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Just So Festival 2017

This August, enjoy the only arts camping festival in the UK dedicated to kids and their families
Just So Festival

Now in its eighth year – and recently awarded Best Festival by the National Outdoor Events Association – Just So (18-20 August 2017, Rode Hall Estate, Cheshire) is an annual, intimate, weekend-long festival.

An imaginative outdoor adventure like no other, this is the only arts camping festival in the UK dedicated solely to children and their families.

Mischief and mayhem

With a love of stories and childhood escapades at its heart, Just So Festival enables families to step out of their day-to-day lives and into a wonderland of world-class literature, arts, theatre, dance, music, comedy and creative pursuits.

Audiences (from bumps to great grandparents) will go on a unique expedition of mischief and mayhem, to lands full of magical midnight feasts, curious creatures, breathtaking beauty, raucous pillow fights, hidden retreats, top-notch food and drink and boutique camping options.

‘Spending time together as a family, exploring the woods, venturing to the lake at dawn, singing around the campfire, eating under the stars, dancing like wild things to incredible foot-stomping bands and listening to stories that will fill us full of awe and wonder at the magical world around us…. What’s not to look forward to. We can’t wait to share Just So 2017 with you soon.’

ROWAN HOBAN AND SARAH BIRD
Directors of Wild Rumpus and founders of Just So Festival

New areas for Just So 2017

The glorious lakeside Silver Screen is a large new area dedicated to all things cinematic. Recreate famous dance scenes from favourite flicks, join a musical chorus line, join a ukelele workshop, become an extra in a Just So epic production and get ready for Hollywood with film star styling.

Look out for absurd usherettes and a ‘drive-in movie experience like no other’ in Ecstatic Cinema, the new walkabout show from Kitsch n Sync Collective, and become part of a theatre company for a day, producing your own show in Gypsy Caravan Theatre.

Expect marvellous music, theatre and dance all themed around the big screen and the completely competitive Just So Film Quiz. Bring a blanket for when night falls on the beautiful outdoor cinema, and snuggle up to watch the best silent movies and family classics together in a programme supported by Film Hub North West Central and the BFI.

Head to the new Social Barn for a completely crackers celebration of fodder. Located next to The Social (with its incredible array of artisan food and drink), expect insect eating, foraging, the inaugural Just So jelly fight, Jellybean architecture challenges and Vegetable Games competitions (skittles, Jenga and juggling with veggies!). Don’t miss the chance to make and play your very own instrument in a Vegetable Orchestra, or the famous Just So Midnight Feast and The Great Just So Bake Off.

Big kids, authors and adventurers

Inquisitive family explorers can discover the new Forgotten Courtyard, an area for children aged eight and older, in association with acclaimed current affairs magazine The Week Junior.

Set within Rode’s Italian Garden in the atmospheric ruins of the Old Tenants’ Hall, it will provide a creative space for young minds to stretch their knowledge of the world around them through challenging and exhilarating workshops, provocations, debates and talks including photography and writing workshops, plus the chance to take part in a topical debate with The Week Junior team and to have news articles, front covers and pictures you created at the festival featured in the magazine.

Some of the UK’s favourite children’s authors will be leading interactive sessions, revealing more about the creative process behind their storytelling and sharing the best new books out this year.

Blue Peter book award-winner Kieran Larwood (Podkin One-Ear) will be providing guidance on how to invent your own world and design your own fantasy world map; Mike Brownlow (Ten Little Dinosaurs, Monsters, Pirates and Princesses book series) will be sharing the process of making a picture book and Froggicorn illustrator Katy Jones will be leading a session on devising strange creatures, culminating in the creation of a brand new Extraordinary Beast.

Adventurer, author (The Everest Files) and award-winning Director Matt Dickinson (who has survived avalanches and killer storms) will be sharing his thoughts on what motivates explorers to take risks in the extreme corners of the planet, and the current challenges faced by indigenous people who live in the highest, coldest and most dangerous regions on Earth.

 

Weleda Peekaboo Garden

Step through a verdant archway into the new Weleda Peekaboo Garden, an area of botanical bliss and innovative performances, activities and right royal facilities for 0-4s in a new location close to the family campsite.

Experience some huge adventures for little people! Look out for the curious bubble-loving snail Snigel in a new inspirational performance, The Adventures of Snigel, and step into a nest to join the daily life of a bird family in Fine Chisel Theatre’s new show Fit, Flap Fly.

From the early morning until night, music, dance and movement, painting, baby book club, baby massage and baby yoga will see the little ones doze off to the sound of bedtime lullabies and soothing live harp music as dusk falls.

Visit a living Weleda garden to discover more about the amazing properties and powers of our native plants. Join the Weleda team for a Mad Hatter’s tea party and sample Weleda’s pure and 100% certified natural products, including its award-winning baby and pregnancy ranges.

Family yoga

Flex some creative muscle together in flower crown and seedbomb making workshops (advance booking required), and enjoy some grown-up relaxation time with complimentary Weleda Skin Food hand massages. Enjoy airy baby changing and relaxing baby bathtime here with complimentary Weleda baby products, the Just So baby-feeding boudoir, sponsored by Medela, pregnancy yoga, a Sling Library support and advice on-hand from trained midwives and Cheshire East NCT. High chairs and bottle-warming facilities are available across the buggy-friendly festival site.

Make your way to the calming High Seas on the Left Bank of the stunning Rode Pool lake for relaxation galore. Walk through Between Stillness and Storm, a newly commissioned, mesmerising sculptural installation by renowned artists Aiden Moesby and Tim Shaw, and experience changing sound, light and motion made by a range of historic and contemporary instruments for ‘sensing’ the weather. Enjoy family yoga, tai chi, meditation and take a wooden rowing boat out onto the tranquil expanse of water.

Just So is set in woodland clearings, rolling parkland, arboreal amphitheatres and lakeside spots in the Rode Hall Estate, Cheshire, one of the most stunning landscapes in the UK, to which public access is limited the rest of the year.

A not-for-profit arts festival, the ticket price includes all entertainment and programming across the festival site, with capacity capped at 5,000 to ensure a magical, relaxing and safe environment for all.

Families planning to come to Just So 2017 are being advised to buy tickets earlier than usual this year, with tickets selling at a record rate for the 5,000-capacity August event.

Click here to see the full events programme and to book tickets to Just So Festival 2017.

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