Sat | Jan 19, 2019

North Coast transformation - Negril, MoBay host extended events aiming at life changes

Published:Sunday | November 19, 2017 | 12:00 AMKimberley Small
A Tropical Touch massage in progress during TmrwTdy Culture Fest 2017, soothing muscles on the shore of Negril’s famous seven-mile beach.
Rasta Ade Refreshment Vegan Café’s Audley Anderson (right) shows his veggie soup, along with his coworker, Kenoley Woolery, at the 2017 TmrwTdy Culture Fest.
Yoga Angels’ Ainsley Chuck (standing) helps attendees get the most out of their yoga session during the TmrwTday Culture Fest, held in May in Negril.
A night activity at A-Fest.
A-Fest participants line the pool at the Iberostar Rose Hall Suites last weekend.
Participants in last weekend's A-Fest at the Iberostar Rose Hall Suites brave the waters together.

Earlier this year the shores of Negril were awash with yogis and reggae fans, who came to the island to enjoy the inaugural TmrwTday Culture Fest from May 17 to 23.

The presence of reggae legends like Lee Scratch Perry, reggae revivalists such as Protoje and other prolific DJs/producers, including Toddla T, Gabre Selassie, Yaadcore and David Marston was compounded by a vegan/holistic approach to self-care. Providing such a mixed bag of entertainment and contemporary lifestyle practises, TmrwTday assured their return to Negril from May 1 to 6, 2018.

In the coming weeks, it will be the shores of Montego Bay hosting visitors hailing from Silicon Valley for this year's staging of the technology conference, TechBeach. As it happens, the same resort which will host the TechBeach facilitators and participants hosted another festival of sorts.

Last weekend, Iberostar Rose Hall Suites was home to Mindvalley's A-Fest. A-Fest is an invite-only community of people from over 50 countries who connect to learn from the world's best teachers, offering powerful training, profound mind shifts, bio-hacking techniques and deep connections to multiply the participants' impact and give back to humanity. The event takes place twice a year (Ibiza, Spain, May 17 to 20, and Montego Bay, Jamaica, November 9 to 12), and takes pride in selecting five-star paradise locations as venues.

Jason Campbell, director of Sales and Partnerships for Mindvalley/A-Fest told The Sunday Gleaner, "we always look for a place that feels special, exotic and unique for our guests. And, most important, we need to go to destinations that have rich cultural heritage. Jamaica was selected due to its history, unique culture and beautiful landscape and beaches."

Speakers at A-Fest included Mindvalley/A-Fest founder Vishen Lakhiani and co-founder/director of research for the Flow Genome Project, Steven Kotler, both New York Times bestsellers. Further to using the island as a backdrop, A-Fest invited Devon Harris, former captain of the original Jamaican Bobsled team, to open the event with an inspirational message.

"We visited a Rastafarian community to learn the local arts and culture scene. We rode catamarans on the sea and had a closing ceremony at Good Hope Great House, a historical property of beauty and magnificence," Campbell continued. A-Fest also invited the eccentricities of Dutch daredevil Wm Hof (The Iceman), known for swimming in extreme freezing conditions. Hof took an ice bath in MoBay with hundreds of A-Fest attendees.

"Combine Cirque du Soleil with a personal growth seminar and sprinkle in the most wonderful collection of artists, entrepreneurs and game changers the world." is how Chris Sukornyk, entrepreneur and first-time A-Fest attendee, described the event.

"This is the reality of the A-Fest bond and this past weekend in Jamaica was the most incredible hybrid workshop, party weekend, yoga retreat of my life," commented Skip Kelly, a filmmaker based in Los Angeles, California.