End of summer party by the lake as Valley Fest offers music, food and fun
Published on: 02 Sep 2016
When you get to September it might feel like the festival season is over but there is one more big party to come for the Bristol and Bath area.
In the rolling hills of the Mendips, on the North Shore of Chew Valley Lake, sits the Community Farm, an organic farm that plays host to a weekend-long festival that has all the elements you’d want from a great party. Great bands, great food, great films and even a spa area.
On Friday, September 2, the farm will burst into life and the music and dancing will keep going all the way until Sunday night.
The brainchild of BBC farmer of the year and organic champion Luke Hasell, Valley Fest is set beside Chew Valley Lake. While there is plenty for children – including a Run Wild area with games, wildlife safaris and even street art – there is lots for grown-ups to enjoy.
The headline acts are BBC 6Music’s Craig Charles, 1990s indie dance stars Stereo MCs and British music legends The Blockheads.
Also on the bill are Bristol live legends Doreen Doreen, DJ Ruben Robinson, Worm Disco Club, The 45’s, Sheelanagig, My Baby, London Afrobeat Collective and many more.
Food will play a huge part in the festival. As the clock strikes twelve on Saturday night there will be an indulgent midnight feast, including amaretto hot chocolate and plenty of other naughty treats.
On Sunday there will be a communal Sunday lunch with blankets spread out across the Village Green, part of the Valley Fest site, with top chefs such as Josh Eggleton (Pony and Trap) and Toby Gritten (The Pump House) using their expertise to create perhaps the ultimate picnic, including pulled pork baps, scotch eggs and salads.
Luke Hasell returned to the Chew Valley area to farm the same land that had been in his family for generations after the death of his father. When his mother also died, he decided to take up her passion for fundraising and the idea of a festival was born.
So as well as 50 bands across three stages, food and drink from the likes of Yeo Valley, Riverford Organic, Pukka Herbs and Orchard Pig, Valley Fest is an event with a strong message.
“I think the ethos of Valley Fest is what makes it different to other festivals,” said Luke. “I just want to share the land that Mum and Dad left behind and it’s this communal spirit that is at the heart of Valley Fest.
“What also makes Valley Fest unique is the location. We’re in an absolutely stunning part of the county on Chew Valley Lake. Then there’s obviously the food and the farm. Being on an organic farm really allows us to spread the word about organic farming and what that means.
“Pumping the land and livestock with chemicals and hormones never made much sense to me. I just want to make the future a little bit brighter for the next generation and for my kids to eat healthier as well to farm in a more sustainable way.”
- Valley Fest tickets can be bought as day tickets or for the whole weekend. Weekend adult tickets cost £80 with children under 16 paying £40 and nippers under 6 going free. A family weekend ticket with two adults and children is £200. Adult Saturday only tickets are £47, Sunday adult tickets are £36. Tickets include camping but you can go for the luxury option of a Tinkerbell tent which will be put up before you arrive. For full details, visit www.valleyfest.co.uk