The inaugural Festival Of Dreams is set to open at the Hordern Pavilion this month. The weekend of spiritual stimulation will feature internationally renowned medium Lisa Williams, Feng Shui expert Master Siou Foon Lee and Australian psychics Debbie Malone and Harry T, among many others. There will also be a myriad of stalls and exhibitions that the spiritually inclined can enjoy. Organiser Rosie Shalhoub talks about the festival and why it’s a necessity for the modern spiritual industry.
“For me it’s more of an empowering sort of a festival,” she explains. “It’s really about giving hopes and dreams to people. It’s a festival that’s never been seen before; it’s something that’s really different.”
Considering the abundance of television and online psychics, many of whom have their validity and motivations brought into question, it may be difficult for some to believe in the legitimacy of the Festival Of Dreams. This is exactly why Shalhoub created the festival in the first place.
“I’m an ex-professional psychic and have worked in the industry for over 25 years. I’ve watched the lack of integrity that’s happened over time. I just felt like there was something missing in this multi-billion-dollar industry; it was becoming really commercialised. I really want to bring back that authenticity and bring back the love that I feel that’s missing. Myself and my team have personally handpicked people that we feel will be there for that.
“When I was going out to other festivals I really felt that there was a lack of authenticity. With my shop I get to see psychics all the time and customers coming in. People really have some massive heartache in their lives and there’s that space in the industry where people can get ripped off. But the mediums who work for me aren’t on Facebook, they don’t have websites, they’re just people who want to help others and just go home to live their lives. They couldn’t care less if they were famous or on a TV show. They’re very genuine in what they do.”
Shalhoub’s store, Embrace, located in Westfield Miranda, will also have a stall at the festival. In fact, the atmosphere and community that has been built around the shop itself seems to have been a large motivation for the Hordern event.
“At Embrace we like to say that we sell hopes and dreams,” she says. “It’s a spiritual store but it’s also very mainstream. You don’t walk past and see that everything is purple and gothic. It’s very clean and classy; anybody and everybody will walk in because it’s very warm and inviting. We have so many customers who have become friends; it’s a real social atmosphere. For the girls that work there, it really isn’t a job for them.”
In addition to the aforementioned high-profile names attending the festival, visitors can expect a wide variety of exhibits that will cater to a range of different tastes and interests.
“We’re going to have an amazing Dream Pool of psychics and over 80 exhibitors in all areas of health, fitness and spirituality and 60 workshops and seminars that are free. You’ll also find different kinds of faiths represented, as well as motivational coaches and speakers. When people walk out we want them to feel very uplifted and empowered. We also want to be more open to more mainstream people. I’d love to see mums and dads and 30-year-old men who would prefer to be having a drink at the pub.”
Catch the Festival Of Dreams at Hordern Pavilion on Saturday August 23 and Sunday August 24.