Upon arriving to Symbiosis Gathering, I had already been given the notion that this festival was not like any other. On the backcountry road to get to the venue, there were multiple RVs and cars packed to the rim with excited festival goers and friends waiting for the rest of their caravan. Right then, I knew that the title ‘Gathering’ was so appropriately given.
To provide some background information, Symbiosis Gathering has been around since 2005, and unfortunately is a gathering that only comes around every two years. However, after being a part of such an incredible experience, I understand now that a great deal of time and preparation goes into making this gathering happen. The amount of musical, artistic, and all around creative talent that is put into making this gathering happen, needs a great deal of time and attention to detail into executing this delightful event.
Upon first receiving the Symbiosis Gathering schedule and field guide, I was a bit overwhelmed. Symbiosis Gathering is a collaboration of live painters, performers, art installations, workshops, musicians, artists, and most importantly the people who make it, attendees. I could not even fathom that I would be able to do all of the things I wanted to do and see all of the artists I wanted to see in the four day span that Symbiosis spread over, but I knew everything that was supposed to happen, would.
Symbiosis Gathering, unlike your mainstream festival, is all encompassing and inclusive. There were ways to be involved in the gathering even if it was unbeknownst to you. Camping in of itself is helping build a community for you and your friends, and we all know how stressful camping in hot weather and dusty air with your friends can be. There were ways to eat if you had no money; you could volunteer your time with food vendors in exchange for food and water. You could walk into any of the merchandise vendors and feel like you were just hanging out with your friends who happen to make really cool products or value amazing minerals and crystals. You had room to dance at any stage you went to, even if it was dancing on a stage in the water with a bunch of new friends.
There was ADA camping, available for those who love music as much as anyone else and don’t let anything stand in the way of that. There was Kidzbiosis, for those parents who want to raise their children in a fun loving environment in a gathering such as Symbiosis. There was car camping galore as well as walk in camping next to the stages and far from it, depending on where you like to end your evenings. Regardless of who you are, there was always something for you to be apart of at Symbiosis Gathering, and I value that in a ‘festival’.
I can assure you that despite how much was going on at Symbiosis, I was capable of doing everything and anything I wanted. I was able to recognize so many art instillations from my campsite walking to the venue that I had only heard about. I got to catch almost every set I wanted to see, without any stage conflicts. I was able to see art in a museum set up by Android Jones, on site at any time of day. I was invited to be apart of any experience happening during the weekend, and I am grateful to have been included in this experience. I will be patiently waiting until 2017, and the next Symbiosis Gathering comes around, and I suggest you join in on the fun as well.