Wychwood Festival takes place at Cheltenham Racecourse in June, with a campsite at the foot of the beautiful Prestbury Hills. They’re a little different to other music festivals, with loads on offer, and are passionate about keeping their site green and healthy. As something we think is worth liftsharing to this summer, we caught up with Festival Director Stefan Edwards to find out more.
So, Stefan. What makes Wychwood different to other festivals?
The festival is known for its family friendly feel and big range of music on offer, but we really pride ourselves on all of the other activities on site – including 100 workshops for all ages, comedy, great food and drink and much more. We like to create a festival with a boutique feel. Our festival goers tell us of their common love of the friendly atmosphere they discover each summer.
Wychwood seems quite family-focussed – what activities are there for those with children?
I mentioned the 100 workshops. We have something for all ages in the workshop area, but a large number of these activities are for kids. There’s a wide range of workshops for all abilities, whatever your taste and mood. Workshops include dance, musical theatre, circus, arts and crafts, magic, poetry and much much more. Whether you’re looking to learn something new or just have some fun, our workshops offer something for everyone! We also have an amazing Kids Literature Festival, organised by Waterstones. The Kids Literature Festival Tent is packed throughout the weekend with authors and illustrators giving readings and tips for budding creatives. There are also loads of great stalls and rides over the site and of course you can always buy an ice-cream… or a beer for the parents whilst the kids are busy! We’ve been nominated Best Family Festival in the UK Festival Awards every year, which we are really proud of.
What other different areas of the site are there to check out?
As well as the workshops and kids literature areas, we also have an artists and makers area where you can be inspired by local artists and have a go yourself at skills like painting and pottery. If you’re not already relaxed enough, you can have a massage or spa treatment in our healers and therapists area. You can also check out the dozens of amazing independent stalls and fantastic food options on site. The music lovers have two big stages with massive names from rock, folk, indie and world music on our main stage and circus big tops. We also have two smaller stages, the Hobgoblin Stage with fantastic regional bands and a craft ale festival, plus the Pomme Stage with great acts from Gloucestershire University.
What measures do you take to keep Wychwood as environmentally friendly as possible?
We have an environmental policy which encourages our suppliers, such as the caterers and traders, to use environmentally friendly packaging and practices. We also work with MJ Church to ensure that as much of our waste as possible is recycled and doesn’t go to landfill. We encourage our festival goers to get to the festival using public transport and car sharing services. We also work with ‘Love Your Tent’ to ensure that any tents left at the festival find a new home.
Your campsite is in the Prestbury Hills. Does this give a considerably different camping experience to other festivals?
Our site at the racecourse offers the best of both worlds as it sits on the edge of town at the foot of the beautiful hills and countryside. We’re conveniently located near to Cheltenham and can make use of the racecourse infrastructure such as parking, so there’s no fear of your car getting stuck in the mud, but the campsite feels idyllic and rural. We have a very laid back vibe, and you can drive onto the campsite to unload all your gear.
You promote liftsharing to the festival. Why is it such a priority for you?
It’s great to know that festival-goers are also thinking of the planet and sharing lifts to the event. Liftsharing is a great way to meet people too and make some new friends before you event get to the festival.
And finally, what tips would you give to anyone attending Wychwood this year?
Our day tickets for Friday and Saturday sold out last year and are selling fast this year, so our main tip would be to grab your tickets now and start looking forward to a fantastic weekend of fun and relaxation in the sun!
So there you have. Music, art, and inspiration lie at the foot of the Prestbury Hills. You can book your Wychwood tickets now by visiting their authorised ticket sellers, and sort your travel there and back by booking a liftshare!
Author Lex Barber