Having a dedicated space to focus on your wellbeing can be one of the best ways to break bad habits, explore new practices, and reconnect with yourself. Wellness festivals, just like wellness retreats, bridge the gap between leisure, socialising, and setting aside time for your health. More than just a good excuse for a party, these wellness festivals put health, fitness and personal growth at the forefront, meaning it really is possible to have the best of both worlds. Check out the best wellness festivals around the globe in 2020, and start planning your adventures now.
February 1-2: Edinburgh Wellbeing Festival
Back for a third year, Edinburgh’s only wellness festival is returning with a full two-day schedule of wellness talks, activities and workshops, from Pilates and HIIT to plant-based diets and stress management. Highlights this year include a talk and fitness class from Olympic Gold Medalist Dame Kelly Holmes MBE and a session with bestselling author and Buddhist monk Gelong Thubten. Hosted at the George Street Assembly Rooms, it’s a must for industry experts and wellness enthusiasts alike.
February 17-24: Envision Costa Rica
The 10 year anniversary of this spiritual arts and yoga festival in Costa Rica is set to be a wellness wonderland. Promising ‘radical self-development’ through live music, workshops and holistic practices, festival-goers can choose add-on activities like medicinal plants garden walks, sunset horseback rides, and surfing.
March 5-8: Spirit Fest South Africa
Hosted at Somerset Gift, a farm around three hours outside of Cape Town on the fringes of Zuurberg Nature Reserve, Spirit Fest South Africa is a hippie paradise. Bridging a unique natural setting, an ethos of sustainability, and wellness activities ranging from movement sessions like yoga and dance to more alternative spiritual practices like kirtan, QiGong, and sound healing.
March 1-7: International Yoga Festival, India
Calling all yogi enthusiasts: if you attend one festival this year, let it be this one. Organised by the largest yoga ashram in Rishikesh, Parmarth Niketan, the festival invites yogis from around the world back to the birthplace of yoga for a seven-day festival led by yoga experts and spiritual gurus. Covering every yoga style, from Kundalini to Iyengar, you’ll be hard pushed to find a more authentic and immersive yoga experience anywhere in the world.
March 29-April 5: Bali Spirit Fest
A celebration of yoga in Bali’s spiritual heartland, the Bali Spirit Fest is a weeklong festival focused on community, music and holistic health. There’s a mix of international and local Indonesian instructors here, with yogi stars like Carlos Romero, Ebony Smith and Hollywood personal trainer Alfred Kendrick attending to bring a mix of yoga styles, from classic Vinyasa flow to quirkier practices like Heavy Metal or Laughter Yoga. Dance, martial arts, meditation, sound healing and life coaching sessions are all on the agenda, with world music keeping the good vibes going into the night.
March/April, TBC: IRIS Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s first yoga and wellness festival will be back for 2020, though we’re still waiting on a confirmed date. Organised by the Hybrid group, we’re expecting a bigger and better version of its usual seven-stage-setup, which includes a yoga mainstage, zen garden, playground, silent disco, talk space, and the open-to-all wellness marketplace. Watch this space for more information.
April 17-19: Balance Festival London
Self-titled as ‘the UK’s largest celebration of the wellness movement’, Balance Festival certainly delivers on a programme jam-packed with some of the biggest names in wellness. Barry’s Bootcamp, F45 and Boom Cycle are just a couple of the boutique studios leading bookable fitness classes, while free sessions in the Meditation Dome and Yoga Flow zone will help you reset your body in other ways. Live-cooking kitchen, a marketplace and delicious dining options are just another couple of reasons to head along and make a weekend of it.
May 9-10: Wellfest Ireland
Bringing together more than 150 international and Irish wellness experts, this two-day festival is Ireland’s largest wellness celebration, offering classes, talks and workshops in the outskirts of Dublin. With experts in yoga, nutrition and psychology, there’s a big mix of specialised wellness talent at this event.
May 15-17: Sum of Us Festival, USA
This inclusive event is ‘the first wellness festival for womxn, trans and non-binary folx’, offering a safe space for acceptance, exploration, and personal growth. A mix of art, music and wellness activities, the event is hosted at Modesto Reservoir Campground in California, and the schedule includes sessions for dancing, healthy cooking, every-day detoxing, morning flow yoga, slam poetry, interactive art and creative writing, as well as special sessions on personal boundaries, body positivity, sex and managing negative energy.
June TBC: Eat Drink Vegan
A food fest for all the vegan, health-conscious foodies out there: Eat Drink Vegan is one of the best vegan festivals around, and while we’re still waiting on confirmed dates for the 2020 fest, we’re reminiscing about last year’s free flow kombucha, the CBD village, plant-based marketplace, and of course, the 40-plus vegan food vendors serving up everything from pizza to tamales.
June 25-28: Telluride Yoga Festival, Colorado
A picture-perfect weekend in the mountains of Colorado already sounds like the perfect wellness getaway. Add to that one of the world’s biggest yoga festivals, and you have yourself a wellness wonderland. From meditation to music, hiking to social sessions, there’s a huge mix of activities to choose from in the 100-plus sessions—and of course, plenty of yoga, from big names like Gina Caputo, Kia Miller, and Tymi Howard.
July 17-19: LoveFit, UK
Live out your Midsummer Night Dream fantasies with a wellness weekend at an idyllic forest estate in Sevenoaks, Kent. Focused on fun outdoor fitness activities which connect with the natural environment—think forest HIIT, SUP on the lake, and farmyard fitness circuits—LoveFit weaves wellness into a classic music festival experience, with an emphasis on love, magic, and good vibes. Vegan dining options and low-sugar drinking options are all part of the guilt-free fun here.
July 30-August 2: Wilderness Festival, UK
A favourite among celebrities— Benedict Cumberbatch, Russell Brand, and Kit Harrington, to name a few—this boutique wellness festival is a little more laid back than some of the other fitness-focused ones on this list. Indie and folk bands dominate the music stage, while day-time activities include yoga, boating, paddle-boarding and a lake-side spa. If you’re looking to relax, this is the festival for you.
August 21-23: Soul Circus UK
If you’re looking for an out-of-this-world summer wellness experience, look no further. A three-day wellness extravaganza in the Cotswolds, Soul Circus is back for a fifth year and is slated to be bigger and better than ever before. Wellness activities are never just the standard here: yoga to DJ sets with a hip-hop twist, ‘Planetary Gong’ sessions, burlesque workshops, astral projection and ecstatic meditation, to name a few.
September 2-6: Útiliv Adventure Festival, Faroe Islands
This festival is a little on the unconventional side. Hosted in the Faroe Islands, between Iceland and Norway, this adventure festival invites outdoor adventurers to work hard and play hard with days spent hiking, wild swimming, competing in a trail race, and of course, a post-race party. Explore the natural beauty of the Faroe Islands, and meet some like-minded adventurers along the way.
December, TBC: Wonderfruit, Thailand
One of the biggest wellness festivals in Asia, Wonderfruit is a magical blend of holistic health, bringing together some of the regions top wellness experts for sessions in crystal healing, astrology, yoga, Ayurveda, and much much more. Over the past five years, Wonderfruit has made a concerted effort to make itself more sustainable and eco-friendly, and 2019 banned single-use plastic and helped attendees balance out their carbon footprint.