At Burning Man this year, an almighty force glided across the playa with a glowing presence that instantly caught the gaze of onlookers in every direction. Its electrifying lighting and lasers projected themselves like missiles through the Nevada night, and the immersive sound system rattled the frame of anyone within earshot. The Mayan Warrior made it clear that it was the next art car on the block to catch the attention of the public; both at Burning Man and well beyond.
While it wasn’t the Mayan Warrior’s first rodeo, or more literally first time trekking all the way from its native Mexico City to Black Rock City, it was the first time that the majestic beast had become such a talking point both on the Internet and in every conversation after Burning Man––at least for me!
Originally painted by the legendary Alex Grey and created by Pablo González Vargas with the purpose of illuminating the culture of Mexico wherever it may travel, the art car has continued to shine brighter each year with millions of dollars worth of structural improvements to make its lights, lasers, and sound systems stand out amongst even the most stunning of creations on the playa.
While some decompress after Burning Man, the Mayan Warrior once again made the long trek back south across the border. This time though, in preparation for an event much closer to its hometown of Mexico City. To ring in the weekend immediately before Dia de los Muertos, the Mayan Warrior will now journey west to the secluded beaches of Costa Careyes for a debut event by the name of Ondalinda.
With only nine announced artists on their lineup, it’s clear that they weren’t looking to blow the world away just by their musical guests; although the combination of the Mayan Warrior with names like HVOB, Sabo, BLOND:ISH, Audiofly, NU, Mendrix, and LUM on a breathtaking beach already has a nice ring to it.
What the event does promise goes well beyond their lineup and extends into a celebration of all things Mexico: culture, music, food, art, rituals, and the very people themselves. Most importantly, the event hopes to give back to the area that it inhibits. A portion of the net profits from the event will be donated to the local Huichol tribe to preserve their land, but they won’t just be watching from a distance.
At Ondalinda, the Huichol culture will be on display throughout the weekend with their art, movies, crafts, and key leaders becoming an integral part of the event, allowing those in attendance to leave the event with a dose of local history as opposed to a piercing hangover and concern regarding what you might have done last night.
For those less interested in music or even local culture who just want to escape the confines of their mundane everyday life, Ondalinda is set to be a weekend of both adventure and relaxation that will include scuba diving, kayaking, jungle yoga, ritual healing ceremonies, cocktail parties, ocean sunset ceremonies, traditional cuisine, and the chance to stay in either a castle, casita, or villa.
And with a description that can be summed up as an intimate getaway at a private beach front resort with only a few hundred guests on hand, you won’t have to worry about braving a jam packed and sweaty crowd while attempting to have a euphoric experience during your favorite artist.
So as Mexico's electronic scene continues to heat up, and with the Mayan Warrior peaking in popularity throughout the past few months, it seems like Ondalinda picked the perfect time to choose a destination like Costa Careyes for their debut edition. It’s a far cry from what you might expect at The BPM Festival, but that just might be what helps sets it apart.
It’s not the type of event that lovers of electronic lovers will drop everything to flock to with the dreams of seeing their favorite artists, at least not yet, but with a carefully curated selection of house and techno producers and the promise of serenity and culture, it’s safe to say that Ondalinda is carving out a niche in festival culture that will satisfy more than just avid music lovers.
And with a price tag that sits beyond the average range of most college students, and taking place well outside the time frame of spring break, Ondalinda might have just created the perfect Mexican vacation where you can actually come home more relaxed than when you arrived.
Tickets and more info on Ondalinda can be found here.