fall festival fever!


September 12, 2012

This week’s topic: Fall Festival Fever!

until i can figure out how to embed the podomatic player, click here to listen to the podcast.

Janet Marley, co-producer of Pranafest
Jesse Shannon, Director of Marketing and Communications at Rise & Shine Gathering
Shunyam, producer of Boston Yoga and Chant Fest

Featured Music:
Hari Om Nararayan, SuryaChandra
Gayatri Mantra, Breath of Life Tribe
Damhama Dam Ali (Ali is in Every Breath), Fanna-Fi-Allah
Jai Ma, Swami Mangalananda

* * * * * * * *

it wasn’t that long ago when attending a yoga workshop taught by a celeb yoga teacher was something to look forward to. or maybe even having a big-name wallah like krishna das or jai uttal lead a kirtan at your local yoga studio.

in time, someone came up with the great idea of not only merging yoga with music, but also curating an impressive line-up of yoga teachers and musicians and setting the whole thing atop a mountain or on the beach — and tada! the yoga and music festival was born.

omega ecstatic chant, wanderlust festival, bhakti fest. their producers all hoped to catch the attention of yogis in search of something new, something exciting, something different. and succeed they did.

maybe it’s just because i spend a good chunk of my time keeping abreast of all things yoga, but it seems like just this past year, yoga festivals have now sprouted up not just all over the country but even around the world. and they continue to draw large crowds of eager attendees.

it kinda makes you wonder why — are regular yoga classes becoming too ho-hum? are yoga retreats losing their excitement? are yogis feeling the need to amp up their yoga practice by adding in the destinations AND the celeb yoga teachers AND the big-name kirtan musicians?  is this just a fad? in other words, are yoga aficionados going to continue to be willing to pay $200-$300 for a weekend of yoga and music, not to mention the associated travel and lodging expenses?

as they say, only time will tell.

in the meantime, with all these yoga+music events cropping up across the country, it’s getting easier — and more affordable, at least travel-wise — to partake in the yoga festival experience, even if it’s for a shorter period of time with fewer big-name yoga teachers and musicians.

so this week, in my continuing focus on yoga month and all things yoga, i’ve decided to invite representatives from two first-time yoga festivals (pranafest in ashland OR and rise & shine gathering in santa susana CA) as well as a fledgling local one (boston yoga and chant fest in weston MA) to talk about their events on the show. we’ll talk about the when, the where, and the why. maybe even the how.

while researching upcoming fall festivals, i came across others such as the dallas yoga conference and music fest on september 14-16, the divine play acroyoga festival in san francisco on october 12-14, and the austin yoga festival on october 27-28. they’re all worthy of attention, but i could only squeeze in so many. plus some reached out to me, which always helps 🙂

i’d just spent the past weekend at bhakti fest, the granddaddy of them all as far as kirtan line-ups, and while there, i picked up some new CDs from groups i’d never heard of before, including: suryachandra from nova scotia, fanna-fi-allah from nevada city, and swami mangalananda from omkareshwar in india*. i also picked up a new pre-release CD from the breath of life tribe here in LA. it just so happens that some of these groups will be performing at the yoga festivals i’ll be highlighting, which is a perfect enough reason to play their music. the breath of life tribe will be at pranafest, fanna-fi-allah will be at rise & shine, and swami mangalananda will be at boston chant. and while suryachandra isn’t scheduled to be at any festival any time soon, we can only hope they will be.

* swami mangalananda’s chant is just one of many included in the compilation CD, ‘chants for the divine mother.’ proceeds from the sale of the album will help fund the running of the omkareshwar school in central india. to find out more about the school and buy a copy of the CD, click on this link: sri mata anandamayi ashram.

during the show, jesse shannon from the rise & shine gathering generously offered to give away TWO weekend passes to their premiere event. at this point, we’re still working out the details and rules, so stay tuned for updates!

*** update: thanks to my guests for their generous ticket deals for listeners! ***

from pranafest in ashland, OR on sept 28-30:

Enter now for your chance to win a FREE 3-day pass to Pranafest (www.pranafest.org), the new Northwest festival featuring an all-star lineup of kirtan leaders and yoga teachers at an idyllic natural hot springs retreat center and spa in Ashland, Oregon.

Enter by SUNDAY Sept 23rd, and watch your inbox or the Pranafest Facebook page to see if you’ve won!  Earn an extra entry for each of your facebook friends who also enters the contest from a link you can share with them.

Click here to enter the ticket give-away contest

Click here to purchase tickets

from the rise and shine gathering in santa susana, CA on oct 19-21:

We have created a discount code for the Yoga Chat audience!

Enter the discount code ayogist on the Rise & Shine purchase page in all lowercase with no spaces

Code provides 10% off all ticket levels, including weekend passes, day passes, and Lotus Experience packages.

And we’re giving away TWO 3-day weekend passes with on-site camping passes!

To enter,

1. “Like” the Rise and Shine Gathering facebook page.

2. “Like” the Yoga Chat page.

3. Post a comment in the comments section below describing what your ideal festival experience would be – teachers you’ll take classes with, workshops you’ll attend, music you’ll listen to, maybe even friends you’ll go with!

4. For an extra entry, tweet that you’ve entered the contest and make sure you mention @rnsgathering and @yogachat so we know that you did!

4. ONE winner will be picked at random and will win a pair of passes worth $570! Good luck!

from the boston yoga and chant fest in medford, MA on oct 20-21:

Listeners can enter discount code meetup on www.BostonYogaAndChantFest.com and receive $25 off a weekend pass for the festival.


About joni

producing a weekly radio show about yoga and all things eco- and socially-aware can be quite hectic, yet rewarding. read all about the back story here... because you know there's always one!

5 responses »

  1. I love doing Yoga outdoors with dozens of others. Shiva Rae, Govindas are two of my faves. I love doing Yoga with DJ Drez bumping in the background. And don’t get me started on the delish food I expect to be there. Pick me, please???

  2. I can’t wait for the Rise & Shine Gathering. I hope that there will be plenty of classes involving spiritual growth through community, and much electronic music to help our spirits soar. Furthermore, I would definitely love to study under Shiva Rea, and I’ve been wanting to take classes from Cristi Christensen, who my girlfriend has studied under. Yet, I am open to studying under anyone who has knowledge to pass.

  3. de jur and michael — you both named great yoga teachers, but unfortunately, neither shiva rea nor govindas are going to be at R&S. however, cristi christensen WILL be teaching at the festival and DJ drez will be spinning, so you’re both saved and are still in the running for the FREE weekend passes worth over $500!!

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