Wake Up!

The Wake Up Festival is a five-day immersion experience in personal and collective transformation. It’s the largest and only festival of its kind, uniting renowned spiritual teachers, bestselling authors, healers, scientists, poets, yogis, and lovers of life within the context of an open-hearted, uplifting community.

The Wake Up Festival is not your usual “festival.” It’s not about outer activities; it’s about inner exploration and discovery. We think of it as a feast of life-changing insights with just the right amount of practice to enable us to truly embody what we learn. You’ll be invited to approach awakening through meditation, personal writing, qigong, yoga, dance, shadow work, and more. And we will do it as individuals each supported by our Wake Up community.

“I experienced many lovely realizations and a sense of letting go, coming back to an innocence inside and seeing my entire life differently. The stories dropped, I realized that I have been living my life from such a deep, reverential, heartfelt place already. There is a recognition of already being free. I will be back next year for sure.”


The Event

When we touch a limitless sense of being—vast, open, undivided—we paradoxically become more uniquely ourselves, more empowered and on fire to bring forward our unique gifts. We wake up to our courage, to our authenticity, and to claiming our own value in the world. The Wake Up Festival explores this awakening from a wide range of different perspectives, and is an event like no other. Our focus is on opening our hearts to an all-encompassing embrace and doing so in a supportive, retreat-like environment. We will gather together for five days in Estes Park, surrounded by the beautiful Rocky Mountains, to immerse ourselves in:

  • The Power of Community—We can often grow the most when we are in a “field of transformation,” a gathering of people who are committed to the heights and depths of the spiritual journey
  • Learning from Great Teachers—Being in the presence of a great spiritual teacher is like sitting next to a living fire of awakening; their passion, knowledge, and experience illuminate us
  • Transformative Spiritual Practices—We can engage and experiment in different spiritual practices from the wisdom traditions of the world, exploring how to clear stuck energy, release the past, and connect with limitless space
  • Celebration—One of the best ways to open our hearts is through music, poetry, and dance, celebrating that we already have everything we need to savor the beauty and perfection of the moment

“I really appreciate how well this was organized and the deep and diverse offerings made by the presenters.”


Who Presents?

IMG_6610-FINALWe each carry a flame that lives inside our hearts—a flame of inner knowing and warmth and care for all of life. Spiritual teachers are sometimes called “torch bearers” because this fire burns so bright in their being and, when we are in their presence, we naturally “catch fire”. The Wake Up Festival features torch bearers who come from the world’s wisdom traditions, as well as artists, healers, poets, musicians and dancers who hold nothing back and are on fire with devotion to the mystery and beauty of being. Wake Up Festival presenters transmit their open-heartedness to us and serve as fellow travelers in our Wake Up community.

Who Attends?

People of all ages from around the world join to form the Wake Up Community. Last year’s Festival welcomed participants from throughout the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Brazil, Mexico, Romania, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, and more. Different religions, spiritual traditions, and ethnicities are represented. Come as a group or for a solo retreat. Some participants have immersed themselves in spiritual practice for decades and others are new to the journey. All are welcome.


Ways to Participate


Wake Up Festival:

  • Wednesday, August 20th at 7 pm through Sunday, August 24th at 12:30 pm
  • Admission to all classes, activities, and keynotes during the main Festival
  • Choice of one afternoon breakout workshop and one morning practice session per day

Pre-Festival Intensive:

  • Monday, August 18th at 7 pm and run through Wednesday, August 20th at 4:30 pm
  • Choice of one Pre-Festival Intensive
  • You do not need to attend the main Festival to attend a Pre-Festival Intensive

*Registration fees do not include lodging and meals.

“The Festival was a quenching ‘watering hole’ for us thirsty spirit beings.”


