Having just returned from our big family holiday of the year we are going to be spending a lot of the summer hanging out near home in Devon. But when you live in one of England’s major tourist destinations that isn’t much of a hardship as there’s always something great going on.
One such event is the Midsummer Dreams Festival in Dartington in the heart of South Devon (23 to 24 July 2016). It’s a brand new festival showcasing theatre and arts for families in the grounds of Dartington Hall Estate and its Space Studios.
This voluntary run event is not your average festival. Entrance to the estate is free and you pay for the individual activities that take your fancy by buying tickets in advance or on the day (if there’s any left).
If you’re in Devon this July there’s plenty of great reasons to attend the Midsummer Dreams Fesitval. Here are just a few of them:
- You get to spend the first weekend of the school holidays partying in the grounds of a beautiful Grade II Listed, 800 acre estate which is free to explore in-between the weekend’s events.
- What Midsummer festival would be complete without Shakespeare’s fantastical Puck? This mischievous character will be played by international dancer, actress and musician Portia Van de Braam who will be your festival guide during the weekend.
- As at any festival it’s a great excuse to go wild with your outfit. We’re talking glitter and fancy dress – it’s all welcome and, to be honest, expected! There’s even a jewellery and headband workshop on Saturday morning to help you prepare your wardrobe.
- You can pick and choose which performances you attend, paying less than £10 per adult and £5 or under for children for each event in the programme. Come as a group of 10 to any performance and get one ticket free.
- There are going to be family-friendly workshops, performances and activities to keep children entertained all day, including interactive fairytales, circus skills, face painting and puppet-making.
- As well as the paid for programme of performances and workshops, there is free storytelling in the gardens from the Tintagel Storyteller and performances by local theatre company Chapel House Studios.
- It’s an opportunity to see national performers, such as The London Ballerinas and Sandel Sticks Theatre Company.
- Local talent will also be showcased at the festival, including Elfic the Juggler, Buckingham Dance Studios, theatre company Broken Spectacles, and the Dartington Playgoers.
- There’s going to be a book swap shop, so bring all your old favourite reads and find some new ones.
- You can bring your own delicious summer family picnic, or enjoy refreshments at the White Hart and Round House Cafe just two minutes walk from the festival.
- If you need to chill out after Saturday’s fun there will be music from Devon folk duet The Crow Puppets. If you’ve still got some energy on the Sunday, you can boogie to the gypsy-style swing band La Vie en Rose.
Getting to Midsummer Dreams Festival
Dartington Hall Estate is off the A385 not far from Totnes in South Devon. The postcode is TQ9 6EE.
Parking costs £1 for four hours or £3 from 9am to 9pm.
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Disclosure: this is a collaborative post written with the Midsummer Dreams Festival team in exchange for tickets to the event for myself and family. Post images courtesy of the Midsummer Dreams Festival. Main image and pinnable image courtesy of Pixabay.
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