We’ve been invited to check out a brand new festival this summer and we can’t wait. For those of you who have followed the blog for a while now, through the building of the Potty Adventures festival wagon; through us taking our eldest (who was aged one at the time) to his first major festival while Nat was 7 months pregnant with our second child; through us wrangling and wrestling two toddlers together at various festivals; you’ll know full well that we LOVE festival season. So, when the good people at Timber Festival contacted us to invite us to their inaugural weekend event, we were absolutely delighted. Here’s why…
Promising an “intoxicating experience where music, art, philosophy and sustainability weave together into an unforgettable, exhilarating weekend”, Timber Festival certainly sounds the part. However, forget the marketing-driven catchphrases and straplines, it’s what is actually on the bill that exhilarates me. In short, it’s very cool, extremely varied, and seems to have carved out a nice little niche for itself.
Starting with the idea of Timber Festival cutting itself a niche to stand out from the crowd during a packed festival season, the whole weekend is the brainchild of two very different but very complimentary groups of people. You see, Timber Festival is a joint venture between Wild Rumpus (the people behind the awesome Just So family festival) and the National Forest Company, who champion the protection and growth of forests and use them as a means to engage communities. In our eyes this is already a mouth-watering recipe for success.
Therefore, it shouldn’t come as any great surprise that this is absolutely a family-friendly festival. Just one look at the extensive list of family activities and programming will leave you in no doubt about that. The success of Just So Festival is down to the truly unique experiences on offer for kids and the sheer numbers of them. I’m very hopeful that this will be the same. Likewise, with the considerable input and knowhow of the National Forest Company, Timber Festival proudly aims to raise awareness of and celebrate sustainability. There are quite a few family-friendly festivals now in the UK. There are also festivals that strive to be more eco-conscious. However, I’m not sure there are many at all that have tried to pair these two attributes together in this way.
So, what can you expect if you decide to visit Timber Festival this year? In short: a lot! In terms of music, they have carefully selected acts which embrace the ambience and notion of the festival. Jane Weaver, This is the Kit and Hope and Social are among the eclectic acts confirmed as is Aadae, who will bring her afro-centric soul music to this unique forest setting. Elsewhere there will be acoustic sets from the likes of Ewan McLennan and dreamy electro soul pop from Alice Jemima. Oh, and just for families, there will be a Campfire House Band (obviously complete with roaring campfire!) to keep the kids up past their bedtimes as evening draws into night. Yes, that does sound pretty amazing, I know! As well as live performances, esteemed broadcasters, such BBC Radio 6 presenter Stuart Marconi will be on hand to talk to festival goers about all things music.
The entertainment isn’t just confined to the musical variety either. The arts in all of their many guises play a huge part in making up Timber Festival. For example, Jony Easterby, will bring his interactive and immersive Trees and Wood performance to the festival. This awesome sounding performance will blend installation art, movement, song and music to transport us on a journey which explores our relationship with the natural world.
Another thing that I know our kids will love is the Museum of the Moon. This 7 metre moon sculpture features real NASA imagery of the lunar surface together with sound composed by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award winning composer Dan Jones. I’m sure you’ll agree it looks pretty special…
From sculptures to virtual reality. Ever wondered what it would be like to be an animal? Well, thanks to the In the Eyes of the Animal experience, you can. Festival goers will be given the opportunity to experience the woodland that surrounds them through the eyes of fours species of forest animal. Consequently, if any of you see me hopping, stalking or burrowing through the woodland with a VR headset strapped to my face, you’ll understand that I haven’t quite lost the plot…yet.
There is also a cornucopia of pleasures to be had on the comedy stages. Renowned funnyman Mark Dolan will be among those tickling your mind with sharp wit and uproarious tales.
Specifically for Kids
Especially for kids there is also storytelling and mind-bending science experiments. There are aerial acrobatics performances literally in the trees and Hammer and Chisel, which is a unique woodland playground that kids can add to over the course of the weekend. The idea is that by using the tools and resources made available to them, such as ropes, ladders, pallets and tyres, kids will create a myriad of secret dens and passageways to play in and explore. I wonder whether they let dads in too?
Furthermore, there will be interactive workshops on tree climbing, slack lining, mask making and leaf art, as well as a board game tent and forest library where you can take out a book, find a quiet area of the forest and conduct some storytelling of your own.
From guided runs at dusk to the eco-spa, there are plenty of ways to chill out and relax at Timber Festival. Moreover, the Tentsile tree tents will definitely be getting checked out by us while, if the kids attempt to drive us crazy, there are yoga and tai chi sessions to help us find a place of inner peace and relaxation. However, if they still prove too much for me, you’ll most likely find me in he forest bathing area. Yes, really!
All in all, we are genuinely and massively excited to be attending Timber Festival this year. It sounds like nothing we’ve ever previously attended before and the line-up has ensured we’ll all have an absolute blast. If this sounds like your type of weekend away, why not join us there?
For more info: http://timberfestival.org.uk/
Dates: 6/7/8 July 2018
Place: National Forest at Feanedock on the Leicestershire/Derbyshire border