Posts tagged with "jay z"

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, Independence Day Drink

2020 Labor Day Celebrations

By Cassandra Yany

In the face of COVID-19, Labor Day weekend looked very different his year. Absent were the large family cookouts and pool parties, or the big end-of-summer beach crowds. Many cities even had to omit public fireworks to prevent mass gatherings. Though the long weekend did not bring the celebrations we’re used to, there were still plenty of safe ways to enjoy the holiday.

Virtual events allow you to take part in more activities in different locations than you would have been able to physically. Made in America, a festival started by Jay-Z in 2012, was set to take place in Philadelphia this past weekend. On July 1, festival organizers announced that it would be rescheduled to Labor Day weekend 2021. They said in a statement “Collectively, we are fighting parallel pandemics, COVID-19, systemic racism and police brutality. Now is the time to protect the health of our artists, fans, partners and community as well as focus on our support for organizations and individuals fighting for social justice and equality in our country.”

This year’s lineup went unannounced, but last year’s festival was headlined by Travis Scott and Cardi B. Since the physical festival was canceled, a livestream showcasing the best performances took place on the music streaming service TIDAL throughout the weekend. The virtual festival included sets from Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Lizzo, Coldplay, Rihanna and many other chart-topping artists.

Nationally, a Labor Day virtual race was held by The Best Races for runners to run anywhere on their own time and submit their results. Participants who registered for the full package received a personal coach who was available Monday through Friday to provide help and answer questions during training, and provided encouragement and support on the day of the race.

Runners across the country were able to choose the distance of the race they wanted to participate in. Depending on what package they signed up for, they received a certificate of completion and digital medal, a 3-inch medal sent to their homes, a printable custom bib, a custom digital photo card that contains the race results, a digital running journal, a t-shirt, optional course maps and an optional pen pal program. 

Based in Portland, the Oregon Labor Movement held a statewide virtual Labor Day celebration and call to action on Monday. The organizers brought light to issues taking place in the state saying, “Working Oregonians are facing three crises at once: a deadly global pandemic, an economic free fall, and long-standing institutional racism.”

The event began at noon and featured talks from Oregon’s labor leaders, elected officials, and working Oregon citizens regarding their desire for change and their pursuit toward justice for workers. This event came after Portland’s rise to national prominence for their Black Lives Matter demonstrations and federal agents entering the city in recent months.

A number of virtual events were held in Los Angeles this past weekend, as well. HomeState, the LA-based Texas Kitchen, held its first Margarita Showdown in 2019, but had to move it online this year due to the pandemic and social distancing measures. The virtual event took place Saturday via livestream. Margarita makers in the area competed to see whose drink was the best.

Voters received eight bottled margaritas, along with limes and garnishing salt to try the different submissions from the safety of their homes. The winner chosen was El Compadre, a local Mexcian restaurant. The event was hosted by comedian Cristela Alonzo, and featured musical performances by Chicano Batman, Spoon, Questlove, Fred Armisen, Local Natives and Angela Muñoz. All proceeds from the event benefit the organization No Us Without You! and the Watts Empowerment Center.

The Gourmandise School of Sweets & Savories in Santa Monica hosted a virtual Labor Day Pies class on Sunday. In the class, participants were taught how to make a s’mores pie and key lime pie. Registration for the class included access to the Zoom video meeting, as well as the recipe and shopping list. Recipes can also be found on Gourmandise’s Instagram.

Some cities were able to hold in-person events following social distancing guidelines. Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, located in the Seaport District, upheld its tradition of free admission on Labor Day. The museum is typically closed on Mondays, but was open from 10 am to 5 pm for guests who reserved tickets. 

Monday was the last day for guests to see the exhibits Tschabalala Self: Out of Body and Carolina Caycedo: Cosmotarrayas. Also on display were the Sterling Ruby, Nina Chanel Abney and Beyond Infinity: Contemporary Art after Kusama exhibits. The ICA has increased cleaning and follows Massachusetts COVID guidelines by requiring all staff and visitors to wear face coverings, and allowing a restricted number of guests each hour. Spaces that don’t allow physical distancing are temporarily closed, and exhibition labels and printed materials have been made available online to reduce touch surfaces.


