Envision Festival Recap: best live performances of 2017

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2018 Update: Anne and I are heading back to the jungle for our 4th Envision! Will we see you there? Snag tickets here before they’re gone!

Coming off my 3rd consecutive Envision Festival, I’m happy to report it was my favorite one yet!

Hats off to the Envision crew for pulling another rabbit out of the hat.

It’s interesting to observe the contrast between the artists I was anticipating and the artists who truly impacted me live on stage this year.

3 of my most anticipated shows of Envision 2017 made this coveted “top 5 live performances” list. And fortunately, there were 2 artists I knew nothing about that rocked my world and made this list. 

Before we get into it, I wanted to make 3 quick observations about Envision 2017:

  • The Luna stage was one of the coolest productions I’ve ever seen. Big ups to The Reliquarium for creating it.
  • From my subjective experience… the Funktion One sound system on the Luna was not quite as good as 2016. That being said, it was still world class audio. (If you want to learn more about the specific F1 rig at the Luna, check the comments below). 
  • The village stage was made out of living plants and whoever curated that stage experience was on point all weekend. A MASSIVE upgrade from past years.

After you finish reading my top 5… I would LOVE to hear your top 5 live sets in the comments section below. I know I missed a ton of music and would love to be schooled!

Alright let’s get to it!

1) Clozee (Luna Stage)

Video shot and edited by our friend Remington W

After experiencing Clozee’s emotionally charged Saturday night set, there is no question in my mind: the future is female. The late-night Luna stage crowd was taken on a emotional jungle-journey that can only be described as “tribal.” Full of new and unreleased music and endless pyrotechnics. 

I appreciate how Clozee lets her music do the talking. On the rare occasion that she did grab the mic, she humbly thanked the performers, Pyrodanza, and introduced Random Rab. (in her painfully cute french accent).

Although the weekend was full of incredible performances… As far as I’m concerned the weekend goes to Clozee.


2) Goopsteppa (Luna Stage)

Those fortunate enough to make it until 4AM Friday night were rewarded with some super tasty goop soup. Been listening to Goopsteppa for 3+ years and my first Goopsteppa set blew all expectations out of the water. His signature style does something weird deep inside my body.

There is no denying that Alex “da Goopsteppa” is not only extremely talented in the beat lab but also performing live… Seamlessly mixing and transitioning his luscious downtempo delights.

PSA for anyone who “saved up for Saturday” – you made a serious mistake.

*Alex was also scheduled to perform at the SoundShip after party with AtYyA, Brian Hartman, Cello Joe, and friends… however he got sick and had to cancel. The event was excellent but I couldn’t help feeling sad to miss a Goopsteppa show in our backyard (Dominical).


3) Zach Deputy (Village Stage)

Photo credit: Bradford Creations
Photo Credit: Bradford Watkins Creations

One of my favorites parts of Envision is how everything seems to just “work out.” Almost as if giving up control (hard for me personally) and surrendering to the experience is a shortcut to the perfect moment.

Around midnight on Saturday, our group of merry pranksters decided to check out the village stage aka the “living stage.” We didn’t know who was playing, but HEY the crowd was super into it.

“Some guy” was live recording/looping all kinds of instruments, vocals, and even the sounds a chicken makes (weird, right?!). He was going all in. Erupting with emotion at every turn. His infectious attitude compelled us to join the frenzy.

There wasn’t a single person who wasn’t dancing like a fork in a blender. After his show we asked a sweaty soul near us who was on stage… dumbfounded that we didn’t know, she emphatically replied “Zach Deputy.”

Shout out to the greatest song ever: Chicken Pot Pie.

*Zach Deputy also played a main stage show on Sunday, however I missed it.


4) CharlestheFirst (Luna Stage)

We had the chance to chat with Charles a few times while he was in Costa Rica. Not only is he a super mello homie, but both his shows were super bueno.

[Charles played: 2:30AM Sunday night at the Luna & the official afterparty @ Fuego Brewing in Dominical]

If you havent heard his stuff, his 30-minute “Through the Mist” mix is a great place to start. Bass music with a chilled out vibe. At times his original productions remind me of Goopsteppa, AtYyA, and Clozee.

Watch out weirdos, Charles is coming for you. Catch him this summer as he rampages through the festival circuit.

