I used to love music festivals. The one place I felt truly at home. Where I could watch my most idolised bands, discover new ones, dance like crazy, sing at the top of my voice (apologies if you ever had the misfortune to be standing next to me!), meet likeminded people, and yes, get wasted.
Now that the appeal of getting out of my head has lost its shine I want more from my festival experiences.
These days I want to try new things – creative workshops, gong baths, perspective-changing talks, alternative therapies, delicious, wholesome food, as well as different styles of yoga and meditation, all with the chance to meet people with fresh outlooks.
And crucially I want to fully appreciate them in the moment, and be able to remember them afterwards!
I prefer the novel concept of leaving a festival feeling better than when I arrived, rather than needing to book days off work to recover.
So if that sounds like you too, here is a pretty exhaustive list of mind, body, and wellness festivals and events you might want to try in 2019.
Live Well London
1 – 3 March, Old Billingsgate, London, UK
Bringing together the latest in health, fitness and wellbeing, Live Well London is more of an expo where you can trial new fitness classes by celebrity trainers, listen to talks from wellness experts, try yoga and meditation, pick up diet tips in the Live Cooking and Nutrition Theatre, all while tasting, testing and shopping innovative products.
Agape Zoe Hamburg
13 – 15 April, Hamburg, Germany
Agápē means Love, and Zoé Life. The Agape Zoe Healing Arts Festivals are a tribute to life, the art of self-development and holistic healing. Experience two days of yoga, healing, mindfulness, bodywork, conscious breath, music, dance, philosophy, and concerts – with outstanding teachers, healers & visionaries.
Agape Zoe Berlin
18 – 19 May, Berlin, Germany
The EDEN dance studios & garden in Berlin transform into a colourful kaleidoscope of the good life with yoga, healing arts, mindfulness, bodywork, philosophy, dance and concerts from over 40 outstanding teachers, healers & visionaries.
24 – 26 May, Trefesa Farm, North Cornwall, UK
A new, small, but perfectly formed festival celebrating the very best of Cornish life. Adventure, feasting, wellness, music, talks, workshops, and family activities.
Mind Body Spirit Expo
24 – 27 May, Olympia London
1 – 3 November, Birmingham NEC
Mind Body Spirit Festival was the first exhibition in the world dedicated to the pursuit of healthier and more fulfilling lifestyles. This year they’re bringing life tips, tools and inspiration to London’s Olympia in May and Birmingham NEC in November. Expect motivational speakers, health food and holistic retreat exhibitors, plus a range of experiences to trial including wellbeing studios, spas and pop-up temples.
Yoga in the Alps
30 May – 10 June & 12 – 21 October, Gastein, Austria
Yoga on top of the world, against the awe-inspiring backdrop of the majestic Hohe Tauern mountain. Twice a year, in Spring and Autumn, you can take part in this, the largest yoga event in Europe. 40+ yoga teachers from Austria and Germany teach more than 300 yoga classes, and not just in yoga rooms – Experience yoga on the yoga platform at the waterfall, or on the summit of the Stubnerkogel with a view of the Hohe Tauern National Park. Stay in cute Alpine guesthouses, and create your own yoga & wellness itinerary.
Spirit of Nature Yoga Festival
6 – 9 June, Frankische Switzerland at Plankenfells
Yoga, meditation, singing, drumming, dancing, laughing, bonfires and love, out in the beautiful Franconian Switzerland countryside.
Namaste on the lake
7 – 10 June Wörthersee, Austria
Expect plenty of yoga mixed water-based activities such as Stand-up paddleboarding at this festival situated on the stunning lake Wörthersee.
Yoga & Sound Festival
20 – 23 June, Steinberger See, Bavaria, Germany
They may not have much coastline, but the Germans really know how to make the most of their lakes. Yoga & Sound Festival is based around the pretty Steinberger See and features 114 workshops, 52 yoga teachers and artists, 4 days of great music and fun for the whole family.
Yoga Festival Terschelling
27 – 30 June, Terschelling, Netherlands
Connect is the theme of this the 13th annual Terschelling festival based on the beautiful nature of Terschelling island, featuring 4 days of yoga, meditation, tantra, mindfulness. With plenty to keep both beginners and experienced yogis occupied, and musicians from all around the world.
Barcelona Yoga Conference
4 – 8 July, Barcelona, Spain
More of a conference than festival, the BYC welcomes participants of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of experience, and encourages all attendees to communicate, make genuine connections and practice as a community. During the conference visitors have access to many yoga styles, internationally-acclaimed yoga teachers, and free activities. They also get to immerse in music and dancing outdoors in the Escola del Sagrat Cor grounds.
11- – 15 July, Bergheider See, Germany
Feel, at Camp Carlowitz, in between Dresden and Berlin is a growing festival with a big reputation. Whilst it should be noted that there is still an electronic music angle to the event for visitors to dance away until the wee hours, there is also a large programme of creativity, yoga, body awareness and meditation workshops, hands-on activities and lectures on sustainability.
