Friday 10 May 2019

Timber Festival - back in the Derbyshire Woodlands 5th-7th July 2019 (Press Visit)

Last Summer we had the most amazing time at the first ever Timber Festival and I'm delighted to say they've invited us back again this year to review. The setting is Feanedock, a gorgeous 70 acre woodland in the National Forest in Derbyshire, and the programme is absolutely packed with all kinds of theatre, music, dance, performance, arts, workshops, discussion and debate for adults and children aged around 5+.

Timber won Best New Festival at the UK Festival Awards and they were a worthy winner. My boys are now 9 and 10 and were ecstatic when they heard we would be returning this year - even when we told them we'd definitely want to go and see Stuart Maconie talk about rambling again.

Timber is the festival for hippies, eco-warriors, tree-huggers and laid back types of all ages. If you want to sit in beautiful, natural surroundings listening to live bands, talks and stories, watching theatre and joining in debate, it might just suit you too.

There is an eclectic mix of entertainment on offer at Timber and a hint of what you'll find is listed below. I'm particularly excited about Cardboardia myself... The photos are from 2018 and don't represent exactly what you'll find this year, but it'll give you a good idea...

For 2019 music is supplied by Gwenno, Hannah Peel, Stealing Sheep, You Tell Me, Jesca Hoop
and guest curator Elizabeth Alker from BBC Radio 3 and 6Music, and plenty more besides.

Speakers and performers include Stuart Maconie, Phil Jupitus, Alex Hylton, Laura Barton, Chris Washington and Carly Smallman. There will also be a series of workshops, talks and performances to encourage audiences to develop their relationship with trees and wildlife, including a debate on controversial conservation model - re-wilding.

12/06 EDITED TO ADD - Recent additions to the festival line up will include appearances from those at the forefront of climate action across the globe, including Extinction Rebellion, ambassadors from Action for Conservation and youth activists campaigning for a better world for the next generation.

There will be a circus show based on Italo Calvino’s novel The Baron in the Trees and contemporary circus artist Max Calaf will be bringing his jaw dropping physical theatre - on a trampoline. We've seen him before and he is incredibly good. It's almost hypnotic.

Pif Paf’s mechanical fire-powered bakery, Toast will bring stories, songs, and tiny morsels of fresh celebration breads, or go and find Shimmer, a sound and light installation by artist Dan Fox.

There'll be a whole new country, Cardboardia, and everyone can enrol in the Cardboardia Woodland Orchestra and join in with The Tyran of Cardboardia in a very special procession through the woodland.

For the dancers among us try Bhangra Tots, Bollywood Dancing Workshops, Maypole Dancing and Flat Footing, or just join in and dance whenever you hear any music you like. This is a festival after all...

If processions and dancing sounds a bit lively then Timber is also the ideal festival for you to relax. There is forest bathing, Reiki and massage, chose a book from the Woodland Library or visit the Woodland Cinema.

We found food available on site was fairly priced and excellent quality, and this year promises the same. There will also be vegetarian fire pit cooking using foraged plants with Creative Countryside and Perfectly Edible will create a Binner Party using food that would have gone to landfill.

There are some areas specifically designed with children in mind, including a Giant Marble Run and unique woodland playground Hammer & Chisel, where youngsters can hone their building skills - my boys adored this last year and would have played here all weekend. There'll also be circus skills, the Forest Of Dreams and Pete The Waggon, plus lots more.

Timber also works with different organisations to protect and care for the environment and educate in a hands-on, informal way. This year the National School of Forestry at University of Cumbria will be teaching visitors to measure trees with lasers and hugs and The Met Office will be providing daily weather forecasts and explaining their climate stories project. Lets hope we have at least some of that glorious sunshine we had last year...

We loved Timber last year and jumped at the chance to be able to review again this year. You can find my Timber Festival 2018 review here, and all of the photos in this post are from my visit last year. 

Tickets to Timber 2019 are available to buy now. A full weekend including camping Friday, Saturday & Sunday nights costs £132.50 per adult and £42.40 child (3-15) - a few Tier 1 tickets are still available at a discounted rate if you are quick! 

For more information or to book see the Timber Festival website. To keep up-to-date with announcements and listings, follow on social media, including Twitter or Facebook

Huge thanks to Hodgepodgedays Jane for the very rare photo of all of us! 

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