Symbiosis Gathering: An Unparalleled Festival Experience

Symbiosis Gathering 2009

Symbiosis Gathering 2009

I spent last weekend romping around in a magical forest from sunset to sunrise and beyond, with friends from near and far and a lineup that quite possibly was the best I had ever experienced: top notch musical talent the whole weekend communicated through crystalline sound with a backdrop of insane natural splendor. I was submerged in art and dunked in a lake that bobbed with happy souls, next to tall trees that will be here long after you or I. Symbiosis Gathering was THE place to be in the whole entire universe last weekend, and I am so thankful that I was able to share in the unforgettable experience with so many of you.

Perfection

Perfection

Why is anyone living any other life than one centered around art and music and creative expression? Why do people go into toilet sales when they could go into event production or performance art? I know that humans are busy raising babies and prodding their genes along towards immortality, getting married because they are supposed to, saving up for bigger TVs and faster cars, and that SOMEONE has to sell toilets- but it doesn’t have to be you. I sink to my knees in gratitude for the life I have found on the road less traveled and for the beautiful, talented and creative people who fill it. AKA: you.

My favorite moment of the festival, predictable perhaps but no less immense, was the Glitch Mob slamming the sun up Saturday morning, the NoCal sky slowly becoming a sheet of sherbet rainbow behind piney silhouettes as my favorite artists in the world gave us their music on a forest platter. Fucking epic. Heaps of new tracks and a field full of adoring fans who had been up all night, dancing in a woodland home that no one will ever forget. The boys ended their set with a tribute to their home and my home (California Love, baby), dedicated to their friend DJ AM; I was not the only one on the dance floor with tears of joy in my eyes.

What Do You Create?

What Do You Create?

Symbiosis Gathering was everything I thought it would be and everything I told you it would be, and then some. One mile down the road was Yosemite National Park, and the dense beauty of the venue was complemented to perfection by the deep beats echoing through the leaves. I would buy my ticket for Symbiosis 2010 right this second, and I would probably buy one for you. If I had to pick one party to go to in 2010, it would be Symbiosis; I wish I could make everyone I love experience this amazing outdoor which really was the best I have ever been to. All my desert-dwelling SoCal homies were freaking out over the forest and the trees, and so was I- it is weird how much I miss my furry green friends from cooler, drippier climates.

Symbiosis felt much more open than Burning Man (in vibe, not geography), with much less of a police presence- I saw one cruiser. The smaller attendance and cozy venue created a more intimate feeling. I was lost for a fair amount of the weekend, but the grounds were totally doable and easy to navigate once you figured it out- which I had by late Sunday afternoon.

A few landmarks guided the wanderers along the way, like Raja’s Laser Guided Visions booth filled with hologram art and freaks; every single time I walked through, they were bumping the illest music ever (I am pretty sure I heard a Whompcast) with a crowd of people dotted with Seattleites. The last time I passed by, it was a straight-up madhouse with a couple dozen people dancing in the path and pratically blocking it off. Big ups Seattle! I have not met anyone in SoCal who parties half as hard as my friends from the 206. You kids crazy.

Mullet Wig Adorns the 'No Camping' Sign

Mullet Wig Adorns the 'No Camping' Sign

Some people ask me why they can’t make these outdoor festivals a little easier to experience: make them closer to major cities, not quite so expensive, and could someone plan out the whole camping thing so I don’t have to? But making it a bit difficult is kind of the point. These incredible outdoor experiences are a large endeavor; this is not Hollywood on Friday night where you hop in a cab, fork over $20 and are in. Festivals take planning, preparation, and prioritization in your life. And this is just how the promoters want it. If you could buy a ticket and show up after a five minute ride with no thought and little advance effort, well then it would be an urban massive like EDC. Which is not bad- I had a blast at EDC- but these outdoor festivals are a different animal entirely. No comparison whatsoever to the massive city raves. Everyone out there really wants to be and has made a big effort in order be there at that moment. It creates a distinct, caring tone to the party that you do not find and easy-to-experience festivals.

