Spiritual festival hopes for continued success

MORE than 6000 people are expected to flock to Newcastle for the second Bodhi Festival next month.

Organisers hope the event, which is billed as a transformational spiritual festival, will build on the success of last year’s inaugural event, which was held at the former David Jones building in the Hunter Street Mall.

This year the event will be based at Newcastle City Hall with hubs at Civic Park, Wheeler Place and local beaches.

Run by the not-for-profit spiritual group Shanti Mission,  the festival was initially planned to return to Newcastle in 2014.

Strong demand  prompted them to bring  event forward.

Newcastle City Council tourism and economic development services manager Jan Ross said the festival would capitalise on the worldwide demand for health and wellness tourism.

Running from March 30 to April 1, the Bodhi Festival will feature international and Australian kirtan musicians, as well as spiritual leaders, yoga teachers, meditation masters, inspirational speakers and more.

Hunter Region musicians Jyotishakti and Maitreya will run a workshop at the festival entitled The Transformational Power of Sound and Mantra.

‘‘Music is an easy way for people to open their hearts,’’ Maitreya said.

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