BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 04 May '18

Play and create in an arboreal wonderland, where the tonic of wildness rules supreme

This article first appeared in our spring ’18 issue of MyGreenPod Magazine, The Conscious Revolution, distributed with the Guardian on 04 May 2018. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

This July, a new festival will weave together music, trees, arts and ideas in an exploration of the transformative power of forests.

The location couldn’t be better: Timber Festival will take place at Feanedock, a woodland site on the Leicestershire-Derbyshire border in the heart of the National Forest. Embracing 200 square miles of the Midlands, the National Forest is the first forest to be created at scale in England for over 1,000 years.

Hailed one of Britain’s boldest environmental projects, over 8.5 million trees have been planted in the National Forest since the early 1990s, increasing forest cover from 6% to over 20% – double the national average. The project is a revolutionary approach to forestry that demonstrates how tree planting can transform lives, the landscape and the economy by bringing all the benefits of trees and woodland closer to where people live and work.

Just as the National Forest provides a space for people to connect with Nature and grow together, Timber Festival will create an opportunity to re-imagine our relationship with our environment.

The boutique festival is the result of a collaboration between the National Forest Company and Wild Rumpus, the award-winning producer of Just So Festival. It’ll be packed with music, arts, food, ideas, play and pure magic; Dream Antelopes will roam a site designed from the start to promote wellbeing.

We’re giving away a Family Camping ticket to Timber Fest! Click here for your chance to win

Music

Exciting new music will be showcased across three bespoke wooden stages – including the enchanting Eyrie Stage, raised between the trees – in an ambitious adventure into sound. Music will also be performed around the campfire in keeping with Timber Festival’s intimate woodland atmosphere.

Headliners include Jane Weaver, This Is The Kit and the energetic and joyful Hope & Social. There’ll also be Afro-centric future soul from Aadae, bizarro-world psychedelic pop from Welsh singer-songwriter H.Hawkline, alt-folk rock from Stables, string-swept folk from Sivu, soulful and bluesy arrangements from Jalen N’Gonda, swaggering rock from Du Blonde and uplifting Latin and Afrobeat from Discolypso.

Festival-goers will get a chance to take part in the Dawn Chorus, and The Heart Of The Forest Ballad Collective will bring the woods to life through song.

In Wilderness Tracks, BBC Radio 4 producer Geoff Bird and special guests including author Robert Macfarlane and BBC Radio 6 Music and Radio 3 presenter Elizabeth Alker will reveal the six Nature-related songs that have made it onto the wilderness soundtrack of their lives.

Arts

Jony Easterby is known globally for his dynamic and immersive sound and light works, and his stunning night-time adventure For The Birds has wowed audiences across the UK. At Timber Festival, you’ll get the chance to see the English festival premiere of Tree and Wood, Jony’s new interactive performance. With help from a team of international artists, musicians, performers and foresters, Jony will explore our relationship with trees and forests in a journey through installations, movement, song and music.

An award-winning immersive virtual reality experience, In The Eyes of the Animal, will help festival-goers discover what it’s like to be an animal in the forest. Timber Festival will also host the greenfield festival premiere of Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon, an incredible seven-metre sculpture featuring detailed NASA imagery of the moon’s surface with sound by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award-winning composer Dan Jones.

On top of all that, there’ll also be a Masked Ball, a fire garden, after-dusk films, an interactive spoken word workshop with Polarbear (Steven Camden) and even Comedy In The Dark.

Playtime

Storytelling, outdoor theatre, aerial acrobatics, a woodland playground, a cycle-powered ride-on carousel, magic, tree climbing and geometric land art are just some of the activities in store for kids and playful adults alike. We’re particularly excited about Seek, Find, Speak: A Conjuring Told In Gold – the world premiere of the outdoor theatre companion to the enchanting, best-selling illustrated book of acrostic poems, The Lost Words, by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris.

Ideas AND WELLBEING

Inspirational writers, artists, poets, scientists, philosophers and educators will help us reimagine what woodlands and trees mean to us, and make us think more about our relationship with the world around us.

Guided runs will take place in the National Forest at dusk, and there’ll be opportunities to take part in yoga, tai chi and capoeira. Those looking for a more restful weekend will be able to kick back in the eco-spa or lounge in Tentsile tree tents suspended high between the boughs. Grab a book from the stunning Woodland Library or rest beneath the Murmuration installation, where an incredible flock of starlings will move to a beautiful soundscape, and be transformed by light as night falls.

Festival details

06-08 July 2018
Feanedock, DE12 6DQ

Ticket prices

  • Adult weekend camping: £130
  • Child weekend camping: £45
  • Adult day ticket: £40
  • Child day ticket: £15
  • Under-3s: Free