Beautiful People

Beautiful People

Symbiosis Gathering was a five-day event; I was there for less than two and a half days. Next year not only will I make going to outdoor festivals more of a priority financially, but I am going to fewer festivals and staying longer. Every festival I have been to this year, I have arrived late and left early. I like the variety to be sure, but to make the huge effort to camp several hundred miles away from my home and then miss a large portion of the experience has left a sad taste in my mouth. I want more!

There were three questions of Symbiosis:

  1. What time is it?
  2. Do you have a lighter?
  3. Where is my drink?

And to that I will add one more: Who the hell is this DJ?

Epic Party

Epic Party

I never wear a watch in “real life,” although I may have to get one for festivals. I really want to know who is playing and when; I like to know what DJ is up so I can make mental notes about their performance and check them out online when I get home. I recognize many artists, but not all. Lineups became slightly off during Symbiosis and pushed back an hour or even two, which made it hard to figure out who was who if you didn’t already know. Another minor issue in my mind was the fact that between several major sets, there was a huge lag time between artists, which allowed the energy that had been whipped up on the dance floor to dissipate through the forest as partygoers slowly wandered off in search of live music. But still, the energy that remained was golden and ready to go; it just could have been done slightly better.

Despite these few snafus (I also heard that people arriving on Thursday had to wait hours to get in), the festival was a resounding success and everyone was just really blown away by the event. I arrived Friday around 3PM, set up camp, and headed out to check out the stages and explore my world.

The Alt Stage was deep in the forest and had a giant inflatable SOMETHING guarding the gate; it was here we enjoyed fat techno the first night to the likes of Sammy D, Nikola Baytala and the Terrakroma crew.

Approaching the Lake Stage

Approaching the Lake Stage

Although there was a very wide variety of music at Symbiosis and you know I like the techno, this party was all about the midtempo breaks, glitch hop, beat music, bass music, and their many miscreant cousins. It is the music I love and champion on my blog every day.

I spent much of the night at what was to become my home for the weekend: The Lake Stage. At every festival, you seem to gravitate towards one stage and find yourself there more than any other place. I am a total festie nomad and can’t stay in one spot for long, but the Lake Stage held my heart this time around. The visuals were incredible and made it seem like the stage was boiling, teaming with life and squirming around. Behind the wooden stage, giant trees rose up to the brilliant night sky, projected onto with different shades of green and geometric shapes for a really neat effect- tree visuals on trees. Up top, the stars bested us all with their incredible blaze, brighter than I can remember them ever being.

More Lake Stage Goodness

More Lake Stage Goodness

Showing up at the Lake Stage, Mimosa had given part of his set to Ill Gates (nice combo!); following those two was the freaky duo Lazer Sword and then Flying Lotus, who as always delivered a mind-stretching set. I could write a thousand miles about how much I love his music. If you are reading this and thinking, I just don’t get Flying Lotus’ music- what is the deal? Please keep listening. Experiencing his music led me down the path to understanding jazz. Major mental breakthrough shit.

After FlyLo, one of my new favorites in this world took the stage: Pretty Lights, with a  funky and groovy set that lit the forest on fire. Pretty Lights aka Derek Smith was accompanied by a live drummer and of course, pretty lights like flying piles of worms which filled the night and my heart. I could jam to Pretty Light’s sound forever, and I just might.

The rest of the night: an-ten-nae, Caspa, N-Type and 3WS continued as thousands of fools in love with the forest danced and celebrated life and art and each other. My face hurt from smiling so much.

Chillin

Chillin

Saturday I woke up sweaty as hell in my hot ass tent and ready for the lake. Armed with a giant two-person floatie, I wandered down to the lake which seemed to be the perfect temperature: cold, to go with the sizzling sun. I bobbed along, drinking the beers stashed in the netting of my  inner tube to the happy sunshine sounds of Laura. She was setting the day off right with a set that was perfectly matched to the fun, summery mood. Following her was Djuma Soundsystem and then Worthy, a DJ I discovered at Burning Man. I think. Again, the time slots were off and in some cases, switched around- so I could never be totally sure of who was playing unless I recognized them.

