Last Sunday we spent a wondrous day at Lunar Festival in Warwickshire. Lunar is a three day, family friendly festival which, although still in its infancy, is rapidly blossoming into a unique and well respected festival. A long tree-canopied drive leads to the beautiful grounds of the Umberslade estate in Tanworth in Arden and provides a perfect rural setting for happy festival goers of all ages. We were greeted by friendly volunteers and the site was very well run, clean and the mud (yes, no festival is complete without occasional heavy downpours) was kept under control with regular maintenance.
There was nothing corporate or commercial about this festival. Instead imagine a calm and creative vibe but mixed with a little craziness. At the centre of the site a welcoming bonfire was kept alight for all to share and mill around. Nearby in the camping area children were able to have fun and learn new skills with circus artists, sports coaches and a climbing wall. With an amazing array of workshops, talks, films and fitness activities on offer there was plenty to take in and try alongside the music. That's how I found myself joining in with ska-aerobics on a Sunday morning – any fears of being cool or fit disappeared as I got down to some fun in my wellies! This is what I loved about Lunar... how everyone felt part of the festival. It was small enough for performers to be wandering about and mingling in the bar.
Music wise the line up was impressive with acts such as British Sea Power, Donovan and The Polyphonic Spree representing a variety of tastes. On the Saturday evening there was an intimate opportunity for a select number of people, who had pre-booked tickets, to listen to Nick Drake's own copy of Pink Moon on the gramophone player used by his family (Lunar is described as Nick Drake's spiritual home as his family home was in Tanworth in Arden).
Oh, how I would have liked to be there. Still, not to worry, I got my folky fix on Sunday afternoon listening to Lanterns on the Lake and Scott Matthews. Scott's performance was as blissful as the afternoon blue sky and I really, really did not want it to end.
Our visit to Lunar Festival was short but very sweet. Sadly we missed The Polyphonic Spree due to home commitments but I've heard that their performance was pure joy. And that for me sums up Lunar festival. We'll be back.