Brighton Yoga and Well-being Festival 2021: When is it, where will it take place and what will the programme include?

Brighton Yoga Foundation has confirmed its festival will take place in July, with a ‘hybrid event’ of in-person classes in Hove and sessions via Zoom.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 12:19 pm
Brighton Yoga Foundation will hold its eighth festival on July 24 and July 25. Photograph: John Isaacson
Brighton Yoga Foundation will hold its eighth festival on July 24 and July 25. Photograph: John Isaacson

Here, we round up the details you need to know about the charity’s two-day event, now in its eighth year

Where will the 2021 festival take place? Brighton Yoga Foundation will offer some 40 classes, workshops, lectures, live music and more at Cardinal Newman Catholic School, on The Upper Drive, in Hove, on Saturday, July 24, from 10am to 7.30pm. On Sunday, July 25, the festival will go digital, with 14 classes and a discussion via Zoom from 10.30am to 7pm.

Launching the festival on International Yoga Day last Monday (June 21), Brighton Yoga Foundation said the ‘hybrid event will allow attendees to experience the best of both worlds’. It added: “We can’t wait to see old friends and make new ones; to catch up for a drink and chat, and simply have an incredible festival experience with like-minded people.”

This year's Brighton Yoga & Well-being Festival will take place on July 24 and July 25. Photograph: John Isaacson

What classes will be available? The full programme for the first day of the festival, which will be plastic-free, is due to be released a week before it takes place. A spokesperson said classes available will be suitable for every person and everybody. Teachers and speakers announced include Tarik Dervish, Norman Blair, Theo Wildcroft and Gary Carter. Sessions on the Sunday will include teachers from around the globe and the UK, such as Julie Martin from Hawaii, Esther Ekhart from the Netherlands and Arenze Fischer-Olsen from Denmark. There will be yoga for teenagers, a class exploring the ‘value of therapeutic yoga during the pandemic’, yoga nidra and yin yoga sessions and more.

Sunday’s talk is billed as a discussion of ‘how the pandemic has brought to a head a number of trends within the yoga community and how that community needs to respond and change’.

How much do tickets cost and how will proceeds be used? The festival is a not-for-profit event run on a ‘pay what you can afford’ basis. Proceeds raised will help Brighton Yoga Foundation carry out its year-round community outreach work, which includes free sessions for those with or in recovery for mental health issues, addictions, serious illness, domestic violence and sexual abuse. Brighton Yoga Foundation says this year’s event has cost just under £20,000 to organise.

How was the event held in 2020? Like many events last year, the festival, then set to take place at Cardinal Newman Catholic School, was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Brighton Yoga Foundation moved its festival online, with classes, workshops and a discussion on Black Lives Matter and diversity in yoga.

Brighton Yoga Foundation's festival will take place on July 24 and July 25. Photograph: John Isaacson

When was the event founded and how has it changed over the years? Brighton Yoga Foundation held its first festival at St George’s Church, Kemptown, in 2014 with 20 classes. It was set up as the Brighton Yoga Festival with the purpose to run an annual community event to help reach those not aware of the benefits of yoga. It became a charity in 2016, changing its name to the Brighton Yoga Foundation.

The festival has moved venues across the years. 2021 will be the first time that Cardinal Newman Catholic School will house the event. It has been held at Brighton Dome (2016), the 1st Central County Cricket Ground, in Hove (2017, 2018), and Brighton, Hove & Sussex Sixth Form College (2019).

In 2019 – the last time the event featured in-person sessions – the festival offered more than 100 classes and had a survivor-led discussion on sexual abuse. It also saw members of Brighton Yoga Foundation and the Brighton arm of climate movement Extinction Rebellion come together to spell Yogis 4 XR in the venue’s grounds.

The event is said to be the second largest annual yoga festival in the UK. Brighton Yoga Foundation says its first festival had a turnout of 1,200. The festivals in 2016, 2017 and 2018 were said to have had an average of 3,000 people across the two days and the 2019 event saw about 2,500 people attend.

For more details, see brightonyogafoundation.org