Magical Faerie Festival 2016 Review

Magical Faerie Festival is a lovely little festival. It is with mixed feelings that I observe how it has grown, even since last year, and yet I’m so pleased for the organisers.

It’s great to be able to share the experience with more likeminded, wonderfully individual, folk. The only sadness I have with the secret being out, is that I don’t know how many more years it will fit in the beautiful location so close to where I live!

As festivals go, it is still one of the smallest. However it is getting busier with about seven hundred people attending this year. A lot more people were camping this year compared to last. Many of the acts, local or from afar did choose to stay for the weekend, because it is such a pleasant place to be. The immediate surrounding area is beautiful. I see it everyday, and am still overwhelmed when I come over the hill from the festival site towards the sea.

Camping

We were greeted on arrival by the event organiser, Matthew Callow, and his dog. It’s such a lovely personal touch to start the weekend.

I went gone to this festival with my two children (12 and 8), and chose not to camp. Our house and warm beds are only a short drive away. I did investigate the camping, and was told that it was something of a free for all.

Being able to park by the tent can be something of a luxury, it did lead to a bit of a mess in the camping field. I know at least one lady got her car blocked in.

I think this was down to there being a larger number of campers than was perhaps expected. There didn’t appear to be dedicated accessible camping, but as the organisers were so accommodating, I imagine, that anyone that required this would have been offered a spot in production camping which was right by the showers.

For those looking for a bit more comfort, the Glamping option was provided by Great British Glamping. So for a bit extra, campers could hire a pre-erected tent. Beds, rugs, a table, mirror and lighting, were included with bedding as an optional extra.

Food

There were three food stalls, selling hog roast, pizza and curry. Pizza was very popular, often with a queue, and the curry vendors struggled to keep up with demand.

For £6 I had a dhal which was delicious. They also offer a child’s portion for half the price.

Activities

There were activity workshops for children and adults running throughout the weekend. One of my personal highlights was the Herb Walk, led by Ali from The Eldrum Tree. Within the space of just a few yards, just in the hedgerow alongside the festival, she showed us the different plants that can be used medicinally.

I went back for Ali’s talk on making balms from wildflowers. It was very interesting to hear that a daisy balm is better for abrasions than arnica.

My children both really enjoyed having a go on Viking instruments, and my son (not in the photo) also made a bullroarer. There were circus skills including trapeze tuition in the display area outside the stage marquee, which my daughter would have loved, but unfortunately the times didn’t suit us.

There were some lovely stalls at Magical Faerie Festival selling gorgeous art, craft, clothing and cakes. Art of Spellbound had some beautiful pieces.

I saw one lady getting a very intricate and stunning piece of temporary body art. My daughter got a rather striking henna tattoo from the Henna and Hat lady. There was someone else doing felt dreadlocks.

I think we may have made a friend for life in Abigail from Pelotas, the juggling and toy shop. She was so much fun, happy to play with all the children who came to see her toys. My two in particular was so drawn to her that if ever I couldn’t see them, I knew straight away where to look for them. There was no hard sell, just one of the nicest, most friendly women that I have ever met, having fun sharing.

Music

Out of all the dance and music acts my son’s favourite shows of the weekend were the two by The Pentacle Drummers. They opened Saturday’s festivities with a procession around the festival site, and gave us another great performance in the evening.

I love this act. They have so much spirit, and despite being predominantly about the beautiful collective sound that they create, they really are a pleasure to watch. I have seen them before and I will make sure I see them again, as they never fail to impress. At one point they were joined by belly dancing outfit, Soluna Tribal, which was a fantastic combination of visual and audio-visual performances.

At dusk on Saturday, Poi Passion and friends wowed us all with a varied display of their fire skills. The show included poi, hula hoop, staff, a trapeze artist (who reassuringly wasn’t on fire), and a quite astounding fire breather.

We had a lovely time, and I look forward to seeing how much more it will grow for next year.


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