IT’S green for go for one of the nation’s biggest eco festivals this summer for the first time in three years.
Having shelved 2020’s event due to lockdown, the organizers of the Green Gathering at Chepstow’s Piercefield Park were forced to cancel again last year due to continuing Covid restrictions just weeks before it was due to go ahead.
But now the “original off-grid festival” is set to return for four days from August 4-7, powered only by “sun, wind and people”.
The Green Gathering has been dubbed one of the top 10 arts festivals in the UK by The Guardian and has scooped several awards.
Last year would have been the 10th anniversary of the 28-year-old festival at Piercefield Park after moving there in 2011.
It includes “solar-powered stages showingcasing up-and-coming acts, festival favourites, DJs, poets and spellbinding raconteurs” and organizers say it opens people’s eyes to how to live a greener life.
The festival includes workshops and talks on permaculture, politics, ecology and crafts, as well as art, live music and spoken word performances.
A spokesperson said: “We have a program packed with phenomenal performers and spacious campsites in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, plus over 100 skillshares on topics from cookery to wiring up a solar panel, making furniture to martial arts, flamenco and yoga, textile and willow weaving to effective climate campaigning.
“Every nook and corner is bursting with music, comedy, creativity, campaigns and natural abundance.
“Have a party… then wake up and put the world to rights and take the festival spirit home with you.
“We have nourishment for bellies, hearts and minds. Delicious food, handmade crafts, kids’ activities, community campfires, reasonably priced bars. And more; you’ll have to come along to discover just how much.”
This year’s music line-up includes 3 Daft Monkeys, Holy Moly & the Crackers, Millie Manders & the Shut Up, Seize the Day, Funke & the Two Tone Baby, Rosco Shakes, One Eyed God, Hannah Scott, The High Breed, Hoopy Frood, and Boom Boom Racoon.
Other acts include Satin Beige – ‘soulful R&B served up with a side of sass and sprinkling of cello’ – sea shanty high-energy folk from Smokin’ Pilchards, alt folk from Ceitidh Mac, folk-electronica multi-instrumentalist Benjamin Yellowitz, and climate crisis satirists Fossilheads.
‘Pop-ups and perumbualtions’ will include The Parachute Club dance tent, Rost Productions and Shrines to the Liminal – a trail of nature shrines across the site, culminating in a pilgrim’s rest space under the great oak – and daily expeditions of cycle-powered structures, giant puppets and other walkabout performance.
Bubbleology with Rainbow Gecko, Circus Skills with Steve Kaos and Bonkoodle
Street Theater with Peculiar Hand and Glam Pigs will also be there.
Big top venue The Raconteurs’ Delight hosts performance and art-based workshops by day, family friendly entertainment early evening, and spoken word and cabaret acts by night.
Fetivalgoers can join interactive family theater, Afro-Brazilian practice with the Capoeira Collective, Flamenco for beginners, hip-hop dance, harmony singing and a Punjabi dhol drum workshop
Hill Village also features makers, nomads and elders of the festival circuit who live off grid all year round, and “characters with a yarn to tell”.
There’s rocket stove making, tool refurbishment and herbal remedies, wood-fired showers and advice on One Planet Development, vintage tat to haggle over and tales of life on the road.
The Nature’s Way avenue into the woods also features the Voices of Gaia talk space with a program of earthy and esoteric subjects, immersive art and enchanted gardens.
For more information, see The Green Gathering’s Facebook page or its website at www.greengathering.org.uk