Meet Wellfest Co-Founder Anthony Kelly!
Hi Anthony, thanks for taking the time to have a chat with us today. First off, tell us what is WellFest?
No problem at all. Anything for Team Glenisk! You guys have been such great supporters of WellFest from year 1 and it is great to be working with you again for WellFest 2017
WellFest is Ireland's only health, fitness and wellness festival. Think Electric Picnic but instead of music at every stage, we have top presenters from the world of fitness, yoga, psychology, nutrition, cooking and lots more hosting classes, talks and seminars all weekend. WelllFest is about participation and joining in with all the great activities all weekend. Regardless of your current fitness level or experience you will find something fun to try at WellFest.
Where did the idea for WellFest come from? What was your inspiration?
WellFest was set up by four Irish people with a love for all things fitness and wellness. The original idea came from one of my co-founders who spotted that events like this were popping up in London, the US and Australia. We thought they were good but that we could do one better here in Ireland. We really wanted the event to have an outdoor festival vibe. I go to a lot of fitness and wellness expos and they are alway boring drab affairs. We wanted to bring the fun and feel of a music festival but to leave people feeling great rather than wrecked after the weekend!
Being one of the co-founders behind such a fantastic event, you obviously have a love for keeping well yourself. What wellness practices do you live by?
Unfortunately, I have a long term back injury so what I can do is a little limited. I love yoga, going to the gym and I have been practising mindfulness over the past few years. For me though, the key to everything is healthy eating. When I eat well, I feel well and everything is a little easier. I watch my diet really carefully (especially limiting simple carbs and sugary foods) and try to live by the 90 /10 rule. You can't be good all the time and I am no stranger to a nice dessert and a filthy take away!
What can people expect from this year’s WellFest?
I think this year's WellFest is going to be off the charts. We are so happy with the line up and are actually a bit worried about how we can go one better next year! Having Joe Wicks The Body Coach headline the festival is a dream and it's great he could fit it in to his really busy schedule. The rockstars we have from Ireland people like Enda McNulty, Gerry Hussey, John Kavanagh, Derval O'Rourke, Pat Divilly are sure to go down a storm also! Our American Yogis The Southern Yogi and GypsyOn with over 500,000 instagram followers between them are sure to draw a huge crowd!
We have 11 different areas this year so you can really plan a wide range of diverse activities. All activities are included in the ticket price and are all first come first served on the day. I am really excited about WellFood our new area which is in association with SuperValu. We will have live cookery demos all weekend from people like The Happy Pear, The Little Green Spoon and Roz Purcell. We are delighted to be bringing a new psychology element to the festival this year which will be hosted by the brilliant Gerry Hussey. I think this will make a lasting impact on anyone who attends these sessions.
What’s your dream for WellFest? How big do you think it can go?
I think WellFest can become one of the major festivals in Ireland by 2020 and definitely on the same scale as some of the major music festivals. The enthusiasm for fitness and wellness and taking better care of yourself is not a fad, it is a systemic change in Irish society and we are never going to go back.
The long term dream would be to make it a camping event so people can stay with us for the whole weekend.
Who would you love to attend Wellfest, apart from those exciting acts that are already booked!
My all time hero wellness hero is Rob Wolf. I would love to get him at WellFest. Rob was one of the first people behind the paleo diet phenomenon and is a key player in the ancestral health movement. Someone like Chris Kresser would also be great. Chris practises alternative and functional medicine and has the best free online resources. Being the son of an acupuncturist and practitioner of Chinese Medicine, I always lean more towards the alternative side of the fence when it comes to health.
The dream goal for anyone running an event like this is to of course get Arnold Schwarzenegger to come along. Imagine Arnie doing some bicep curls down at WellStrong, our strength area!
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of booking a ticket for this year’s Wellfest?
I think there are three types of people who think about booking a ticket to WellFest:
1) People who are fitness and wellness enthusiasts and know all our presenters and love it all.
2) People who are interested to see what it's all about.
3) People who would like to come but don't feel they are fit enough or maybe not confident enough to try new things.
I'm going to talk to the third group as I think they have the most to benefit from our festival. WellFest is for everyone, we specifically make sure that we have classes and workshops suitable for all levels of fitness, experience and ages. There is so much to try and you might find the one activity that really makes you tick. WellMind the mindfulness / meditation tent is one I would highly recommend and that really seems to resonate with a lot of people.
Any tips for those already booked in for WellFest 2017?
If you plan on coming for the day make sure to dress comfortably and bring something warm to wear. You just never know with the Irish weather. All the stages are covered but it could be chilly especially after you have been exercising. You only need to dress in exercise gear if you plan on exercising. If chilling is more your thing, you can have a great day at talks, watching food demos and browsing all the great stalls we have in WellVillage, our market area.
If you do plan on doing yoga or pilates or anything involving a mat, make sure to bring your mat along. We will have some to rent but you may prefer your own.
There is no need to bring food as you can buy food from our tasty food vendors and also from our artisan food producers in WellVillage. Glenisk of course will be there all weekend with their delicious yoghurts and toppings!
I hope I have given you a good flavour (no pun intended) of what to expect at WellFest 2017. I hope you can all make it down and join us for what promises to be an amazing weekend in Herbert Park on 6th & 7th May and let's hope the sun come out!
Use Promo Code 'Glenisk' to get 10% off your tickets at wellfest.ie