In New York City, a Labor Day Paint in the Park event was held in Central Park. The two-hour socially distant class was led by a master artist who gave step-by-step painting instructions. Participants were required to wear masks and sit six feet apart. Admission included a pre-sketched canvas and painting supplies, and parties were encouraged to bring food and drinks to snack on during the class.

For those who wanted to enjoy the holiday by relaxing at home with their favorite movie or TV show, a number of stores had sales to mark the end of summer. There were countless deals that shoppers could take advantage of to celebrate their work.
Many workers have faced great adversity within the past eight months, some losing their positions and having to move quickly to find a new one, and others doing their job in a way they never thought they would have to. Whether you stayed in or got out of the house for some socially-distant fun, Monday was definitely a day worth celebrating.

Pharrell Williams illustrated by Rita Azar for 360 MAGAZINE

Pharrell Williams – Entrepreneur

Today, Pharrell Williams shares a new single and music video entitled “Entrepreneur” [feat. JAY-Z].

Watch the video HERE.

Get it HERE via Columbia Records.

He makes a powerful statement with the song and the accompanying visual. The video proudly features and spotlights the achievements of over a dozen black entrepreneurs. It includes Issa RaeNipsey HussleTyler, The CreatorRobert HartwellSix SevTyAnthony Davis [Founder of Vox Collegiate Junior High], Vincent Williams [Founder of Honey’s Kettle], Iddris SanduBeatrice Dixon [Founder of Honey’s Pot], Arthell Darnell Isom[Founders of D’ART Shtajio], Neighbors SkateShopAlrick AugustineDenise Woodard [Founder of Partake Cookies],Chace Infinite [Founder of Harun Coffee Shop], Chef Alisa[Founder of My Two Cents], Debbie Allen [Founder of Tribe Midwifery], Angela Richardson [Founder of PUR Home], Miss Bennett FitnessBlack and MobileTrill Paws Dog AccessoriesThird Vault Yarns, and “The First Black Valedictorian of Princeton” Nicholas Johnson. They all make cameos as title cards introduce their accomplishments. Over a slick and soulful bounce, Pharrell carries an uplifting and undeniable affirmation punctuated by his instantly recognizable high register. This anthem arrives at just the right time.

Pharrell also joined forces with TIME for a very special cover project entitled The New American Revolution. He personally curated a series of essays and conversations between Black leaders that explore America’s oppressive past and visions for a more equitable future, with perspectives from Kenya Barris, Imara Jones, Naomi Osaka, Tyler, the Creator, and more. To bring this dialogue to the forefront, he unites the likes of Yara Shahidi and Angela Davis in once-in-a-lifetime interviews. Hank Willis Thomas contributed the cover art.

About the issue, Pharrell wrote, “In assembling this project, I asked some of the most qualified people I know in every field—from Angela Davis to Tyler, the Creator, to Representative ­Barbara Lee—to talk with us, and with one another, about the way forward. I wanted to convey a vision of a future filled with the artists, creators and entrepreneurs who can fulfill the promise of this country’s principles.” 

The issue is on newsstands now.

Beyoncé - Black is King illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

A Gift From Beyoncé

‘Superb. Reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s Remember The Time!’Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine

By Mina Tocalini

Beyoncé’s new film “Black is King,” a celebration of the “breadth and beauty of Black ancestry”, released on Disney+ today. Similar to Beyoncé’s 2016 film, “Lemonade,” “Black is King” acts as a visual album to her soundtrack, “The Lion King: The Gift.” Black Is King” explores the “timeless lessons” from Lion King in a visually rich modern journey of Black empowerment and resilience.

Beyoncé announced her excitement for the film’s release via Instagram, while further acknowledging the impact of its release and message: “The events of 2020 have made the film’s vision and message even more relevant, as people across the world embark on a historic journey… I believe that when Black people tell our own stories, we can shift the axis of the world and tell our REAL history.”

