Wychwood Festival

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Big Top

I made a fleeting visit to this ‘family friendly summer festival’ for a sunny Friday afternoon and not really knowing what to expect, I had a good look around. Set in the Cheltenham Racecourse surrounded by idyllic rolling hills, the festival offers three live music stages and a host of small arts and crafts tents, food outlets and more.

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Bubbles at Wychwood

The festival really lived up to its family-friendly reputation as parents danced alongside their children and even their teenagers. Here are some of my personal highlights.

John O’Connor

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Artists and Makers tent with John O’Connor Sculpture

Making my way to the Big Top I was stopped in my tracks by the large figurative sculptures for sale by John O’Connor. Some of them were simple figures standing still which reminded me of Antony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ (which is perhaps why I liked them – see my earlier post on Antony Gormley). However O’Connor’s sculptures are not as human as Gormley’s figures and carry an air of intrigue. See more of O’Connor’s work here: www.johnoconnorsculptor.co.uk/artwork

Victoria England

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Upcycled Bunnies by Victoria England

Inside the Artists and Makers tent was a stall of unique items made by Victoria England. Mostly producing handbags, all of England’s stock is made from 100% recycled retro and vintage materials. I particularly liked these bunnies!

Not A Full Shilling

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Recycled Penny Pendant by Not A Full Shilling

Stuart Andrews calls himself a ‘recycler of old coins and silver cutlery’ and creates these striking pieces. His tent was full of cufflinks, wind chimes, necklaces and more all made from recycled coins and cutlery.

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Half Crown Pendant by Not A Full Shilling

 I really enjoyed looking at all the different designs on display and you can even design your own piece. Have a look at their website for more information and unique pieces: notafullshilling.co.uk

Emily and the Woods

The main reason I went to Wychwood was to see these guys play in the Big Top. Emily and the Woods are a four-piece band headed up by gorgeous vocals from Emily. I should say upfront that I may be a bit biased having grown up through school with the three boys in the band. However, hear me out: they are no average-kind-of-alright-and-I’ll-just-like-them-because-I-know-them kind of band. If you want proof then check out Emily’s beautiful voice here: emilyandthewoods.com

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Emily and the Woods (sorry for the awful quality)

The crowd loved their set at Wychwood and shouted for another song when the band ran out of time (which the sound man thankfully allowed). We were treated to their brand new song ‘Helios’ which had a more dancey feel and the whole set was just lovely!

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But don’t just take my word for it, go and see them for yourself – they’re going on tour later this month!

All in all Wychwood Festival was a great day out. The sun was shining, there was a friendly atmosphere and lots going on. I loved all the little stalls showcasing some beautiful arts and crafts and innovative recycling ideas. Find out more information about the festival here: www.wychwoodfestival.com

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