BaliSpirit Festival: The First Event That Celebrates Music, Dance And Yoga

BaliSpirit Festival has changed the face of festivals by bringing music, dance, and yoga closer to the people.
BaliSpirit Festival has changed the face of festivals by bringing music, dance, and yoga closer to the people.` (Photo: BaliSpiritFestival/Facebook)

The annual BaliSpirit Festival posed a great impact on the city's economy since it started in 2008. But aside from helping the financial system, over the course of time, the event has changed the face of festivals by bringing music, dance, and yoga closer to the people.

"We came up with an idea of bringing people together in Bali to connect through music, dance, and yoga," Robert Weber, one of the three co-founders and musical director of BaliSpirit Festival, said, via the South China Morning Post. "We wanted to create something that could help change lives. A transformational boutique-style retreat almost."

BaliSpirit Festival is the first in the world. It is the only event that celebrates dance, music, and yoga all at once. Hence, it is often dubbed as one of "the best yoga festivals" in the world. Over 1,000 people enjoy the intimate party, but it is not only about yoga. It goes beyond what festivals do.

The event aims to create a deep relationship with people and help the local community. In fact, BaliSpirit Festival has run several outreach programs throughout the year. It also wants to make sure the attendees will enjoy the celebration and their emotional well-being will be protected.

The first BaliSpirit Festival was planned in November 2017, but it went live in March 2008. Another co-founder Meghan Pappenheim and her husband Kadek Gunarta never thought the event would be celebrated every year.

Pappenheim first pitched the idea of making a festival that would bring world music to Bali, so the Balinese could experience the music festivals that she grew up to in New York City. However, Gunarta had a bigger vision than his wife. At the time, he was "ready to sign a 20-year contract for a venue."

Pappenheim only wanted to make the BaliSpirit Festival once, but they are now going to celebrate its 12th year. Compared to the first event, which they lost about $75,000, it is now doing better. But for the founders, it is never about money or the huge crowds. It is about pulling off an "intimate gathering" and giving back to the Balinese community.

BaliSpirit Festival has given over $135,000 to the local community through its outreach programs. It also plans to present more than 300 workshops, seminars, master classes, family love days, dhrama fairs, and night markets on its upcoming event that will surely benefit Bali's economy, per Tribun-Bali.

So, Made Gunarta, the founder of the BaliSpirit Festival and Cultural Liaison, hoped that the Regional Government and the Balinese community could support the celebration of the event's 12th-year run. In response, Deputy Governor Cok Ace praised the founders' efforts to maintain and consistently hold the annual event.

He also said a festival that involves the elements of both international and local communities has a positive impact on the Balinese community's progress. "I hope the organizers must also be able to embrace the community so that they can contribute to the event so that the positive impact is felt directly by the surrounding community," Ace added.

This year, the week-long BaliSpirit Festival will begin on March 24. It will end with a community/family day and closing party on March 31.

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