The sun is beginning to appear and festival season is approaching.
Here at Permaculture magazine we love the festival season - getting to meet amazing new and diverse people, eating a huge variety of culinary delights, relaxing in the summer sunshine to good music and being surrounded by beautiful landscapes.
It is a time for learning, relaxation, fun and adventures.
As we are based in the South Downs in Hampshire, we tend to venture to festivals closer to home in the south-east and south-west.
But with a little research we have discovered some brilliant festivals further north of the country that we wanted to share.
So if Glastonbury or Bestival are too far for you to travel, or Leeds and T in the Park are too expensive or too mainstream, why not check out some of these quirky, exciting and interesting festivals.
For those in Scotland there is Knockengorroch in Galloway on the south west coast. The festival was born from a love of roots music, and was created to bring great music and support rural regeneration to the beautiful and undiscovered hills. From folk music to Balkan brass, swing, funk, reggae and the famous Longhouse, where all-night live jam sessions take place alongside storytelling. As well as music the event will present comedy, theatre, dance, film and spoken word. Situated among conifer plantations and grazing Highland cattle, there is something for everyone, with workshops, real ales, dedicated children’s activities, a sauna, heritage and environmental workshops and much more.
Also on the Scottish west coast is the Kelburn Garden Party. Set in the grounds of a 13th century castle and glen, the Kelburn Garden Party offers wonderful music, along with ample activities and attractions for kids, both big and small, as well as many secret gigs and goings-on in nooks and crannies around the site. "The festival is free from corporate interference, and is brought to life by the tireless efforts of the organisers, volunteers, performers and of course you, our friendly campers and dancers!"
Kendal Calling in Lowther Deer Park in the stunning Lake District, offers an array of music with a relaxed atmosphere. They pride themselves on their eight intimate stages whilst "not packing everyone in like sardines," and have just been voted the UK 2013 winner for best medium festival! Previous artists have been Primal Scream, The Charlatans, Basement Jaxx, Seasick Steve, London Grammar and Kodaline to name just a few. The Sunday Times have said, "Kendal calling is loved as much for its breathtaking setting in rolling green fields as for its top-notch lineup."
Among the stages are the House party stage, Riot jazz stage, Woodlands stage, Ladybird children's area, Chai Wallah area that shows alternative folk music, the Garden of Eden with massages and all things spiritual, Performance art and so much more plus their real ale festival.
Willowman Festival in Yorkshire, is another great festival with a wide selection of music. It is based around a sumptuous café, a gathering place to play, be inspired, relax and connect and crewed by a diverse bunch of kindly folk who bring talents way beyond just serving your favourite brew. Up their sleeves is a long toothed brightly coloured history of circus skills workshops, It’s a Knockout competitions, land art, healing, drumming workshops, fire shows, stone balancing, crazy cabaret and finger puppets. Indulge yourselves in the selection of homemade organic and vegan cakes, fairly traded hot & cold drinks including fresh coffee & delicious Chai All served in real mugs - none of which costs the earth! Don’t forget to book your teams in for Saturday afternoons ’Wonky Willow Games’.
The Gaia Tribe summer camp set in a riverside meadow near High Hutton, North Yorkshire, offers both dynamic activity and the space to rest and recover from the hectic pace of modern life. For adults and children, the camp enables all to go at their own pace and choose the degree to which they want to participate in the activities on offer. There will be opportunities to join in a range of: creative arts, games, music of all sorts; singing, dancing, drumming; ceremony, healing, bodywork, discussion groups, and green living skills. Kevin Rushby reviewed it for The Guardian, and loved the relaxed atmosphere and the variety of entertainment.
Africa Oyé, the UK's largest free celebration of African music and culture, takes place annually in Liverpool. With acts from across Africa and the Caribbean plus more traders and a funfair for the kids, Africa Oyé is a fantastically different festival to visit this summer. "This isn’t just the largest festival of African and Caribbean music in Britain, it's the best," The Sunday Times.
The Northern Green Gathering is the perfect festival for any permaculturist. Powered by sustainable energy, and with a policy for only organic food, this festival is the best place to relax, learn and have fun. With sustainable living, music, campaigns, healing area, children's area and craft workshops there is plenty to keep you busy.
Also have a look at our calendar on the homepage for more festivals and events to take part in.
Plus, Green Gathering, based in Chepstow, are offering a special offer on ticket prices for Permaculture magazine readers! Green Gathering is a sustainably powered festival with a permaculture area, three days of amazing speakers, great music, food and crafts. They are freezing ticket prices at £80 when you use the code PERMGG14. Visit their website www.greengathering.org.uk Read our review of the festival HERE.
Permaculture - practical solutions for self-reliance, a magazine filled with useful and inspiring features, stories and ideas about all aspects of sustainable living from gardening and farming to green building and renewable technology. Check out a free digital copy HERE. You can subscribe to the print edition HERE.