Field Stage

Field Stage

Claude Von Stroke was a pleasant surprise, shoving us into the grove after Little John and plastering stupid smiles all over the dance floor. Going over to catch Les Claypool over at the newly opened and GIANT Field Stage, we waited for quite a while as the speakers blasted out AC/DC and all got a bit thunderstruck? Really? It was so out of place and amusing we thought it might be a joke. The dance floor was bleeding souls as people fled the screeching rock sounds. After a round of ‘Secret Agent Man’ (I am not joking), finally Les Claypool came on. The festival’s headliner had been talked up quite a bit for his eccentric ways and uncompromising musical attitude, and while I completely appreciate his talent and that beautiful ripping sound on the bass, I was unimpressed. The most entertaining part of his set that I heard was the funny banter at the beginning, imploring all the young ladies to continue with their clothes-less weekend. But I wanted to dance and I left before the set was halfway done.

AND THEN BASSNECTAR. Say what you want about this festival namedrop (and people do- it’s almost as trendy to hate on Bassnectar as it is to hate on dubstep)- but he blew the crowd away with his gnarly beats. His music was meant to be played outdoors on an epic scale, rubbing up on tree giants and creating fits on the dance floor- perfect festival music. Loren was loving it, too, and would stop and tell us so- I bet his face hurt from smiling the next day as well!

Forest Stage

Forest Stage

I wanted to check out Adam Freeland’s live band but the lag between the sets had me wondering off into the forest. I have yet to mention the intricate Forest Stage, which was adorned with two temple structures reminiscent of Southeast Asia and whose music fell on my campsite, which was just a few dozen trees down. This was the ‘weird’ stage, with more experimental beats and performers to the like of the Shamanic Cheerleaders- WTF? I never saw them- only heard them- and could only wonder what was behind this random chanting going on in the woods. Hey hey, get shamanic! Again: WTF?

Forest Stage Temple

Forest Stage Temple

Saturday night was COLD- at one point I went to my tent and put on every piece of warm clothing I had packed. A few hours later, I was back in a bikini. But before it had heated up enough for the lake, we hit the smokin’ hot Lake Stage. It was time for the Glitch Mob, and one magnificent sunrise experience. Like Bassnectar, the Glitch Mob’s music was in part inspired and grown by the West Coast festival circuit and seems to slide into perfect place amongst the trees and open air.

After the Glitch Mob? Mala. Holy mother of dubstep, great god of vinyl, wobble the wonk into my very soul. There were a few technical issues, otherwise known as the bass shaking the earth so much it was popping the needle out of the groove, so they quickly moved the set up back up on the stage while MC Lafa Taylor jumped up to keep the crowd’s energy going with funny rhymes on the mike. I couldn’t remember his name, only dancing and laughing my ass off and twirling around and smiling and loving. What a highlight.

MALA

MALA

And according to EVERYONE, waiting out the technical issues were well worth it, because Mala poured bass like steak gravy on our heads and practically ripped the forest in half. Wow tears just came to my eyes writing that sentence, as I recalled in my mind the dark and soulful music that he laid on us. Oh the sweet sound of analog bass, of the needle in that groove! I heard from people that Mala’s set was the first time that dubstep really spoke to them, that they finally got it, fell in a dancing trance and didn’t let go. I also heard from people that Mala’s set had reinspired them in the genre, awakening anew their love for the wobble and resparking that dubstep fire. Now those are some damn good compliments.

Random Rab picked up afterwards with a dreamy tone, followed by the more left-field Shpongle a few hours later as the day got into full swing and the sun heated up the field of dancers. I climbed around on hot metal art structures and had a piece of pizza muy excellente, made of beets, lemon rind, pesto and roasted garlic. Really? Yes. Believe it or not, it was FANTASTIC!

