Transformational festivals change lives. Often without realization, but always for the better.
Conscious, or transformational festivals, are gatherings devoted to instilling community-building ethics while celebrating personal growth, responsibility, healthy living and individuality. And, of course, this is usually always accompanied by a stellar musical lineup.
This summer I had the opportunity to experience several amazing transformational festivals ranging from small weekend events like One Love Festival in Southern California to making the grand mecca to the international gathering Oregon Eclipse. While I have grown immensely as a person because of these experiences, they have also made me acknowledge that there is always room for more spiritual growth. No matter the size of the festival, there are cornerstones that make the experiences so impactful.
1. Be Free
Like many of our beloved festivals, transformational gatherings offer us the opportunity to fully express ourselves. Whether that be through fashion, movement, or conversations, attending a conscious festival gives attendees the space to make deep connections with themselves and those around them. Ecstatic dance is a staple of these festivals and a shining example of the freedom that awaits you. These dance sessions are free form, often centering on the absence of drugs and alcohol. There are no guidelines and no talking- just a moment for everyone to feel the beat and let it move through them. Transformational festivals typically bring an environment where you don’t have to feel shy about adventuring out on your own. Usually, that’s when some of the best magic happens!
2. Be Inspired
Conscious festivals feature speakers and classes that give us the education we only wish we had received in college. Yoga classes for every skill level and style preference bound aplenty. Classes that serve as a catalyst for making changes to ourselves and our communities- and they are all included in the price of our ticket. There are so many passionate people in the festival scene that have unique insights to offer and feel it as their calling to share those with us. All we have to do is show up. Some of my favorite classes I’ve been fortunate to attend have taught me how to make homemade kombucha, adapt a diet to empower the divine feminine, and find my flow in deep house yoga.
3. Be Creative
The vendors at transformational festivals are truly the best around. The food is delicious and made from the greatest, often organic, ingredients. The paintings are eclectic and often created right in front of your eyes. The merchandise is all designed by people who have devoted their life to creating. All of the artwork sold at these events will make you want to spend your entire paycheck- and it will be so worth it! When you spend your money, you are not supporting a big box store, but rather somebody’s dream. Being able to have a conversation with the creatives that have brought out their goods is truly a special experience. Make sure to set a budget before browsing, because it is so easy to get carried away (or don’t).
4. Be One
Conscious festivals open the door for everyone to feel equal and to create a community. There is no VIP- just a gathering of individuals all co-creating to make the shared space special. Everyone is held to the same standard. Nobody is exempt from responsibility. The leave no trace concept is widely applied: whatever you pack in make sure to pack out, but sometimes that means you will be picking up after your neighbor. There is beauty in the self-reliance, though, and the amount of growth that comes with it is tremendous.