Beyoncé’s prideful film explores the Black experience and history through a young king’s story of “betrayal, love and self-identity.” Additionally, given the timing of its release, the film presents the necessity of honoring and telling stories from the Black perspective and that of any underrepresented community.

Simply put, the film is a celebratory visual journey of the Black experience. Initially the flow of the story seems interrupted and fast paced, but further on, it becomes clear that instead of following a linear narrative, it challenges the audience to find the connections within the short moments that frame each message.

Reiterating the same story we know and love is unnecessary, so rather, “Black is King” reinvents the Lion King through thematic experimentation intended to ignite pride in the Black identity. In a stunning collage of Afro-Soul music, narrative driven reflections and strikingly beautiful imagery, the film successfully expresses inspirational messages of hope, growth, love and community.

Some have critiqued the lavish presentation of Blackness via art, dance and fashion to be excessive and fast paced. Yet, this film’s message is focused on individuality and self love derived from the appreciation of Black culture. A culture of an entire continent and of Black communities around the world, it is anything but simple.

The immense detail in this film celebrates the complexity of Black beauty and the fast paced editing can not only be considered a reference to music video styles. It may originate from there, but can we not interpret it as being part of the overwhelming journey of defining your identity while struggling with the racial tensions in society.

Beyoncé did not create this to simply further enhance her image in a display of wealth, popular culture already associates her persona this way, we expect it and should not disregard the artistry for embracing it. She is simply using her power as a superstar to lead the unifying celebration, as should be done by those who can.

Additionally, Beyoncé is not the only star in “Black is King”, although American audiences may mainly recognize her. Emerging African artists such as Wizkid, Busiswa, Shatta Wale, Salatiel, Mr Eazi, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Burna Boy, Tekno, Moonchild Sanelly and Lord Afrixana were part of the album and in some in the film. Black American artists also include Kelly Rowland, 070 Shake, Childish Gambino, Jessie Reyez, Pharrell Williams, Nija, and Tierra Whack. The presence of these Black American legends establishes the familiarity necessary to create an alliance between both Black cultures and induce a movement of African diaspora celebration.

Follow Beyoncé: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Pressure225 Q&A for 360 Magazine

Pressure225 Q&A

By Armon Hayes

Pressure225 offers refreshing perspective and a  distinctive voice. Emerging thru the rubble of battle rap, the sound of no regrets, leaving it all on every track. 

Rapper Pressure225 released his visual debut for his song “I give you everything,” has an upcoming EP To Die For, and is just coming off of a monumental win in a freestyle rap battle.

The Bronx native’s career is growing with the momentum of his victory as HOT97’s Top shelf freestyle winner. Pressure spits his way to the top of rap battles and music charts with the wit and cadences of a budding force in Hip Hop. My first encounter with Pressure225 was at SOBS where I worked closely with the new artist as he prepared for his performance. Today, I caught up with the lyricist for a Q&A for 360 Magazine and learned how his charm translates from the stage and into real life.

What new projects are you working?

I’m currently finishing my new EP titled “To Die For.” Every time I say the title it feels off, to be real. But it’s a story. You would have to tune in to understand the concept behind it.

I try to make all my projects based on a theme and this one made me dig deeper than any of the other projects I worked on. To try and summarize, it’s about letting go of what you love. In my eyes, that is music. “Is this something I love where the sacrifice is worth the reward?” I’ve been working on this so long, the stress of the independent grind I just had to ask myself, is it to die for? Listen in and it will translate deeper.

What inspired your new music and video for “I give you everything?”

“I give you everything” goes back to the theme in the music. It’s a revolving door behind the questions I have for my passion. It’s almost like my insecurities speaking. I also felt like many people can relate. How much of myself can I give to the craft before I fall down? I wrote the song in 20 minutes and it was the first song I recorded with the homie @madamixes. I’ve always recorded my own projects but this time I felt that I needed to give that responsibility to another ear. It worked out and by taking the opportunity I learned so much about recording in the new streaming era.

The video was shot by @ezrugonalez, and, to be honest we had no big plan. It was like a run and gun video that he made work. His vision behind the camera is crazy. We shot it in Dumbo, Brooklyn and Ezru gave the direction and I gave the performance.

