Big Tent Festival held on the Falkland Estate in Fife, is back on July 21 and 22 this summer after a year off in 2011. A lot has changed in that year and during our time off we had time to look at where the festival is going and how we could improve on what had been five very successful years.
Roughly 5,000 people attended each day of Big Tent in 2010, a testament to how many folks are keen to support the festival and the ethos that sits behind the festival, namely that we throw our hat firmly in the ring of sustainable and responsible living with an eye on the future.
So with this year’s festival only eight (yikes!) weeks away we thought it was time to tell all our ‘Big Tenters’ what we have in store for them this year, and entice some of you that have never been before to give the festival a try.
Big Tent is set in the shadow of the grade A listed House of Falkland in the rolling natural amphitheatre of the Falkand Estate. Not a bad setting for a heady weekend of fun that can include anything from joining in a mass chorus of I would walk 500 miles (Proclaimers anyone?) to relaxing and taking some ‘head’ time in one of our speaker yurts with stimulating, entertaining and ultimately educating talks that form part of our environmental programme. The music programme is as exciting as the setting with more than 30 world class acts appearing over the two days.
We have also announced our first ever ‘meet the songwriter sessions’ chaired by Mary Ann Kennedy so that we can all get the inside track from some of our top festival bands and performers on how to write the ‘perfect’ song, if there is such a thing!.
There is a BIG family vibe at the festival and for the first time ever we have moved the age where young people attend for free up to 16, in the hope that parents, young kids and teenagers can all attend the festival and it stays affordable for families. Kids are so important at Big Tent that they get a two day programme all of their own which includes acts such as The Chipolatas, Fischy music, Scotch Broth and the Barrowband. A family dance programme, storytelling, workshops, puppet making and circus skills are all on the menu for younger festival fans.
Fulfilling our environmental obligations, and making sure that the festival is responsible in its carbon footprint, is very important to us and so we have launched a sustainable transport policy that means we are encouraging people to make their way here on one of our regular shuttle busses. We are also launching tripshare and cycling initiatives to ease travel congestion and reduce harm to the environment. Fife Zero Waste Volunteers are already on board to help us maximise our on-site recycling.
Just in case you didn’t know, Big Tent is organised by the Centre for Stewardship at Falkland that works year round developing Falkland Estate as a place where people are learning how to live and work more sustainably. Our interests span from the value of re-skilling our communities to the impact of today's decisions on climate change for future generations.
Tickets are selling fast for this year, what with all the great stuff we have going, our location and the value for money festival packages on offer. It would be great to see you there.
Angela Michael, The Big Tent Festival