A summer of festivals for music and food lovers
In recent years there has been an explosion in the number of music festivals up and down the country. It used to be that if you wanted to see a number of bands at the same venue your choices were really Glastonbury, Isle of Wight, and Reading and Leeds. Apart from the actual music, these were known for mud, rain, missing tents, a lack of toilets, queues, and basic fast food. Frankly, not that appealing to a slightly more *ahem* mature audience!
Thankfully things have moved on, with festivals targeting specific audiences, and a number have identified that there is room for family friendly festivals, and others combining that with our nations increasing love of good food.
Last September was the first outing for On Blackheath, which I attended with my partner. We were amazingly lucky with the weather and were able to enjoy a really relaxed and fun day. As you can see from our photos it has something for children, parents, food lovers, and music lovers alike.
This year promises to be the same with great music from Elbow, Madness , Manic Street Preachers, Kelis, Anna Calvi, Laura Mvula, plus lesser known acts on a different stage. There is also a Food Stage with Michelin starred chefs and ‘Chef’s Club’ serving beautiful food in addition to the normal range of food stalls. Beer is from the local brewery Greenwich Meantime. London Unattached will be running a competition for 2 tickets, so watch this space! On Blackheath is running 12th and 13th September.
If you can’t wait until September, there are plenty of other options either in London, or within easy travelling distance. A few of these are listed below to whet your appetite:
Nocturne at Blenheim Palace takes place 25-28 June.
25 June – Van Morrison & Gregory Porter
28 June – Ludovico Einaudi
26 / 27 June – To be announced
Calling Festival on Clapham Common takes place on Saturday 4th July, and as well as Noel Gallagher‘s High Flying Birds it features Echo and The Bunnymen, one of my favourite 1980s bands. I’ve been fortunate enough to see them a couple of times, and Ian McCullough never fails to deliver a shiver down my spine when he sings the Killing Moon.
Other artists include: Ryan Adams and The Hives
Boardmasters sounds like a look of fun, combining surfing and music in Cornwall during August: 5 – 9 August 2015. Some fantastic acts on this line-up, and bang in the middle of the school holidays it could be enormously entertaining.
Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay, Cornwall (camping)
Headlined by: Bastille, Rudimental, Faithless. Other artists include: Clean Bandit, The Darkness, De La Soul, Duke Dumont, DJ EZ
Surf Competition: Five days of thrilling surf action at Fistral Beach
Later on in August, is the Nations favourite chef’s own event, the Big Festival: Jamie Oliver & Alex James present The Big Feastival on Alex James’ Farm, Kingham, The Cotswolds. Some years back this started out on Clapham Common, and I was fortunate to see Soul to Soul perform there, and can confirm that the food was a cut above the normal festival fare; it was more on a par with Taste of London with the bonus that you got to see Jamie cooking. This year the chefs include Raymond Blanc, Richard Burr and Monica Galetti. I’d love to see what she’s like in person as she comes across as somewhat ferocious on Masterchef!
Headlined by: Paloma Faith, Groove Armada (DJ Set) + third headliner TBA
Other artists include: Ella Eyre, Grandmaster Flash, Norman Jay MBE, The Cuban Brothers
Food elements confirmed: Healthy Living Zone with Deliciously Ella and Hemsley & Hemsley, Street Food Alley, AEG Cooking Club + more
Family / Children’s programme: Little Dudes Den, The Big Top Tent, Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park + more
The Big Festival takes place 28 – 30 August.
And finishing up the season is the wonderful On Blackheath.
Keep an eye on London Unattached for the opportunity to win 2 tickets to On Blackheath 2015.
I can’t promise that it won’t rain and that there won’t be mud – it is British Summertime after all! But with great music, great food, great drink and good friends there is no reason at all not to relax and get with the groove!