A perfect little gathering of mystical folk in an idyllic Sussex setting
We’ve just returned from a wonderful time at the Magical Faerie Festival in the beautiful village of Alfriston. The gathering is around 1000 people and held at Pleaseant Rise Farm which was the perfect location for our first festival of the season. Relaxed, peaceful and full of happy people.
Music and entertainment is based around two tents. The main tent hosts an array of folk, drumming and other mystical music from around the globe. We loved the rootsy SJ and the flying pigs with their Tennessee inspired tones on Friday evening. It was a real treat to catch the speed folk band Perkelt too – well worth a look if you get the chance. For us it was nice to experience something different to the usually main stream or dance music we’re used to. The kids weren’t so keen on the very loud drumming from The Perkelt Drummers but they put on a great show. Not sure the dogs at the festival were to fond of the booming sounds either. Dogs are allowed on leads at the festival and there were a number around the camp site which our kids really loved.
The second small tent hosts several workshops including tarot reading, healing, meditation and the hilarious laughter yoga. The kids spent at least an hour doing the fairy treasure trail and for little ones there’s a small kids area with circus skills and books.
Something else our kids enjoyed were all the stalls. There were around 25 stalls selling some lovely handmade fairy related creations. We found some gorgeous jewellery and the kids enjoyed browsing all the unusual creations. I’m not a fan of shops at festivals but these were more crafty rather than the usual festival tat our kids pester us for.
As the location is a campsite all year round it was a pleasant surprise to find proper toilets and shower. We were in the campervan field where you can also pre-book electric hookup if you are early. The main tent camping was on the other side of the festival with views across the beautiful country side.
The campsite was nice and spread out and even though there had been a huge amount of rain prior to the festival there was very little mud on the track in. Vehicles were kept at one side and the whole site felt really safe for kids to explore. There were woods to play in a rope swing to discover with space to play and be free. There was also a a Glamping option available from Great British Glamping located in the centre of the campsite.
Food & Drink
The Stumble Inn bar was super value, much to my husbands pleasure. There are not many festivals where you can get a pint of ale for £3.80 these days, especially in Sussex. There was a great selection of real ale and ciders but the ale seemed to run out on Saturday evening so he moved to the head cracking cider. Seems these fairy folk like a drink!
There was a smoothie bar selling smoothies for £4.50 which seemed a little expensive in comparison to the cider and ale. Our kids are happy drinking water and have stopped asking for expensive drinks so it was good to find the wood fired pizza place had cans of decent lemonade for £1. Their chips were also only £1 a portion too. Bargain. Other than that there was a curry stall which was very tasty but not such a great choice for the kids.
Food in general was a little lacking for us, but it seemed lots of campers cook their own dinner at this festival. We smelt lots of lovely barbeques and felt rather jealous when all we had were a few pot noodles left in the van from last year. Luckily the village is just a short stroll with several pubs and an old fashioned village store.
The beauty at this even is you are able to camp so close to your car so packing isn’t really an issue. Many guests seemed to have quite big set ups in the campsite and treated it more like a full camping weekend than a traditional music festival where you take limited supplied.
For us, what made this unique little gathering even more special was the perfect village location. Just a 5 minute stroll lies the picture postcard Alfriston. A delightful village green and church sit just off the small high street with it’s tea shops and village store. I’m not quite sure the village knows what’s hit it each year when hundreds of dressed up fairy folk descend on it, but the villagers seem to take it quite well.