Pitaya Fest is back Feb. 11

Local fun-in-the-sun music and sustainability festival in its four year

Entering its fourth year as Nicaragua’s premiere music and sustainability festival– the only of its kind–this year’s Earthship Pitaya Festival returns to El Carizal, San Juan del Sur on Feb. 11, bringing romping and raging, fun-in-the-sun, and full moon festivities for locals and tourists of all ages.

At the site of the Earthship, locally known as Casa Llanta, the “Pitaya Fest” will transform the community of El Carizal into a rock n’ roll haven complete with a massive main stage, a piñata party for the kids, a Toña tent for adults, and a food court of local cuisine for all.

With the hope of increasing environmental awareness, the festival will take place at the site of a completely off-grid and sustainable home called an Earthship. The Earthship is constructed out of recycled cans, bottles and tires filled with pounded earth. Solar panels collect the sun’s natural energy which is stored and used to power all electrical within the home. Rain water catchment systems take advantage of Nicaragua’s high quantity of rainfall by keeping it in large cisterns while water reclamation systems process used water and transport it to green houses filled with fruit trees and vegetable gardens. It is from this marvel of a structure that the festival attributes its name and inspiration for celebrating sustainability.

On the eve of the festival, a Quiksilver sponsored surf competition will be held just 6.5 kilometers south of San Juan del Sur at Playa Hermosa on Friday, Feb. 10. The beach will be open to the public and there will be food and drinks available until sunset. Competitors and spectators are welcome. Stay tuned for more information on transportation to the beach.

The main musical event will kick off on the Martin Guitar main stage at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11. Kids of all ages should come early for face-painting, games and the infamous giant piñata party.

When the sun sets on Saturday, the music will heat up on the main stage. Don Bigote y Los Pobrecitos will get you dancing with an eclectic mix of Classic Rock, Nicaraguan folk and a touch of blues flavor. Octopi, a Costa Rican reggaerock band will be bringing good vibrations from down south.

“424”, recently nominated as MTV’s “Best Band from Costa Rica, 2010” will be returning to the stage to turn up the volume and vibe of the crowd. The international multi-media collective CosMuSart is also back again at this year’s Pitaya Festival. In 2011, the collective wow-ed festival-goers with a mesmerizing shamanic masked theater piece that worshiped the power of the full moon during which the festival took place.

The on-stage ritual ceremony was followed by a psy-tribal electronic music set by the collective’s co-founder, DJ Tamara Montenegro.This year, CosMuSart is putting together a synchronistic Audio-Visual show where sound and image become attuned to one synesthetic experience. Combining these with scientific principles and technology, these cosmusartian cats roll with one main purpose: to stimulate higher states of consciousness through the power of sound and image.

The minimum entry donation at the festival is $5 USD. Proceeds from festival donations will go toward the Casa Llanta Fund.

The Casa Llanta Fund helped fund the construction of the local pre-school in El Carizal and initiated the successful women’s co-op locally known as Condimentos del Carizal. It hosts weekly English Classes at the Escuela Carlos Guzman in El Carizal and supports the ongoing needs of the local school. In addition, the Casa Llanta Fund supports the continuing operation and development of San Juan del Sur’s Los Pipitos special needs school

At the music event there will be Toña and Flor de Caña tents serving up ice-cold beverages and a food court filled with an array of local specialty foods so be sure to come hungry and plan to eat while enjoying live tunes. Thanks to Pitaya+, we’ll even have special pitaya cocktails and drinks for the kids.

The Pitaya Festival is committed to increasing environmental awareness and ensuring the festival is as green as possible! We encourage all festival-goers to reduce the carbon footprint of the festival by using our festival shuttle transportation from Pau Hana, San Juan del Sur’s only Hawaiian restaurant on the main beach road. We also encourage using refillable water bottles and pitaya pink reusable festival cups (sold at the event) instead of wasteful plastic bottles.

Villas de Palermo will be hosting pre-festival Happy Hours featuring live music on the Wednesday and Friday prior to the festival.

For more detailed information on the performing artists, concert schedule, shuttles and volunteering, please visit the festival website at : earthshippitayafestival.com.

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