Main image: Louis Smith
This article first appeared in our Love issue of My Green Pod Magazine, distributed with The Guardian on 09 April 2021. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox
If you’re looking for inspiration for a British summer, you’ll be pleased to hear that it’s all systems go for Valley Fest, the best-tasting music festival in the South West.
Government permitting, the event will take place 30 July – 01 August 2021. Headliners of the family-friendly food and music festival, near Bristol, include Travis, 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, the biggest crowd-pleaser of all is the view. Edged by the rolling Mendip Hills, Chew Valley Lake provides the sparkling backdrop to this fun-filled festival. The festival is held on an organic farm, so looking after the land is part of its DNA. From talks on soil health and wildlife-friendly gardening to farm tours and panel discussions on regenerative farming, there is a host of fascinating and progressive topics to choose from.
Now in its sixth year, Valley Fest’s lineup has always included big names as well as rising stars. On the bill for 2021 are My BABY, The Allergies, The Blockheads, The Snuts, Toploader, The Cuban Brothers, Beans on Toast and Oh My God! It’s the Church.
Expect treats, beats and plenty to eat! There will be more street food than you can shake a stick at, with something to tickle everyone’s taste buds and suit every budget.
You can join in with BBQs, feasts, street food, chef demonstrations and panel discussions. The region’s culinary heroes and heroines will be cooking up a storm day and night. Some of the feasts will be created by Josh Eggleton, owner of Michelin-starred Pony and Trap, and Rob Howell, head chef of Root, a Bib Gourmand award winner.
Recipe cards, tasters and tips will be provided at cooking demonstrations from Olia Hercules, named Observer Food Monthly’s Rising Star of 2015; Tom Hunt, author of Eating for Pleasure, People & Planet and Great British Bake Off star Briony May Williams.
Valley Fest takes place in one large meadow, making it perfect for first-time festivalgoers and families of all ages. People often say how easy it is to get around – no long hikes across fields or hours of losing your friends. In fact, part of Valley Fest’s appeal is the lazy lakeside vibe.
Expect hedge-to-hedge Somerset sparkle and plenty of nonsense with a spectacular soundtrack. This is West Country wildness at its best.
Adult weekend tickets are £155 (plus booking fee) and you can pay in instalments. If the event doesn’t go ahead, ticket holders will be offered tickets to Valley Fest 2022 or refunded.
Click here to book tickets and see news about the lineup.