Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Making plans for summer - Curious Arts 2018

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*.

Kate Mosse

So, who's to be seen this year? 

Well, the complete line-up hasn't been announced yet, but heading the literary side of things will be Kate Mosse (author of Labyrinth, and The Taxidermist's Daughter) with 'support' from poet Lemn Sissay, Adam Kay (This is Going to Hurt), Dolly Alderton (All I Know About Love) and restaurateur, writer and broadcaster Russell Norman,

Gareth Malone

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

*yes, this is a sponsored post of sorts but I wouldn't be going if I didn't love it!


  1. Mary, I know of no greater advocate than you to promote festival going. I remember you mentioned this one last year in one of our very early link ups. I'm not quite as 'game' as you - yet! But I have made some enquiries and am booked to go to a one day family festival. Dipping my toe in the water ...... thanks for sharing with us at #tweensteensbeyond

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Nicky. I hope you have a fabulous time at your first festival. Something family-oriented is a great place to start - no rowdy 20-somethings around :)

  2. Oh I'm so tempted, I love the sound of this Mary. I'd just have to work out which members of my family would come with me. Someone would have to because I can't put the tent up on my own! Thanks so much for sharing with us at #TweensTeensBeyond

    1. I've been twice now and loved both events. If you needed to be more tempted, there are glamping options available (but obviously they cost extra) I've decided putting our tent up is best left to my OH, as we tackle the task from different directions, and just end up getting in each other's way!