There’s at least one thing that sets Wanderlust Whistler apart from the event’s other locations: the activities going on alongside it.
“I’m in Squaw Valley right now and everyone is here just for us,” said the event’s co-founder, Sean Hoess last week. “That’s true for most of our events. (But in Whistler) you’ve got 30,000 people in town and we’re bringing 3,000 to 5,000.”
That means that the lifestyle festival — which features yoga, food events, music and outdoor activities — will be just one of several events happening in a bustling valley from Aug. 3 to 6. To that end, the festival teamed up with the Resort Municipality of Whistler to include some of their musical acts and performances — from Charles Bradley to Quixotic — as part of the Whistler Presents free concert series at Whistler Olympic Plaza.
“It’s cool to be able to work with the RMOW and various stakeholders with general programming,” Hoess said. “It raises awareness about what we do and appeals to Wanderlust yogis. It’s nice to be able to provide this great music experience to the whole community. We try to do that with yoga teachers as well as restaurants and food. It’s one of our models to spread the love.”
The festival is returning to Whistler for its sixth year and bringing a full slate of events with it. There are yoga classes taught by top-tier teachers like Seane Corn, Eoin Finn and Chelsey Korus; outdoor activities from trail running to kayaking and stand up paddleboarding as well as meditation and a “Speakeasy” talk series featuring people like Bulletproof CEO Dave Asprey, Sheri Salata, who worked as president of Harpo Studios and final executive producer of the Oprah Winfrey Show and author Katherine Woodward Thomas who wrote Conscious Uncoupling.
Finally, there will be a range of food and wine events, including a Farm to Table Dinner, the Salt + Smoke BBQ and Uncorked, where participants can sample local wine and beer.
“Wanderlust is a bit like going into a restaurant with the world’s greatest menu and you have 300 things to pick from,” Hoess said. “There’s something for everyone. It’s a crazy logistical event to run (with) the sheer number of sessions going on at any given moment.”
The demographic of people coming to the festival hasn’t changed much in the last half-a-decade — it’s largely women from 25 to 44-years-old, primarily from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver — though a few more men have been attending in recent years, Hoess said. “Everyone (seems) to practice yoga to some degree but there’s a wide range of passions,” he said. “You get a lot of crossover of people interested in food or hiking or idea conferences. It’s yoga plus something else — and the something else varies a lot for the person.”
Festival passes are on sale, but locals can also purchase one-day tickets — or single-event tickets. “We really want people to drop in for a meaningful amount of time,” Hoess said. “Even if you don’t like yoga there are 10 million things to do.”
For a full list of events or to purchase tickets visit wanderlust.com/festivals/whistler.