If nightclubs provide a piece of escapism in the centre of towns and cities, then festivals offer a similar experience outdoors. Festival organisers are finding increasingly novel ways to merge stages into the natural features of their venues. Here we take a look at some of our favourites.
The Woods, Junction 2, Boston Manor Park
Come with us and delve into the thicket. Nestled conspicuously amongst the shrubbery and under the trees canopy, is The Woods. A far cry from the industrial apocalyptic main stage under The Bridge, The Woods is all about getting back to nature. This year Joy O orchestrated a glorious extended set for Oasis festival. Speaking of which, Junction 2 journey to Marrakech this September. On home soil, the festival launches its fourth edition at Tobacco Dock on Saturday 29th December. Tickets available now.
The Secret Garden, Abode In the Park, Finsbury Park
As with most inner city green spaces in London, Finsbury Park provides that little bit of solace away from development and congestion. Tucked away in the deepest corner of the festival site is the Secret Garden. A place of harmony and tranquility… usually. This year The Little Festival will host the brand new space, bringing their brand of party theatrics. A festival within a festival!
Forbidden Forest, Wymeswold Forest, Leicestershire
Forbidden Forest is a festival seeking to counter the big-top tent festival culture. Their expansive venue is a former MOD training site. Left untouched for decades, nature reclaimed the landscape. Like a true lost city, humanity and nature collide in this abandoned setting making for a pretty cool festival. Throw in a considered line-up touching on the spectrum of electronic music, and you have a winning formula.
Houghton Festival, Houghton Hall, Norfolk
The brainchild of longterm fabric resident, Craig Richards, 2018 marked the sophomore year for the festival. For the past two years the proprietor has painstaking curated an enviable line-up, calling on favours from industry friends and inviting leading personalities from within the scene. Every tiny detail has been considered, and it comes together in beautiful synchrony. The venue is one of those components. Various stages assimilated into the landscape. Take The Pavillion, with the estate’s gorgeous lake as its backdrop, as one example.
Amsterdamse Bos, Dekmantel Festival, Amsterdam
With grassy meadows and plenty of places to chill out, Amsterdamse Bos is a sanctum away from the city’s urban sprawl. The terrain is stunning and the line-up matches. The Selectors stage, which is neatly nestled away amongst the trees, hosted artists such as Joy Orbison, Jamie XX, Floating Points (live), Daphni and more. If you missed out on this year’s event, be sure to go next year. This is a must-do.
Tickets for Forbidden Forest are on sale now.