How do you respond to critics who treat battle rap not as a mainstream vehicle?

I love battle rap. Battle rap is the purest form of rap. It’s raw and performed in one shot as a 9-minute performance done in three rounds. It doesn’t get more real than that. There are big time battlers who make $70-80k a battle. I wouldn’t say battle rap is not mainstream but big leagues like @urltv, who are backed by the likes of Drake, are definitely taking it there. If you come up in battle rap it can open gates to new opportunities for sure.

Describe your music in one word?

Unpredictable.

As the winner of episode 4 of Hot 97’s Top shelf, what are your biggest takeaways?

Networking is key. Listen and learn from the people you meet, take advantage of the rooms you are in. I met some good people behind the scenes who handed me game that I hold on to till this day. When I get my shot for @funkflex freestyle, I will show out for sure lol.

Artist you hope to collaborate with?

My dream list is very New York. Jadakiss, Fab, Nas, but if we are talking more active I’d say J. Cole, Kendrick. I also really like Griselda Records, Westside Gunn, Conway, and Benny for bringing rap back to New York.

How has quarantine life been for you as a new independent artist?

As for independent artists, all we ask for is free time to work on the craft. We as a whole have never been in this predicament. For myself, I can say I took advantage of that time. I am more aware of the steps I need to take on my journey. I made some investments and now I am looking to drop the projects I worked on during quarantine.

What are your thoughts on rap culture seemly more inclusive?

Its a love-hate thing. I love the fact that rap culture has come this far. I hate the moments I step back and know when it’s being patronized. I’m a guest in Hip Hop and it saved me; I will always be on the front lines to keep this culture growing.

Who are your top five rappers?

I don’t have a top five. It’s the age old question and I’m so deep into rap that my mood changes too much to pick five. But, I do have three that will always remain, that’s Jay Z, Big, and Nas. But, I may change that later.

Beyonce – Black Is King

By Eamonn Burke

Last week, Beyonce released the second trailer for her upcoming film Black is King, set to release on July 31. The production is a visual album that will feature multiple celebrity cameos including Jay-Z and Lupita Nyong’o, as seen in the trailer. Coming one year after Disney’s lasted adaption of the The Lion King, the film spins the old story into a tale of a young kings ascendence into power that represents the journey of black families worldwide. Although the new trailer is not much longer than the previous teaser, it offers a deeper look into the story: “Life is a set of choices. Lead, or be led astray. Follow your light, or lose it” Beyoncé’s opening voiceover says.

Beyonce called the project a “labor of love” and adds that “The events of 2020 have made the film’s vision and message even more relevant.” However, the film has not gone without controversy. Many have criticized the film for cultural appropriation and for “romanticizing Africa.” One such critic is black feminist Jade Bentil at the University of Oxford, who tweeted this statement:

“The repeated tropes/symbolic gestures that homogenise & essentialise thousands of African cultures in service of securing the terrain for Black capitalist possibilities & futures is tired.”

Other criticisms include glorifying African cultures inappropriately and creating false aesthetics. Scenes from the trailer such as Beyonce riding a horse dressed in animal hide and her excessive jewelry have created controversy about how she is portraying African culture.

Brutini illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Brutini – Ghetto Town

Rapper/songwriter Brutini releases his new video “Ghetto Town” feat. kahGEE today. The song will appear on his upcoming project.

“Brooklyn is deemed as one of the roughest cities to come from. There are so many bright lights that are covered up by dark clouds, making it hard to get out of ‘Ghetto Town.’ It’s really a blessing being born and raised in Brooklyn,” says Brutini on the video.

Brooklyn bred rapper and songwriter Brutini has been taking the music industry by storm. The rapper has been brewing new music in the studio to follow up his previously released buzz-worthy tracks “Taler” and “Cartier.” Late last year, Brutini released his single “Groovey Lit” with Young Paris and he followed up this release with “Ghetto Town.” His musical inspirations stem from from rappers like Jay Z, Cam’ron, Andre 3000, Lil Wayne, and Kanye West and R&B influences from artists like Musiq Soul Child and 112. Brutini’s music brings a view into his world, heritage and emotions, creating a soundscape that will leave listeners intrigued. Stay tuned for more announcements.

