Costa del ALSO: 6 top festival picks
OMG, I can't wait! Warwickshire's Also Festival (Fri July 5 - Sun 7 July) is going to be *awesome*. Here are the best bits to see!
There’s only so many years you can sleep face down in the mud at Glastonbury before you start craving something a little more civilized and enriching, right? Check out Warwickshire’s own Also festival – one of the UK’s best festivals for wellbeing and the mind. A luxe but laid-back lakeside venue offering a top line-up of guest speakers, wild-swimming, live music, gourmet supper club action, lashings of booze and pop-up roller disco! Now in its sixth year Also’s promising to be a belter of a weekend. Can’t wait? Me neither, and – let me be frank here – it’s going to be utterly fabulous. Here’s a little taster of what to expect across the three days.
*Free* BookClub.LIVE, Thurs July 4
The night before the Festival opens Book groups are invited to hold their summer Book Club meeting in the grounds and author Natalie Haynes will be reading from her new book A Thousand Ships, an astonishing retelling of the Trojan Wars from a woman’s point of view. She’ll be at ALSO 4pm this Saturday 6 July and presenting her highly entertaining show, Troy Story, along with Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott’s SWAN SONG which was listed for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018.
FOOD & BEVERAGES
Prepare to share tables, enjoy some deep conversations and seriously impressive food within a stunning forest and lakeside setting. Campestre is the theme for 2019 focusing on the art of communal eating. Over the weekend Also Dining features a number of takeovers from some of the best knives in the business. Cabrito founder and ethical dining expert James Whetlor is heading up Friday night with a sustainable family-style dining event where he’ll be cooking from his new book, GOAT.
Damian Clisby, Head Chef at Petersham Nurseries, will be demonstrating the art of pit cooking with an exclusive dining experience on Saturday including slow-roasted lamb and seasonal veg. And Saturday night’s five-course Bucolic Banquet will be hosted in collaboration with Northampton’s The Clatter Club Secret Fine Dining collective. An underground supper club led by Maverick chefs Rob Dant and Andrew Walker will feature food that is an expression of the forest and seamlessly melds it onto the dining table for a stunning feast including elements such as pine infused oils, mycelium foams and a molecular-gastronomical theatre on your plate. Esteemed sommelier Natalia Gonzales will be on hand throughout to pair the perfect wine to taste with the meal.
A new development for 2019, the Dining Tent will transform into an elegant cocktail bar after nightly food events, inviting everyone to experience high-end cocktail culture in a bucolic setting. There is also a pop-up no alcohol bar deep in the forest, as well as whiskey tasting masterclasses led by whiskey expert Rachel McCormack, cocktail masterclasses, a performative afternoon pudding procession event, and a homage to the motorway services with Also’s legendary Little Jeff breakfasts. Sunday features a Gospel Brunch with London International Gospel Choir and across the whole weekend the in-festival Northern Spanish restaurant Getaria will offer guests the chance to eat and drink their way around Northern Spain.
Also Festival brings together some of the leading thinkers in science, arts and psychology for a weekend of insightful, elucidatory and thought-provoking discussion from psychologist Philippa Perry’s new project exploring the most challenging of all personal relationships – family – the subject of her best-selling book The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Gone To And Your Children Will Be Glad You Did to Redefining our Relationship with Technology, a debate featuring Ai expert and Senior Research Fellow at UCL Robert E Smith, Senior WIRED Editor Victoria Turk, and Professor of Behavioural Science at Warwicks Business School and author and leading political technology journalist Jamie Bartlett. For the full list of talks and debates see here
It’s not just a festival but a three-day nature fix in a landscape of over 180 acres, with woods, fields and a lake with unique flora, fauna and wildlife. From a pop-up roller disco on the Saturday night to a psycho meet and greet session in the bar with Grayson Perry’s other half, Philippa Perry to Scented Yoga with a perfumer and yoga teacher or take yourself on a mini Forest Bathing walk…or sunrise nature swim. A nocturnal bat safari, outdoor yoga, fire yoga, running club, Tai Chi Quigong are some of the other options you may wish to explore. You can even consider joining Outdoors Specialist and Master Herbalist, Simon Birbeck on morning foraging walking workshops and two bushcraft survival sessions in the afternoons.
An eclectic line up of music includes Afrikan Boy – the crowning glory of Saturday night. From Afro-beat to Jazz, Grime to Spoken word and more he channels the energies of Fela Kuti, Gil Scott Heron and 2Pac, Quirky Man & The Echo is on the main stage on Friday night, vocalist Lola Aviva fuses indie sensibilities with jazzy pop and soulful vibes and Birmingham born & bred rapper Lady Sanity combines hard-hitting flow with Grime, 90s Hip Hop & Jazz influences. She was Winner of the Birmingham Music Award 2018 for Best Solo Female. Plus. there’s a Simon and Garfunkel DJ set and Lover and A Friend DJs, playing a mix of 60s soul, funk, dirty grooves, rhythm & blues, jazz, ska, New Orleans, Gospel, blues & boogaloo – all on vinyl 45s.
For the young there’s 50 acres to roam – ideas a-plenty and the wild and the wonderful to experience including a Scavenger Hunt, Roller disco, family samba drumming, a ‘Climate Change, Rebellion and You’ talk, a Flower Crown & festival glitter make-up masterclass, den building, raft building and a Light Saber workshop. You’ll find loads more ideas here: https://www.also-festival
Here’s to an are unmissable wellbeing weekend to boost your health this summer. Namaste!
Want an overview of what’s on when? Take a look at the handy ALSO day-by-day guide. Also Festival 2019 runs from 5 – 7 July 2019. Weekend tickets start at £120 and include camping. For more information please visit here.