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AUG 2017

Graze Festival, Sun 27 Aug, Twyford

Festival crowd watches band whilst sitting on strawberries.

Credit: Adrienne Photography

Let’s park this talk of Autumn, summer’s still here and the festival season is still on. I give you Twyford’s Graze Festival: nineties big-hitters Republica and the Stereo MC’s are headlining, plus some interesting live acts — finger picking Americana from Farnham’s Jonas & Jane with their finger picking clawhammer bango caught my eye. Living up to the name, elsewhere you’ll find live cookery demos from our friends at Hampshire Fare, plus a kid’s area.


Car Fest, 25 – 27 Aug, Laverstoke Park Farm

Woman in red jumpsuite waves union jack on race track whilst vintage car arrives at Car Fest.

Calling all petrol heads; petrol heads with kids; and lovers of live music with a distinctly nineties twist. Yes Car-Fest roars into Hampshire’s Laverstoke Park, think, yup you guessed it, cars of all guises plus a veritable role call of big musical hitters from the nineties/early noughties: Dodgy, Kaiser Chiefs, Sophie Ellis-Bexter and erm, Coldplace. A nod to the days when a certain russet headed DJ ruled the Radio One waves, per chance? TFI Car Fest.


Free Learn To Fly-Fish Sessions, Orvis, Stockbridge, throughout August

Not just for the boys in tweed, more and more women are taking up fly-fishing. Seeing as our very own River Test is the sport’s mother-lode, Hampshire gals should make like Bette Davis, a famous fly aficiando, and take advantage of Orvis Stockbridge’s free taster sessions. This girl’s hooked.


Summer Pony Days and Weeks, Tanglewood Equestrian Centre, Winchester

Is National Velvet on repeat in your house? Is the question, “Mum can I have a pony” a frequent refrain? Then you need to know about these fun-filled sessions learning to ride, care-for and compete the centre’s friendly ponies.

Tanglewood Equestrian Centre


The Art Room, Andover, throughout the summer holidays

Rock stars, Teddy Bears and deepest Africa, all themes in The Art Rooms fun activities for 6-11 year olds; half and full day sessions available.


8th Annual European Aerial Dance Festival, The Point, Eastleigh, 8 – 19 Aug

Credit: Mark Morreau

The 8th Annual European Aerial Dance Festival: forget a facelift Muddies, if you feel saggy of jaw, simple repeat this a few times; but I digress. This promises to be a weekend of high-flying frolics with aerial artists from across Europe coming to take part in workshops lead by world-class industry experts on aerial yoga, flexibility training, trapeze and er, corde lisse (me neither); all catnip to this girl who dreamt of being a trapeze artist — no sniggering at the back please. The festival is hosted by The Point, a fantastic cultural hub that supports the south’s artists and dancers, in partnership with aerial dance company Gravity and Levity. At the end of the two-week festival, course tutors will give an impromptu and free show for members of the public, keep an eye out for more details.


And further afield…

Gifford’s Circus, across southern England

Described by the Telegraph as “the nation’s most glamorous troupe”, think vintage, eccentric, beautifully-mad with costumes to die for, live music and a 60-seat pop-up restaurant, complete with candle-lit communal oak tables.


Wilderness, Oxfordshire, 3-6 August

Bit posh? Then you’ll love Wilderness, which is a lot more genteel than its name suggests. Details are sketchy for this year but 2016’s event in the idyllic 400 acre country estate included a pop-up spa, a Raymond Blanc-cooked gourmet lunch and a croquet tournament. Rock’n’roll! The music bookings are still tbc but tend to be strong – last year the line-up included the weird and wonderful Flaming Lips and Led Zeppelin legend Robert Plant so watch this space.

Cornbury Park, Oxon,


Upfest 2017, venues around Bristol, Sat 29-Mon 31 July

Europe’s largest, free, street art and graffiti festival takes place this weekend. Over 300 artists from 30 countries will paint on 30,000 sq ft of surfaces in 35 venues throughout Bedminster & Southville. Plus live entertainment, children’s workshops including Morph making sessions in association with Aardman and an affordable art fair area.

Upfest 2017

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Hampshire