Main image: © Samuel George
Returning to its stunning home in Berkshire for a third year, Medicine Festival (18-21 August) is a unique festival experience that invites people to come together and envision a more enlightened, peaceful and sustainable world.
During our times of environmental and economic meltdown and health and mental health crisis, Medicine Festival provides a vibrant platform for indigenous Wisdom Keepers across the planet to share their teachings, ceremonies and time-honoured technologies, and invites people to be ‘the medicine’ for the Earth and all its inhabitants.
A C.I.C and not-for-profit organisation funded by a council of social investors, all profits from the event go towards preserving indigenous communities and regenerating the Earth.
Medicine is about interweaving communities, bridging cultures and inspiring a deeper understanding of how to tread lightly and live harmoniously on our planet.
‘Our lineup of indigenous elders, protectors of some of the world’s last pristine remnants of the biosphere, have an inherent understanding of how to live sustainably as a part of the natural world. They have embedded in their cultures ‘soft technologies’, like nature connection and reciprocity, which can help us combat today’s spiritual and cultural challenges of selfishness, greed and apathy.
‘Medicine is about supporting and inspiring each other in the creation of the equitable and thriving world we want to see: a world where nature is cherished, peace is revered and difference is celebrated; where humankind has reclaimed the gifts of gratitude, reciprocity and guardianship for all life.’
Co-founder of Medicine Festival
Ceremonies and rituals – including sweat lodge, cacao, tobacco and water – will be hosted by indigenous leaders Peu Nawa and Towahu of the Yawanawa tribe in the Brazilian Amazon, as well other indigenous elders from the British Isles and different global traditions, curated to support reconnection and to regenerate reverence for all life.
Music at this year’s event promises an eclectic mix of world music, electronic dance, folk, indigenous songs and sacred music representative of different global traditions.
Headliners include ritualistic folk songstresses Peia (Oregan/USA) and Fia Forsström (Sweden); British-Portuguese singer Nessie Gomes; world folk singer and yogi Ajeet Kaur; Zimbabwean mbira musician Millicent Chapanda (UK-based); legendary multicultural troubadours The Turbans (London-based); contemplative sounds maestro Crussen (Sweden) and electronic dance wizard James Monro.
‘In contrast to many larger hedonistic festivals, our alcohol-free event invites you to drink from the well of Nature, and works to ensure you leave feeling better than when you arrived, by offering up infinite ways to enjoy ‘the medicine’ in its many vibrant forms – from ceremony, Nature immersion, music and dance, to celebration, healing, food, laughter, and much more. With a core theme of ‘Emerge’ for this year’s event, our programme is designed to support festival participants to emerge as a transformational community, acting for the benefit of all life.’
General manager of Medicine Festival
At the festival’s heart, the Liminal Lake features talks and discussions with leading thought leaders and changemakers, such as eminent environmentalist Satish Kumar, peace activist Dr Scilla Elworthy, explorer/indigenous rights activist Bruce Parry, psychedelic research pioneer Dr Rosalind Watts and cultural change writer Charlotte Du Cann.
Talk topics will cover the critical issues of the day – social justice, our disconnection from nature, chronic illness, increased polarisation and division in societies and the ethics of technology including social media and artificial intelligence.
Also covered here will be consciousness and spirituality, ancient and future tech, neuroscience and philosophy, myth and narratives, economy and localisation.
The festival’s Wellbeing Programme includes guided movement and ecstatic dance sessions, yoga, meditation, martial arts and nutrition as well as a blend of modalities to find balance and restoration.
Expect breath and bodywork, sound healing and meditation laughter yoga, forest bathing and lots more.
The Healing Village offers 1:1 body work through different massage styles, reiki and other deep healing techniques.
The in-house cafés at Medicine support regenerative and independent food production, nourishing the soil and our bodies and minds while boosting biodiversity and creating healthier communities.
The festival also offers a delectable cultural diversity of street food, and the cafés will serve warming chai, energising cacao, sublime elixirs and nutritious juices.
All food offerings will be vegan and vegetarian to reduce environmental impact and promote healthy plant-based diets.
A Family area, geared around equipping the younger generation with skills and insights for creating a better world, includes activities like woodland adventures, games, bushcraft, music making, foraging, plant identification, storytelling and astronomy.
An exquisite diversity of entertainment, arts and performance designed to enliven the soul will include inspiring film and theatre, magical storytelling and uplifting comedy.
The tranquil woodland, lakes and parkland will be punctuated with a colourful array of walkabout performers, fire spinners, immersive actors and silver-tongued poets.
‘Tickets for our family-friendly and ethnically diverse event are now on sale, carefully curated to ignite the deep regeneration of our hearts, our communities and our world. Please join our vision, reconnect with Nature, and be part of this movement to restore ourselves, our planet, and to create a brighter future.’
Assistant director of Medicine Festival
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