I just got back from attending the Art With Me festival in Tulum, Mexico for the second year in a row, and had the most amazing and inspiring weekend. It was incredible to witness how the festival has grown and evolved into its second year, and Im thrilled to share about my experience! Before I do, I have to say this is an event you should absolutely add to your travel calendar. I danced, ate delicious food, saw amazing art, explored jungle beaches and came back rejuvenated and inspired. If you haven’t been to Art With Me, here’s a recap of my experience.
Art With Me is an arts and culture festival located on the picturesque beaches of Tulum, Mexico. This year’s festival took place April 24 - 28 and cultivated intention and awareness through immersive art, consciousness and sustainability. 2019 marked the festival’s second year and it was amazing to see how it evolved and matured from it’s debut last year. Be sure to check my Art With Me Festival Guide, which dives deep into each of the facets that make the festival so unique and memorable.
With so many attractions at the festival, it’s hard not to have FOMO during the 4 days. That said, it’s impossible to see and do everything on the roster. The festival is spread across various participating venues in Tulum, so it can be tricky to hop around and see it all. Fortunately, whatever event you do pick will not disappoint as each one is unique and an experience in and of itself. Keep reading to see some of my favorites.
My Favorite Experiences From Art With Me 2019
Brunches At The Real Coconut
The Real Coconut is a restaurant located in the Sanará hotel. The entire menu is grain free, gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free, which is heaven for me and my dietary restrictions. Daniela Hunter, owner and creator of The Real Coconut, opened the restaurant to represent her personal health issues, and how food served as her medicine. I completely relate as food has been an integral component of my own health journey as well. All the food is absolutely delicious and so fresh! The relaxed ambiance, cool ocean breeze and views combined with the fresh food will leave you rejuvenated for the rest of your day. There was also different entertainment and performances each day which were incredible. The atmosphere was intoxicating, I couldn’t resist having brunch at The Real Coconut every day.
Gone Gone Beyond played a few times which is a new collab with the Human Experience and I seriously can’t stop listening to their album since seeing them live. They also had Bogdan play on Saturday and It was a magical sound to add to the food and atmosphere. The concluding Sunday brunch featured JC Ananda, who we got to catch for one last brunch before our flight back to LA.
You could argue that we were missing out on other local cuisine by going to The Real Coconut every day, but honestly the food was so nourishing and safe for my dietary restrictions that I couldn’t resist. Plus, the music and atmosphere was magical and different each day.
Eat With Me
Unfortunately, I felt like I really missed out on the Eat With Me component of the festival due to my severe gluten and chili allergies. My allergies make it pretty difficult to eat out as it’s not worth risking a reaction. That said, I enjoyed food at Gitano and Beso, and of course those fresh and delicious brunches at the Real Coconut, which were a perfect way for us to start the day and recover from the previous night’s shenanigans. Speaking of which, here were some of my favorite night events:
Bob Moses & Bedouin
Friday night’s highlight was Bob Moses and Bedouin at Caleta Tankah. The venue was great and right on the beach and the music was awesome. I have been wanting to catch Bob Moses live for awhile now and they did not disappoint. There was a great selection of vendors to shop around when you needed a break from dancing and I picked up a cute kimono wrap to wear the rest of the weekend.
Mardeleva at Habitas
Mardeleva with Data Garden at Habitatas was a mind blowing experience and perfect way to end to the festival on Saturday night. This was a performance you have to see to really believe and enjoy, but I will give you a brief overview of one of the most amazing performances I’ve ever seen.
The event began with an explanation of how they were able to connect to plants by picking up their biorhythms and translating them to sounds. Essentially, 4 plants were connected to electrodes and assigned to an instrument. Then the plants literally played music for us during a brief meditation. I have never experienced something so magical!
After the plants performed solo, Mardeleva and Data Garden played music late into the night, collaborating with various artists as they all jammed with the plants. The music was incredible and this was definitely something I am going to seek out back home in LA, (where Mardeleva is from and hosts events). If you get a chance to see them you definitely need to make it a priority and expect your mind to be blown.
Photo Credit - First 2 Images: Peter Ruprecht
It’s A Maze Ing
Attending Art With Me would not be complete without checking out as much of the art as you can. One of my favorite pieces was It’s A Maze Ing by David Graziano and Martin Russouki. From the outside you don’t know what to expect of the elaborate bamboo structure sitting on the beach in front of Ahau, but once inside you experience a strategic and interactive exhibit. You are greeted by various performers inside who challenge your mind and path through life.
At the end of the maze, you are rewarded with a 6 meter rotating bed where you get to experience a sound meditation with 300 ivy plants spiraling above you. You definitely felt something magical when you were lying in there, and couldn’t help but carry the buzz from the experience for the rest of the day.
Daniel Popper’s Urdhva Much Svanasana
This was Daniel Popper’s second year exhibiting at the festival. This year’s piece was beautiful and served as a grand entrance into the Beach Pavilion, a main hub for the festival where art and speakers gathered. The piece is meant to remind us to connect with nature, and it perfectly accentuated the picturesque and natural location. I was also happy to see Popper’s piece from last year, Ven A La Luz, made a come back and was placed on the main road for people to enjoy and experience.
As I mentioned, there were just so many things to do and see that it was impossible to attend everything. I was still able to enjoy and learn from the talks at the Beach Pavilion, which addressed health and sustainability. Additional events I really enjoyed were the Late Night Session at Casa Jaguar , Duchess at Aldea Zama on Thursday night, Crsto at Beso Beach Club on Friday, and of course wandering and exploring all the amazing art. Art With Me is such a culturally rich and interactive experience that you can’t help but naturally meet new people who were also there to learn and enjoy the art.
To Wrap Up
Bottom line: Art With Me did not disappoint! I had an absolutely incredible time and seriously recommend that you add Art With Me to your festival circuit next year. They do such a great job of weaving art, music, cuisine and sustainability all into one magical weekend in one of the most beautiful destinations on earth. I can’t wait to go back next year! Who’s coming with me?
Want To Know More About The Event?
You can learn more about Art With Me on their website and also make sure to check out my post All About Art With Me. See you there next year! Make sure to also check out my blog post of How To Get Lost In Tulum with all the must sees and do for your trip.
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