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Our top festival picks
7th June 2018

Our top festival picks

Festival season is upon us - and there's no better place to be than the South West.


After returning from spending the weekend at The Great Estate festival , dubbed ‘The most rambunctious garden féte’, we’re feeling festival fever. Set within the mystical grounds of Scorrier Estate, Cornwall, The Great Estate is jam packed with eclectic wonderment. With bearded ladies, secret gin gardens and cream tea eating competitions (only in Cornwall) – you almost forget there’s amazing live music to enjoy as well!

Unfortunately you’ll have to wait until next year to experience this festival for yourself (early bird tickets are on sale now) – but here are our suggestions for amazing summer festivals in our neck of the woods that are still to come – let us know yours!


Leopallooza, The Wyldes, Bude, Cornwall. 27th-29th July 2018

evening falls as Leopallooza festival in Cornwall, under tree canopy with fairy lights

Dubbed ‘The greatest house part in a field’, Leopallooza should definitely be on your summer highlights list. 

This festival has gone from strength to strength since it first arrived in 2006, when the organisers simply set out to throw a great party for their band and small group of friends. Leopallooza is a festival built by festival fans, steadfastly sticking to the rootsy fundamentals of a homespun event, while now attracting some of the biggest names in contemporary music.

Unlike some of the big name festivals that can seriously break your bank balance, the team keep the Leopallooza ticket prices as low as possible. The bar prices remain sensible, camping is free, and their independence is intact, having politely turned down the offers of corporate sponsorship in favour of making all of the key decisions themselves.

On top of the inaugural amazing music – as well as big names like Kelis and St Paul and the Broken Bones, you’ll discover some serious unsung talent at this one (that you’ll be bragging about in years to come), we can’t wait for the comedy at this year’s event. The festival team set about securing some amazing talent, and the headliners announced so far are comedy giants Russell Kane and Josh Widdicombe. There are so many positive aspects of living in beautiful Cornwall, but we are all familiar with having to travel quite some distance to see our favourite acts, so the fact that these names are travelling to our beautiful corner of the world is very exciting! We have it on good authority that there are many more top comedians to be announced very soon, so keep a look out over on their website.

The wonderful Rogue Theatre will also be at Leopallooza this year - Journey into the forest and the heart of a twisted story world bursting with zealous live music, exuberant dance and physical performance, wicked witted words and untameable storytelling. This is an unmissable theatre experience for wild spirits of all ages. Forest finery, hats, fancy hairdos and glitter are encouraged though not essential.

We'll be giving away a pair of weekend tickets to Leopallooza over on our Facebook page soon, so keep your eyes peeled.



Port Eliot, St Germans, Cornwall, 26th – 29th July 2018

an aerial shot of the Port Eliot festival in Cornwall

“It’s like falling from the sky into a magic garden where you will be constantly surprised and delighted; where you can drink, dance, discuss, dress up, camp, explore, get lost, fall asleep under the stars to the sound of Andrew Weatherall, and wake up to the ringing of church bells.”

Forgive me for lazily stealing this quote, but I’m not sure there is a better way to sum up this wonderful annual event. Port Eliot as it is today was born from The Elephant Fayre which started in 1981 – a festival in the truest sense of the word, with music, theatre, dance, and perhaps a little too much wild abandonment. Today’s festival evokes all the atmosphere of the original Elephant Fayre, with all correct the health and safety measures in place! It is running on the same weekend as Leopallooza this year, but it’s equally wonderful so we’ll leave that tough decision to you!

You’ll find the expected - seriously good music and an array of amazing food stands, along with the unexpected. There is a huge array of inspiring workshops – from flamenco dancing and wild cocktail making to botanical illustration and modern calligraphy.    

Enjoy some serious relaxation in the wellbeing area, where you can book yourself in for a luxury massage, delve into the ancient practice of sound healing, stretch it out in a yoga class or give your mind a break with a meditation session.

What really makes Port Eliot a must visit for us is their vast Fashion and Art itinerary, which this year features renowned print designer Orla Kiely, style icon Daphne Guinness and acclaimed stylist Aldene Johnson. As you know we’ve long been supporters of the Fashion Revolution campaign, and this great organisation will be at Port Eliot this year presenting a panel conversation on the importance of shifting both consumers and producers mind-sets towards a better fashion industry.



Beautiful Days, Escot Park, Devon, 17th-19th August 2018

evening at Beautiful Days festival in Devon, fireworks in the nights sky

Founded and managed by iconic folk-rock band The Levellers, Beautiful days is a true family festival, and always a feel good weekend. The festival prides itself on the fact that they do not advertise and have no corporate sponsorship or branding. I think this has added to the real sense of community that has grown each year since the first Beautiful Days in 2003 – I was there with my mum and have been back several times since, so this festival holds great memories for me!

Beautiful Days is a favourite for hardened festival goers searching for that authentic experience – which goes hand in hand with true Levellers fans! Other musical highlights this year include gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello (if you haven’t seen them before, prepare to be amazed), Welsh rockers Manic Street Preachers, and the always wonderful Oysterband, who recently celebrated their 40th anniversary.

As well as great music, you can expect a plethora of unusual entertainment, including walkabout theatre, site art installations and comedy performances. The children’s area at Beautiful Day’s remains one of the best, with eclectic workshops and entertainment all weekend long. Run by Magical Youth Theatre, your little ones will be amused for hours, with activities ranging from bushcraft and circus workshops, to rambunctious theatre performances.

Beautiful Days sets a theme each year for the Sunday of the festival, which always sees an array of wild and wonderful costumes. This year the theme is A RIOT OF COLOUR – encouraging people to be bold, be bright and wear all the colours of the rainbow. What more of an excuse do you need to don your most fabulous Nomads prints!


Let us know which festivals you’ll be visiting this year – and more importantly which Nomads outfits you’ll be taking with you!


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