Set in the heart of the peaceful Hampshire countryside, Blissfields is a family run festival which has boomed in recent years, outgrowing its original home and setting up camp on an idyllic stretch of farmland near Winchester.
The intimate festival showcases a mix of unsigned acts and indie headliners, who in the past have included Laura Marling, Mumford & Sons and Ben Howard. This year’s line up boasted the likes of Bastille, The Mystery Jets, Sam Smith, Themepark and The Staves. While attracting some fairly big names to its countryside idyll, Blissfield’s size means that there is none of the aggressive crowd control found at bigger festivals. In fact, the atmosphere is so laid back that you’re likely to find yourself bopping along next to an act that you saw earlier on the stage…
By day the festival is home to hippie-types – you can craft your own pot, sculpt soapstone, make flower garlands or learn to play the drums in the shade – but by night festival goers don their glow-in-the-dark paint and head to the Hidden Hedge and beyond to dance in the dark.
If you’ve had your fill of the music there is plenty to keep you entertained, from a cinema tent to fire-eaters via party games and stalls. By the main stage you’ll find plenty of options to please foodies, too. The festival welcomes local fare, ales and cider as well as much needed festival grub – think a fry up in a burger bun courtesy of Original Fry Up Material.
Blissfields attracts a fair number of music fans ready to paint their faces and groove in the grass… but you’ll find plenty of well-groomed attendees who have no intention of getting their festival attire muddy, too. If tent pegs and ground mats aren’t your style you can glamp it up and buy yourself a posh wash pass to ward off that festival smell.
Legend has it, the British summer never rains on Blissfields’ parade. And while we can’t speak for next year, this time around the sky scarcely dared to bare a cloud.
Blissfields Winchester, Hampshire, £85 for an adult weekend ticket
Early bird tickets for 2014 go on sale in September. Buy yours here.