Last weekend saw the unofficial kick off of this year’s festival season, along with a taster of (some) sunshine as a reminder that summer is finally just around the corner. Whether you’ve already got your season planned or you’re looking for some last minute tickets, make sure you check out smaller boutique festivals in your local area. They’re the perfect way to see great acts, experience some local culture and have a weekend to remember with your mates, at a fraction of the price compared to more well-known events.
Blissfields Festival on Vicarage Farm, just outside Winchester, is the best example going of the quirkiness and unique vibes you’ll find at boutique festivals. Running from the 30th June to 2nd July, you’ve got just under a month to grab your tickets to see the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Everything Everything and many many more take to the stage.
This year’s house party theme comes with Blissfields’ biggest ever art installation, Our House, smack bang in the middle of the festival. This full size house will be packed with secret individual parties. I’m talking retro discos in the living room, garage raves and slumber parties. Think you’ve seen a house party? You’ve seen nothing yet.
With their massive array of unique areas and stages dotted around, there’s always tonnes of separate acts and activities going on throughout the day and into the evening, to make sure you definitely won’t be short of things to do and see. The Hidden Hedge, winner of the Association Of Independent Festivals award a few months back for Most Unique Arena, is converting a Boeing cockpit into a video Dj booth this time around. See if you can find it!
The Manor is where Swim Deep, Shy FX, Dub Pistols, Beans On Toast, Honne and Loyle Carner will join a whole heap of other acts to perform on the main stage. Whilst under the Big Top tent of The Den you’ll find the likes of Norman Jay MBE, Roni Size & Dynamite MC, Sub Giant, Yellow Days and Drones Club whipping the crowd into a frenzy.
Two other areas offer very different scenes depending on what time of day you visit them. If you’re after all things acoustic, then The Larch is where you’ll want to be heading during the day, before it turns into party heaven after dark, with a variety of funk, electro swing and gypsy punk on offer. Whilst The Bay, a brand new area for 2016, offers an ‘oasis of contentment and calm’ by day, with cocktails, sand pits and deckchairs to relax and rewind in the sun. By night, it transforms into the ultimate sensory experience to treat your eyes, ears and minds.
Speaking of treats, the Blisscotheque is an old Blissfields favourite which will take you into the early hours, with some of most loved and best up and coming DJs around slaying the decks. This year Shorebitch, Bitr8, K1R3Y, FooR and Logan Sama to name a few, will be making you lose your mind.
There really is something for everyone here, with such a friendly family vibe mixed in with the party. Angel Gardens is the core place for all family activities, whilst the Craft Area is the perfect place to chill and make all kinds of creations. This year for the first time Blissfields is also classed as off-site learning, so you can even request a letter from the festival to allow kids to attend without missing a day off school.
So what are you waiting for? Tier 3 tickets are still currently available, but selling out fast.
Adult Weekend Ticket (17yrs+) – £105.45
Youth Weekend Ticket (10 – 16yrs) – £85.45
Child Weekend Ticket (0 – 9 yrs) – £0.01
Family Weekend 2xAdult (+17yrs) 2xYouth (u17yrs) – £341.80
Book now to avoid disappointment. You won’t want to miss this!