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Symbiosis Gathering – Oakdale, CA – September 17th to September 20th, 2015Symbiosis 1

Words by: Katy Havel

Photos by: Guillermo Montero of Montyvision

Set at the giant Woodward Reserve in California, Symbiosis takes place in a magnificent setting incorporating magical sunrises on a breathtaking lake. This year they had their 10th anniversary celebrating 3 days of art and music following Burning Man. The effort put forth with Symbiosis is unparalleled –  love and energy surrounds you everywhere you go. There are beautiful shining mermaids and music lovers coalescing in the water to the accompanying tunes throughout the day. Tinkering from desert to lake to forest makes this a transcendental event with vibrant art installations and an overall communal vibes throughout.

Art boats, floaties, and naked bodies make for an enriched theme and concept. Nicolas Jaar, Four Tet, Damian Lazarus, Max Cooper, Bob Moses, Justin and Christian Martin all bring extraordinary sounds along with psytrance, downtempo, electronica, and dubstep artists such as The Polish Ambassador, Shpongle, and Tipper mixing things up. Teepees fill with dust and emaculate wooden temples hold lectures while dance performers, interactive theatrical performances, and healing are ubiquitous.

Symbiosis 2

Massive art structures and installations are placed throughout the grounds that were not only featured from Burning Man but also taken from various other festivals throughout the world. Hindi and Native Americans are present throughout and attribute to the cultural and familial vibes that are so prevalent. And the iconic Burning Man Festival in Nevada as well as Coachella are set the precedence for the culture and the experience as well. There is also the marvelous Shambala Festival – another very cultural and familial festival in Canada that takes place earlier in the summer which many attendees of Symbiosis have also frequented. Symbiosis is often treated as a decompression from the harsh conditions of the burn – this year especially.

During the first night you could hear the sounds of The Polish Ambassador and on Friday afternoon Raja Ram of Shpongle played some hefty psytrance. Justin Martin who kept everyone moving on Saturday and also played into the magnificent sunset. On Sunday, Tipper opened with a beautiful sunrise set while Damian Lazarus put forth some amazing beats – unfortunately without his accompanying band The Artic Moons who were also scheduled on the bill. edit and Boreta of The Glitch Mob also took to the stage on Sunday providing a very uplifting and transient vibe catching the ethnology of the 10th year of Symbiosis The Gathering.

Symbisosis Gathering 2016 will take place from September 22nd to 25th.



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