It may still be cold outside, and not at all the weather to be thinking of outdoor festivals, but over the past few weeks organisers have been starting to announce line-ups, and so the excitement is mounting.
Now, although I'd visited both Hay and Edinburgh book festivals, I only discovered the appeal of all inclusive, stay-onsite-in-a-tent, get up early for book events, stay up late listening to music festivals recently, when I was asked along to Curious Arts in 2016 in my book-blogging capacity. I think that till then, I'd always considered them to be only for the under-25s, and a few seasoned festival goers who remembered Glastonbury being a sole guitarist playing in a field of cows.
Curious Arts Festival proved this idea wrong, and it's quickly become the highlight of my year. For any of you who've missed my previous write-ups (how?), it's multi-faceted music, literary, comedy festive held in the ground of Pylewell Park in the New Forest, with plenty to occupy everyone from children to oldies like me. Imagine a mix of garden party, school fair, and village fete (it even opens with a cricket match), but with attitude, cocktails, and music almost through till dawn! I absolutely love it, even if like last year it rains, and I'm delighted to have been asked back again*.
So, who's to be seen this year?
The music will be as wide-ranging as in previous years, with acts as varied as John Newman (headlining on Saturday evening), indie-rockers Outlya, and Gareth Malone (BBC2's The Choir). Even without my youngest daughter along, I'll be there in the music tent till late at night. I can't wait!
If I've managed to intrigue you, more details can be found on the Curious Arts Festival website here, on FB and Twitter @CuriousArtsFest - until 15th February they're running a special Valentine Day offer of a free bottle of Chapel Down bubbly with weekend tickets, and sometime soon I'll be hosting a competition to WIN tickets. Stay tuned :)
*yes, this is a sponsored post of sorts but I wouldn't be going if I didn't love it!