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The Big Green Cardigan Festival

7th to 9th September, 2018

Written By Andy Gunton

  • Photograph by Andy Gunton

  • Photograph by Andy Gunton

Coming to a field near you.

The choice for music lovers wanting to go to a music festival these days is vast. 

There are new festivals popping up all over the place catering for just about every musical taste you can think of, and probably several others you hadn’t even considered too.

For the organisers of any of those festivals, getting potential punters to part with their money and choose your event over the myriad of others is a hard task, unless your name is Michael Eavis that is. 

The Big Green Cardigan festival this year celebrated its eighth year, so they must be doing something right.

I’ve attended the odd evening of some of the previous festivals, but this year I decided to take the plunge and sign up for the full blown Big Green Cardigan weekend experience, and I’m very glad that I did.

Taking place in a typical English countryside setting, just north of Sedlescombe in East Sussex, with lovely views over rolling green fields and extensive woodland, this is a chilled out festival.

The organisers, Mick and Dave Hoad, aim to put on something a little different to the norm.

Therefore the Big Green Cardigan is a small scale festival, limited to just hundreds of people, not the usual thousands. 

No dogs are allowed, and neither is anyone under the age of 18. 

While this might put some people off, it is a welcome experience for many others, and creates a different vibe to other festivals I’ve been too. 

A festival for grown up kids of all ages, who can party just as well as anyone, but who also respect their fellow festival goers. 

After all, at an event this small you’re likely to bump into those fellow festival goers several times over the weekend, many of whom will greet you with a smiling “Good Morning” when you do so.

An extensive range of real ales from a local brewery, and a nice selection of reasonably priced food outlets of different cuisines help keep the body satisfied, as do the clean toilets.

Throw in yoga in the mornings, a music quiz, a talk from the local Astronomical Society, who also have telescopes on site for you to browse the heavens with, and a brilliant Sunday morning pocket sized performance of Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’, performed by an East Sussex based theatre group, and you have an almost perfect recipe for a great weekend.

The fact that the sun shone on us all during the proceedings, certainly helped create that nice experience.

Oh, and they have music too...

A mixture of local artists, such as Sister Suzie, Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou, and The Haystingers, coupled with acts you've never heard of from further afield grace the twin stages.

But don't let that put you off.

Just because you haven't heard of a band doesn't mean that they aren't any good, quite the opposite in fact.

There's something rather thrilling about being exposed to and enthralled by an act you probably would never have seen otherwise.

Acts such as Echo Town, a duo of brothers from Cornwall playing dance music for grown ups, using percussion and a didgeridoo.

The True Strays, a young 4 piece band from Bristol, playing the Blues far too authentically for guys of their age.

And The Roving Crows, from Ireland, telling tales and wooing the Saturday night crowd with their excellent blend of Celtic Folk Rock.

All of them playing with a huge smile on their faces, it's a festival that has that kind of effect on people.

The Big Green Cardigan is a festival that fans return to year after year, and I left wondering why I wasn't one of them, until now that is.

So I’ll see you there next year.

It can get a bit nippy on those early September evenings and early mornings, so don’t forget your cardigan, preferably a big green one.

One final point.

A indication of what helps set the Big Green Cardigan festival apart from many others, is a video Mick Hoad, one of the organisers, posted the morning after the event ended, showing the amount of rubbish left behind by visitors in the camping area.

There wasn’t any.....

Find out more about the festival at: biggreencardigan.com

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