Follow Brutini: Instagram | YouTube | SoundCloud

Beyoncé, Juneteenth, Black Parade, 360 MAGAZINE, BLM, rita azar, illustration

JUNETEENTH

Today marks the 155th Juneteenth since June 19, 1865, a historic date the United States on which the news of the Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was delivered to slaves in Texas, declaring them free.

Even though the news got to the slaves in Texas more than two years after the Proclamation was passed, they still rejoiced and celebrated. The date became an annual celebration, as African Americans engaged in popular food like strawberry soda, events like rodeos, and prayer, along with guest speaks to educate the masses.

With the beginning of the 1900s, the tradition of Juneteenth faded, largely being suppressed by the white education system – the lives of slaves were not taught in the white washed curriculums of schools. Sometimes celebrations were even directly stopped with restrictions on public spaces. However, the celebration was revived in the 1950s and 60s as the Civil Rights Movement took hold in America. Student demonstrators and the Poor Peoples March to Washington brought the date back to significance. It later became a state holiday in Texas.

In modern times, Juneteenth makes yet another resurgence during the current revolution for black rights under the movement Black Lives Matter as the world fights for police reform and racial justice. The date is being selected as a powerful time to release songs like Beyoncé’s Black Parade. There are calls to make Juneteenth a national holiday.

Riza Azar, 360 magazine, Juneteenth
music, note, orange, black

Teyana Taylor – The Journey

Being a jack of trades has enabled Teyana Taylor to become a master of all. From her smoky melodic vocals to her dynamic dance moves, the R&B superstar entertainer dips in dives between her talents as singer, songwriter, producer, director, dancer/choreographer, actor, fitness guru, model, and mother. When it comes to describing herself, the Harlem native can only think of one word: Everything.

“I literally can do everything. I never look at anything as being impossible,” she explains. “I exhaust all options to make what happen when I need to make happen.” Her mantra made her an early favorite to artists like Pharrell, who she signed her first deal with, and later choreographed videos for artists like Beyoncé and Jay-Z. In 2014, Teyana’s love for the arts and R&B earned her the title of the first woman signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music imprint.

Between R&B’s identity crisis in the 2010s, Teyana dropped her debut album VII, with tracks like “Maybe” (featuring Yo Gotti and Pusha T) and the sultry “Just Different” shaping her musical persona. The critically acclaimed album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart in 2014, cementing her position in today’s modern R&B field. “I fought for that raw, hood necessary R&B and now I feel like it’s better than ever,” she says.

After spicing up the R&B charts, Teyana was blessed with the arrival of her daughter Junie with husband and NBA star Iman Shumpert in 2015. “I do all of this for my baby. She’s who I do it for,” she says about Iman “Junie” Tayla Shumpert Jr., her main source of inspiration. “I always show her how to be a leader and a businesswoman. I want her to believe that she can be anything she wants to be and it not be a shocker that she’s a female doing it all.” Soon after, Teyana went on to star in the internet-breaking video for Kanye West’s “Fade,” and scored her first MTV Moonman for “Best Choreography” at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards.

But it wasn’t until the release of her second album project K.T.S.E.(released June 2018) that the world caught up with Teyana’s talents. With her all-female production company The Aunties, Teyana self-directed videos for “WTP,” the RIAA gold-selling single “Gonna Love Me,” (whose remix features Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah, Method Man and Raekwon), and recently, “Issues/Hold On.” Teyana has also directed videos for her peers like T.I. (“You”), Monica (“Commitment”), and Lil Duval (“Pull Up” featuring Ty Dolla $ign) with fans like Ms.Lauryn Hill and Elton John praising her boss moves.

