Top Tips for Bhakti Fest 2019, Southern California’s Largest Sacred Yoga and Music Festival
If five days of yoga, meditation, conscious workshops, and vegan food sounds like what your soul craves to recharge and re-center, clear your schedule for September 25-30, 2019 and plan for an epic spiritual experience in Twentynine Palms, California. You’ll be joining a like-minded community of spiritual seekers in a magical desert landscape as you embark on a special spiritual journey.
Bhakti Fest, called the “Spiritual Woodstock of the Decade,” celebrates traditional and non-traditional spiritual practices with roots in yoga, Kirtan, and meditation. This year, nature lovers, spiritual stargazers, rock climbers, and Joshua Tree enthusiasts will have the opportunity to explore Kirtan, yoga, meditations and prayer, conscious workshops, fire ceremonies, and more.
Read more: Sex and Relationships, Yoga, and Plant Medicine: We Take a Look at Unique Bhakti Fest Workshops
The new Twentynine Palms location will feature three music stages, expanded yoga and workshop villages, a sound temple for sound baths, a healing sanctuary for body work, a mantra dome, Bhakti Kids Land with ongoing children’s programming, men’s and women’s sacred spaces, and a Kirtan school. There will also be a lake for swimming, aquatics, and paddleboard yoga. Housing options include camping, RV hook-up sites, on-site cabins, glamping yurts, cozy trailers, and many hotels and rental homes nearby.
The sustainable festival was founded by producer Sridhar Silberfein. 50 years ago this summer, Woodstock promoters Michael Lang and Artie Kornfeld asked for Silberfein’s advice on the soon-to-be legendary art and music festival they were producing upstate. Sridhar told them, “You’ve got some of the greatest musical acts in the world, but what’s missing is the spiritual component.”
With their to-do lists already bursting, they asked him to deal with that part. In 2009, 40 years after receiving his life’s mission, Sridhar founded Bhakti Fest in Joshua Tree, which has since become Southern California’s largest and most beloved yoga and spiritual music festival. We had the chance to chat with Silberfein, who offered advice for first-time Bhakti Fest attendees.
What should first-time Bhakti Fest attendees know before attending the festival?
Sometimes how open and loving our crowd is can be surprising to first-timers—just enjoy it and go with the flow. We have an amazing line-up with 15 yoga classes and 15 workshops per day, plus two music stages. There is something for everyone from young to old. It’s the only festival in the country with no alcohol and no smoking. This is extremely important for our environment.
What are your tips for getting the most out of one’s Bhakti Fest experience?
Our festival is all about opening your heart, so please join us in that spirit. Immerse yourself in as many activities as possible. Be exhausted at the end of the day and get a good night’s sleep under the desert stars. It’s an amazing place to be—just go where the spirit takes you.
What are you most looking forward to this year?
With our new location and the great welcome we have received from the community, we are very excited to present this year’s festival in our new 56-acre home. One exciting aspect we have is stand-up paddle board yoga, so I’m really looking forward to that. We have some great new musicians, including Mike Love and Porangui—DJ Drez and Marti Nikko are back. Plus all our favorites including Krishna Das, the entire Bhaktifest friends, and family.
What do you hope attendees will take away from the Bhakti Fest experience?
Every event we do creates a space for spiritual transformation. We hope that everyone brings the love and lightness of Bhakti Fest back into their everyday lives and help others in need to find their true selves.
There’s a tendency to try to do everything, but even the most fervent yogis can’t do everything we offer, so pace yourself, take care of yourself, maybe get a massage in our Healing Sanctuary, take in a sound bath in the Sound Temple, and have a relaxed high vibrational meal from our amazing food vendors. Enjoy yourself and make sure to hydrate! We look forward to welcoming all at this very special festival.
This year’s headliners include Krishna Das, Mike Love, Dharma Mittra, Radhanath Swami, MC Yogi, Fannah Fi Allah, Saul David Raye, Sianna Sherman, Mas Vidal, Girish, Govind Das & Radha, Kia Miller, Dawn Cartwright, Ram Das (via video), Porangui, Mark Whitwell, and many more. For more information, visit bhaktifest.com.
[Images courtesy of Bhakti Fest / Visit 29 Palms]
Lizzy Sherman is an award-winning digital content writer/editor. She has been a featured guest speaker at Cal State University Northridge, Digital LA and The National Association of Audience Marketing Professionals. When she's not writing, Lizzy enjoys yoga and playing guitar. Follow her on Instagram: @zillizy