By Zoe Bradbury
Festival season is fast approaching, but this year it doesn’t have to mean late nights, loud music and drug and alcohol hangovers.
With more and more young people concerned about health, fitness and finding their Zen, and the global wellness economy worth $4.2 trillion dollars in 2017, wellness festivals are set to become the next big thing.
They offer a different approach to the party scene, and with recent controversy in Australia on the safety of festivals and drug-taking that often occurs, wellness festivals are anything but the typical rave.
They’re a celebration all about finding true inner happiness. Similarly, they offer a break from stress, anxiety and mundane everyday routines. Above all, most don’t even allow alcohol or drugs on the premises.
Swap sweaty mosh pits for meditation workshops, long toilet lines for sunset yoga and vodka for kombucha.
Here are some amazing Wellness Festivals around the world that should be a priority this year.
Self-described as an “all-out celebration of mindful living,” Wanderlust has multiple festival locations around the world, including the United States, Canada, Chile, Australia and New Zealand.
Centred around yoga practice and connecting with the inner-self, Wanderlust is now in its 10th year, and its festival events range from four-day retreats to two-day urban escapes.
Yoga, inspirational speakers, live music and outdoor activities such as kayaking, horse riding, surfing and bike tours are just some of the typical goings-on at a Wanderlust festival.
The aim is always to “help you find your true north – to cultivate your best self,” says founder Sean Hoess.
Food vendors are local, sustainably sourced and not typical festival food. Therefore, many organic, healthy options are available.
In addition, Wanderlust also offers a separate event called Wanderlust 108 in urban areas worldwide. This consists of a “mindful triathlon,” which includes a 5km run, a 90-minute yoga class and guided meditation.
Prices vary based on location, for example:
Wanderlust Oahu, Hawaii, March 1-3 2019:
3-Day Wanderlust Ticket: $609 AUD
1-Day Wanderlust Ticket: $203 AUD
Includes 3 activities per day, one lecture per day, access to all music.
28th February – 3rd March, 2019
Situated in a beautiful location where the rainforest meets the sea, Envision Festival is a four-day spiritual yoga and arts festival just outside of Utivia, Costa Rica.
The festival is focused on eight pillars of wellness; permaculture, spirituality, movement, art, music, community, health and eco building.
As a result, Envision presents an array of activities that are aimed at meeting these pillars and bettering one’s self and their environment.
Performance artists, live music, yoga, keynote speakers and workshops on permaculture and herbal medicine are just some of the events on offer. Importantly, the festival is also an alcohol-free area.
“Village Witches” also make this wellness festival different. Specialists in natural healing, apothecary and energy work aim to liberate, heal and inspire those who are seeking guidance.
Additionally, Envision also places a strong emphasis on giving back to the community of Ranch La Merced, the national wildlife reserve which has hosted the festival for five years.
In previous years, the festival has organised donations to help build water supplies, fund youth and educational centres for the community, and provide funds to build a new police station and improve schools.
The event is a “leave no trace” initiative, meaning once the festival is over, all rubbish, materials and supplies must be removed from the natural habitation, leaving the site in its beautiful, natural state.
Accommodation also makes this wellness festival stand out, with lodging including on-site tents located in the rainforest, VIP cabanas with private bar, and even unique two-storey treehouses.
General 4-day admission: $485 AUD
VIP 4-day admission: $963 AUD
16th February 2019
Soul Star Holistic Health festival in Melbourne is one of Australia’s only dedicated Wellness festivals this year.
The one-day event encourages people to “float between sessions”, including yoga, meditation, Qi Gong, sound healings and full moon ceremonies. There will also be talks from wellness industry experts in their field, such as nutrition, stress, and astrology.
Some of the other scheduled talk topics include “your astrological DNA and the current cosmic climate” and “heart open, love forward”.
With a large focus on energy healing, Soul Star offers a live group healing session and Q&A with renowned energy healer Charlie Goldsmith, star of the American documentary series The Healer. As such, this is Goldsmith’s only group healing event.
Wellness inspired stalls will also allow attendees to purchase crystals, vegan products, natural therapies and health food products.
One day ticket – $53.06
10-12 May 2019
Balance is a Wellness festival situated in east London’s Truman Brewery, and it exhibits what’s currently trending in the wellness industry.
A three-day event, Balance offers fitness classes and events from well-known companies, with more than 150 cutting-edge workout programmes from the likes of Barry’s Bootcamp, F45, BOOM Cycle and Triyoga.
After attendees have sweated it out, they can then watch Live Cooking demonstrations and listen to lectures from industry experts including nutritionists, world-class chefs, trainers, and yoga instructors.
Additionally, for fuel, attendees can expect healthy and fresh options from The Market. Protein shakes, filling salads and fresh juices are regular menu items.
There is also athleisure on display and available to buy from reputable active wear brands, consequently making this a complete fitness event.
10-12 May 2019, Old Truman, London
Standard admission, five-hour access period: $40.68 AUD
VIP admission, one day access: $81.35 AUD
Weekend VIP, two-day access: $153.67 AUD
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