Where's the Gorilla?

Where's the Gorilla?

Sadly and due to a lack of a watch, I missed the Sunday AM set of edIT and OOah’s Crying Over Porcelain for No Reason. Don’t tell  me about it or I will cry over missing a set for a definite reason. Ah well c’est la vie. Back to the lake for a quick swim and cool-off next to a gorilla on a raft, my happyface self just wandered around to different stages, checking out Treavor Moontribe’s hard psytrance for a second, browsing sweet leatherwork at the tribal market, laying in the grass under the sun.

Soon it was time to begin packing up, all to the danky sounds of Mikhal and Neptune from the Forest Stage- thank God for dubstep. I did not want to leave, but alas- these amazing moments in our lives were never meant to last forever.

Awesome MC! Who is it?

Awesome MC! Who is it?

Overall, my favorites of the festival in this unparalleled natural location were the Glitch Mob, Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, Mala, Claude Von Stroke and Lafa Taylor, who jumped up after the Glitch Mob to keep the party going. It would be neat if there was some way for festivals to designate the artist on stage, and keep the list updated and accurate so people would know who the hell they were jamming to. It sucks to discover a new artist that you love, and have no idea how to follow up on it after the festival ends. I am pretty good and stalking down DJs after they perform to get their name, but it doesn’t always happen, and there are usually a few talented souls whose names are lost in the forest to me. I heard dozens more DJs than I wrote about here.

Although sustainability and art of all forms (traditional, live, graffiti) were well represented at Symbiosis, music was still very central. At many Burner parties, it sometimes seems that what the stage and speakers look like is more important than what is coming out of them, and that nepotism sometimes trumps new and true talent, but not at Symbiosis. Well done.

Many people are upholding Symbiosis as the best festival yet to take place in our universe, and I have to agree. What did you think? Leave a comment below and let me know about great sets I missed, your favorite moment of the festival, your biggest artist discovery surprise where a random name on a lineup became your new favorite, how pimp the cabins were and what you thought of the venue. Will you go back next year?

My sweet digital camera broke upon arrival to Burning Man, and the photos you see are a few of twenty I got out of two very shitty disposable cameras, which are better than nothing!

Much love to my festival people. You know what’s up. One outdoor art and music festival is worth 30 nights out on the town, at least. I encourage every one of you to make an effort to incorporate these life-changing festivals into your life and prioritize your time and funds to experience  communal gatherings and celebrations at every chance possible.

Or just go on living a normal life and save up for that big screen. It is your choice.

But I hope you will join me on an earthen dance floor in the forest of the future!

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18 Responses to “Symbiosis Gathering: An Unparalleled Festival Experience”

  1. god i love this blog

  2. jonah scott Says:

    could not agree more in terms of it being the high water mark for festivals, at least in this west coast vain. a new zenith of culture has been reached, at least in that temporary space we all shared. by the by, the mc who jumped on stage is lafa taylor from eugene, or. very talented cat and well worth checking into. one of my favorite moments was heyokas morning set at the lake after 3WS, which lafa and another mc named apollo 8 complemented perfectly. now if only myka 9 would have busted over some of the dj/producers sets….can’t win em all i ‘spose

  3. That MC that kept the crowd grooving during the technical difficulties was Lafa Tayler. Look him up. He’s the shit.
    Thanks for writing this beautiful blog! Although I disagree your feelings about the exceptionally talented Les Claypool. I felt he earned his spot as headliner with his unique character, psychedelic music, and instruments Fender built which Les designed himself. But to each his own.
    Out of all the many Amon Tobin performances I’ve been blessed to watch, his performance at Symbi was hands-down the best ever.
    Crying Over Porcelain for MANY Reasons quite literally brought me and much of the crowd to tears. Mad props to you edIT and Ooah!
    And Mala… steak gravy all the way!!! He is the Father of Dubstep, and has certainly earned the title.
    Out of all the many festivals I’ve been to, Symbiosis was the BEST FEST TO EVER BLESS THE WEST!!!! Seriously! Infinite thanks to the Symbiosis Crew for bringing such a soul-shaking, mind-blowing, revolutionary, and absolutely PURRRFECT event to us eager music lovers. And many thanks to all the participants for creating such a loving community and atmosphere for us all to grow in.

