Widely spoken about as The Golden State’s answer to Burning Man, Symbiosis Gathering is a festival that celebrates the right kind of lawlessness. Electronic music, arts and sustainability are woven into a kaleidoscopic cauldron of off-beat partying in a beautiful natural location. For a weekend, a special kind of creative community magically appears, “bringing together different sub-cultures who have a similar ethos, but who normally might not share common space,” says founder Bosque Hrbek.
The festival has been notoriously nomadic over its ten year history so far, producing different incarnations in over five different locations. Recently however, it seems to have found a more permanent home beside the Woodward Reservoir in Oakdale, California.
Expect a high madness quotient that somehow also feels wholesome. There’s minimal security presence, incredible stage set-ups both on land and afloat, zero corporate sponsorship, yoga domes, shaded dance floors, floating tree house-like structures to groove on and large scale art installations that are made for climbing. The cream of the stage crop however is the Swimbiosis stage, which sits directly on the banks of the lake, and features a ‘dance pool’.
In the learning department, festival goers are spoiled for choice, especially those who are interested in living more consciously and creatively. Take a workshop in everything from astrology, moon cycles and mythology to democracy, ethnobotany and modern surveillance. There are also classes on meditation, yoga and dance, not to mention the Permaculture Action Hub, which serves as a dedicated zone for all things natural, including wild crafting, sustainable building practices and agroforestry.
For those who need to refresh their vibe, and take time out The Oasis Spa continues to impress. Stop by for an hour to make the most of hot showers, massage therapy, a sauna and grooming station. A renewed willingness to let one’s craziest self out on the dust-kicked dance floor will revive once more.
WORDS OF WISDOM
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