Festival season is well and truly here! But it’s not just the big venues like Glastonbury or Reading and Leeds that we’re excited about here at Kettle. Over the last few years, the growth of smaller festivals around the UK have rocketed. Offering cheaper tickets and more family fun activities, as well as giving new and upcoming artists a huge stage to share with bigger names – there is a lot more these kinds of festivals can offer in terms of flexibility.
Enter Blissfields – the annual weekend festival taking place on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of July at Vicarage Farm, Winchester. With a ticket capacity of 2,500, it’s winner of the “Best Small Festival” award and offers unique boutique camping for you to sleep in style.
So with just under two weeks to go, what can you expect from this year’s Blissfields Festival?
If you’re looking for a bit of everything, Blissfields is the place to be.
Just look at the headliners and you’ll find some serious variety; with alternative indie-electric vibes from Public Service Broadcasting, to rockers The Horrors tearing up the main stage on Friday night.
Saturday night sees American folk star John Grant warming up for electro/house legends Simian Mobile Disco, who are bound to end the weekend with something spectacular.
Away from the headliners you’ll find an equally impressive line-up, playing on two stages and three seperate areas.
Festival favourites Dub Pistols return once again to the main stage, of course dance and house lovers you’ll be pleased to see Eaton Messy, Mary Miss Fairy and Karen Harding, known for her hit record ‘Say Something’ on the bill.
Alongside DJ sets from Mele, DJ Yoda, Alex Adair, Bitr8 and Transgressive Sound System to name a few, you’ll certainly be kept dancing over the weekend.
Lover of rap and grime? Novelist hits up the Blisscotheque stage Friday night, before Akala treats you to his linguistic genius on the Now and Den stage on Saturday.
Indie and punk rock bands including Gorgeous George, This City Limits and Head North are of course not to be forgotten, with the Larch stage offering you tonnes of bands to get to know.
And if you’re after something a bit more soothing, infamous festival poet Beans on Toast, Flo Morrissey and Mercury Prize nominee, Ghostpoet are on hand to make this festival as versatile as possible.
“Somewhere in Time”
Each year Blissfields focuses on a different theme, with this years ‘Somewhere in Time’ celebrating the festival’s 15 years of history, posing the idea of being allowed to go back through time and even stare into the future. Alongside some seriously creative fixtures ready to get your imagination flowing, a number of time travel events and activities will take place throughout the weekend.
This includes Time Warp Sports Day, where you’ll be challenged to some old fashioned school sports day games so you might want to practice your wheelbarrow race technique. Saturday night is all about dressing up, so be sure to bring your glitter, glow sticks and an out of this world costume!
You’ll be able to explore Blissfields four-dimensional world featuring brand new and bespoke installations and artwork, plunge yourself into living, breathing and interactive festival scenery, bathe under the stars, join themed games and get a clear perception of humanity; where we’ve been, where we’re going, the pitfalls, the possibilities, the perils and the promise. – www.blissfields.co.uk
An area for everyone
It’s not all about the music here, with a number of areas designated for festival goers to relax, create and experience new things
The Craft Area: Get creative whilst relaxing with friends and family in the Craft Area. It’s been a big hit in previous years, with all sorts going on from tie dye t-shirt and jewellery making, to wood cutting and leather work
Angel Gardens Family Area: Blissfields is definitely a family friendly festival, with areas like this full of child-friendly games and activities to enjoy. This year their Activistz Kidz Club aims to get kids politically minded by creating chants and banners, alongside talks teaching them why people protest to achieve the things they want.
Amoeba to Zebra: This area was brand new last year and it was clearly a hit as it is back again to offer a completely different experience to one you’d normally find at a festival. Co-hosted with the Born Free Foundation, you can start your day off with a bit of morning yoga, listen to discussions from a number of expert speakers and lecturers and enjoy some Spoken Word, Stand Up Comedy, Circus Cabaret and much more.
The Hidden Hedge: With its own line-up of burlesque cabaret, trapeze artists, as well as international DJ’s and bands the Hidden Hedge is an area you’ll want to find. Head on over Saturday afternoon for some Rebel Bingo.
Elysian Lounge: If your legs are aching from all that dancing or you’re waiting for your favourite acts to come on, head over to the Elysian Lounge, where you’ll find a quiet corner with cushions, some relaxing music and a fire pit burning into the night.
Electric Dreams: Gather your friends together or make some new ones over at Blissfields very own cinema and Independent Film Festival. Showing both day time and late night screenings of emerging films and ultimate classics like Forrest Gump (showing Thursday at 8pm) this is one not to miss!
So there you have it, Blissfields 2015! Get your day or weekend tickets here before they sell out.