*Shoutout to Fuego, Envision after party team, and the Soundship team for producing one of the best parties I’ve seen in Dominical.


5) EarthCry (Village Stage)

Photo credit
Photo Credit: Bradford Watkins Creations

Earthcry is the side project of Anthony (from Papadosio). It’s his opportunity to explore new sounds and new styles while heavily leaning electronic. Although I was hoping to catch EarthCry at Envision, I didn’t have high hopes due to the jam packed Saturday night lineup. Luckily, our group was seeking some chill time before Clozee took over the Luna stage.

After snagging a round of Guanabana popsicles we joined the mellow mob at the Village stage. (If you didn’t try these creamy delights, you seriously missed out).

EarthCry played a very live and intelligently sequenced set. He was creating mesmerizing compositions by combining live instrumentation and nature inspired electronic productions. Each song started mellow and slowly built into a mini freak out. 


Honorable mentions: Rising Appalachia, Dragonfly, Nicola Cruz, Govinda, Quixotic, Random Rab, and Of Porcelain… among so many others!

Your turn… Share your top 5 sets at Envision 2017 in the comments below!

Pura Vida,


Cover Photo Credit: Eric Allen (he’s amazing) 

About Brandon

Former corporate sales rep turned nomadic entrepreneurial yogi. Street food ninja, avid outdoorsman, craft beer geek, and live music junkie. Co-founder of The Yoga Nomads.

3 thoughts on “Envision Festival Recap: best live performances of 2017”

  1. For an audiophile, you really have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to the F1 rig at Luna.
    Their were more subs there this year, but they were stacked in a asymmetrical way to minimize peaks and valleys of SUB frequencies on the dance floor and have as clean and even dispersion of bass on the field as possible. I’m sure last year with the stereo sub stack there were spots where sub frequencies phased together and sounded really sub heavy, but with that effect comes areas that are phasing out sub and have no noticeable sub frequencies to hear at all. The idea was to create an even listening environment for all positions on the field and not have some places that were lacking or too much.
    Take a drop of water falling into a puddle for example. If u drop two drops of water in a puddle when the ripples hit each other there are places where it jumps up and places where it dips down really low and end up interfering with the integrity of each ripple from each drop. If you drop one drop of water in a puddle the ripple is able to flow outward with out getting any interference from other ripples and the ripple(sub sound wave) is clean and crisp till the puddle ends(back of field).
    It may look like less tops but the evo7 tops (newest cabinet from F1) are much louder and wider dispersion than res5s from last year so you don’t need as many to cover the same area.
    i respect your opinion of what you experienced, but a little research into what was going on with the F1 rig at Luna will help you be able to share the truth with the people who read your article and not just your opinion.

    • Thanks for taking the time to explain your position and provide me with more insight. I was aware of the asymmetrical setup and understand the concepts you described. However I do not understand the intricacies as you do. I saw this article http://envisionfestival.com/funktion-one/ and heard/read about the F1 strategy somewhere else (don’t remember where).

      I edited my thoughts on the luna rig (from above) to the following:

      “From my subjective experience… the Funktion One sound system on the Luna was not quite as good as 2016. That being said, it was still world class audio. (If you want to learn more about the specific F1 rig at the Luna, check the comments below). ”

      I don’t want to make this a big deal because it’s a luxury to have this discussion – the sound was great, and I will continue coming back. However, the consensus within our group was that we preferred last years sound at the Luna. For one example, in 2016 we could be anywhere in the luna and have full crisp sound, this year sitting dramatically affected the quality.

      Could that be because of… our juvenile audio preferences, different artists, audio engineering, endless other variables – I don’t know.

      Again, thanks for starting this discussion and teaching me a few things along the way.

      • Nice to engage in a productive conversation with you my friend.
        Your experience is appreciated and worth taking note of.
        Funktion one is always trying to push the envelope and try new things and the asymmetrical set up is one of those new ideas that is being tested and discussed.
        There are definitely a lot of variables and compromises made when dealing with large sound. We are privileged to be living in a time where audio quality is being pushed to perfection with new ideas. I imagine next year envision will further try and perfect the listeners experience with another arrangement to compare and perfect the set up for years to come.
        Great talking with you my friend!!


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