We don’t burn … we swym! Symbiosis is not another Burning Man pretending to be a music festival

Symbiosis Gathering 2015Written by Nik Crossman //

Symbiosis Gathering //
Woodward Reservoir – Oakdale, CA
September 17th-20th, 2015 //

As the “Burners” venture back to a reality absent of playa-dust bikinis and Mad Max gear, another breed of community-driven enthusiasts get ready for one of the world’s most unique music festivals: Symbiosis Gathering 10 Year Re:Union.

Since its inception in 2005, Symbiosis Gathering has brought together individuals from all over the world to celebrate the power of music, art and education. With humble beginnings that saw less than 1,000 people attend the festival, the enlightening success of the first Gathering set the stage for years to come. 2015 marks the 10-year Re:Union of The Gathering, and as co-producer Kevin KoChen explains, “Nobody is prepared to witness what happens. And when it does, it makes all the planning worth it.”

Symbiosis is not another music festival, and it’s not another Burning Man. Similar to Lightning in a Bottle (read our review of this year’s festival here) now based in Central California, it’s something in between. With community contributions from chocolatiers, astrologers and nutritionists as well as yogis hosting a variety of talks and workshops, The Gathering aims to educate just as much as entertain over four days at Oakdale’s Woodward Reservoir. Symbiosis, furthermore, intends to gather many facets of the counter-culture movement and provide a collective environment to foster symbiotic relationships among those who wouldn’t normally cross paths.

Beyond a stellar music lineup (pictured below) impressively influenced by international trends, Symbiosis offers a variety of shenanigans ranging from the popular shows like Tourettes Without Regrets and Chaos Karaoke to Kidzbiosis, which are focused workshops dedicated to children.

Alas, no music festival/Burning Man hybrid would be complete without the presence of some mind-blowing art installations. For its 10th year, The Gathering sets itself apart even more by leveraging the sandy beaches and cooling waters of Woodward Reservoir and introducing art boat installations. From stationary sculptures to human- and wind-powered cruising vessels to motor-powered ferries, the art boats at Symbiosis will be as diverse as the attendees. In the traditional “Contribute to the Community” mentality, The Gathering encourages everyone to build and bring their own art boat with them, presenting participants with an interactive, aquatic escapade not seen at any other music festival. It’s just another reason why Symbiosis is one of our eight California music festivals you won’t want to miss before the end of 2015.

Experience Passes are still available online for $280 and at participating ticket vendors. Festival walk-in camping is included and car camping passes are also available for purchase.

2015 Symbiosis Gathering lineup

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