Everything you need to know about having a successful launch at the Rise Festival from someone who maybe-almost-kind-of didn’t have a perfect night at the coveted lantern ceremony. Could have been disastrous.
It was on Miya’s bucket list to cross off the Rise festival from her to do’s this year, which is I believe, one of the most breath taking and spiritual events you can ever partake in. So of course I told her to count me IN! Our Rise Festival took place about 32 miles northeast of Las Vegas in the middle of the desert and was the perfect setting for what would be one of the most intense visceral experiences either one of us had ever felt! You’ll see!
1. Have your tickets mailed to you – if this is an option do it. Will Call was 45 minutes away from the event and completely out of the way unless you were already staying in Vegas. It would’ve been MUCH easier if they’d made tickets available ON site, in alphabetical order … ya know, the same way they distributed the lanterns and mats. LOLZ
2. Fuel up before entering the site – the location is sooo in the middle of the desert that you should enter Moapa Travel Center into your GPS as it’s on the Moapa River Reservation. If you’re parking in the lot instead of using the shuttle system (those never seem to be the best option for me) than you’re not going to want to fill up at 11pm in the middle of nowhere.
3. Arrive early – The earlier the better I think. We arrived at Will Call around 3pm and then got to the event around 4:30pm, which made for PERFECT timing. We were able to grab a drink, take some awesome photos during the most spectacular sunset, order food from the food trucks BEFORE all hell broke loose, and write our intentions onto our lanterns while there was still light out.
4. Layer up and tote a bandana– Did I mention we were in the desert? lol Once the sun went down it was actually kind of chilly and windy out. Layers will keep you warm and a bandana of some sort will keep the sand out of your nose. We were blowing chimneys out of our nostrils when we got back to our hotel later that night.
5. TO LIGHT THE LANTERN – the most important part right! To Actually getting your lantern to rise and be with the 10,000 others! So thankfully they passed out an extra lantern to all of the participants as we only purchased one lantern each. Well the wind decided to pick up JUST as we lit our torches, and as I lit the fuel cell, the flame burned holes throughout my lantern making the first two attempts a big fat fail. Also it was momentarily disastrous as lanterns flew by my head and flames zipped by my very heavily hair sprayed hair. But we ducked and dodged, and third time’s a charm! Here’s what we learned:
– You need someone to help you hold the lantern upright so that the lantern walls stay open and don’t collapse onto your flame. Preferably all of your friends (make this a whole group event!) will hold your lantern up right until the heat has filled the lantern and it’s ready to rise on its own.
– Light the fuel cell with the tiki torch until the entire fuel cell is on fire, this takes a few minutes. Pro top: remove the paper wrapper surrounding the fuel cell BEFORE lighting it on fire.
– Once the fuel cell is red with fire, as your friends hold up the walls of your lantern, slowly take your lantern towards the ground. This will help to keep the wind out of your way and allow the flame a chance to create enough heat to fill your lantern with hot air.
– Once you feel your lantern start to naturally tug away and lift from your light grips, slowly stand up and allow the lantern to release! Boom, you did it!
It only took me THREE tries to get my lantern to rise, but when it did, I legit cried. It was so moving, symbolic, and serene! To watch your lantern float away among thousandssss of other lanterns, lighting up the night sky, it was so surreal!
Oh, and they had a live band playing on stage … so imagine writing your hopes, dreams, and prayers onto this ‘intention lantern’ with thousands of other people, in the middle of the desert, enjoying the breeze, all WHILE being serenaded with beautiful music. Right?! Unbelievable.
I uploaded the video of my lantern and I (the ‘3rd one’s a charm’ one) and our festival moments onto my Instagram account if you want to experience it <333
P.S. oh and don’t bother waiting in the 183,821 person line to get your photo in front of the RISE sign. I mean you can if you’re into that kind of thing but Miya and I took ours behind the sign and didn’t have to wait for didly. Just tell people to mirror the image in their minds.
Have you ever heard of this kind of event? Have you been? Would you want to go? I hope this post was helpful if you do!