Fes­ti­val sea­son is approach­ing fast – only five weeks till some of us will be sleep­ing, or at least try­ing to, in our tents. Here are a few more events to whet your appetite, and some fes­ti­val news too. Some fes­ti­vals are get­ting low on tick­ets, so don’t pon­der for too long. And if you’re a food­ie, there’s some wel­come gourmet news from Port Eliot. 

Bearded Theory   25th – 28th May     Now sold out

Make sure you pack your beard (a false one, that is) along with the tent so you can join in the annu­al World record attempt for the largest num­ber of peo­ple wear­ing false beards. Start­ing life as a spon­ta­neous response to the festival’s rather unortho­dox name (who’s true ori­gins still remain shroud­ed in mys­tery), Beard­ed The­o­ry’s Sun­day after­noon com­pe­ti­tion has become a focal point of the week­end and could win you a pair of tick­ets for the fol­low­ing year. Get Beard­ed The­o­ry tick­ets here. Under 500 tick­ets remain.

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Bushstock  Saturday 10th June

Shep­herd’s Bush plays host to an eclec­tic day of music run by the Com­mu­nion inde­pen­dent label. Appear­ing at venues around the area are The Staves, also Palace Win­ter: they played a riv­et­ing set at Green Man last sum­mer – intense and shoegazy. Also appear­ing is Ben­jamin Fran­cis Left­wich, Basia Bulat, Seafret and more. Bush­stock venue ros­ter includes beau­ti­ful lit­tle Bush Hall – if you haven’t vis­it­ed this lush red-draped Edwar­dian dance hall, here’s a per­fect chance, and if you get hun­gry, they own the Din­ing Rooms next door too. Bush­stock fes­ti­val, London.

Also Festival 30th June – 2nd July

Salon London’s event has caught my atten­tion this year with its feast of art, sci­ence, phi­los­o­phy, music, swim­ming and food. And now this imag­i­na­tive lit­tle fes­ti­val has added more events to the lineup. 

 

You can idly browse the Night Mar­ket which show­cas­es local artists and craft folk while sip­ping a beer from the beau­ti­ful lake­side Orangerie. If cham­pagne is more your thing, don’t miss the all too brief pop­up: Sylvie’s Cham­pagne Hour. There’s more music with Gab­by Young & Oth­er Ani­mals and her 7‑piece Balkan brass, jazz and swing band. Also some smooth soul from Eck­oes. Among the talks is Dough­nut Eco­nom­ics with inter­na­tion­al econ­o­mist and rene­gade Dr Kate Raworth. And if you can face your night­mares com­ing to life, Art Macabre present a fam­i­ly friend­ly cre­ative draw­ing work­shop. Also Fes­ti­val is at Comp­ton Ver­ney, War­wick­shire, £120 for three days.

Bluedot Festival   7th – 9th July

The inspi­ra­tional Blue­Dot fes­ti­val, nes­tled under the Lovell tele­scope at Jodrell Bank, is on my fes­ti­val rec­om­mends list, and they’ve just added day tick­ets at £59 per day. The dai­ly line­ups are on the site now too. Hot Chip front­man Joe God­dard will per­form live, plus Gold­frapp, Hawk­wind and, apt­ly, Moon­land­ingz. Tick­ets are here

BlueDot_Friday_JodyHartley-40

Chagstock  21 – 22 July

This start­ed small, and has stayed small. If you’re look­ing for a non-cor­po­rate, fam­i­ly event, Chag­stock is per­fect. The not-for-prof­it week­ender is set in 70 acres of farm­land on the edge of Dart­moor. It start­ed life as a small pri­vate par­ty and is now an annu­al fix­ture, sell­ing out all 5,000 tick­ets for the last four years.

The Shires country band

Head­lin­ing this year are (above) coun­try music suc­cess sto­ry The Shires. Also on the line­up are Soul II Soul, Dub Pis­tols, Skin­ny Lis­ter and fab­u­lous Ban­ga­lore folk out­fit Raghu Dix­it. All at just £90 for week­end camp­ing tick­ets. Day tick­ets are now on sale for £55. Chag­stock tickets 

Port Eliot    27th – 30th July

This coastal Cor­nish event is rec­om­mend­ed on my fes­ti­val guide, but there’s an update on the food line­up – Port Eliot under­stands that food is just as impor­tant as music (which makes per­fect sense to us here at Gourmet Gigs). 

Aaron Ber­telsen, veg­etable gar­den­er and cook at Great Dix­ter in Sus­sex, will take his audi­ence on a recipe-led tour of the kitchen gar­dens he man­ages; oys­ter evan­ge­list Katy David­son – The Oys­ter Lady of Newquay brings a mas­ter­class in shuck­ing, tast­ing and prepar­ing the best sauces; Bel­gian anglophile food writer and Miss Food­wise blog­ger, Reg­u­la Ysewi­jn, will show how to make his­tor­i­cal tarts. And cre­ator of The Col­lec­tor Ver­mouth, Jack Adair Bevan, will teach the audi­ence how to make a fine vermouth. 

Pho­to Louise Roberts

New this year are Open Sesame, offer­ing inno­v­a­tive Per­sian food pre­pared with ingre­di­ents from along the south coast of Eng­land; Thyme & Tide pre­pares kedgeree, seafood pael­la; Muf­fin Man serves home­made Eng­lish muffins filled with sausage, pork bel­ly and bacon jam, smoked eel and scram­bled duck eggs with sweet pota­to and kale hash made by a Miche­lin-trained chef. Click here for Port Eliot tickets

Fea­ture image: Port Eliot fes­ti­val, Fiona Campbell

Towersey Festival   25 – 28 August

Tow­ersey Fes­ti­val is a folk-based fes­ti­val set in an Oxford­shire vil­lage. It is a gen­tle affair, pop­u­lat­ed year upon year by extend­ed fam­i­lies, with babies through to great grand­par­ents in atten­dance. The camp­ing is fair­ly hard­core: many arrive for the dura­tion with what looks like the entire con­tents of their kitchen. And there’s com­plete silence at night, quite wel­come if you’ve exhaust­ed your­self in the ceilidh tent.

Towersey is 50
Tow­ersey is 50

Tow­ersey moved to a new loca­tion a cou­ple of years ago – by all accounts it has lost none of its quirky flavour. KT Tun­stall, New­ton Faulkn­er, Lind­is­farne and The Block­heads star this year. You can become an Ambas­sador, earn treats and even get in for free. Check the Tow­ersey website

*And if you’re des­per­ate to see The Block­heads, don’t for­get they’re also live at Eal­ing Blues fes­ti­val. Read about it here

Victorious Festival  25th – 27th August

There are some recent line­up addi­tions to Vic­to­ri­ous Fes­ti­val, the August Bank Hol­i­day event set in Portsmouth on the seafront. Turin Brakes, whose 2015 album Lost Prop­er­ty found its way onto many a ‘best album of the year’ lists, will be play­ing, along with The Slow Read­ers club, Ben­jamin Left­wich and many oth­ers. Oth­ers to watch are Elbow and The Char­la­tans. There are sev­er­al stages includ­ing an acoustic stage and there’s more than plen­ty going on for chil­dren. I would make a bee­line for the Real Ale Vil­lage with the May­field Stu­dios stage which show­cas­es shan­ty tunes and folk. Tick­ets are priced by the day, cur­rent­ly on Tier 3, at around £40 per day per person. 

World Music Area 

Truck Festival  21 – 23 July

has sold out but you can sign up for resale tickets. 

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