Are wellness experts about to become the new festival headliners?
Posted by Nicola Elliott
Forget Glastonbury, V Festival and Isle Of Wight, the new breed of festivals has health, happiness and wellbeing on their line-up and want in!
Food-focused, family-friendly and with everything on offer from yoga to forest walks to cookery workshops, wellness weekenders are where it’s at right now. Naturally music is involved but rather than swigging cider and stampeding towards a muddy mosh pit, attendees are conscious that there’s an early morning meditation or aerial yoga to get up for. Mud and water might still get a look in but it’s more likely to be wrapped up in an outdoor spa experience or via a spot of wild swimming.
Driven by our demand for more meaningful experiences and mini breaks away where we can reset and reassess our hectic schedules, it falls in line with the stat that wellness tourism is predicted to reach $919 billion by 2022 according to the Global Wellness Institute. Which is why we’ve been doing our research already, because just like the festivals that pull in those headline acts, there’s more of us than ever who want to escape the every day and immerse ourselves in a quick reboot. Especially when you can bring your friends and family along, eat scrummy meals cooked by some of the best chefs in the UK and learn a skill whilst you’re at it (learning something new boosts our mood too!). Here’s what we’ve bookmarked this year and don’t fret, you don’t have to be T-Total either because like everything, we’re all about the 80/20 rule (hello vino)…
5-7 July, Warwickshire, also-festival.com
Guided meditative swims, song writing, festival choirs, leaf art, foraging – it’s all about reconnecting with nature and ‘rewilding’ the body here. That said, there’s a fab line-up at the comedy tent (nothing better for the soul than a good giggle) and there’s an area for vintage dress up and cocktails so if you want to unleash your other ‘wild side’, that’s ok too! This year there’s also the addition of the ‘Hippy Heights Hotel’ – huge bell tents that come with beds, a view and oodles of fairy lights. Plus they’re not too far from the ‘disco bunker’ either.
16-19 August, Elmore, The Cotswolds, soulcircus.yoga
What does every festival need? A glitter den. And that’s what Soul Circus has. Billing itself as a Yoga & Wellness Festival, this is divided into day and night activities and the founders’ mission is to create somewhere you can ‘put yourself back together’. As well as dipping yourself in glitter, there’s sound healing and an acro yoga tipi, life-drawing classes and hot tubs, baby discos and sober rave’s – you can be as crazy and conservative as you like. Did we mention the wood fired pizza and Uncle Ben’s Rum Shack too?
THE GOOD LIFE FESTIVAL
12-15 September, Harwenden Estate, Flintshire, thegoodlifeexperience.co.uk
Set up by Cerys Matthews (of Catatonia fame), she’s headlined enough festivals to know what makes a good one and what doesn’t. With no VIP area, the ethos is that everyone is treated exactly the same so you may well find yourself mingling with a celeb while you queue for your coffee. As well as the music, there’s campfire cooking and demos, talks and poetry, crafting (think floristry, weaving and leather making), feasts, stargazing and ‘axe throwing for everyone.’ Plus dogs are allowed so no-one needs miss out on the fun!