UK: Just So, the multi award-winning family arts festival, will have new areas for families to explore in 2017. Now in its eighth year and recently awarded Best Festival by the National Outdoor Events Association, Just So is an annual, intimate, weekend-long festival, and the only combined arts camping festival in the UK dedicated solely to children and their families.
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 together. Additionally, the festival promises midnight feasts, curious creatures, raucous pillow fights, hidden retreats, top notch food & drink, and boutique camping options.
New for 2017, the lakeside Silver Screen glade is a large-scale area dedicated to all things cinematic. Visitors can expect music, theatre, dance and circus – all themed around the big screen. As night falls the outdoor cinema will screen silent movies and family classics.
Inquisitive family explorers can also discover the new Forgotten Courtyard. Tucked away in the ruins of the Old Tenants’ Hall is Rode’s Italian Garden, comprising workshops, provocations, debates, soundscapes, spoken word, and talks.
The Social Barn will be replete with artisan food & drink, with Famous Five picnics, food fights, dinner parties, a colouring cafe and midnight feasts, plus The Great Just So Bake Off.
Back by popular demand for 2017 is Away With The Fairies – deep within The Spellbound Forest find a secret fairyland.
Together with these new areas, family festivalgoers can also:
- Head to Peekaboo for an entire area of innovative performances, activities and right royal facilities for 0 – 4s.
- Step into the Spellbound Forest for woodland, nature and bush crafts, den building, tree climbing, campfire tales, music and songs.
- Experience new outdoor shows for families in the magical Woodland Theatre.
- Adventure into Tales of Animalia to encounter lands, creatures and characters courtesy of Just So’s collaborators The Fabularium.
- Dance to the music line-up on the Footlights stage and in Jitterbug.
- Head to the Village Green to meet some of the UK’s favourite children’s authors sharing the best new books out this year, a glorious Games Tent and special Just So Post Office.
- Take part in the Tribal Tournament where the Fox, Frog, Owl, Fish, Stag and Lion tribes will compete in games and challenges.
- Relax at The High Seas. On the Left Bank of the Rode Pool lake enjoy family yoga, tai chi, Indian head massage, reiki and take a rowing boat out on to the tranquil expanse of water.
- Contemplate the universe at The Observatory with star gazing, moon landings, space age theatre and lantern making.
- Experience an enhanced boutique camping area in yurts, bell tents, tipis and the addition of vintage tents for 2017.
Just So is set in woodland clearings, rolling parkland, arboreal amphitheatres and lakeside spots in the Rode Hall Estate, Cheshire, with limited public access 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 5000 to ensure a magical, relaxing and safe environment for all.
Winners of Tourism Experience of the Year, Festival Kidz Gold Award and Inclusive Tourism Award, Just So Festival aims to create memories treasured by families year-round and has a pioneering approach to accessibility, enabling families with all needs and preferences to enjoy and participate together.
Rowan Hoban and Sarah Bird – Directors of Wild Rumpus who produce large scale immersive outdoor family arts events in natural landscapes – set up Just So Festival in 2009 to create a weekend where families could step out of their day to day lives, be immersed in incredible stories and moments of wonder together, and experience world class, breathtaking outdoor arts.
Hoban and Bird said: “Thank you to all our incredible audiences who have adventured together at Just So to help us make it one of the best family festivals in the world today. 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.”
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 5000 capacity August event.