90% of my Glastonbury friends recommend 2 other festivals – Boomtown which is like the late-night rave naughty corner of Glasto, and Bearded Theory’s Spring Gathering which has all the other stuff. Some go so far as to say Bearded is better than Glasto, which is a pretty bold claim so I’m intrigued to find out whether or not I agree. A trip to Bearded Theory’s Spring Gathering is long overdue, and when better than this year when there is no Glasto!
It certainly looks the part – of course the lineup is nowhere near as big as Glasto but that’s not always a bad thing. My first glasto I saw something like 36 bands in 3 days – got home and couldn’t remember who I’d seen, they all melded into one! Not to mention stressing because I was watching one band, looking at my watch wondering whether a band who are half and hour walk away would have been the better choice, and not really soaking up the festival atmosphere.
Over the years I’ve learned to pace myself a bit more, try and see at least 3 or 4 bands a day that I really want to see, and take time to enjoy the festival, not just run to see every band who had a single you think you liked once!
Bearded Theory’s Spring Gathering whilst not as massive as Glasto, still manages to have over 100 acts across 9 live stages, and punches well above it’s weight with people like Robert Plant, Jimmy Cliff, Sleaford Modes, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Jake Bugg, The Coral, Idles, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Milburn, Therapy?, and Gentleman’s Dub Club, amongst the upper bill, and people like Don Letts, The Whip, Altern-8, Sleeper, Reverend and The Makers, Ruts DC and PINS on the under-card. Plenty there for everyone!
The marvelous Louder than War said of last year’s festival “Bearded Theory has grown to become one of the finest festivals the UK has to offer“. Have you bought your tickets yet? 🙂
Aside from the better known acts, there is also a large unsigned bands stage where they’ve selected the cream from over 2,000 applications.
There is also a Comedy stage, Theatre and even a “Kettle End of Universe” area based around a campfire.
For those of us taking kids, there is a children’s area (where I’m told you can hear the main stage – RESULT!) and even an Ofsted approved school, so no fine for taking them out of school in term time (personally I believe that festivals are more educational than school anyway!)
Tickets, I believe are selling fast, so if you’re thinking of going, don’t hang around book them now! Adult 4 day weekend tickets are £115 including camping – that’s less than £30 a day! You can pay that for one gig these days!
I’ll be posting daily updates from the festival (technology permitting!) both about the bands and the fun and games of taking a 4 year old who’s going through a particularly stubborn stage at the moment! “Can I have Pizza for tea?”, “No, we don’t have any in”, “WHY DIDN’T YOU BUY SOME THEN???”. Oh the joys… bless 🙂
Bearded Theory’s Spring Gathering takes place between 24th-27th May 2018 at Catton Hall, Derbyshire. Tickets on sale here