First, the tiny Timber Festival, created by the National Forest and Wild Rumpus. Second, Latitude Festival, the mother of all indie pop.
I have to say, it was quite a contrast: going from one, eco-friendly focused festival in its first year, to the long-standing mainstream fest with up to 35,000 fellow attendees!
In the first of my festival diaries, I’m sharing my time at Timber – the perfect festival for the eco conscious and festival newbies!
Timber has a balanced focus on entertainment, ecology, and enjoyment. Spread across three days in the new Feanedock Forest in rural Leicestershire, it played host to acts such as This Is The Kit, Jane Weaver, H. Hawkline, Hope & Social and more.
Being the #1 festival I recommended in my eco festival guide this year, I was excited to attend and experience the new forest it’s held in – and the trees that it revolves around.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover how much effort had been put into making this a clean festival: alongside the standard bins, recycling scheme, and pristine facilities, all the food carts were encouraged to use compostable packaging, fresh drinking water was available across the site, and for the amount of people that attended, it was truly spotless.
How to get there
After two festivals this year, and a few years of festival-ing it up at Green Man, I can conclusively say that smaller festivals are really quite difficult to get to by public transport. Considering Timber was actively working to reduce its impact, it would have been nice to see a fully-fledged plan of how to reach the site. Instead, it took us over six hours, via tube, train, bus, and taxi… But we made it!
If you’re aiming to head to the next festival via public transport, it’s worth getting a train to Burton on Trent, and subsequently a taxi. One trip will cost around £12, and it’s easiest to say the festival is on Rawdon Road, opposite Conkers Adventure Playground. Here’s the exact location, in case you’re using Google Maps.
And to be ultra-economical, why not share your taxi with fellow festival-goers?
Camping it up
We arrived on the Friday, and pitched up our tent in a rather spacious field alongside everyone else. Given that there’s hardly any shade in the camping field, our tent was sweltering in the 28° C heat every day!
As with every festival I go to, at Timber it’s well worth bringing the usual camping stuff: tent, gas stove, water bladder, and lots of noodles! We saved a lot of money and hassle by making breakfast and lunch ourselves each day, and then enjoying a meal from a different food truck each night.
Sharing the stage
The festival has two stages: the Nightingale Stage, and the Eyrie Stage. The Nightingale Stage is the main stage, with a sloping field leading to the cute wooden platform so everyone can see. It meant we could sit down and chill out while listening to bands, something only a smaller festival has the luxury of!
I was impressed to find that the music acts were equally balanced with other media around the festival: talks about the importance of our countryside by Stuart Maconie, and demonstrations of traditional bee hives by The Bee Farmer were two of my personal highlights.
And on the Eyrie Stage, the smaller, taller wooden stage located in the woods, I discovered two of my favourite acts: Perhaps Contraption, an incredible band to see live, and the one and only DJ Chris Tofu, who served cheesy beats well into the night!
I had the sweetest weekend away, and learnt to love our countryside – and trees – a lot more. The festival is incredibly friendly, full of wildlife and fun, and definitely revolves around art and education as much as it does entertainment. The party usually stopped around 1am, meaning sleep was easy in the silent countryside stillness.
That being said, the late night performances by Tree & Wood were breathtaking, and well worth catching at any time of day if you can!
Hi! Thank you for this review. It’s brilliant 🙂 Quick question about the distance and difficulty of the hill from car park to Campsite: we have a 5m Bell Tent which I would REALLY like to take rather than the polyester tunnel tent we also have. Bell Tents are canvas are so much cooler in the summer months! Plus you can stand up in them and they’re generally more comfy due to having lots more room etc. But I’m worried we might not make it up the hill, lol. You mentioned there are trolleys available for hire so we’d hire one of those definitely ..and my husband and I are both very fit generally. Do you think it’d be too much pulling a heavily-laden trolley (30kg) up that hill? I’ve no way to tell what the incline or difficulty level is! (can’t find actual photos of the hill at all). Thanks, Dawn.
Hi Dawn, thanks for the lovely words and question here! From our trip back in 2018, I have to say there would be plenty of space for your Bell Tent, and you could certainly get it to the field in one of the rentable carts, although you’d have to give it some welly on the walk back up at the end of your stay. The camping field is on an incline but it really depends on where you pitch up. I hope that helps!