Pre-Festival Intensives

Pre-Festival Intensives provide a unique opportunity to spend two days in an intimate, deep-dive experience with one of the masterful Wake Up teachers. Join a small group of Wake Up participants, settle into the beauty of the Rocky Mountains, and begin your journey of transformation with your choice of one of the following Wake Up Festival presenters:


Pre-Festival Schedule

Monday, August 18th

Day 1

3:00 – 7:00 pm Pre-Festival Registration and YMCA Check-In
5:00 – 7:00 pm Dinner
7:00 – 8:30 pm Opening Welcome Gathering with Tami Simon, Pre-Festival presenters, and musical guests. (Optional)

Tuesday, August 19th

Day 2

7:00 – 9:00 am Breakfast, Pre-Festival Registration, and YMCA Check-In
9:00 am – 12:00 pm Session 1 Breaks will be taken at the discretion of the presenter.
12:00 – 2:00 pm Lunch
2:00 – 4:30 pm Session 2 Breaks will be taken at the discretion of the presenter.
4:30 – 5:00 pm Break
5:00 – 7:00 pm Dinner

Wednesday, August 20th

Day 3

7:00 – 9:00 am Breakfast
9:00 am – 12:00 pm Session 3 Breaks will be taken at the discretion of the presenter.
12:00 – 2:00 pm Lunch
2:00 – 4:30 pm Session 4 Breaks will be taken at the discretion of the presenter.


“The Festival filled my soul up to the top, and I came home and went back to my work renewed, energized, inspired. I still haven’t turned the TV on.”


Children’s Program

The Wake Up Festival offers a one-of-a-kind children’s program for children ages 3—13. Walk-ins during the Festival are welcome. The curriculum includes outdoor exploration, storytelling, music-making, puppet shows, creative projects, and more. Led by experienced Waldorf educator Melina Claire Ponak, the children’s program allows your child to dive into their own unique celebration of play while you enjoy your transformational experience at the Wake Up Festival. Childcare is offered daily during the main Festival and Pre-Festival during the times listed below.  Parents will need to pick up children during meal times.


Monday, August 18th Orientation with parents at 4:30 pm
Tuesday, August 19th during Festival hours
Wednesday, August 20th during Festival hours

Main Festival

Wednesday, August 20th Orientation with parents at 4:30 pm
Wednesday, August 20th during Festival hours
Thursday, August 21st during Festival hours
Friday, August 22nd during Festival hours
Saturday, August 23rd during Festival hours
Sunday, August 24th during Festival hours

Melina Claire PonakMelina Claire Ponak is a Waldorf Educator passionate about creative early childhood education and storytelling. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in the History of Ideas from McGill University and has extensive training in Waldorf pedagogy, medicinal herbalism, and therapeutic relations. She attributes her successful career as a teacher to her childhood love of voraciously devouring stories of all kinds, with a special preference for ancient myths and any story accompanied by music. While working on an organic farm, she discovered her beloved musical instrument: the Resonator Bells. With them she began to work as a freelance storyteller, puppeteer, and Waldorf Early Childhood educator. She resides in Boulder, Colorado where she teaches at Boulder Waldorf Kindergarten, a lovely farm-school, and Nevei Kodesh, a Jewish Renewal Congregation.

Children’s Program Registration

Main Festival Children’s Program $289

Pre-Festival Children’s Program $129

When you register for your Wake Up Festival pass, you will be given the option to add the children’s program to your purchase. If you have already purchased a Wake Up Festival ticket, please login to your registration and add the children’s program option. Walk-ins are welcome during the Festival; payment should be made at the Wake Up registration table.

“Truly, the best conference I have attended, not only because of the quality of presenters, but because of the experiential emphasis and the flowing structure.”


As the event approaches, you will be contacted by the Children’s Program facilitator and asked to fill out an information form and sign a waiver.

As you prepare your children for the Wake Up Festival, please keep the following in mind:

  1. The program will begin with an orientation for parents and children to meet Melina and her staff. Breaks will be taken during meal times, and parents will be responsible for picking up their children for meals and returning them to the Boulder Field Room.
  2. We invite you to bring sharable toys and picture books. Some examples are blocks, trains, stuffed animals, and dress-up costumes. We ask that you not bring electronic toys—anything that brings them joy and doesn’t beep, flash, or come from a TV show is welcome.
  3. Please pack snacks for your child each day.
  4. Please send each child with a backpack, a water bottle, sunscreen, a sunhat, sturdy shoes, swimsuit, and anything else you know they like to have outside.
  5. Every day includes time at the pool! The YMCA provides towels and there will be a lifeguard on duty, so just bring a swimsuit.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Melina Ponak at melinaclaire@gmail.com or 303.527.0062.

“The Festival was by far the most inclusive, well-organized, most participatory, and well-balanced event of its kind that I have had the honor of attending. I really appreciated both the depth and breadth of offerings, the experiential nature, and the outstanding quality and range of presenters.”