Part of what makes Teyana stand out from the rest is her ability to move with precision and poise in everything she does. From the studio to the stage, every idea is a project with the singer front and center with a vision all her own. With her musical inspirations like Aaliyah, Teena Marie, Mint Condition and Janet Jackson speaking to her soul,

Teyana is aware her mission is larger than life. “I’m working on me every day and I think that’s my purpose,” she says, comparing her life to a never-ending book. “I’m still going, still mastering and being a better me.”

music, note, orange, black

Teyana Taylor Announces Juneteenth Album Release

Teyana Taylor has announced her highly anticipated third LP, THE ALBUM, will be released on Juneteenth aka June 19th. THE ALBUM features special guests Rick Ross, Erykah Badu, Quavo, Missy Elliott, Future, Big Sean & more.

The announcement of the album release date comes on the heels of another very special reveal: Teyana’s pregnancy with her second child. Teyana revealed the news on Friday in her intimate, self-directed video for “Wake Up Love” featuring her husband Iman Shumpert, and daughter Junie. Teyana’s increasingly significant and dynamic body of a work as a director was celebrated today with a 2020 BET Award nomination for Best Director.

Tapped by Pitchfork as one of the “most anticipated albums of the summer,” THE ALBUM also features Teyana’s new graduation anthem “Made It,” pegged by NPR as a “a triumphant, isolation-proof anthem for the Class of 2020,” the Janet Jackson-approved viral sensation “Bare Wit Me”, the Kanye West-produced “We Got Love.”, and “How You Want It? (HYWI?)” featuring King Combs

Since 2018’s KTSE, Teyana’s star has continued to rise; from her successful career as video director and continued investment in her production company, The Aunties, to her acting and modeling career, to a string of scintillating self-directed singles and videos, including “Morning” with Kehlani. THE ALBUM is poised to take her to the next level.

THE ALBUM is the highly anticipated successor to K.T.S.E. (June 2018), Teyana’s second album, one of the five G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam albums produced by Kanye West during his 2018 sojourn in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. K.T.S.E. (acronym for Keep That Same Energy) set off an 18-month chain reaction for Teyana, starting with its summertime Top 10 R&B smash “Gonna Love Me.” She performed “Gonna Love Me” (in a medley with “Rose In Harlem,”another K.T.S.E. track) on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Hip-hop audiences embraced the “Gonna Love Me” remix featuring Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah, Method Man and Raekwon, whose video was directed by Teyana.

K.T.S.E. spun off a hot new single and video for Teyana in early 2019, the explicit “WTP (Work This P***y).”

The video was nominated for “Best Dance Performance” at the 32^nd annual BET Soul Train Awards.The third single from K.T.S.E. was the evocative “Issues/Hold On.”

After slaying the audience with the song live on Ellen in April 2019, Teyana was surprised on-air when Ellen presented her with the RIAA gold award plaque for “Gonna Love Me,” bringing it all full circle.

About TEYANA TAYLOR:

Being a jack of trades has enabled Teyana Taylor to become a master of all. From her smoky melodic vocals to her dynamic dance moves, the R&B superstar entertainer dips in dives between her talents as singer, songwriter, producer, director, dancer/choreographer, actor, fitness guru, model, and mother. When it comes to describing herself, the Harlem native can only think of one word: Everything.

“I literally can do everything. I never look at anything as being impossible,” she explains. “I exhaust all options to make what happen when I need to make happen.” Her mantra made her an early favorite to artists like Pharrell, who she signed her first deal with, and later choreographed videos for artists like Beyoncé and Jay-Z. In 2014, Teyana’s love for the arts and R&B earned her the title of the first woman signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music imprint.

Between R&B’s identity crisis in the 2010s, Teyana dropped her debut album VII, with tracks like “Maybe” (featuring Yo Gotti and Pusha T) and the sultry “Just Different” shaping her musical persona. The critically acclaimed album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart in 2014, cementing her position in today’s modern R&B field. “I fought for that raw, hood necessary R&B and now I feel like it’s better than ever,” she says.