    Sincere Love and many Blessings, <3 ~*Christa*

    p.s. I fell madly in love with the most amazing person I have ever met right there at Symbiosis! A real-life love story unfolded right there at the most perfect festival ever! I am in utter awe at the magick Symbiosis created. Once again, thank you!

    • dancefever5000 Says:

      Yeah you know, I really didn’t give Les Claypool much of a chance- I am sure the last half of his set was better than the first! I think waiting for like an hour to the tunes of ACDC kind of spoiled the mood for me!

      Thanks so much for your comment!

  4. iamthelexicon Says:

    i second all the praise. i spoke with a few people this weekend for whom symbiosis was their first ever rave / outdoor party / campout / electronic music event, and i had to break it to them…

    “it’s all downhill from here, folks, cuz you came in on the best event i’ve been to in almost 10 years of active electronic music appreciation”

    i am usually a fairly cynical person who rebels against overly “hippie” tendencies, but i gotta say my hippie was showing allllll weekend. i couldn’t stop laughing and hugging people, and yeah, my face was hurting from smiles too.

    mala’s set— graaaavy train keep on rollin’! what a great description.

    ill gate’s set pretty much ignited my weekend, and i had my hardest dance spurt to the first half of his set. felt like my hips were ball bearings. and the APT shit he did with Geeno and Chris Sia… dayymn that was some sick shit. sober hallucinatory experience. well… not TOTALLY sober, but you know what i mean.

    also gotta throw a shout out to mozaic, who killed it on the lake stage saturday night. set times got shuffled up and the dancefloor cleared to check out les claypool right before he went on, so his AMAAAAZING house set (which, btw, i generally hate house) was enjoyed the most by myself and ten other junglists. house heads– ya missed out! keep a watch out for this guy, he is the shit!

    nuff said. i could comment way more, but for now, just wow. i’m buying symbiosis tickets for 2010 the minute they go on sale. see you there.

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  6. hey shilo! cat here of vixen productions. i would have LOVED to have seen you out there. thank you again for all your promotions help, and for this amazing write-up of the event. i couldn’t agree with you more about everything you said. it was magical! i hope to work & play with you again some day…

  7. Really a great festival, the only things I can criticize at all are the dust and the lack of organization as people were trying to get in on Thursday. At least it resulted in a big moving party. I left with more than a half dozen new artists whose music I’ll have to pick up.

    Night 1 I really dug Lazer Sword, thought the other bands like Pretty Lights were good but they did not grab me on a deep level. Night 3 I was impressed by Beats Antique, who played a surprise set filling in for someone, as well as Babylon Sound System. Nice morning set that day from a couple members of Glitch Mob.

    Night 2 I was at the main stage from 10:30-6:30, holding it down without any chemical stimulation whatsoever as all of my friends dropped off to sleep one by one. Really I was impressed by all of the headliners. Claypool was his usual self. Bassnectar was about 5000x more impressive in this setting than at SD street scene where maybe a few dozen people were into it. A lot of people seemed to head out a few songs into Freeland but I thought they were decent especially considering how new the band is. The clear peak of the festival to me, though, was the Amon Tobin and Glitch Mob sets. The crowd that was very focused and into it, it seemed almost nobody left after the middle of Freeland, and what was happening… well, there really aren’t any words for that sort of thing.

