Transformational music festivals in South & Central America have not caught on as much as some places in the world, but they are definitely on their way. If you’re new to the term, transformational festivals are music festivals that focus on much more that music – they focus on all possible outlets of creativity, expression, and education.
They will often have different seminars and workshops throughout the festival about topics from sustainability and permaculture to mindfulness and culture, and usually have yoga and meditation type classes as well. Many will have different kinds of activities like slack lining or hiking, have different kinds of art classes and installations, and community building practices encouraging health and social responsibility. And, all this goes along with often amazing music, as well! If you enjoy traveling around for music festivals, you will enjoy these.
Transformational Festivals in Central America
Envision Festival, Costa Rica
Where: Punta Mona, Costa Rica
When: Last week of February
Envision Festival can be seen as at the forefront of transformational festival culture in the area, and is definitely the most well known and coveted festival in Central America. There are eight pillars of envision which they say encompass what they stand for as a gathering, and these pillars are music, movement, art, bio-construction, health, community, permaculture, and spirituality. The combination of all these is transformative at its core! They explore many mindful and sustainable practices along with healing techniques, and focus on cultivating a community of like-minded people to connect on a deeper level.
This year they are also holding a permaculture design course the week before the festival for a group to expand their knowledge on farming, food, and sustainability practices from one of the most biodiverse farms in the world! Envision is truly more than a festival – it’s an entire experience to elevate the body and mind.
Welcoming some amazing performers to the lake this year. Can't wait to be dancing, playing, and smiling with all of you!!! ~ Acogiendo con beneplácito a algunos artistas increíbles en el lago este año. No puedo esperar para bailar, jugar y sonreir con todos ustedes !!! #cosmicconvergence #cosmicfamily #psytrance #circusarts #movement #dance #travel #nomadlife #centralamerica #guatemala
Cosmic Convergence, Guatemala
Where: Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
When: Over the New Year
With a strong focus on ancient Mayan culture and consciousness transformation, Cosmic Convergence brings in the New Year with an array or music and learning opportunities. Expect sustainability activities, art installations, all kinds of workshops and talks, a breathtaking setting, and of course amazing music with this Guatemalan transformational festival.
Singing Alive (Cantando La Vida), Costa Rica
Where: Finca Amrta, Costa Rica
When: late January
Singinga Alive is a gathering dedicated to song circles that actually takes place in five different locations in North America. These regional song events are dedicated to the healing and nurturing power of multi-cultural song , and use singing, prayers, chants meditations, and different forms of togetherness to awaken spiritual life. They will involve healthy eating, yoga, plant walks, and more in a fully participatory environment to connect with others.
#flashbackfriday To Tribal Gathering 2014!!! My how much we've grown since then! Epic plans in the works for the stages this year 🙌😻❤️🌴 #festivallife #tribalgathering #transformationalfestival #centralamerica #yoga #playshop #panama #carribean #beachlife #takemeback #lovelife #internationalfestival #paradiseawaits #comeplay #danceallday
Tribal Gathering, Panama
Where: North Caribbean coast of Panama
When: 18 Days Late Mar-Mid Feb
Tribal Gathering is 18 days of music, workshops, wellness, and art from over 60 tribes from 30 countries around the world sharing their knowledge and local perspectives. That’s right, is really is a tribal gathering in that they bring in that many different tribes together in one place (the largest tribal gathering in the world) to enrich each other through sharing of culture, music, and more. How cool is that?! Some of the workshops they list on their website are: bioconstruction, tribal skill exchange, yoga, botany, shamanism, storytelling, local marine ecology, local foods, traditional instruments, carving, weaving, tribal painting, sustainable agro forestry, medidation, cocoa and chocolate making, and more!
Tribal gathering is put on by GeoParadise, a charity organization dedicated to preserving native communities around the world. Tribal Gathering is the annual gathering of such tribes to come together in a sort of modern ritual and sharing of indigenous customs. The last five days are an electronic music festival, and the weeks leading up to it are focused on tribal presentations of all different kinds!
