So Blissfields – I know my stuff and last year was excellent but what are other festival goers saying? In researching it I heard it was small (some saying too small, some saying boutique); bands were variable; all agree it’s a family affair and many report an excellent ambiance.
Well there was some truth in this. Personally speaking I enjoyed it’s size – Blissfields is set over 8 acres of land only and attracts a crowd of around 5,000 people annually. I’d call it a perfect sized gathering to be honest, you know where you are and where you need to be, the festival is full – but still with room to move.
As for the numbers attending, 5,000, is a fair number considering its’ origins – truly a family affair, starting in 2001 with one hand made stage, decorated with only 1000s of fairy lights; no ticket offices; no barriers; a big crowd of friends having one big party. It’s rise across the years has been quite something, winning Best Small Festival” award at the UK Festival Award in 2007 – popularity has only increased, and the festival was included in MTV’s “Best Of The Fests” coverage, was ranked second on The Guardian’s list of “Bang For Your Buck” .
Down points? There’s always some. The toilets, at least one of them cannot be described as freshly cleaned , albeit that’s a lot to ask of any festival and the delux cheesy chips were truly frightful, the cheese thrown untop and not even melted, with no mayonnaise available to cheer them up! We’d totally recommend the organic pizza place though, which this year was just next to the children’s zone, with separate very clean toilets for children only to use. Nice touch!
The ambiance of Blissfields is hard to describe – family isn’t exactly it: – it’s racier than that; it’s got a pulse; more like Brixton mixed with Brighton than a Buckinghamshire village; there’s bikini clad Mothers strutting around; the kind that Trump would probably turn to and comment on their physical fitness. Even the children’s area is a bit racier than normal, with Angel Gardens Family providing a space where children make pretend horses and masks for the parade that takes place at 5pm, after the crazy dry paint fight in which people of all ages get doused in colour (we think talc but not sure!).
This, alongside the hot air balloon that takes you up into the sky well above tree height and back; alongside the crazy car and London bus bar; alongside The Cinematic Orchestra playing and band Mretonomy were a few of the highlights from what was truly a great day. We thoroughly recommend Blissfields for a festival with a difference. Or 10. Truly great. One more downside? We’ve heard it’ going back to it’s roots next year, operating on an invitations only basis. Well thanks for opening up to us for all these years since it’s inception and we do hope that it’ll be back to a bigger gathering soon. Brilliant.