Last week we blogged about The Big Feastival, a food-cum-music festival in Kingham. Today’s blog post is a guest post by Charis Cook, who won tickets to this festival last weekend and has kindly sent us her review! Thanks Charis!
On the last weekend of August, thousands of people descended on tiny Cotswolds village Kingham for Jamie Oliver’s Big Feastival. This year was the third the festival has been held on Blur bassist Alex James’s farm, and I expect it will be there for many years to come. If you’re thinking about going in the future, hopefully this blog post will give you an idea of what it’s all about.
As you might expect from a collaboration between a 90s rock star and one of the UK’s most famous celebrity chefs, the Big Feastival has live music and great food in spades. What you might not expect is that children under 12 go free. As a result there were a lot of families, and a lot of activities for children, including a petting zoo, a Frozen-themed activity from Fit 4 Life, a few CBBC stars and something called the Little Dudes’ Den.
There was plenty of entertainment for adults, of course. You could buy any of your preferred alcoholic beverages (husband enjoyed Henderson’s Spiced Cider, while I skipped between the many gin and wine bars), and there were more food trucks than we could have tried in a whole week. There were even three places to buy a cheese board to picnic on, which I’ve never seen before. The cooking demonstrations were well managed – hundreds of people gathered for Jamie Oliver’s demo, most of them well away from the stage, yet no one struggled to hear.
We got tickets at very late notice (thanks, Love Your Greens!) so we didn’t book ourselves onto the more exclusive events including Table Sessions, Supper Club or Cooking Club.
I can comment on the campsite, which was surprisingly spacious and equipped with plenty of toilets and pipes for drinking water. It is set up for families, so it woke early, an alcohol limit was in place and open flames were restricted to an area close to the toilets.
And then there was the music. It was an eclectic selection: Abba cover band Bjorn Again, DJ Fatboy Slim and jazz musician Jamie Cullum headlined on Friday, Saturday and Sunday respectively. US acts Kelis (of Milkshake fame) and hip hop trio De La Soul also performed. The main stage was busy all afternoon, but there were plenty of other places to hear music, among them Alex James’s Cheese Hub, which was variously a delicatessen, culinary school or night club. We went for Alex James’s DJ set on Saturday night and went back to buy some excellent cheese on Sunday.
Would I go back to The Big Feastival? Yes – but I’ll wait until I have a few children to take. For me Fatboy Slim was the highlight of the weekend, but I would have preferred to dance the night away without worrying about stumbling over a chair with a sleeping child on it. But as the ‘under 12s go free’ policy makes the Feastival incredible value for a family weekend, maybe in ten years time one of them will be mine!
If you’re thinking of coming to The Big Feastival next year, why not explore some of the rest of the Cotswolds while you’re here? Go Cotswolds provides guided day trips of the northern Cotswolds region at an affordable price. Visit our main website to find out more.