World Culture Fest: Past Experiences and Future Celebrations

The event of a lifetime is happening September 29th through October 1st in the US for the very first time. Here’s what you need to know.

One of the largest multicultural celebrations on the planet is happening at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. this fall! To help you wrap your mind around this stellar event, I am here to share some past experiences and what you can expect when you attend! #WCF2023

First, a little background…

Who, what, why, and how much 


This massive celebration is organized by the Art of Living Foundation and its founder, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. 

  • Who is the Art of Living? The Art of Living is here to make life a celebration!  And we don’t just organize epic multicultural events. 
  • We provide people and communities with powerful ways to let go of stress, to uproot the seeds of violence and aggression, and to reconnect with themselves and with each other. 
  • Our research-backed methodology has changed the lives of everyday people, veterans, college students, prison inmates, trauma victims, civic leaders, CEOs, and more. 
  • Together with our partner organization, the International Association for Human Values, we engage in service projects that work towards conflict resolution, environmental restoration, and rural development around the world. 
  • Our programs and initiatives have reached more than 500 million people in 180 countries. #TheArtofLiving
  • Who is Gurudev? Gurudev is a visionary, humanitarian, and spiritual leader. He founded both the Art of Living and the International Association for Human Values. Here’s what Gurudev has to say about the upcoming WCF.

“The purpose of the World Culture Festival is to send a message that the whole world is one family and we can all coexist with our differences. It is an opportunity for leaders from all segments of society – business, politics, religion, and academia – to come together and renew their vision to work for the common welfare.

The Festival provides a platform for the preservation of local and indigenous traditions through music and dance as well as the opportunity for everyone else to relish and enjoy. This is a movement for the revival of universal human values such as love, compassion, and friendliness.”

  • Who will be there? The mayor of D.C., Honorable Muriel Bowser invites the world to the National Mall to experience the World Culture Festival, made in the USA. See the reception committee here


World Culture Festival is a unique three-day experience featuring incredible voices, talent, and creativity from around the world. YOU are invited to actively participate, share your uniqueness, and connect with others. 

United we CELEBRATE!


Connect with millions of people who long for more unity and less division. The power of this site (the National Mall) as a symbol of the people exercising their freedom to live together and accept each other as unique individuals, cannot be overstated. #EnoughDivision

Renew! Groove! Dance! Sing! 

How much

Past celebrations have impressive numbers! Take a look! 👀

2006 WCF Bangalore

  • 2.5 million attendees
  • 3,800 musicians/performers
  • 1000 spiritual/religious leaders
  • 750 political/business leaders

2011 WCF Berlin

  • 70,000 attendees
  • 6,000 artists
  • 151 countries represented

2016 WCF New Delhi

  • 3.75 million attendees
  • 36,000 performers
  • 2,500 spiritual/religious leaders
  • 110 countries represented

Discover World Culture Festival 2023 in Washington DC | The Art of Living

How much is a ticket to attend the next World Culture Fest? 
Absolutely FREE! Register here.

Past reflections

Deborah Trombold

In 2006, I had the good fortune to attend the WCF held in Bangalore, India. The venue was at an abandoned airfield that had been totally transformed by volunteers into a gorgeous location for performance and celebration. There were local vendors, Art of Living program displays, information booths, and a magnificent performance stage that seemed to go on forever.

Moving beyond this display area and onto the actual tarmac and performance area, one could not be struck more by the magnificence and grandeur of the stage and the performance area. The seating area was equally amazing!

Once seated amidst a sea of humanity the evening began in earnest with chanting Om. The thunderous sound of so many voices chanting Om in melodious unison defies description but elicited goosebumps, emotions, and tears. The energy, gratitude, and unity felt at that moment were palpable.

Kartheesan Ragavan

The World Culture Festival in New Delhi, India in 2016 was an amazing experience! I was 8 years into Art of Living from the greater Washington D.C. area. Traveling from Virginia to Chennai and then to New Delhi for the 3-day grand festival was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will cherish forever. 

I have never been to a Kumbh Mela (a major pilgrimage and festival in India) but I have seen it on TV. WCF felt like being part of a “Kumbh Mela” among a sea of people. At the banks of the river Yamuna, with pouring rain, Gurudev walked down the 7-acre stage to give a welcome speech and lead a guided meditation. The downpour stopped and the silent power of group meditation with over 3 million people reverberated. The mere memory of this meditation transports me to blissful ecstasy even now.

Denise Everheart

Yes, this is the story of my experience. I was fortunate enough to attend all three previous WCFs. Like Deborah’s experience in Bangalore, I was wowed big time by the experience of rolling Oms! It was my first time visiting India and I came to party like it was Woodstock without the drugs. 

I wore a rhinestone-embellished cowgirl hat, in my country’s colors- red, white, and blue! On the last night of celebrating, just as I was leaving the airfield, I saw a little girl in awe of my sparkly hat. Instantly, I spun around and placed the hat on her head. I will never forget the look on her face! Priceless!

The second WCF, in Germany, was at the Olympic stadium that Hitler built. What better place to hold a multicultural celebration and guided meditation for world peace!?! My favorite part of this festival was the stunning performances from all over the world. I will never forget the Argentinian tango, nor the international rock bands!

The WCF in New Delhi was my second visit to India. Clearly, I don’t like missing big and important events! And like Kartheesan’s experience, I was in awe of the 7-acre stage! But my favorite memory was meeting my new best friend. She was from California and I was from Michigan. We shared the bus ride from our hotel to the WCF site and became bonded for life!

The next WCF is in your backyard

I am thrilled that the next WCF is in the US this time around! No need to travel for almost 24 hours to participate. And I am even more thrilled to invite you to attend this “Made in the USA” WCF. 

Participate in this historic event by clicking here. You can get your FREE passes, and all your questions answered including where to stay, and even where to send an email if you are interested in performing! Can’t wait to see you there! #UnitedWeCelebrate

About the Writer:

Denise Everheart is a freelance writer, life-long meditator, SKY Breath Meditation instructor, party planner, veg chef, and recipe designer. Follow her @everheartstudio4meditation and @celeplateyourlife on Instagram.