Rise Festival – Thousand Lanterns In the Desert Sky

two attendee together release lantern at rise festivalRise Festival in the Mojave desert

Every year, thousands of people gather together to celebrate something different. Rise Festival celebrates in the Mojave desert, more specifically at the Moapa River Indian Reservation. This event is held at night where thousands of lanterns are ignited and light up the desert sky.

There are several Rise festival events but I attended the one in the Mojave desert, which is about 30 miles northeast of Las Vegas. The event gives you a unique opportunity to literally stand in a field of hopes and dreams that’s written on thousands of illuminated lanterns. This event occurs in October every year. This year in 2017, it will be on October 6th and 7th.

Getting to the location is fairly easy. If you are using google maps, simply input ‘moapa travel center’ and it will guide you to the correct spot. You’ll be parking on loose dirt so don’t be surprised if your car has a dirt ombre. Make sure to get there early because there will be a line that starts way before the highway exit. Of course, Rise Festival partners up with hotels in Las Vegas to provide cheaper hotels rates and shuttle service.

girl holds a lantern at rise festival in the mojave desertElevate hope. Ignite dreams. Create moments.

Yes, you read that right. This event fully promotes a positive and priceless experience that costs $89-$129 per ticket. It is a very social event so going with a group makes it that much more fun. Moreover, bringing a loved one or signficant other can lead to further bonding and strengthened feelings and goals. Each person receives a package that contains two lanterns, a marker, and a mat to sit on. The mat is reusable which is great. When the time comes, the MC will tell everyone to write their goals, dreams, purposes and/or prayers on the lanterns. Then, you’ll get the flame going and let the hot air accumulate inside the lantern. With enough hot air, the lantern will naturally rise. Just be careful if the winds are high. I’ve seen many lanterns become fireballs.

The only gripe I have for this event is this: The whole desert floor gets trashed! These lanterns rise but after a certain altitude and time, they must fall. I really do hope they have volunteers and workers who actively locate these lanterns and clean them off the desert floor. Will I attend another rise festival? Probably not.

couple kisses at rise festival in mojave desert

Items used at this event:

Camera: Sony A7Rii

Lens: Sony FE 16-35mm F4 OSS

Tripod: Sirui Carbon Fiber Tripod

Bag: Granite Gear

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