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Peace in the Park Festival 2015 - ‘spirit of utopia’ Logo

Peace In The Park Festival 2015 - ‘spirit Of Utopia’

Starts: 24th Jul 2015

Free Entry - Booking required: A festival of ideas, music and fun with an ambiance of deeply chilled relaxation. Fascinating talks, enchanting meditation pavilions, gorgeous enclaves of music, woodlands teeming with activities for families and Feelgood Spaces for young people.


Start Date

24th Jul 2015

End Date

26th Jul 2015


Global Retreat Centre Nuneham Park Nuneham Courtenay



Festivals are places to experience the world as it could be, a world that springs into life for a shared experience over a dreamy summer's weekend and, as Michael Eavis is fond of saying, make the world a slightly better place.

When we started Peace in the Park in Oxfordshire five years ago we had a crazy idea to break down the perceptions people have about meditation being boring, hard work and done by wacky people. Wouldn't it be great, we thought, if people could come and enjoy the highly energising feeling of uplift we get from meditation, even if they don't really want to meditate? So we started imagining a festival of ideas, music and fun with an ambiance of deeply chilled relaxation, where you can relax with a cup of tea under ancient cedars, stroll into a fascinating talk and stumble across gorgeous enclaves of music that waft you into a wonderful headspace. With a woodland teeming with activities for kids and families, a fairytale theatre amid sprawling oaks, a Feelgood Space for young people and places to imagine a beautiful future. And yes, if you fancy dipping your toe into the actual experience of meditation, then we'd make that as easy and fun as possible by creating enchanting meditation pavilions that satisfy the most hardened cynic.

Holding the festival in the grounds of the Global Retreat Centre made the vision that much easier to realise. Its history of authors, philosophers and poets have already steeped the place in dreams of beautiful and imaginary worlds. The event sprawls over a landscape that flows uphill and down dale past breathtaking views, ancient woodlands, wildflower meadows and secret gardens with temples and gods and engraved sonnets.

Because we want to make the event open to everyone, there are no entrance fees, just whimsical donation boxes that 10,000 festival-goers fill up with thank you notes, envelopes and scrunched up bits of paper, containing just enough to cover costs.

But perhaps the biggest help in realising our crazy vision was the boundless enthusiasm of the 300 plus volunteers who host the festival, all of them Utopians in their own right. Each one a meditator from different walks of life from finance to furniture-makers, shop workers to artists, musicians, authors journalists and nurses. All of them brought together by the dream of a more peaceful, loving world. As Rumi so eloquently put it, “Beyond our ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”


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