Symbiosis Gathering 2016 Recap

by | Oct 16, 2016 | EVENTS, REVIEWS

…a journey away from it all

September 22th to 25th, 2016, four blissful days where thousands from all over the globe gathered to this conscious family gathering called Symbiosis Gathering: Family Tree. Taking place at the Woodward Reservoir in Oakdale, CA, where you get to check out from the chaos of society and be surrounded by nature, water and beautiful people. Car after car, tent after tent, furry light up bikes and all, Symbiosis was a dusty whirlwind of wacky costumes, exotic art boats, people from different lands, dirty hippies, music, speakers, yoga, workshops, organic food and amazing art installations everywhere you look. It’s not your run of the mill music festival and anyone who experienced it was beyond blessed.

At first, you may have come for the music but will leave with so much more. It is a reality that many dream of, free to be yourself and be exposed to new things we may never known to like otherwise. Workshops rounded the clock on permaculture, science, food, yoga, movement ‘n flow and meditation spirituality mixed in with comedy sketches. I highly recommend you take advantage of the yoga, a perfect way to re-energize the body after a long day of walking and dancing adventure. You can try to follow the schedule book but sometimes it’s just better to freely explore and see where your intuition takes you, it just might be the right place in the right time. At one point when I was eating, all of sudden mock protestors came out yelling about how the earth is flat and I was like

“…is this really happening right now…?”

Wacky stuff like that was so entertaining, along with fake cops going around demanding you walk a straight line heel to toe. It was hilarious and surely never boring.

Symbiosis Gathering is basically an adult’s playground, bringing out everyone’s inner child but you are likely to find some actual children as well. Kidzbiosis was a new addition to the festival welcoming more families where kids and parents can have fun together which added an atmosphere of community.  This festival is really teaching people a whole new way of seeing the world.  Collaboration is what it’s all about.  From dedicated crews who built everything to artists who took amazing detail in designing every area and onto the DJs and musical artists bringing diversity in musical genre.  But most importantly the amazing people who came from all over the world to connect with other like minded individuals.  The community and collaboration aspect is a huge part and it came together beautifully.

This event just wouldn’t be the same if not surrounded by water, complete with inflatable pizzas and unicorns, wacky art boats and even a floating canopy bed or two to make you feel right at home. It can get pretty hot and the water is just what you need to cool off during that hot part of the day. There was also an island with a lighthouse, DJs and a waterslide that people could swim out to for a completely different atmosphere.

At night, Symbiosis turned into a whole new world, art installations are all lit up and sparks a whole new and exciting adventure. The arts were very interesting and it seemed like new pieces kept on popping up which were not noticed before. One of the stages, called Family Circus was a huge big top and decorated to a tee; it made you feel like you just walked into a completely different place. The Fringe stage looked like a

festive version of the Sydney Opera house which I got to see R.L Grime who brought a more raver vibe.  Mova was an entire area dedicated to art where paintings were being painted around the building over the course of the festival.

Now onto a big part of Symbiosis; its huge strides towards sustainability, zero waste and respect for the earth. No single use of containers served as only recyclable and compostable bins available. The permaculture workshops had so much variety of organic food to choose from with such amazingness that you did not want to eat at your camp. The food really brought global cultures together in one place, Indian, Japanese, and even pizza, which of course was called ‘Sym-Pie-Osis’, complete with topless workers wearing pizza pasties. Such an amazing job on Symbiosis being a leader in festival sustainability by demonstrating to other festivals that we do not need to make a huge mess to party.

Overall, Symbiosis Gathering: Family Tree was an incredible experience immersing you in art, creativity, and freedom. Getting lost and not thinking about time or deadlines, you were completely free to do as you please. It was a breath of fresh air that really gave me hope for the future; its progressiveness showed how people can come together to create something beautiful with peace and unity. It showed me how life should be with such positive and uplifting energy which I will never forget.

So until next year my Symbiosis family and friends as we will be looking forward to a whole new experience called Oregon Eclipse, in August of 2017.

So be ready…!!!

-Marissa Tinsley

CLICK HERE for more pictures courtesy of Symbiosis Gathering