Ocaso Festival, Costa Rica, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

OCASO 2020

“Be prepared to be teleported into a quantum realm of whimsicality.”360 MAGAZINE

By Vaughn Lowery × Sam Berman

At the peak of the year, music, beats and dancing brought together a crowd of 10,000 attendees to Costa Rica for 2020’s Ocaso Underground Music Festival – the world’s largest rave in the jungle. Even the leatherback turtles, howling monkeys and crocodiles were head bobbing.

The Ocaso Underground Music Festival, which engaged on January 9th – 13th, united travelers, ticos and seasoned ravers alike to Tamarindo, Costa Rica, off the coast of the Pacific Ocean for five days of electronic music bliss. The jubilee was established by founder Devin Ellis in 2018; and it just culminated its fourth semester, with plans to return in January 2021, proving a successful run for one of the most emerging EDM festivals on the planet. 

What makes this carnival so sui generis, aside from a stellar bill of DJs including Maceo Plex, Äme, Doc Martin, Justin Martin, Magdalena, Shiba San, Seth Troxler and Artba, might just be the visually striking and lushful setting of CR. The grounds, known as the Lesenda Retreat, centers around a trilithic stage composed of metal trusses for performers, complete with a towering geometric visual screen synchronized to the music, pulsating lasers, fog machines, pyrotechnics and go-go dancers. Apart from hypnotizing technical components conjured up by architectural wizards, the surrounding landscape and warm weather provided a tranquil atmosphere to enjoy the fiesta in, enhanced by art installations sprinkled throughout, providing a truly remarkable habitat. 

Let’s talk about the sound! Imagine being at the On The Run II tour with Beyoncé and Jay-Z, state-of-the-art subwoofers and tweeters pinging throughout the venue, delivering clean and crisp vibrant instrumentation. Of course, this added fan excitement to every set.

Viewers were able to use tokens for transportation, food and drinks, providing added security from petty theft and loose cash. Overall safety was key with tons of guards at every entrance alongside of roaming escorts. We all wore sparkly color-coded wristbands to identify our level of participation – GA vs VIP. Staff members wore official reflective tanks and shirts to be easily accessible.

A short 15 minute-bus drive on a vintage yellow school bus brought participants to the festivities. Guests were offered an assortment of carte du jour options to replenish their prance-exhausted bodies with a number of locally and globally known chefs preparing flatbread pizzas, gyros, keto bowls, tacos as well as protein shakes.

Saturday was the most distinctive night of the event, with people from all over the globe, dressed in their most eye-catching ensembles, echoing the avant-garde fashion of other fairs such as EDC, Ultra, Tomorrowland, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Coachella. Ocaso brought a parade of colors infused with futuristic and organic elements blended seamlessly into garbs straight out of an alien planet, welcoming and embracing all. 

The festival wrapped with a pool party at base camp, the Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas. After a five-day outer body experience of infectious dance music, a sort of culinary delights, cozy lodging options, and the beautiful backdrop of the rugged rainforested, Central America, this is one masquerade which many should add to their list. 

Missed out on the fun this year? Don’t fret, as the festival plans to return the weekend of January 7-11, 2021. Ticketing packages from this past year ranged from $19.00 to $59.00 for single day passes, a two-day Friday and Saturday pass for $89.00 and a 5-day-full-weekend pass for $119.00, a great deal for those who can’t get enough from just one night. So ravers, start planning your next vacation, because this is an experience any party animal should dive into. 

For additional information visit Ocaso Festival.

Local Guide

Besides the #RaveInTheJungle, The city of Tamarindo itself possesses a plethora of thrilling activities: ziplining, horseback rides on volcanic trails; ATV tours; surfing and dolphin-watching sailing tours.

If you are seeking additional dining/nightlife options outside of the fête, be sure to check out the following:

Pacifico Club (http://www.pacifico-costarica.com/beach-club/), Sharky’s Bar (http://sharkysbars.com/), Long Board BBQ, Chinese Food (directly across from Vista Villas) and Bamboo Sushi Club.

Just down the road was the luxurious Tamarindo Diria hotel, which features a lobby side pool/hot tub, an array of cabanas with an outside bar/dining deck as well as private beach access to make any jovial attendants experience an unforgettable rave-cation.