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Ireland Baldwin, Janel Parrish, and 23,000 others attend the RiSE lantern and music festival

Rise: Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.) defines it as ‘moving upward’ or ‘to become higher’. 

Ireland Baldwin, Dylan Efron, Janel Parrish, Scheana Shay and over 23,000 others (including Daily Mail’s Style Director, Pandora Amoratis) gathered in the Mojave Desert about 25 miles south of Las Vegas this past weekend to do just that.

The RiSE Festival is an annual event that brings people of all ethnicities and backgrounds together for the purpose of healing, growing and making lasting memories through the fire and lantern releasing ritual. 

The RiSE Festival is an annual event that brings people of all ethnicities and backgrounds together for the purpose of healing, growing and making lasting memories through the fire and lantern releasing ritual

Each guest receives a stationary light torch and paper lanterns that will be released into the desert as day transitions into night, along with hand written wishes or thoughts that no longer serve them and that they hope to release.

While the scene of thousands of paper lanterns filling the night sky is breathtaking, the sounds of the festival contribute to its magic. 

This year’s impressive lineup included Emmit Fenn, Magic Giant, JP Saxe, Meridian and DJ Ascension.

Moving. Beautiful. Incredible. Words fall short for this life changing experience but we will try.

'Rise was an incredibly beautiful and freeing experience,' said Ireland Baldwin. 'I didn’t really know what to expect and the photos from previous years didn’t do it any justice. I can’t wait to go again'

‘Rise was an incredibly beautiful and freeing experience,’ said Ireland Baldwin. ‘I didn’t really know what to expect and the photos from previous years didn’t do it any justice. I can’t wait to go again’

This year's impressive lineup included Magic Giant, JP Saxe, Emmit Fenn, Meridian and DJ Ascension

This year’s impressive lineup included Magic Giant, JP Saxe, Emmit Fenn, Meridian and DJ Ascension 

The power of letting go

‘When an emotion goes unexpressed, it gets stuck and that can lead to suffering, said the evening’s MC and full-time yoga instructor, Vance Vlasek. 

‘This festival is a beautiful outlet. It makes people aware of their emotions, and emotional intelligence is a high form of intelligence; it can help raise not only individual vibrations but group vibrations.’ 

Upon entering the desert venue, attendees receive a mat to sit on, three paper lanterns and markers to decorate the lanterns as they choose.

When the sun set, we were given step-by-step instructions on how to safely light the lanterns before releasing them. 

There is safe retrieval of these wish vessels after the event, further encouraging the collective world view of connecting and caring for one another and our precious surroundings.

'This festival is a beautiful outlet. It makes people aware of their emotions, and emotional intelligence is a high form of intelligence; it can help raise not only individual vibrations but group vibrations,' said full-time yoga instructor and the evening's MC Vance Vlasek

‘This festival is a beautiful outlet. It makes people aware of their emotions, and emotional intelligence is a high form of intelligence; it can help raise not only individual vibrations but group vibrations,’ said full-time yoga instructor and the evening’s MC Vance Vlasek

One of the releases was timed to JP Saxe’s Grammy-nominated song (written with Julia Michaels) “If The World Was Ending.” 

‘It seemed like the right choice for that moment because of that, “The sky’d be falling and I’d hold you tight” line in it,’ shared the singer. 

‘I’ve heard so many stories about how that song has integrated itself into life in special ways.

‘I try and not just own the emotions I want to have in my songs, but also the emotions I don’t, because if I can find some beauty in the painful parts of my emotions and then put them into a song that maybe it will allow someone else to do the same.’  

A safe place to be vulnerable, Emmit Fenn and Julien Altman performed multiple songs from their latest album Far From Here, a beautiful piece of work about heartbreak and healing. 

One of the releases was timed to JP Saxe's Grammy-nominated song (written with Julia Michaels) “If The World Was Ending.” 'It seemed like the right choice for that moment because of that, "The sky'd be falling and I'd hold you tight" line in it,' shared the singer

One of the releases was timed to JP Saxe’s Grammy-nominated song (written with Julia Michaels) “If The World Was Ending.” ‘It seemed like the right choice for that moment because of that, “The sky’d be falling and I’d hold you tight” line in it,’ shared the singer

A safe place to be vulnerable, Emmit Fenn and Julien Altman performed multiple songs from their latest album Far From Here, a beautiful piece of work about heartbreak and healing

A safe place to be vulnerable, Emmit Fenn and Julien Altman performed multiple songs from their latest album Far From Here, a beautiful piece of work about heartbreak and healing

Create a supportive environment to grow

And while the stereotype about a desert landscape is that it’s barren and often without life, the open-air grounds at RiSE were full of joy and Instagram-worthy moments.

