Vicarage Farm, Hampshire
4th & 5th of July 2014
The glorious Blissfields Festival brought its own sunshine from the 3rd of July to the 6th with a menagerie of musicians and an ever growing array of acts. Halima Amin was there for us – her review follows.
Retaining almost all of its charm, this was one of the biggest Blissfields yet at a 4,000 capacity of which some 400+ congregated to bust the Guinness World Record for “Largest gathering of people in animal print”!
Musically the sound was as expected: often safe and welcoming to accomodate the huge family vibe of the festival. Crowd drawers such as Subgiant, Johnny Flynn and 2 Many DJs did exactly as described and many a drunken teen and adult alike were shaking booties in the rain to the latter. Bipolar Sunshine was a hot name at the festival as was Wolf Alice who were both great additions.
Smaller stages held wonderful gems such as Will Tun and the Wasters and Beans on Toast who gave a rousing and interactive set full of charisma . The hidden hedge hosted vigorous DJs and it’s hoped in the future some harder sounds will arrive to this gorgeous gathering.
A magical addition to the Blissfields tradition was the Gypsy Disco Circus Collective who surpassed the usual acts at bigger festivals with charm, skill and plentiful amounts of wit. From adorable juggling to dramatic and hilarious tests of strength and dance, the marvel can still be seen in their hometown of Brighton. Another attractive stop was a mini museum of crazy oddities, brilliant for gruesome and curious trinkets and finds.
A falconry of vultures and other endangered beautiful birds was also present in a pleasant children’s corner (which to my delight also served fish finger sandwiches). Blissfields is a festival perfect for children, a safe and happy place where they will not get bored. A particularly wonderous addition was the Electric Dreams tent showcasing competition finds and movie classics (including Priscilla Queen of the Dessert!).
Blissfields festival has one of the most doting atmospheres in the UK, a sweet festival which retains a lot of innocence which it’s hoped is not slowly lost as it grows. Unfortunately, some weeds of rude and extortionate (of course) festival food stalls (all external, may I add: I’m sure the food that Blissfields staff would make themselves would taste like sunshine) and obnoxiously lairy drunk teenagers (and I’m not one to turn down a pint) growing in number as regular goers are stopped from taking their own beers on site. Alas, these are but tiny specks of inconvenience on a bubble of sugar and spice. See you next year Blissfields, one of the best small festivals in the UK!