  8. yes yes yes yes to all of you beautiful people! what a ride! firstly, thanks organizers and set up crew. i actually had the opportunity to help set up too, and I met the most wonderful people. these new friends really made me feel loved, which was a great feeling when I was walking around seeing their smiling faces. i saw people that i had made real connections with just about everywhere i went for the entire week. even on a lack of sleep i was still able to get a nod or a handshake while on the way to or from where ever. really nice vibes all around! i wish the best for the tear down crew, too!

    but, by far my favorite surprise artist was the Yard Dogs Road Show! talk about the perfect combo of circus, theatre, cabaret, and oh oh oh, that’s right pretty ladies, sooooo much more, and all combined with some versatile musicianship. i cannot wait til’ they come to a town near me!

    that night we were on the right side of the stage, which luckily was right where El Circo performed directly after the Yard Dogs. at this moment so many of us were peaking! what a feast for the senses! yes, the ac dc was a weird thing to fade into (crazy roadies) after El Circo, but Les was definitely worth the wait. although we were draggin ass after all this, Bassnector under the stars was perfect!

    Sunday was the most chill afternoon by the lake ever! i could go on, but instead i’ll go on back to the gathering next year! bravo!

    1 more thing…did anybody else love how the performers on the alt stage flipped everybody’s script during the am hours on thursday/friday? maybe this was only where i camped, but friday was the only time i heard people complaining about lack of sleep. for a lot of us, our sleeping schedules completely changed after that night. what a way to start it all off. thank you!

  9. Hells Yes ! You totally captured it. I had the good fortune to pitch camp near the forest stage which resonated beautiful music throughout the whole weekend. Thursday night (after waiting 7 hours in line to get in) I was too tired to move and it was glorious to fall asleep to Welder, with new tracks..mmm..new tracks.
    There were some random renegade-type stages that played Psytrance and I tried to take a nap near the Alt stage Friday night which played some house-ish businesss that flowed into the Psytrance again…I guess some Californian electronic headz have roots in that stuff. meh. its not for me.
    YES to the lack of authori-tai! I didnt see any cops (in the fest, on the way home we got majorly busted but thats another story) and the organizers and volunteers were super sweet and helpful (and trippn some of the time!).
    Friday Bluetech got me into the groove, and that night Sasha Rose and Adrian KILLED it as well as Pretty Lights. I liked bouncing back and forth between forest and lake stage as they were only about a 7 minute jaunt away from each other through the tennis courts…(Fucking Tennis Courts!!! Next year Im bringing an led racket!!!!)
    Saturday night I kept running toward the sounds of Bassnectar but getting pushed back by the teaming mob of people, it was disappointing for me because I like to be close at a Bassnectar show and I couldnt quite figure out how to get tharr.
    I was afraid of the sounds coming from the stage during Claypools set. (it was a delicate night with lots of costume changes, if you know what I mean) and I enjoyed the sensation of being both intrigued and afraid of what was floating through the air toward me.
    Sunday was hella sweet El Papa Chango and Shawna really brought this ill southern sunny energy and I was smiling sooo hard at that point just fillllllled with mass love. I napped again with the dreamy sounds of Souleye flowing through my tent. Yumz.
    Monday Kitty-D and Ill Gates brought it home and taught us the good lessons. It was such a full weekend that I didnt have that nostalgic sad feeling that I usually get at the end of festies, but instead just felt…solid. inspired. meowsauce deluxed!
    I did experience some of the Californian-snobbery, like, “my feather hat is so much better than your sun-hat” kind of nonsense, but whatevs, you just gotta deal with that sometimes. El-Circo has this wierd dark energy that kind of scares me and we camped too close in the Do-Lab reserved area and got bitched at (come on, its called SYMBIOSIS gimme a break) but besides that people were really sweet and interesting to connect with. Yay!

  10. symbiosis was fucking amazing. even though I got there on thursday I felt like it really kicked off for me when ill gates started during mimosa’s set and then mimosa himself. I had to jet for a volunteer shift unfortunately so I missed the awesome of lazer sword, flying lotus and pretty lights (cry). Symbiosis was definitely the best festival I’ve ever been to, and I’d like to especially mention heyoka’s set as being my highlight of the festival, also seeing shpongle in that huge field stage was quite a feat as well.

