In Photos: Genius Loci's Intimate Beach Fest in MexicoArticle by: Morena Duwe
Thu June 29, 2017 | 09:45 AM
In the small Mexican fishing village of Eréndira, a few hours south of Ensenada in Baja California, droves of cars bursting with camping gear lumbered through a meandering dirt road punctuated by jagged rocks. A mixture of surfers and festival-goers made the pilgrimage to Punta Cabras—an isolated beach only whispered about amongst the Southern California surfing community—for the five-day Genius Loci Fest . The small gathering lived up to its namesake—a Latin term for the prevailing spirit, energy and atmosphere of a place.
On the desert-kissed peninsula where bluff meets beach, Genius Loci celebrated its fifth year in existence through live music, art, yoga, surfing, dancing and other euphoric activities. Waves were peppered with the dark figures of wet-suited surfers and the beach was decorated by bocce-ballers, tapestry-loungers, kite-flyers and sand-dancers. The steady thump of house and techno kept the beach dwellers gyrating—even when the tide swallowed the beach and rolled up all the way to the stage—while just up the hill at the Main, Bass Music and Latin Beats stages incited unique dance moves from outlandish attendees.
With approximately 1,000 people in attendance, the vibe was intimate, the space was vast, and the dance floor was cozy. Shades of burgundy, butterscotch and sage green created an inimitable desert backdrop for yoga on the bluff, despite the sometimes blustery conditions. While there was nothing fancy about Genius Loci, unzipping your tent door and discovering an ocean sunset on the other side felt more indulgent than any VIP lounge. The spirit of this place most definitely prevailed.
Independently produced by Henry Pope and Eduardo Manilla (aka Loboman) along with a crew of friends from both sides of the border, this party was like a reunion for the Southern California underground festival family. Though its sandy terrain made trudging from car to camp to beach to stage a glute-strengthening endeavor, its wild and rugged location only added to its charm and those who endured the trek to Genius Loci Fest were worthy of its magic.
As the Genius Loci family continues to grow, Pope and Manilla are making efforts towards purchasing the land that hosts the festival. Though currently based in Los Angeles, Manilla is a Baja native who wants to preserve the majesty of Punta Cabras and care for it with a sustainable and conscious approach, ensuring the festival’s longevity.
Shot through the eye of photographer Miles Najera, the photos below capture the beauty of Genius Loci and its attendees more accurately than any words could.