The Saunaverse, is the UK’s first ever Sauna Festival, and will be held in Hackney Wick on 18-19th February 2023 The festival will combine access to wood fired saunas, with a full lineup of DJs, music, workshops, talks, food and drink.
Guests will have unlimited access to the 10 mobile saunas, as well as cold plunge pools and wood fired hot tub throughout the 2 days. Tom de Wilton, founder is building the UK’s largest mobile sauna especially for the festival, which will seat over 20 bathers. The main stage will have a full lineup of local musicians and DJs, providing music to the dancefloor, and in the saunas themselves.
The Saunaverse aims to champion authentic sauna bathing, which involves cycles of high heat with steam generated by throwing water onto rocks, interspersed with alternating periods of cool down or cold plunge. The Saunaverse hopes to provide a first stepping stone for those interested in Sauna bathing to try it out in a relaxed setting.
Different sessions will run in the different saunas throughout the day, to allow guests to experience a taste of different sauna bathing traditions from around the world, such as Aufguss and Leaf whisking.
The festival is a body positive event and certain areas of the festival will be delineated as clothing optional, giving guests the opportunity to experience sauna bathing in the traditional manner without clothing.
The festival is open from 10am – 10pm on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th of February, at the Hackney Wick Community Sauna Baths. Day and weekend tickets are available here and include everything apart from specific one-on-one treatments such as massage, which will be available for a small additional cost. Low income and local tickets are available to ensure cost is not a barrier to attend. Day tickets range from £55 to £75.
Several speakers will present on the topic of sauna, including Liz Watson, the founder of Beach Box Brighton, often cited at the birthplace of UK mobile sauna culture. Charlie Duckworth, founding director of the Hackney Community Sauna Baths and Claire Bracegirdle, @wild_saunas.
A portion of all ticket sales will be donated to Sauna Aid, a charity working to deliver mobile saunas to displaced refugees and troops impacted by the Ukraine war, to offer the familiar, restorative benefits of sauna to those who have lost access to a practice that is so heavily ingrained in Ukrainian culture.
Tom de Wilton, founder of The Saunaverse explained: ‘UK sauna culture is booming and all signs indicate that authentic sauna will only grow in popularity, and founding a Sauna Festival felt like the logical next step.
There’s a reason that Finland has ranked No. 1 as the happiest country in the world for 5 years in a row! The feedback to the launch of The Saunaverse has been incredible, with an overwhelming outpouring of support and interest from the community. We aim to educate on the joy and benefits of good heat, not some stuffy gym sauna where you’re not allowed to throw water on the rocks.’
The Saunaverse Ltd is a new company founded by Tom de Wilton, an Oxford University Engineer, who most recently was the co-founder and COO of high growth tech startup Oxwash.