This’ll be the fourth year that we head up to the stunning farm overlooking Chew Valley lake for a weekend of gorgeous festival fun, on 4-6 August this year. If you’ve never been, Valley Fest is the absolute jewel in our Bristol summer season crown. More accessible than the Balloon Fiesta, less mental than the Harbour Festival, and stacked full of really great music, food, family activity and culture.
I’m giving away two adult weekend passes today, meaning that a family or set of mates with kids under six can attend for nothing, and those with kids over six just pay £20.00 per child. All you have to do is like and share this post on Facebook with someone, and you’ll be entered into the competition. The winner will be drawn at random on Friday 28th July.
What’s Valley Fest like?
It’s kind of like a shrunken, less busy Glastonbury, or a less earnest Latitude (to compare it to two I’ve been to), with the family focused vibe of Just So, and the creative glamour of Bestival.
It’s on a working farm, with the most insane views. It’s always been set out in a kind of giant circle, with the stages and tents you’d recognise from other Eat Drink Bristol Fashion events, and more besides. Kids can literally run wild, play together, explore, and you can pretty much see them from wherever you are.
The music is laid back and we’ve heard so many awesome bands and DJs over the years there. The theme this year is glitter and sawdust, with fancy dress if you like, so there’s a distinctively glittery feel to the line up. Most twinkly is the awesome Jose Gonzalez – I can’t imagine what hearing his mellow se will be like as the sun goes down up there. Then there’s also DJ Yoda, who I actually think embodies parental raving to a certain extent (condensed, old school, crowd pleasing, always worth it!). If you know your kid’s music, you’ll know Junior Jungle, who are up there for the first time.
But there’s also some exciting folk music, lots of hoe-down, barn dance, gypsy folk and some jazz, and a massive load of DJs too.
Way more than music
So, roughly, as well as music, there’s also the food, the enrichment stuff, the kids entertainment and countryside focus, and the experiences.
- You can attend a perfectly staged white wedding feast and club night on the Friday night, with wedding breakfast and then infamous disco, which is all about the dress up.
- You can go and hang out at the on-site Weleda spa and get pampered hard! I’ve already booked a facial! A facial in a field!
- You can just hang out at The Yard. The Yard is curated by On Fire and Rescue and although it looks like a pile of abandoned vehicles, it’s actually host to the best, most secret things at Valley Fest – Vibe Roulette, the hobby horse gymkhana (ur, amazing!), a rum shack (praise the lord) and a Valley Fest 20/20 cricket match.
- You can go to a BED Talk. This is so Valley Fest – held in a cosy Bedford truck which kind of symbolises the festival’s great size and shape. There’s Bedtime Stories for little ones to snuggle up to with before they go to the land of nod, to ukulele jamming sessions, story slams, sing-a-longs, fairytales, haikus and some of the finest spoken word to get your ears and heart dancing!
- You can take your kids to HOGSNORTS! This is the family focused farming area. Why not learn about organic, compassionate farming whilst you’re up there, and have a lot of fun at the same time? Picking, growing, making, meet the birds and animals, and lots of farmers.
- You can go to an actual legit midnight feast in one of the beautiful tents, paying just £5 for a box of food to eat. And then you can do it all again at the Sunday picnic.
Because it’s a Friday to Sunday thing, you can just come and go from the site if you are not camping. The car park is really close by and easy to get in and out of. It’s the best of both worlds – you can have a big night out as a couple or group of friends, and take the kids the next day and enjoy it as a family. O stay up there in your own tent.
Anyway, if you fancy winning some tickets, follow the instructions at the top.
And we’ll see you there (if I don’t have too much cider blindness that is!)