Ometeotl Festival, Mexico
Where: South of Mexico City, Morelos State
When: Last week of March
For this one I am just going to straight quote (a translation of) their website because I love what it says so much. Here is a screen shot below:
As you can see the festival is named after a sacred god within Mexican culture and encourages all to come together to celebrate culture and ‘elevate the spirit of humanity’ through music, art, and workshops. They actually begin the festival by lighting a sacred fire which burns throughout the gathering. The lineup is generally pretty good as well!
Transformational Festivals in South America
La noche está estrellada. No lloverá, dijeron. #burningmanregional #fuegoaustral #notafestival #noesunfestival #nodejarrastro #autosuficienciaradical #responsabilidadcivil #inmediatez #inclusiónradical #participación #expresiónradical #economíadelregalo #decomodificación #esfuerzocomunal #10principios [Foto de Andrés de León]
Fuego Austral, Argentina
Where: outside of Buenos Aires, Argentina
When: End of March/Beginning of April
Fuego Austral is Argentina’s regional burning man event, and is held every February. This means that it takes a transformational festival to the next level and upholds the ten principles of a burn through the event. It is a temporary city based upon these principles, and freedom, art, and being whoever you would like to be. This means – theres no form of money, everyone comes with a camp with all their food and drink for the week, and art installations, participation, all forms of creation, music, gifting, radical expression, immediacy, and all that good stuff are encouraged! If you are a transformational festival lover like me I really would recommend experiencing at least one burn in your life- it truly is life-changing to live in such a way for a week!
Festival Nomade, Chile
Where: Southern Chilean Coast – Nearest to Osorno
When: second week of February
Festival Nomade is an incredibly unique weeklong gathering in southern Chile that begins with a 10km hike to the festival site. Whoever wishes to participate can meet to drive to the hiking point and hike through an ancient jungle to begin the experience with supreme connection to nature. The first three days of the festival focus on creating a sense of community between participants (not attendees 😉 ) and local tribes, helping one another to complete infrastructure, set up the site, and learn about local culture by interacting with and visiting the homes of local tribes.
On the fourth day music and celebration begins, with the people who you have already become close to. Expect yoga, meditation, vinyasa, surfing, slacklining, hiking, sustainability talks, workshops, and storytelling, all amongst music and new friends.
Mundo De Oz Festival, Brazil
Where: Sao Paolo, Brazil
When: Last Week of April
Its tagline says (In Portuguese, of course) “an experience of art, culture, ecology, and music,” and I don’t think many taglines scream ‘transformational festival’ more than that! Mundo de Oz creates a space of education, creativity, and performance where each and every human being is valued to their core. There are spaces for: Children, ecology, social/environmental action, consciousness, and much more, and it sounds like it would be a truly transformative experience. Oh, and the photo above is actually a stage!
Universo Parallelo Festival, Brazil
Where: Outside of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
When: 8 Days over New Year
Universo Parallelo may be Brazil’s most famous transformational festival in its 14th year. It’s held on the beach/jungle of the coast of Bahia, and is home to 10 days of camping and 8 days of music. You will also find family areas, different kinds of performances, lots of art and culture, and a beautiful and colorful setup. Next New Year, I’m Looking at you!
Pulsar Festival, Brazil
Where: Minas Gerais, Southeast Brazil (Between Sao Paolo and Salvador)
When: End of May May-June
Pulse festival is going into its fourth year, and it invites guests back to another amazing experience of art, culture, and sustainability, or ‘psychedelic music, connecting to nature, and breaking paradigms.’ Situated at an amazing site next to a massive waterfall, the perfect scene is presented to listen to amazing music and also learn about their many different causes such as sustainability, permaculture, amazing FOOD, performances, and workshops.
That’s all for now, folks, but you best believe I will be continuing my research and adding many more festivals to this list! If you know of any more festivals that would fit well into this post, PLEASR leave a comment and let me know! I want to discover all the possibilities so that one day I can experience them all (and stay forever in an ideal fairytale festival world, because it’s way better there, right?!).
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