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This Event Lights Up the Sky, Gets You Dancing, and Allows You to Reflect

Written By: Ashley Sands
Photography Provided By: RiSE Festival Las Vegas

RiSE came to Las Vegas for a one-day live music event in early October. Thousands gathered 25 miles south of Las Vegas at the Jean Dry Lake Bed from 3:00 to 10:00 p.m. to participate in the world’s largest lantern release. Festivalgoers conversed and danced in the Mojave Desert before the big community release. 

Upon entering the festival, each participant received two lanterns, a marker and a sitting mat. People then took time to write messages on their lamps—to honor loved ones and let go of old beliefs. When the sun went down and the wind ceased, the announcer prepared the group for the lantern release. Participants ignited the lanterns and waited for the countdown. In one community release, lights floated into the night sky, giving voice to each person’s hopes and dreams. 

RiSE chose artists to create a space for movement and celebration. The event began with Agina, a recording artist since age 10, followed by the EXES, a dynamic duo that met in college. 2019 Life is Beautiful performer Zack Gray continued the festivities, and Australian singer-songwriter Ry X prepared the crowd for the lantern release. The food selection was also awe-worthy. From Jamaican to Italian, the food trucks had it all. For those not in the mood for a meal, fresh fruit, trail mix and cookies were available, along with ABK Beer and Ketel One mint-infused lemonade.

If you’re concerned for the environment, you can rest easy, since RiSE’s mantra is, “Leave it better than we found it.” They use lanterns with a short burn and flight time, so they biodegrade. Volunteers collect trash and recover lanterns after the event. RiSE purchases carbon offsets for every vehicle included in the setup and cleanup of the festival. They also encourage participants to purchase carbon offsets for their travel to and from the event.

Individuals from all backgrounds came together for a festival focused on bringing light to darkness. RiSE unites people in a live music event concluding with the biggest lantern release in the world. Attend RiSE 2020 next October to experience a collective letting-go amongst a community celebrating light and love. RiSE Festival Las Vegas