As fans of Kirtan, the sacred mantra music that is chanting the names of the Divine, we know there is truly nothing that compares to the soulful beauty one experiences chanting in nature. This winter’s heavy rains are giving way to a spring of incomparable desert beauty in Joshua Tree, California, home of the largest spring gathering of sacred music fans: Shakti Fest.
Shakti Fest takes place Mother’s Day weekend, May 9–13, to celebrate the divine feminine spirit. It annually brings together maidens, mothers, and crones, along with the men who support their distaff journey for five days of intensives, yoga, workshops, and most importantly, live sacred music from top stars of the Kirtan scene: Jai Uttal, Donna De Lory, MC Yogi, Saul David Raye, Amritakripa, Gina Salā, Bhagavan Das, Larisa Stow & the Shakti Tribe, Govind Das & Radha, Girish, Jaya Lakshmi and Ananda, Fannah-Fi-Allah, Kavita Kat Macmillan, Krishna’s Kirtan, David Newman, Sirgun Kaur, and more. The ancient practice of devotional chanting connects humans with themselves, the universe, and spirit.
This year, Shakti Fest is at a new location on the southern edge of the Mojave Desert, which offers panoramic views of the north face of Joshua Tree National Park, exceptional desert vistas, a lovely little lake, and spectacular night skies at the Joshua Tree Lake RV & Campground. Organized by Bhakti Fest, which recently surpassed 10 years of producing conscious events, Shakti Fest is a unique springtime celebration. Driven by the divine feminine spirit, the “dynamic force which moves the universe,” Shakti Fest features world-famous yoga teachers, sacred music stars, spiritual growth workshops, sound baths, a healing sanctuary, and much more.
“We are fortunate to be in the sacred vibration of Joshua Tree. Shakti Fest is about heart centered community, conscious and uplifting experiences and the amazing line-up of artists, teachers and presenters in a family friendly drug and alcohol-free environment,” noted Sridhar Silberfein, founder of Bhakti Fest.
In addition to the music, yoga, and workshops, Shakti Fest also supports a healing sanctuary offering a variety of bodywork (what’s a weekend exploring your divine feminine without a massage?!), a Sound Temple where attendees immerse themselves in healing vibrations, Bhakti Kids Land where families enjoy special kids programming, a Chai Tea lounge benefiting Food for Life Vrindavan, immersive Dome experiences, and Bhakti Kirtan School, where artists share methods of creating Kirtan.
There is nothing like springtime in the high desert for an immersive, powerful conscious experience. Accommodation options include car and tent camping under the amazing Joshua Tree stars, RV sites with or without electric and water hookups, cozy trailers, bell tents, and styled-out yurt tent glamping (emphasis on glam!). There are also several hotels within a few miles, and Joshua Tree is known for its variety of homes to rent, including modern masterpieces, desert shacks, Airstreams, and more. For more info, please see bhaktifest.com/shaktifest.