The Rise of Wanderlust

Wanderlust festival co-founder Jeff Krasno shares the philosophy that ignited this series of unique yoga and music gatherings. Discover why they’re catching on like brushfire.
Nature-loving yogis practice in the crisp mountain air at Wanderlust in Squaw Valley.

Nature-loving yogis practice in the crisp mountain air at Wanderlust in Squaw Valley.

Photo by: Wanderlust


There are hundreds of music festivals happening across the country and around the world that let you rock out with people who have a passion for the same type of vibes as yourself. Now the unique Wanderlust festival combines live music with yoga and farm-to-table food. “Festivals are all about community,” says Wanderlust co-founder Jeff Krasno. “They bring people together who tend to share similar values in an environment that’s all about music, dance and fun.”

The concept for Wanderlust was sparked when Krasno, co-founder of the record label and artist management company Velour Music Group, got inspired by the yoga community he saw flowing in and out of his wife Schuyler’s Manhattan studio. Hoping to encompass all the things the couple loves, Krasno set out to create a unique event that could combine live music with daily yoga classes, hiking, organic food and wine, and inspirational speakers such as Deepak Chopra, all set in the great outdoors.

“There’s a growing cultural movement toward more mindful living, and concepts such as ethical consumerism and fair-trade fashion that seemed progressive back in the ’70s are now mainstream,” says Krasno. “We wanted to provide a place for people who share these values to come together and commune.”

Now in its fourth year, Wanderlust festival’s popularity continues to spread, with more than 21,000 people attending its series of events in 2011. This year, the festival is returning to Squaw Valley, CA, and Stratton Mountain in Winhall, VT, as well as expanding domestically to Copper Mountain, CO, and internationally to Whistler, British Columbia. Festival organizers have even opened a permanent venue in Austin, TX, that offers live music with yoga and organic food year-round.

Wanderlust Festival
Check out photos from the Wanderlust Festival.
This year’s lineup includes artists such as Ziggy Marley, Ani DiFranco and Stephane Wrembel. Apart from live concerts, you’ll also find late-night DJ dance parties that go until 2 a.m. and offer the chance to listen to the likes of Bonobo.

The aim of the festival is to come away inspired, so organizers lined up wellness experts such as Deepak Chopra to give informal presentations focused on subjects related to mindful living. You can also practice your downward dogs with daily yoga and meditation classes led by masters such as Shiva Rea and Rodney Yea.

When it comes to sleeping, you’ll find many options catering to your particular budget and comfort level, such as a full-service campground in Vermont, renting private homes with a group of friends or staying at a nearby hotel.

Wanderlust festival tickets are kind of like a choose-your-own-adventure purchase; you can opt for “music-only” tickets or go for the complete experience of picking from among 3 scheduled activities per day (such as yoga, meditation and the Speakeasy lecture series), plus enjoy all-access to the concerts.

The way the festival tickets are set up makes it easy to map out your festival plan while allowing you time to wander. “Some of the greatest memories at any festival happen when you leave your schedule behind and allow yourself free time to just explore,” says Krasno. “You may have come to see, say, Coldplay, but are surprised to discover you’re blown away by a band you’ve never even heard of before after stumbling upon them playing on an obscure side stage.”

If you’re interested in checking out Wanderlust for yourself, here are the venue details:

Wanderlust Vermont: June 21-24 at Stratton Mountain

The venue: For those who relish in creature comforts, the ski resort has nice hotels, lodges and condos all within walking distance of the festival. Ourdoorsy types can opt instead to reserve a space in the full-service, on-site festival campground.

Wanderlust Colorado: July 5-8 at Copper Mountain

The venue: Just 20 miles east of Vail and 75 miles west of Denver, there’s plenty of family-friendly activity options, such as hiking, biking, mini-golf and rafting.

Wanderlust California: July 26-29 in Squaw Valley, North Lake Tahoe

The venue: The ski destination was home to the 1960 Olympics. Today, the resort is open year-round, boasting a swimming lagoon and spa, fine dining, hiking, horseback riding, golf and tennis.

Wanderlust Whistler: Aug. 23-26 in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Canada

The venue: The breathtaking mountain setting is a boon for nature lovers, who can spend free time hiking, kayaking and enjoying the view from a gondola ride to the summit.

Wanderlust LIVE: Year-round in Austin, TX

The venue: It features 2 studios in a 6,000-square-foot revamped historic warehouse in the city’s center -- one for regular yoga classes and one with a built-in stage for live music.

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