When I first came across the video for Symbiosis Gathering, I had absolutely no idea what to think. I saw beautiful daytime images of dancing people surrounded by dense treelines, dusty untamed grounds, and the usually serene waters of Pyramid Lake. The video continued to provide the viewer a glimpse at the promised facets of the event: organically conceptualized art structures, ornately costumed dancers and performing artists, pursuits of higher-consciousness through meditation and yoga, and the icing on the cake, a non-stop stream of music and entertainment for all festival attendees.

Actually, I know EXACTLY what I thought when I first saw the video and read a bit more about the Symbiosis Gathering in Pyramid Lake, NV:

“I GOTTA BE THERE BRO.” (Tim’s Bro-Friendly Translation)

Sifting through the site further piqued my interest in other ways as I realized more of the cool little intricacies that made this festival just different than anything else we have (more or less) readily available in the Southern California region (I’ve been told it’s about an 8 hour drive ):

-The festival is timed and planned according to the climax of the celestial solar eclipse. Not only is location taken into account by having the event located DIRECTLY in line with the eclipse, but timing as well (May 20th, 2012 at 6:30pm).

-To elaborate the above point, the solar eclipse is generally only available from certain geographical points each cycle. The producers of Symbiosis were very attentive of these two facts and are thus only able to plan the event when all conditions are right (the last gathering was in 2009).

Translation: A MUSIC FESTIVAL PLANNED AROUND COSMIC EVENTS? The only thing more epic would be partying at a rave held in the Antarctic after the ice caps have melted. Screw all that ice, and piss off to all those penguins.

-To follow in the theme of cosmic consciousness, the festival is a sponsor-free event; is all-organic, zero-waste; and follows a strict no-plastic policy. The party is powered purely by sunlight, wind, and biofuels.

-Born out of Burning Man culture and in addition to a never-ending lineup of eclectic musical acts (8 stages, over 200 shows), traveling performers, and full-blown art exhibits, there will be a huge listing of workshops, meditation sessions, and yoga classes to provide enjoyment for the curious and the creative.

Translation: This is some ridiculously awesome shit

For anyone who’s read my posts on here, you know I’m no stranger to enjoying myself at raves and music and arts festivals. When the music is good, I’m attentive. When others are having fun, I mirror it with the clarity of a serene body of cold, clear mountain water. And when the experience is amazing, you bet your Grandma’s wrinkly ass that I’m present and having a damn good time.

And luckily enough, the Symbiosis Gathering seems to promise all that with a conscious focus: to showcase some of the most interestingly amazing artists and headliners you’ll see this side of a Burner party (Claude VonStroke, James Blake, Little Dragon, Beats Antique, PaNTy RAiD, etc.), and to do it in a different way. To not just create a sustainable eco-friendly party environment, but to really educate and encourage its attendees to live that way for the short festival duration and then bring it out into their daily lives when the dust settles.


From the festival producers themselves:

“Symbiosis is a social experiment founded on the five Rs of ecological living: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Respect, and Restore. Participants share a deep commitment to creating a green gathering on every possible level.

Music fans will experience superior lighting and sound powered only by sunlight, wind, and biofuels. On-site renewable energy provided by Solamor will include two triple-hybrid mobile power stations that integrate solar panels, wind turbines, and biofuel generators.

Much more than just another music festival, Symbiosis is a greener, grounded gathering that offers attendees the opportunity to both trip the light fantastic beneath the stars and attend daytime talks and workshops that span the spectrum of human experience, from ancient wisdom traditions to modern sustainability science and beyond…”

And while I’m well aware that creating an event for 8,000 people to drive hundreds of miles into the forest and party it up for 5 days isn’t necessarily the most eco-friendly thing to do, we can all respect the need to raise our observance for not just green issues, but increasing our awareness towards more positive things in our daily lives.

For those that might find this sort of thing refreshing and exciting to hear, be sure to do your best to check it out. The official dates go from May 17 – 21, 2012, and tickets are still available through their website.

OR, try your luck here, and post a comment below. We’re giving away one pair of free tickets to this year’s Symbiosis Gathering. Just put your name, email info, and tell us:

A) What’s the best “raised awareness” moment (deadheads, please don’t tell us about your substance abuse stories) you’ve had at a music & arts festival, and…

B) How you feel music festival producers can improve event sustainability and social/eco responsibility.

Winner will be chosen at the end of this week and notified by email accordingly.

*LA Music Blog, while exercising the rights to choose the contest winners is not directly responsible for any part in the planning of the Symbiosis Gathering. In short, we’re just a damn blog.*

And for those who are a bit put off by all this frou frou save the world stuff, no worries, there’s plenty of places for you to party without having to drive 8 hours outside of LA. 🙂 And if anything, I’ll see you there too!