With festival season in full swing it’s nice to turn our attention away from the behemoths that vie for prominence in the media and look at what else is out there. Britain is a fantastic stage for more mindful events which can be found in stunning locations up and down the land if you know where to look.
Billing itself as being, “all about getting back to basics, getting grass in between your toes and taking time out from the pressures of modern life!”, Barefoot Festival in Leicestershire is a star of the season. Offering a chilled place to meet friends with similar outlook, and an inclusive environment for families, Barefoot eschews big sponsors and ploughs all profits back into the event. It has an impressive array of attractions and activities. Ever tried gong therapy? Why not? Ranging over three days from 29th to 31st July, starting on Fairy Friday and culminating in a festival of colour, this festival is a great way to recharge the spirit.
Shambala Festival – AKA Adventures in Utopia – takes place at the end of August. Unfortunately, they’ve already SOLD OUT for this year! So why mention it? Well, we couldn’t not mention it because it deserves to be on your radar for next year. The music line-up alone is of note, featuring big names from the worlds of bass and beats, folk & acoustic and even Saharan jazz. There are workshops, art installations, dance and talks on that range in topic from sustainable gardening to communalism. You can also get crafty and lovey by making a card for a stranger to find with the Dearest Lovely Human project. If you like the sound of all that, make sure that you get your ticket for next year nice and early.
Wilderness in Oxfordshire – 4-7 August – promises to be your source of summer relaxation in a beautiful and ancient setting. Their aim: strike a balance between relaxation and revelry, artistic refinement and simple pleasures. As headliners go, they don’t come much bigger than Robert Plant who is treading this year’s main stage along with a The Flaming Lips and a wealth of other great talent. Add to that spiritual, artistic and well-being workshops – plus long-table banquets from the likes of Raymond Blanc – you can feed your body and soul over three unforgettable days.
We ourselves are getting in on the Oxfordshire festival scene, taking all our best hippy clothing and fair trade finery along to Cider in the Barn, Oxford. Growing on the success of last year’s inaugural event, this year promises to be bigger, better and LOUDER. If you like the thought of great cider, fab food and live music in a lovely Oxford setting, you can WIN TWO FREE TICKETS including camping to the event via their Facebook page. The happening takes place on 10 September, just in time to mop up the last of the mild evenings. Come and say hello!