The tiny hamlet of Woodmancott, nestled roughly midway between Winchester and Basingstoke, might seem an unlikely destination for a new festival to pitch up. Yet here, at Vicarage Farm, is where the Twisted Village Festival will pitch tents for its inaugural outing.
Billed as a “festival of performing arts, music and curiosities” Twisted Village promises to be a compact and bijou affair, hosting 4999 souls on-site (a number which also includes both crew and artists), offering the seasoned festival-goer something more than big stages, huge crowds and annoyingly long queues for the amenities. If you didn’t get Glastonbury tickets, or find that walking a festival site the size of Coventry isn’t your bag any more, then this might be just what you’re looking for.
Personally I’m a fan of a smaller festival; as much fun as a large sprawling site is to explore there is always something (or several) that gets missed. Limiting the number of attendees should hopefully make for a more comfortable stroll around the site, stumbling across promised curiosities, helping to create the “village vibe” that the organisers are striving for.
The organisers have set out their ethos on the website, which includes their vision for a festival that includes dance, spoken word performance, theatre and street theatre as well as, obviously , music. The festival also boasts excellent environmental credentials, effecting a no plastic policy on the main site, asking festival-goers to bring reusable bottles to enjoy free refills at various water stations. If that wasn’t enough the festival will also employ solar power & biodiesel-powered generators to lessen its carbon emissions.
So far so very right-on, but what’s to see and enjoy at this shindig you may wonder. The initial line-up included Beans On Toast, LibraLibra, Yassassin, Alabama 3, Curl, Oh My God! It’s The Church, Shoot The Duke, Megan Linford and the truly brilliant (and quite possibly worth the ticket price alone) joy that is The Lovely Eggs. The organisers have now announced additions to this already mouth-watering selection of acts, with The Dhol Foundation, Babsie Brown and the Miniature Orchestra, the quite fantastically named Johnny Kowalski & The Sexy Weirdos, the funky brass of Tuba Libres and the excellent Fake Empire joining the line-up.
As well as the live music on offer there’ll also be sets on the decks from BrandonBlock, the rebel dread himself DonLetts, the one and only DJ Formatplus the return of Portsmouth’s legendary Hipshaker DJs to the festival circuit.
Perusing the line-up so far it’s refreshing to see that the festival has made efforts to ensure that female artists are better represented on the bill (other, larger, festivals should take note), and there’s still more acts, including headliners, yet to be announced.
Twisted VillageFestival runs from Friday 16thto Sunday 18th August and, though the Early Birdtickets have sold out, Tier 2(£105) tickets are still available via the festival website.