Among the Revellers at Ondalinda, Burning Man’s More Exclusive Cousin

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Conferences are connected the wane these days. CES? Scaled back. Davos? Deferred. Where’s a moneyed nonrecreational successful request of camaraderie to go? Filippo Brignone, a subordinate of the founding household of Costa Careyes, a gated assemblage successful the Mexican authorities of Jalisco, thinks that “the web of Careyes” whitethorn beryllium capable to service arsenic a substitute. Every year, Careyes hosts Ondalinda, a five-day festival. The taxable of the astir caller variation was mycelium, the fuzz of fungal threads done which plants purportedly communicate. “Nature’s Internet,” a pre-festival selling email called it, linking to a dress-code temper board.

“We get compared to Burning Man, but we didn’t privation Ondalinda to beryllium that,” Brignone said, seated successful the palapa of his Pacific-front home. He wore flip-flops, a Schaffhausen watch, and respective beaded chakra bracelets; his graying hairsbreadth was slicked back. “We person unthinkable houses,” helium went on. When the festival was new, successful 2016, “we were getting calls, like, ‘Can I spot a photograph of the bathroom?’ ‘Can I spot a photograph of the toilet?’ Now it’s ‘Please, tin I person a house, immoderate house—whatever you have?’ ”

In 1968, Brignone’s father, Gian Franco, an Italian real-estate developer, bought the 20 1000 acres aft seeing them from a plane. “It was rather deserted,” Brignone said. “Not bully for agriculture.” But cleanable for cliff-top villas with screening rooms and infinity pools. Gian Franco, erstwhile mounting up his community, which helium envisioned arsenic “a small Positano,” sold lone to buyers who met his twenty-seven criteria. (“24. To person faced superior fiscal problems. 25. To person a consciousness of humor.”) Heidi Klum and Seal utilized to ain a location there; Cindy Crawford, Mick Jagger, and Uma Thurman person passed through.

“At 1 time, my begetter didn’t privation immoderate Americans,” Brignone said. “You privation radical who person a definite level of consciousness.” He has described the close benignant of radical arsenic “not funny successful watches and cars” but seeking “something that helps them.” In 2011, Lulu Luchaire, a Parisian looking for respite from her occupation helping pb Apple’s planetary retail strategy, heard astir the place. Five years later, she and Brignone started Ondalinda, which translates to “beautiful wave,” and whose proceeds partially spell to payment section Indigenous communities. (Luchaire didn’t marque it to the mycelium festival due to the fact that of a green-card snafu.)

Seven 100 and 50 radical convened astatine Ondalinda successful November; antagonistic COVID tests were required. “There was a large statement astir if we were going to trial everybody again,” Brignone said. “It’s expensive.” (They did.) Among the offerings was a chocolate-fungi store with Parker Roe, who describes himself arsenic a “mushroom-and-plant-medicine merchandise designer.” Roe stood nether a ceiba histrion successful beforehand of an array of Bunsen burners and blenders, and addressed the class: “Now commencement weighing retired the ingredients with a scale.”

“Parker!” a pupil called. “If we were going to adhd psilocybin, however overmuch per barroom should we do?”

“Have you experimented with the medicine before?” Roe asked. He nodded. “O.K. I’ll fto you beryllium the judge.” Magic mushrooms were not included successful the workshop, to the dismay of immoderate attendees. “I didn’t wage eighty dollars to marque a mushroom-flavored cocoa bar,” a antheral successful a achromatic fedora said.

Other substances were plentiful. Erika Valero Tlazohtiani, a shaman successful a achromatic gown, told attendees, “Tobacco is simply a mode to speech with God.” She led a cacao ceremonial that progressive drinking ritualistically prepared blistery cocoa and taking a puff from a communal pipe. (Possible broadside effects: happiness, contentment.) “With this smoke, accidental convey you to your mothers,” Tlazohtiani said.

Less prescriptive: pop-up shops, disco naps, excavation parties astatine backstage villas. “I’ve been to Ibiza, Mykonos, Vegas,” a antheral with salt-and-pepper hairsbreadth and John Lennon sunglasses said, fractional submerged successful the excavation astatine Casa Selva (six bedrooms, live-in staff, thirty-one 100 dollars a night). “Nothing compares to this.”

“It feels safe,” a pistillate adjacent to him said. “You cognize there’s nary riffraff.”

Ticket prices, which don’t see lodging, commencement astatine eighteen 100 and 50 dollars. “We debar the procreation of twentysomethings who travel with the thought of a rave successful their heads,” Brignone said. “It’s affluent radical with an intelligence level. Artists, palmy businessmen—you know, sentiment leaders.” At 1 mycelium party, bass thumped crossed a polo tract illuminated by 10 1000 candles and towering neon mushroom puppets with red-rimmed eyes. L.E.D. lassos swirled.

“That’s a crazy-awesome outfit, adjacent if you’re not connected a batch of drugs,” a feline successful a glow-in-the-dark T-shirt said, watching a mates successful matching sequinned tie-dyed jumpsuits.

“It’s similar big recess connected crack, but each the kids connected the playground privation to play with you,” a philanthropist named Gillian Wynn—the girl of Steve Wynn—said. “It’s not an unsavory happening similar Las Vegas. There’s a wholesome component.” She added, “Everything is tasteful.”

Connections were made. A shirtless L.A. real-estate developer successful latex pants gestured astatine a antheral adjacent the ice-cream buffet. “I utilized to enactment with that feline astatine Morgan Stanley,” helium said. “He didn’t admit maine without my necktie on.” ♦

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