Returning fully refreshed from a year off, we are pleased to announce that Larmer Tree will now be a three day, four night festival during the weekend of 19th-22nd July 2018.
James’s original inspiration was the Bracknell Jazz Festival in the beautiful grounds of South Hill Park in the late ’70s. One day when out jogging the rolling hills and ancient woodlands of the Cranborne Chase, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, he found the perfect setting to start his own festival. Nestled in a picture-perfect spot, The Larmer Tree Gardens revealed itself in all its Victorian splendour with canopies of glorious greenery, majestic trees and verdant lawns all (albeit a bit untamed in the early days!). Within five months he welcomed the first audience into the Gardens, and unknowingly embarked on quite a journey! 28 years later, the festival has matured and grown into a successful and much loved music and arts festival.
The here and now…
Two fellow Directors have since joined James – Julia Safe and Rob Challice – who came on board in 1993 and 2014 respectively. Following a year off in 2016, the existing team of Lucy Babb (Operations Director) and the Board of Directors welcome Sarah Dennehy as Creative Director, who will lead on programming, Rachel Kinchin who will head-up Larmer Tree’s marketing and communications and Briony Adams as Festival Co-ordinator.
The team feel extremely privileged to call this rare corner of the English countryside both their home and the home of Larmer Tree Festival. Our links with local organisations and hundreds of volunteers from the surrounding area maintains the festival’s original roots and community spirit.
Larmer Tree is the quintessential party; an intimate and eccentric festival perfect for first-timers and experienced festival-goers alike. By remaining small by choice we offer that unique, party experience, enjoyed by up to 4,000 revellers a day.
The Festival is independent with no outside forces influencing us, making us free to develop an intimate and extraordinary event of entirely our own creation. We’re really proud to have been awarded the UK Festival Awards for ‘Best Family Festival’ and ‘Best Toilets’ by festival-goers, and were thrilled to be named the ‘Small Festival of the Year 2015’ by NOEA (National Outdoor Events Association). With our new team on board, we will breathe new life and renewed energy into our festival whilst maintaining the original essence of the festival that our audiences have grown to know and love, and continuing to nurture new audiences year on year.
James commented, “The whole team are incredibly excited about working together to make 2018 the best Larmer Tree Festival yet. The festival remains independent and will keep the quirky, friendly, fun feeling atmosphere we’ve developed over 26 years and looking after our festival-goers will remain a priority. We’re looking forward to some new surprises for our audiences as well”
James, Julia & Rob and the team