Standing among the lively crowd, the vibrations of drums, bass and saxophone connects the hundreds of fans gathered together to watch one performer. The melody travels through the crowd’s bodies as they stand side by side absorbing the invigorating energy. Just as music’s energy connects concert attendees, a universal force unites participants in a yoga class. Both the rhythm of breath in a yoga class and the beat of music at a concert have the power to join people together in harmony. Sean Hoess, Jeff Krasno and Schuyler Grant recognized these similarities and, as a result, created Wanderlust Festival in 2009.
Sean, Jeff and Schuyler merged elements of concerts and yoga retreats to revolutionize festivals. In an interview with Sean, he explained that music is “a great community glue.” However, Wanderlust Festivals go beyond merely gathering people together as bystanders. Sean said he wanted Wanderlust to be a festival where, “instead of watching the show, you are part of [it].” Wanderlust Festivals are participatory events, different from the typical indie musical festival. Attendees join in meditation classes, yoga sessions, outdoor activities and music lessons. Participants also attend lectures, musical events and enjoy organic meals. The events have hosted prominent musicians such as Moby, Girl Talk and Andrew Bird as well as influential speakers such as Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer and Sharon Salzberg.
In today’s society, we have our iPhones attached to our hips and our social media accounts open every chance we get. There is a constant virtual connection and yet people lack a cultural relationship. Sean mentions, “We don’t have time to unplug and focus on others sharing similar values.” Wanderlust brings together individuals of similar mindsets in order to provide, as Sean called it, “an entry point for mindfulness.” The goal of Wanderlust events is to make sure people feel supported in developing a practice whether that is in meditation, yoga, running, or general healthy living.
Since 2009 the Wanderlust company has expanded beyond festival events. Wanderlust now has four yoga studios found in Hollywood, CA, Squaw Valley, CA, Austin, TX, and Montreal, Canada. In addition to yoga classes, the centers host lectures, concerts, and other cultural events. The company also puts together Wanderlust 108 events. Wanderlust 108 events take place over one day, and are structured around three activities: a 5k run, a 90-minute yoga class and a meditation session.
Wanderlust 108 events are held throughout the United States whereas the festivals have expanded internationally. The company intends to make all of its offerings global by opening more centers and bringing both events overseas. It’s important for this talented group of founders to select beautiful and inspiring locations, or as Sean termed it, “adventure resorts.” The festivals incorporate local flavors such as healthy food trucks, local music and local vendors. Each event is unique in order to create a personal and intimate experience with the attendee and that particular location.
Whether individuals choose to attend a festival over numerous days, participate in a “mindful triathlon” for a few hours or spend brief minutes browsing the blog, their path will always result in inner peace and discovery in the hands of Wanderlust.
October 31, 2015 Wanderlust 108 Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
November 1, 2015 Wanderlust 108 Nashville, TN
November 7, 2015 Wanderlust 108 Houston, TX
February 4-7, 2016 Wanderlust Festival Great Lake Taupo Waiakei, NZ
February 18-21, 2016 Wanderlust Festival Thredbo Alpine Village, NSW, AU
February 25-28, 2016 Wanderlust Festival Oahu, Turtle Bay Resort, HI
For more information, please visit www.wanderlust.com.
Photography: Wanderlust Festival