For the first time since it was founded 5 years ago, Festibelly extends to two days of joy this year, on the 25th and 26th August. An intimate festival in the idyllic surroundings of the New Forest, Festibelly continues to stick extremely close to its founding grassroots ethos. Rather than trying to compete with the likes of Reading and Leeds on the same weekend, this completely independent festival remains brand and sponsorship free, and aims to support some of the best new music acts in and around the UK. The double-dosed event this year promises an impressive line-up of musical talent. It’s a little hidden treasure on the map of UK festivals!
Saturday’s headliner Willy Moon will be joined by Ragga Twins, James Yuill, The Operators, Rob Cowen & the Dissidents, rising French band We Were Evergreen, The Egg, Draper, Bwani Junction, Jaipur Kawa Brass Band, Chris Peck & The Family Tree, Yours & Mine, Ada, and Adam Street Singers. Sunday’s recently announced headliners include Gold Panda and Radio 1 DJ and Bestival producer Rob da Bank. They join the earlier announced acts of Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, Skinny Lister, Howard Marks, Bluebell, and Vaz. The line-up is completed by Man Like Me, Bastille, Clock Opera, Fossil Collective, Labrynth Ear, Dems, Mo Kolours, Capitol K, Golden Boys, Melodica, Melody & Me, and Mt. Wolf. It’s a promising mix ranging from the friendliest folk and sweetest soul, to electro-pop, hip-hop, reggae and house beats, and some dirty disco. A range of DJs will keep the field dancing throughout the weekend with decks being spun by Mojo Filter, Tythe, Low-Fro, Reggae Roast, Cat Lovers, Durty Sound System, and Handsome Dave Rocker.
As well as the music main-stage, the Festibelly field presents a number of other venues and attractions including Terrapin Station, Le Disco, Le Roller Disco (get your skates on!), Massive in China and Autumn Shift. This year there will also be a brand new kid’s entertainment area for ‘Festi Critters’ in The Owlery. Sustainable and eco-friendly food and watering-holes will be on hand sourced from local suppliers. I went to Festibelly for the first time last summer and can definitely vouch for the fact that it does have a cosy, home-made feel to it. With a capacity of just 3,000 it is the kind of event where you feel like you are surrounded by your closest bunch of like-minded, festival loving friends.
The Festibelly team are already spreading their friendly festival vibes with a calendar of warm-up events around the UK. So if you can’t wait until the festival itself, head down to Sixty Million Postcards in Bournemouth on August 11th, or The Lock Tavern in Camden on the 12th August.
For a taste (or rather, sound) of what’s to come check out Festibelly’s fab interactive poster below…