Your guide to Balance Festival 2018


Festival season traditionally heralds the beginning of a three-month hangover, but a new generation of health and fitness-focussed weekenders have us trading warm beer for cold-pressed juices and moshing for metabolic conditioning.

Balance Festival is among a new generation of wellness festivals designed for those who like to have their kale and eat their cake too, or succumb to a couple of drinks on Friday night then sweat it out with a Saturday spin class.

The three-day event at Old Truman Brewery was launched in 2017 by London Coffee Festival organisers Jeffrey Young and Ludovic Rossignol-Isanovic with a programme that read like a who’s who of the rapidly expanding wellbeing movement.

More than 9,000 festival-goers turned out to sweat through HIIT sessions hosted by personal trainer and fitness influencer Zanna Van Dijk, cook up a clean eating storm with food blogger Alice Liveing, and practice meditation en masse with global yogi Michael James Wong.

And organisers are expecting this year’s numbers to double with a fresh new programme of fitness classes, live cooking demonstrations, interactive workshops, guided meditation, and inspirational talks taking over Old Truman Brewery from 11 to 13 May.

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for those who yearn to burn: break a sweat

It’s a jam-packed line-up so hang up your Hunter wellies and lace up those trainers, here’s your guide to getting the most out of Balance Festival 2018.

Boutique Studios

London’s top boutique fitness brands will be working up a sweat under one roof across 15 studios, running classes across all three days.

Try luxury gym Third Space’s Workout of the Day ahead of its big new opening in the City this summer; F45’s circuit-based team training method; Boom Cycle’s ‘party on a bike’ spin classes; and Xtend Barre’s ballet-inspired toning and conditioning workout.

Places are limited but most classes do accept drop-ins on the day, so check the timetable for details. Over on the main stage, top trainers will lead a programme of signature workouts developed specifically for the festival, from Barry’s Bootcamp celebrity trainer Faisal Abdalla’s high energy HIIT sessions to a healthy battle of the sexes between top yogis like Cat Meffan, Tameka Small, Jake Paul White, and Chris Magee.

Live Cooking Theatre

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it’s not all sweat and workouts: talks from top healthy chefs help pack a busy Balance Festival menu

Want to know which nut milk works best in your morning latte or learn how to eat more sustainably? Balance Festival brings some of the top healthy chefs and foodie experts into one kitchen for a series of live cooking demonstrations, menu tips and tricks, and educational workshops on how to ensure you’re getting the most from your meals. Ella Mills of Deliciously Ella will demonstrate quick and simple plant-based meals for the time poor, while sustainable eating expert Alexandra Dudley will share advice on embracing a zero-waste diet and how to use the whole ingredient, stalks ’n’ all.

The Lab

Leading health and wellness experts will share their insights and insider tips on the industry in an expanded education programme that covers everything from personal development right through to how to break into the wellbeing industry.

‘Sleep, The Lowdown’ brings together an architect, mindfulness influencer, sleep researcher, and clinician to talk bedtime routines and bedroom fitouts to ensure an optimal night’s shut-eye, while ‘Power Down to Power Further’ explores the benefits of regeneration, and why it is just as important to your overall health as a HIIT workout.

The Meditation Dome

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Balance Festival’s Meditation Dome takes care of the mind as well as the body.

Meditation and mindfulness has officially emerged from the cover of yoga studios and far flung wellness retreats into the mainstream, with every man and his dog (literally) cottoning on to the benefits of reaching a state of consciousness when the mind is free of scattered thoughts and patterns.

The Meditation Dome is dedicated to helping you find your zen whether you’re a seasoned pro with a pigeon pose or still learning how to integrate meditation into your daily routine.

Join Yogi2Me’s Malcolm Medley and Emily Harriet for a unique sound healing experience with a gong bath and singing bowls, and turn your world upside down in a headstand workshop with Helen Russell Clark and Dave Pearce.

Just starting out? Jonelle Lewis’ ‘Yoga For Beginners’ workshops are ideal for those stepping on to the mat for the first time, while Steffy White’s Fluid Flow will help experienced yogis iron out any clunks and bumps to reveal a smoother flow.

Balance Festival is on at Old Truman Brewery from 11 to 19 May