For the August bank holiday this year we headed west to beautiful rural Cotswolds for a weekend of camping, dancing, eating and drinking at The Big Feastival!
The Big Feastival, organised by Jamie Oliver and Alex James, is a unique weekend celebration of music, food and fun for all ages, set on Alex’s Cotswolds farm. This was the fourth edition and the biggest yet, with an attendance of 55,000 across three days.
Last month I received press accreditation to attend the festival, so my husband and I decided to pack up our bags and tent and drive out to Oxfordshire for the weekend! While I had been following coverage of the event last summers, I never thought a food festival would be of interest to my husband…it turns out I was wrong! Sandy loves camping and music, I love all those things, but I love food more! ;)
I have always considered festivals off-limits for me, for the obvious reasons: sleeping in a tent, walking in the mud, sharing disposable toilets with strangers for several days, the queues for the showers…
Then I went to my first ever festival last summer (Somersault in Somerset) and loved it. This summer I tried it again, (Rock Werchter in Belgium) and you know what? They are not that bad! The pros definitely out-weigh the cons and, at the end of the day, they are really fun experiences! I am slowly becoming a big fan of festivals!
I am no stranger to camping after a decade of being a girl-scout as a kid, so I enjoyed sleeping in a tent again after many years. The festival site was very well organised and even the toilet / shower situation was pretty good.
The Big Feastival is a music festival for foodies. Both Jamie and Alex have kids, so of course the festival site is family-friendly and the atmosphere is very relaxed. You are not going to see teenagers stumbling around blind-drunk, moshing under the main stage or throwing pints of beer around. Did I miss that? Hell no!
I was actually glad that I could take my camping chair into the festival and sit down while watching the show. Most of the people around us were sitting down on picnic mats or camping chairs and it created a relaxed and convivial atmosphere.
We even saw Jamie and Alex and sneaked a picture behind the scenes of their press photoshoot! ;)
Of course, there was A LOT OF FOOD.
At The Big Feastival there was an area dedicated to healthy food with cooking demos, Q&A sessions to top chefs and amazing food producers presenting their products.
Another area of the festival site was dedicated to street food, with some of my favourite traders there to serve their amazing dishes, like The Cooking Cooks (homemade Italian pasta), Made of Dough (Neapolitan-style pizza), Le Bun (and their famous truffle burgers) and The Cheese Truck (for the best goat cheese, honey and walnut toastie).
The The Art of Dining was a pop-up tent offering 5-course meals cooked by a Moro-trained chef where we had a delicious lunch, so filling we had to skip dinner on Saturday night!
In true festival style, there was no risk of getting thirsty, with many tents dedicated to cider and beers, wine and Champagne, and cocktails.
What else was there at The Big Feastival? A kids’ area, a fairground and many hay stacks everywhere for kids to climb and play on!
At Alex James’ Cheese Hub there was a DJ booth where I saw Alex playing a few times, with a huge crows of people dancing around him!
My favourite moments? Dancing to Example on Saturday evening with the most beautiful sunset in the background. Well done, The Big Feastival!
The Big Feastival is coming back next year from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th August. If you want to be a part of it, don’t miss out on the early bird tickets already available online.