gatherings like Symbiosis are a true tribute to the human spirit and they’re my absolute favorite because you leave not only feeling as though you’ve grown as a person, but grasping onto hope for humanity and our world as a whole.
I know I’ll be making the journey to Symbiosis again next year and I hope to see some of you there!