Art of Living Foundation, a volunteer-based organization with a presence in over 180 countries, is set to host its World Culture Festival on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The festival, taking place from September 29 to October 1, aims to promote peace and unity. Led by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a renowned Indian guru, the event is expected to draw thousands of performers, world leaders, and humanitarians.

The festival, described as a “cultural Olympics without any competition,” will feature jumbotrons, tents, and projection screens along the Mall, spanning from 7th Street SW to the Lincoln Memorial. The National Park Service permit application filed by Art of Living reveals plans for a podium equipped with festival lighting and sound equipment. Notably, the festival is free to attend, and registration is open to all.

The event boasts an impressive reception committee, composed of national and global leaders who endorse the festival. Over 50 influential figures, including heads of state, parliament members, and United Nations delegates, are expected to attend or speak at the festival. Furthermore, a 1,000-member gospel choir and more than 2,800 dancers representing over 35 countries will participate in the festivities.

Food will play a significant role in the event, with approximately 50 food trucks from local businesses serving international dishes. The foundation anticipates that the festival will generate $30 million in revenue for the host city, providing a much-needed boost to tourism following the pandemic-induced downturn.

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the driving force behind the festival, is well-known for his viral videos on topics such as life’s purpose and stress management. While he has faced controversies in the past, including a legal dispute over an earlier cultural festival in India, Shankar remains dedicated to promoting peace and tackling societal issues.

With thousands of registrations already received and an expected attendance of at least 100,000, the festival organizers are working closely with the National Park Service and District officials to ensure the event’s success. Temporary road closures will be implemented throughout the weekend to accommodate the festivities.

The World Culture Festival on the National Mall presents a unique opportunity for people from diverse backgrounds to come together and celebrate unity, peace, and cultural diversity. As the preparations continue, Washington, D.C. eagerly awaits this grand event that promises to be a memorable and impactful experience for all attendees.