Symbiosis Gathering 2016 – The Festival of Magic

Symbiosis {noun} – the interaction and unity of organisms living in close physical association, typically to the advantage of both.

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Symbiosis Gathering is everything you could possibly seek from a festival… and so much more.

My Symbiosis Experience was one of those experiences after which, no matter how hard you try to, you simply cannot put it into words. No attempt to recreate this magic through vocabularly could possibly do this land of magic justice.

I will try my very hardest to though because it blew my mind and I want you to go.

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I’ve honestly never been in the presence of such beautiful people, values or scenes in my entire life.

What on earth is Symbiosis?

The concept of Symbiosis is an epic 4 day festival located on a peninsula engulfed by the idyllic Woodward Reservoir – just 2 hours outside of San Francisco in a little place called Oakdale. Plotted in the calendar just after Burning Man in Nevada, burners keen to continue the vibes arrive to Symbiosis – aka the decompressed Burn.

Symbiosis Gathering 2016 | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel And Adventure Lifestyle Blog

Some of the very art that stands at Burning Man actually comes to this site to entertain a smaller crowd of 15,000 more local humans.

For 4 days, you’ll lose your cell phone service and find yourself mesmerised instead, by art in every form imaginable.

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You can either bring a tent or an RV to rest in {should you dare to miss any fun} both of which are priced differently in addition to the ‘Experience Pass’ which was marked at $260.

There were a few things that made Symbiosis one of the best festivals i’ve ever been to:

The Lake

Not only was the lake upon which the festival sat, the ultimate cool off experience in the glorious September sunshine but it also made the perfect sunset and sunrise companion as you stared out across the water into the distance from one of the 6 epic music stages.

When you wake to a sun drenched campsite, claustrophobic from the warm, dust laden air and a floor covered in costumes from the night before, grabbing a cold beverage and whacking on your swimmers for a dip in the lake is second to none.

You’ll never want to festival without water again.

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The Weather

September in California is a gorgeous month.

We were blessed with temperates that only required bikinis by day and a few extra layers by night. No rain, no snow and no frost.

The temperatures did definitely drop come evening but if you have your dancing feet on – it’s nothing a jacket can’t fix.

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The General Set Up

Whatever your intention to chase was at this festival, be it the madness, the peace, the conscious or the the unconscious, it all worked in harmony.

If you were losing your mind with tiredness at 10am after a sunrise dj set – you could curl up and sleep in the shade of a meditation tent.

If you were fuelled with fire and wanted to throw some shapes in the midday heat – you could float and splash around in the lake to the dj set at Swimbiosis.

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If you wanted to refuel on some raw food and nutritious smoothies – you could head to the food court and rest beneath the tent whilst talks, live music sets and circus acts entertained you.

If you wanted to stretch out your aching limbs or learn how to nourish your body better – there were yoga classes and workshops all day long.

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I could seriously go on, there were art installations left right and centre.

People bought their own art boat creations and floated the day away on the lake. Parents wheeled kiddies around in vintage vamped wheelbarrows.

There were dj sets and platforms out in the water, there were free hug stands, water footbridges, boutique shops but above all… beautiful, beautiful souls adventuring through this magical oasis.

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And that’s without touching on the incredible talent that graced the stages over the 4 days of magic. I’m talking the likes of Lee Foss, Seth Troxler, Ta-ku, Dirtwire and my personal favourites: FKJ and the sunrise set on Sunday with KLMN.

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Everyone came here with the same intention.

To love, to let go and to reconnect. Be it with themselves, with the world or with new people.

Symbiosis catered for madness to occur with the most nurturing and loving surroundings possible.

Not once did I see any violence, anger or destruction being demonstrated.

It was a pocket of bliss in a world filled with madness.

Thank you Symbiosis for opening my eyes and creating a bubble of love.

Symbiosis Gathering 2016 | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel And Adventure Lifestyle Blog

Photo: Get Tiny Photography

Tips for Symbiosis:

  • People go all out on costumes – theres no way you can be overdressed
  • People go all out on camps – there’s no way you can look too keen
  • Take alcohol with you – they don’t sell it inside
  • A meal will cost $11-23
  • A smoothie around $8/9
  • There are hot showers available but cost $8/9
  • Take lots of water in with you – it get’s hot and you won’t want a headache to ruin the vibe. A camel pack is a great idea and something a lot of people had!
  • Take a shade structure for your campsite – you’ll thank me
  • Baby wipes – you’ll also thank me.
  • Head lamp for toilets – you’ll seriously thank me.

My Symbiosis Essentials…

 

If you like the sound of Symbiosis Gathering…

Unfortunately Symbiosis have lost the land to host the festival in this location next year, but it will come back to life next year in the form of Oregon Eclipse {as you witness the total eclipse – MAGIC}.

This would be the PERFECT combination with a Californian Roadtrip, just saying.

Check out my Californian Roadtrip Itinerary here

I’m 100% going. Question is… are you?

Thank YOU guys for reading <3

Love as always + happy adventuring,

Mollie x

If you enjoyed this post, please SHARE it for me!

I can’t do this without you <3

Symbiosis Gathering 2016 | Where's Mollie? A UK Travel And Adventure Lifestyle Blog

  • Heels In My Backpack

    Never heard of this festival but looks like you had a fab time! AMAZING photos! x

  • I’ve never heard of it either, but it looks amazing! xx