From a large swing to a mirror installation sponsored by The Big Leap on FOX designed to give an all-at-once view of what’s ahead of and behind you, attendees could totally immerse themselves within the art and performances, while taking a few pics.

Delicious food and beverage options were available at the dining and market area from The Happiest Hour, Michelob Ultra, Revelshine Wines and Rain Water.

During the day Magic Giant, Meridian and DJ Ascension elevated the crowd with upbeat tunes, while JP Saxe and Emmit Fenn set the tone when the sun went down with heartfelt songs like “25 In Barcelona” and “Closer To You”, respectively.  

And while the stereotype about a desert landscape is that it's barren and often without life, the open-air grounds at RiSE were full of joy and Instagram-worthy moments

And while the stereotype about a desert landscape is that it’s barren and often without life, the open-air grounds at RiSE were full of joy and Instagram-worthy moments

A mirror installation sponsored by The Big Leap on FOX designed to give an all-at-once view of what's ahead of and behind you was on site

A mirror installation sponsored by The Big Leap on FOX designed to give an all-at-once view of what’s ahead of and behind you was on site

You’re the main character in your life

But even with all the activity and musical acts, ‘the people are the stars of this show,’ said Vance. ‘They are showing their light, LITERALLY.

Emmit Fenn’s violinist Julien Altman agreed saying, ‘It’s not about us.’ 

‘We are just providing a soundtrack to their letting go, to their release, we’re accompanying their experience.’ 

‘I love how everyone is spread out doing their own thing, in their own worlds, thinking about their lanterns. We’re important but we’re not the focus.’ 

During the day Magic Giant, Meridian and DJ Ascension elevated the crowd with upbeat tunes, while JP Saxe and Emmit Fenn set the tone when the sun went down with heartfelt songs like “25 In Barcelona” and “Closer To You”, respectively

During the day Magic Giant, Meridian and DJ Ascension elevated the crowd with upbeat tunes, while JP Saxe and Emmit Fenn set the tone when the sun went down with heartfelt songs like “25 In Barcelona” and “Closer To You”, respectively

‘It’s special to be at a music festival that isn’t as much about the music as it is about everyone’s individual experience,’ said JP Saxe.

‘I think the best part about it was talking to people after and just seeing how many individual, special moments everyone was having.’   

While the attendees were the players, the music set the scene.

Zang from Magic Giant added: ‘Music has always been a soundtrack to help you feel things, whether it be in a movie when it guides an audience to feel a certain way, it’s made to do that.’ 

'It's special to be at a music festival that isn't as much about the music as it is about everyone's individual experience,' said JP Saxe

‘It’s special to be at a music festival that isn’t as much about the music as it is about everyone’s individual experience,’ said JP Saxe

A mirror installation sponsored by The Big Leap on FOX designed to give an all-at-once view of what's ahead of and behind you was on site

A mirror installation sponsored by The Big Leap on FOX designed to give an all-at-once view of what’s ahead of and behind you was on site

Evolve or repeat

We repeat what we don’t repair.

‘This festival is a catalyst for growth and change,’ said Magic Giant’s guitarist, Zang.

‘You write your intentions down and they are usually things that you want to release and let go of, whether it be things weighing you down, or pain that you’ve been feeling all year, or just memories of loss. 

‘You feel the weight lift as you let go of these lanterns, it’s sort of like a rising of your spirit and a letting go of all the negativity and things holding you down.’

“A Little Bit Yours,” a heart-wrenching song about trying to get over someone, was another hit JP Saxe performed. 

‘That was one of the last songs I wrote about a relationship I was in before I figured out how to reach forward and not back. It’s the last song of that era of my life.’ 

'This festival is a catalyst for growth and change,' said Magic Giant’s guitarist, Zang

‘This festival is a catalyst for growth and change,’ said Magic Giant’s guitarist, Zang

The people are the stars of the show

The RiSE festival takes place every October

But even with all the activity and musical acts, ‘the people are the stars of this show,’ said Vance. ‘They are showing their light, LITERALLY

Going through the global pandemic, now more than ever is the time to believe that this situation, the darkness and turning inward we all find ourselves facing will end soon. 

