Couldn’t snag Coachella tickets this year? Never fear. We’ve got you covered with its wellness alternative—and it’s only a twenty-minute drive from the iconic music festival itself. You may be able to hear Beyoncé performance if you listen super hard, and probably Eminem whether you like it or not.
The event in question is called “Dusk Till Dawn“, and it takes place on the same weekends as Coachella—offering daytime activities dominated by yoga, sounds baths, and meditation, not to mention a full cadre of “spiritual healers, astrologers, psychic mediums” and, this being California, plenty of “CBD oil and THC infused foods” (although it’s unclear whether alcohol will be available). Evening events include a “fully immersive party scene” with DJs and live music.
The event invite looks a lot like an ad for Electric Daisy Carnival, but this—what might you call it? A Wellness rave?—is actually just the latest offering from the ever-innovative $3.7 trillion wellness industry.
Outside of the overtly rave-y poster design, promise of drugs, and random list of DJs, it’s worth wondering how far this event—which skews suspiciously similar to the recent Goop Wellness summit—will stray from an average rave.
Carley Schumann, the brand relations manager behind the event, says Dusk Till Dawn is not a rave, although it’s “totally both” a festival and wellness event. She adds that it’s also not meant to compete with Coachella itself; indeed, it’s not geared to any particular audience outside of people with an interest in art, beauty, and design—as well as those who “just like want to party and have a good time in an incredible neon desert wonderland environment.” (This sounds, suspiciously, like it’s actually geared to…well…everyone).
But if an event like this is purportedly not out to lure the I’m-so-over-Coachella crowd, maybe it should. After all, we’re in an era where popular wellness brands are embracing counterculture in surprising ways (remember when Goop penned an article on how ayahuasca was having a “moment?) What’s more, medical marijuana and wellness are becoming increasingly inextricable—and lucrative—global businesses (paywall).
Wellness “festivals” are also nothing new. Last year, Fast Company speculated whether they could eventually grow as big as Coachella—sending one brave reporter to Wanderlust in Santa Monica, a nearly-decade old wellness celebration offering yoga en masse and various other group fitness and spiritual activities. The event’s co-founder, Sean Hoess, told Fast Company that the festival’s main demographic—college-educated women in their late 20s to 40s—flock to Wanderlust because they’ve essentially “aged out of Coachella but are still looking for a fun, festive experience that is much more balanced and aligns with where they are in their lives now.”
A Guardian piece from last year on the trend of “clean raving,” echoes Hoess’s hunch, noting how Samantha Moyo, the formerly hedonistic founder of Morning Gloryville—a pioneer in the so-called non-alcoholic rave scene—hoped to retain the communal and escapism aspects of hardcore raving without the drugs and alcohol.
To be sure, the lines separating, rave, festival, and wellness culture aren’t exactly clear, which perhaps explains how something as bizarre as Dusk Till Dawn was born—an event that seems to be making an attempt to blend all three. That said, if you’re comfortable replacing your wake and bake with morning yoga and ending the night with mostly regular levels of serotonin, it’s basically the same thing as Coachella—plus, it costs less and Paris Hilton is a guest DJ.