The 2015 Mojave Rise Festival...I Could Die...

You know those days where you think, "if I died today, I think I'd be okay with it." It's a day that is so incredibly fantastic and makes you feel so good about where you are in your life and who you are, that a giant meteor could fall from the sky right then and destroy all the human race and you would just think, "wow, what a pretty light."

Imagine that exact feeling but instead of just one gleaming flash, image 10,000 lights all around you, in all directions floating up into the night sky. You're with your best friends in the middle of the Nevada desert and despite that you just waited two hours in traffic and you are covered in red sand, EVERYTHING is perfect.


On October 10, 2015 at 35°47’33.4” N - 111°15’37.2” W all I was thinking was...

I could die.


At the initial lift-off of the lanterns, feelings are overwhelming and reactions don’t make much sense. Kate began crying, Amy’s fingers fell numb, and as for me; I just took off running. It’s hard to put something into words that words just can’t make sense of. It seems as the lanterns rise up, you’re feet lift off the ground with them. Whatever doubt or dismay you had about the world is vanished because in that moment nothing else exists besides the lights and the friends beside you.

My hope is for everyone to know what this feels like. I hope this makes you reminisce about the moments where you felt like you could die right then and there or recognize this feeling the next time something truly remarkable happens in your life. Life isn’t always sparkly and our problems don’t always vanish into the night sky, but it’s the few moments where we could just die that make life worth living.

If you’re reading this and looking through these pictures and thinking, “man I should have gone to this!” fear not my collegiette friends. The Rise Festival will be back next fall with two opportunities to see the gleaming lights in Mojave, Nevada and Phoenix, Arizona. For tickets and more information visit