A previous winner of Best Small Festival at the UK Festival Awards Blissfields has grown from a tiny family and friends only event back in 2001 when approximately 70 people attended to a 2000 capacity show at Vicarage Farm, Woodmancott, Winchester, Hampshire. It’s the second year Blissfields has located at the site, having moved from the smaller Bradley Farm near Alresford.
With an audience that varies from cool teens / twenties to older festival veterans and their families, Blissfields provides something for everyone with a mix of old-school favourites (Dreadzone, Subgiant) to dance your socks off to, a huge array of up and coming talent, much of which has featured on Breaking More Waves (Lucy Rose, Clock Opera, Charli XCX, Emily & The Woods, Arp Attack, King Charles, Spector and Dog Is Dead for example), some more established names (Noisettes, Guillemots, Patrick Wolf) and even somebody you probably wouldn’t expect to be seeing at such a festival (Charlotte Church). Add in to that mix comedy, DJ’s, workshops, circus skills and a chance to channel your inner athletic abilities prior to the Olympics in the Blissfields' sports day which will include sack racing, space hopper long jump, the hipster swingathon, balloon fencing and egg and spoon races and its pretty much guaranteed that you’re going to come away with a big smile on your face.
Blissfields has a reputation for punching above its weight in terms of big name acts, having secured The Mystery Jets to play on its older grass hill stage back in 2005 and 2006 (even back in 2006 all the bands played for free so the festival was able to give a donation of £2000 to the local school and charity Practical Action), Scouting For Girls gracing the same mound in 2007 and in 2009 Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling and Super Furry Animals (and a certain DJ Hojo Hits one of Breaking More Waves alter egos, dressed as a horse, bringing the cheese to a field in Hampshire) all appeared on a site that held just over 1,000 people.
So with a bigger site, an excellent line up and glowing reviews from 2011, Blissfields 2012 has the potential to be the best ever. If you’re planning to come don’t delay in booking your tickets, the festival is reporting that they’re are selling fast, youth weekend tickets at a concessionary price have sold out so an adult price ticket will have to be purchased and live-in vehicle passes / family tickets are also looking low. Blissfields takes place on June 29th-30th June although there is also some limited extra ticket entertainment on 28th June on the smaller stages from 6-12 at night and the site remains open on the 1st July for campers.
Here’s a couple of our recommendations of bands playing Blissfields that we’ve not featured on the blog before - Man Like Me (Main Stage, Friday) and Aluna George (Second Stage, Saturday) although with so much of the line up having appeared on Breaking More Waves in the past we can veritably stamp the whole line up ‘approved’.
Aluna George - Just A Touch
Man Like Me - Squeeze