  11. yes! all that and more.

    one highlight for me was lorin’s afternoon lo-fi set at the lake stage — the kind of set he used to do three or four (or five, six? yikes!) years ago, and the music that got me way into this business in the first place. pure bliss.

  12. Big Gigantic! live electronica with saxaphone at the forest stage friday (?) night…

    SPHONGLE fucking rocked it!!!

    underground hip hop stylie with Zeph & Azeem!

    who else??? damn!

  13. oh, and the YARD DOG ROAD SHOW was an incredible hilarious performance!

  14. and heavyweight dub champion! with lots of visitors and friends sitting in at the forest stage. heavy heavy heavy!

    also, not exactly music, but the rest of the gathering was super solid as well: alex grey talk, teahouse, art — !!

  15. WOW thats exactly what ive been telling everyone. “the best party of my life” first night after we all got set up and everything (fri) we went to the general store for some ice, on the way back two guys asked me and my buddy , ” hey , do you guys like free stuff”, we were like ummm yeah!, they say “well do you guys like free mushroom chocolate stuff?” now this is after i told my buddy i def want to get some mushrooms. dude busts out a peanut butter jar and gives me and my hommie a phat scoop of chocolate mushies , which was delicious.

    I agree , they should have some sort of screen or something that displays the current info for whats coming out of the speakers. what killed me was going around asking everyone what the name of the artist was and not getting an answer.

    P.s. If anyone knows the artist name or tracks that were being played on the field stage sat night ( les claypool, bass nectar amon tobin) in between sets i really want to know. I was running around asking crew members but they were too busy to even talk to me. one of them told me its probably what ever the sound guy wanted to play. it was really bass heavy like dubstep but it had a diff kick to it. Or if you guys know who was the sound guy for that night! PLEASE LET ME KNOW THANK YOU.
    hope they have 2010′s party at the same location.

  16. Thank you for this.
    I “randomly” stumbled upon this page while searching for news of a Symbiosis 2010.
    I really appreciate the long account of this beautiful experience and reading through someone else’ perspective.

    So MY favorite experience was … waking up Sunday morning, sitting up and realizing the sun was up and we had slept through our alarm to wake up at 4 a.m. Frantically, we searched for the time, afraid we had missed Shpongle’s set.
    THANKFULLY we had not, but were a little late.
    Walked over to the field stage to find that he had not came on yet and the crowd was significantly less packed than the previous night (it being barely 9 in the morning.)
    Shpongle comes on. The sun is out and WARMM. Everybody either high from the night before, or high from the fantastic vibrations and hearing some of the best music of my life with my best friends!!
    All the while wondering, where is everybody?!
    Oh and to top it off, I finally got to dance with a Psychedelic Jesus. Boy, was that long over due and well enjoyed.
    Symbiosis mhmm

  17. Just wanted to say… thanks for flashing back all the fond memories. I just found your article (I was looking to see who the speakers were, besides Alex Grey and Daniel Pinchbeck) and am just floating with the etheres, remembering this magical week.

    Burning Man 2009 was the beginning of my new lifestyle, and Symbiosis 2009 is still one of the best festivals I’ve been to!

    In 2010 I went to 11 festivals (All for free thanks to Beats Antique and volunteering) From Bali to Austin to BRC, and all the NorCal shows inbetween. What a great summer that was! The guys at “Big Bounce,” also put on a great festival! In 2010 I lost a wallet at Big Bounce (With lots of money, from 6 countries) and in 2011, it was returned to me! Now, in 2012 I live in Los Angeles, pursuing my dreams and working more, but the best thing next to Symbiosis is here! It’s The Do Lab’s “Lightning In A Bottle” The Do Lab can really put on a show, and just did one for 12-21-12 at the Pyramids! They’re festival near L.A. is my one annual that I definitely make money and time for.

    Hopefully I make it to Burning Man 2013, that’d be cool.
    xoxo everyone!

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