And the time we’ve had to reflect can elevate us and bring us to a better place within and without so we can move forward in unity and rise beyond what is temporarily keeping us down.

‘One of the best things that yoga has taught me is that the darkness is the fertilizer for the light, the fertilizer for growth,’ shared yoga guru Vance. 

‘Even though it might not feel like we’re rising right now, I feel like this is going to be a big level up in consciousness.

‘To be able to get in touch with something that means a lot to you with the lanterns, this is a really important practice for people to elevate their state of being and that’s what this whole entire festival is.’

Delicious food and beverage options were available at the dining and market area from The Happiest Hour, Michelob Ultra, Revelshine Wines and Rain Water

Delicious food and beverage options were available at the dining and market area from The Happiest Hour, Michelob Ultra, Revelshine Wines and Rain Water

Dylan Efron

Scheana Shay

Dylan Efron, Janel Parrish, Scheana Shay and over 23,000 others gathered in the Mojave Desert about 25 miles south of Las Vegas this past weekend 

'It's a place of calm where everyone can connect, and it's grown into this space where people come for so many different intentions, shared Dan Hill

‘It’s a place of calm where everyone can connect, and it’s grown into this space where people come for so many different intentions, shared Dan Hill

Honor Thy Mother  

Devoted to good intention, the festival’s founders are very conscious about all aspects of the event, including the lanterns. 

‘They took about a year for us to develop and engineer so that they wouldn’t fly too far,’ shared co-founder Dan Hill.

The festival’s commitment to wellness continues after the release with their ‘Leave No Trace’ policy.

To keep the Mojave Desert beautiful, all lanterns are 100% biodegradable and are picked up by the RiSE team at the end of the weekend.

Representatives from Subaru’s Leave No Trace traveling team, Haley Toy and Gary Huey, were on hand to provide educational resources to people on how they can minimize their impact.   

‘It was huge for us to do this event and talk to people about tangible ways they can leave no trace and take care of the environment in their daily lives,’ said Gary.

Haley added: ‘The festival already has so many things that they are doing, it’s just a matter of educating the people. When they see that something they are paying money to go to is making those efforts, they’re more inclined to make them themselves.’

'It's a place of calm where everyone can connect, and it's grown into this space where people come for so many different intentions, shared the festival's co-founder Dan Hill

‘It’s a place of calm where everyone can connect, and it’s grown into this space where people come for so many different intentions, shared the festival’s co-founder Dan Hill

Love is the answer

‘Love is the most important thing, it is constantly what we are seeking for as people,’ Vance said. 

Magic Giant’s front man, Austin Bisnow, used his lanterns to grant wishes for others.

‘I wrote a bunch of peoples names and for each one I said a prayer to myself and what I wanted for them and then I released it, shared the singer. ‘I thought now its out of my control, whatever happens, happens.’  

Whether you were on stage or in the crowd, the feeling of love and acceptance without judgement was all around at RiSE.

‘People are being honest with their emotions and writing heartful messages on their lantern,’ shared Kyle Marshall of Meridian. 

Everett Pearson of Meridian added: ‘It’s a very unique music festival, playing music for people and connecting with people is the whole point.’ 

Magic Giant's front man, Austin Bisnow, used his lanterns to grant wishes for others. 'I wrote a bunch of peoples names and for each one I said a prayer to myself and what I wanted for them and then I released it, shared the singer'

Magic Giant’s front man, Austin Bisnow, used his lanterns to grant wishes for others. ‘I wrote a bunch of peoples names and for each one I said a prayer to myself and what I wanted for them and then I released it, shared the singer’

The festival's commitment to wellness continues after the event with their 'Leave No Trace' policy

The festival’s commitment to wellness continues after the event with their ‘Leave No Trace’ policy

‘It’s a place of calm where everyone can connect, and it’s grown into this space where people come for so many different intentions, shared Dan Hill.

‘We want it to attract a lot of different tribes so that people are really coming together from a positive. I’ve been to many beautiful festivals but I’ve never been to one that feels so calm and so truly accepting.’

Perhaps the evening’s MC expressed this sentiment best when he took to the mic to say: “I love you. You might not know me or understand why I’m saying that. You might question it because I don’t know you, but people hate people all the time for no reason so if they can hate for no reason, I can love for no reason, so I love you.” 

We love you, too.  

Information on next year’s RiSE festival can be found on their website or Instagram. 

For tour dates and live music events go to JP Saxe, Emmit Fenn, Magic Giant, Meridian and DJ Ascension.  



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk