With beach-front yoga and mind-enriching seminars, to group runs and forest raves; these are the world’s best wellness festivals from which you’ll return rested and relaxed
Words Helen Brown
Since the Sixties, festivals have been synonymous with music, hedonistic excess and mud. The demand for this still exists, but it jostles for position amongst a new festival genre. The wellness revolution of this decade has brought with it a holistic alternative. Wellness festivals that help you recharge and re-enlighten while boosting your fitness. They offer the music and entertainment without the post-festival crash and week-long hangover. You’ll return home stronger in mind and body. Here’s our pick of the best.
Wanderlust, Various Locations
Wanderlust is the original mindfulness festival and boasts eight global annual events. Offerings include yoga of all styles and levels, paddle boarding, live music & DJ sets. Further to this is locally sourced sustainable food, inspiring lectures and workshops. As well as a wealth of meditation to be done and adventures to be had in the natural, rugged terrains.
North Lake Tahoe, 20th -23rd July | Snow Sue, West Virginia, 9th – 11th June | Stratton, Vermont, 22nd – 25th June | Whistler, 3rd August | Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, 24th – 27th August | Sunshine Coast, Queensland, 19th – 22nd October
Wilderness Festival is off the beaten-and-overly-commercialised track of traditional festivals. Start your day with 8am yoga and a group forest run, before cooling off with a wild swim in the lake. There’s a packed programme of music, theatre, arts and talks to get stuck into too. Food is another major aspect. HIX, Noble Rot and Petersham Nurseries have all made gastronomic appearances. Grace Jones, Two Door Cinema Club and First Aid Kit are headlining this year.
3rd – 6th August
Now in its second year, Obonjan is one of the newer kids on the wellness block. It’s a live music-wellness-culture fusion that runs the entire summer. That means you can check into the isolated 143-acre island oasis for as long as you want. Awake to sunrise yoga on the beach before meandering down to the bar jetty to unwind over a DJ set. A variety of healthy gourmet eateries are available, as well as a plethora of fitness classes in the Zen Den. Get to the amphitheater for headliners before settling in for the night in a safari-style Forest Lodge. If that’s not enough, the atmospheric Sound Sanctuary provides a further blissful escape. It offers massage, meditation and spa treatments.
23rd June – 3rd September
Further Future, Nevada
This lively music, art, tech and wellness fest sets up camp over 49 acres of land in the shadow of Sin City. It aims to educate, engage and transform. It’s the collective brainchild of Burning Man veterans, however very different. The exclusive offerings would have been frowned upon at their former festival. Last year Nobu offered a $250-a-head dinner on the opening night. There is additionally luxury high-spec accommodation, personal festival assistants and an accompanying app. A well-being schedule is curated by The Wellness Company. It includes the newest science and tech, award-winning fitness teachers and TED-style lectures. Entertainment comes in the form of a curated electronic and live music schedule.
29th April – 3rd May
Be:Fit Festival, London
Be:Fit is Europe’s largest women’s focus fitness festival and takes place at the Business Design Centre. It aims to create a space for like minded women to support and encourage one another in a healthy lifestyle. Be:Fit boasts a stellar line-up of motivational talks, treatments, workshops and demonstrations. Browse the shopping village filled with the top brands in the fitness industry and relax at the Be:FIT London yoga studio. As well as this, there are spin classes from Cycle Space and a Be:FIT braid bar. The Reebok Fitness Studio is returning too. It’s set to host classes from Equinox, Barry’s Bootcamp, BLOK London and PHIIT London.
28 – 30 April
Soul Circus, Cotswolds
Soul Circus is the definition of balance. Spend your days doing hot yoga, indulging in the spa and sipping on juice. For entertainment there are buskers, bands and a DJ afterparty in the woods. And nourishing grub comes courtesy of the local farmers of the Cotswolds. It’s not too virtuous though. There’s also gin tasting and after parties, so you can still do what comes naturally at festivals.
18th – 20th August