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Valley Fest is proving a popular option for families looking for a perfect UK break
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Valley Fest

Main image: Ania Shrimpton

This article first appeared in our Women: time for action issue of My Green Pod Magazine, distributed with The Guardian on 02 July 2021. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

With many families planning to stay in the UK this summer, Valley Fest – ‘the best-tasting music festival in the South West’ – is proving a popular choice.

Government permitting, the event will take place 30 July-01 August. Headliners of the family-friendly food and music festival, near Bristol, include Texas, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Deacon Blue.

The weekend will also showcase the region’s finest produce: from charcuterie to cheddars and ciders to sausages, with plenty of Somerset sizzle.

Consistently, Valley Fest’s biggest crowd-pleaser is the view. Chew Valley Lake, framed by the rolling Mendip Hills, provides the sparkling backdrop.

Music on an organic farm

The festival is held on an organic farm so looking after the land is part of its DNA. There is a wealth of fascinating and progressive content, from talks on soil health and wildlife-friendly gardening to farm tours and discussions on regenerative farming.

Valley Fest is now in its sixth year, and its lineup has always featured big names alongside plenty of exciting rising stars. For 2021 My BABY, The Allergies, Beans on Toast, Oh My God! It’s the Church, The Blockheads, The Cuban Brothers, The Snuts and Toploader will take to the stage.

The best-tasting music festival

There is much food for thought and much thoughtful food on offer at Valley Fest – expect plenty of BBQs, feasts, street food, chef demonstrations and panel discussions.

Over the weekend guests can see Great British Bake Off stars Chetna Makan and Briony May Williams; Rob Howell from Root Bristol and chef and author Olia Hercules, named Observer Food Monthly’s Rising Star of 2015.

Tom Hunt, author of Eating for Pleasure, People & Planet, is on the bill along with TV’s Andy Clarke, who will be highlighting some stunning ethical drinks producers. Jenny Chandler, ‘Queen of the Bean’ food writer and chef, will show how kids can make easy dishes at home.

A live fire stage

A new addition for this year is a live fire stage that will showcase the best ingredients from Wales and the South West, with plenty of laughs and delicious tasters to boot. The lineup includes Sam Evans and Shauna Guinn from Hang Fire Southern Kitchen and chef Henry Eldon of The Cauldron Restaurant.

Eco chef and UN World Food Programme ambassador Arthur Potts Dawson will demonstrate how to make the most of summer vegetables.

Feasts and BBQs

The region’s culinary heroes and heroines will be cooking up a storm day and night in the spectacular dining marquee. Josh Eggleton, owner of the Michelin-starred Pony and Trap, will join Rob Howell, head chef of Root, a Bib Gourmand award winner. A very special Sunday Lunch Feast, with every ingredient on the plate sourced from within the Chew Valley, is not to be missed!

Back by popular demand, chefs from Bristol and the Chew Valley will be whipping up a big Sunday Lunch BBQ. Guests will be able to taste some of the highest quality meat in the South West – as well as plenty of alternatives for vegetarians – all cooked over fire bowls and combine-harvester barbecues.

There will be more street food than you can shake a stick at, with something to tickle everyone’s taste buds and to suit every budget.

Lazy lakeside lushness

Valley Fest takes place in one large meadow, making it perfect for first-time festivalgoers and families of all ages.

People often remark how easy it is to get around – no long hikes across fields or hours trying to find your friends. In fact, part of Valley Fest’s appeal is the lazy lakeside vibe.

Expect treats, beats and plenty to eat with hedge-to-hedge Somerset sparkle and a spectacular soundtrack.

Adult weekend tickets are £175 (plus booking fee). Should the event not go ahead, ticket holders will be offered a rollover to 2022 or refunded.

Click here to book or view lineup details.

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