17 – 21 July, Somerset, UK
A joyful gathering of around 4,000 people, celebrating community and connection with the land. Song, dance, arts and crafts, yoga, live music, meditation and play blend together without drink or drugs to create a loving and life-affirming space. Buddhist teaching, workshops and ritual under sun and stars. The Festival is family-friendly and open to everyone.
World Yoga Festival
18 – 21 July, Reading, UK
An outstanding opportunity to learn from true yoga masters, the World Yoga Festival brings together a most revered collection of yoga, meditation and wisdom teachers. Four rejuvenating days incorporating yoga asana from many different lineages, pranayama, meditation, non-duality, Ayurveda, chanting, kirtan, wisdom talks and music concerts.
European Yoga Festival
27 July – 4 August, Mur de Sologne, France
Set in a beautiful chateau south of Orleans the European Yoga Festival brings together 2,000 people to practice Kundalini Yoga and other activities based on the teachings of Yogi Bhajan for 8 days – including 3 days of White Tantra Yoga. Expect a special Ayurvedic diet, inspirational workshops, music, singing, dancing and fun. Newcomers to yoga are also more than welcome.
1 – 4 August, Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, UK
Primarily a music festival, but Wilderness’ extensive wellness programme and nature-focused setting make it the perfect segue for those wanting to dip their toes in without giving up the big name live music acts completely. This year’s music headliners are Robyn, Bombay Bicycle Club and Groove Armada. Spend the daytime enjoying yoga, meditation, pilates, wellness talks and outdoor activities like wild swimming, archery and wild medicine walks. Then head to the stages or forest clearing dancefloors when the sun goes down.
14 – 19 August, RIU Pravets, Bulgaria
An all-inclusive yoga and music retreat set in four-star luxury. From the Main Stage to intimate workshops, celebrate yoga and mindfulness with some of the finest and most diverse yoga teachers & musicians. Drop into an invigorating vinyasa flow set to a live band, or take a more restorative class. Curate your own ideal yoga retreat experience from the diverse programme of activities available.
16 – 18 August, Stansted Park, Rowlands Castle, Hampshire, UK
Retreat meets festival in the grounds of an 18th century country house in Hampshire. Activities include yoga, outdoor spas, mindfulness workshops, dancing and paddle boarding. In the evenings unwind with acoustic music, kick things up a notch at a live DJ set, or simply relax and enjoy some of the wholesome foodie delights.
16 – 18 August, Elmore, Gloucestershire, UK
Held in the picturesque Cotswold hills of Elmore near Gloucester, Soul Circus pitches itself as the ‘definition of balance’. Spend your days trying various yoga types, from aerial to restorative, as well as other exercise classes such as barre and boxing. Then reward yourself with a wide selection of locally sourced, healthy food, live music and DJs, attend a workshop, or simply chill out in a lakeside hot tub. The gardens and woodlands make a beautiful backdrop for the festival’s many light shows and parties, which run late into the night.
15 – 18 August, Brecon Beacons, Wales
Ultra-zen hideout-come-retreat, Green Man Festival is a haven for nature lovers, explorers and health enthusiasts alike. Not only does it offer yoga and pilates, they have a dedicated Nature Nurture garden, a quiet corner tucked away in the Welsh countryside complete with gong baths, restorative hot tubs and Indian summer massages.
22 – 26 August, Bad Weinberg, Germany
Experience sound & silence, music, mantras, bhakti. Experience heart-opening, connection. Experience lifestyle. Experience yoga, talks, eco-vegan food, cooking shows, workshops, a Fairwear Marketplace and Community. Experience life. Experience Spirit. Experience YOU.
Yoga Festival Lake Constance • Summer Edition
5 – 8 September, Bodensee, Germany
Set on the stunning Lake Constance, enjoy a weekend of yoga, meditation, music, and dancing. With many well-known guest teachers and a diverse program: from Prana Flow to Yoga Dance, Thai Massage, Vinyasa Yoga, Acro Yoga to Kundalini Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Massages, Meditation, Yin Yoga, Fascia Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Laughter Yoga, Mantrayoga, Silent Walk at the lake and two big kirtan concerts in the evenings.
Mountain Yoga Festival
5 – 8 September, St. Anton, Austria
Yoga and nature lovers looking for a colorful mix of beginner to advanced yoga styles, mountain experiences, forest air bathing, music and talks should look no further. Set in the stunning Austrian Alps, this charming 4-day festival has everything on paper to leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
The Groove Festival
2019 dates TBC, Hamburg, Germany
Since 2014, the Groove has been celebrating movement, music and community in intimate gatherings around the world. Each unique event brings together international and local movement educators, musicians, artists, speakers and participants in a shared experience of connection.
Various dates and locations
2 June Munich; 23 June Hamburg; 21 July Vienna; 27 July London; 28 July Cologne; 11 August Berlin; 18 August Zurich; 7 September Frankfurt; 13-15 September Garmisch-Partenkirchen; 21 September Paris.
Wanderlust is a global movement of classes and events created to help community members cultivate their best self. They do this by gathering experts, practices and recipes for living a mindful and inspired life, through emphasis on their five pillars of promoting practice, fostering community, acting sustainably, doing good and raising awareness.
Do you know of any great mind, body, spirit and wellness festivals and events that should appear on this list? Let us know by posting in the comments below.