Barn on the Farm 2016 really was a celebration of all that we love about festivals: a feeling that you belong there from the minute you park up, lots of like minded people all looking for a good time, and of course an absolutely stellar line up of great musicians.
From the minute you set foot onto Over Farm in Gloucester, you know you’re in good hands. The festival is big enough to feel the buzz (and create some mud) but still small enough to feel like you’re part of something special. Almost every artist thanked the festival organiser, Josh, personally for having them there which gives you a sense of how much everyone there is made to feel like they’re part of one big family. If a family could ever be this cool, anyway…
Weekend tickets to Barn on the Farm in 2016 got you entry to the festival on both the Saturday and Sunday, as well as free car parking and camping from Saturday to Monday. A select few also managed to nab tickets to Intimate Friday, where unannounced ‘special guests’ performed in the evening to kick the weekend off in style. And we were lucky enough to be there
Now, when you hear ‘special guests’ at a fairly new festival, expectations are slightly tempered, but, as 200 Intimate Friday ticket holders squashed themselves into the literal barn on the farm, and Bear’s Den showed up we realised we were in for something special. The duo, accompanied by their touring banjo player, stunned the captive audience, and even made their way into the crowd to perform a completely unplugged rendition of ‘Gabriel’. It takes a special kind of band to command absolute silence in a barn full of adoring fans but that’s exactly what three men, two banjos, and a resonator did.
It helps that all the visitors to the show – and we can’t begin to explain how wide a range of people that is – are so respectful of the musicians; there is no pushing and shoving, no heckling, no throwing questionable substances over the doting crowds, just music-lovers who are there to watch the masters at work.
BOTF has quickly garnered a reputation for showcasing incredible talent just before they hit the big time. Previous years’ performers have included Ed Sheeran, James Bay, Matt Corby, Ben Howard, and Hozier and you can already tell that BOTF 2016 Saturday headliners Oh Wonder, as well as James TW, Zak Abel and of course Bear’s Den are about to follow in those guys’ footsteps.
There are three stages: The Wooden Barn (the festival’s namesake), where artists can perform on the floor with their audience or on an eight-foot high platform to the rear of the barn; the Outdoor stage, which hosts up-and-coming artists and where you’ll find people congregating to appreciate new music in the sunshine; and the Main Stage, which is set back from the rest in a typical festival tent. Apart from the music there is a small courtyard that has a real ale shed, lots of picnic benches, some food stalls and quite often an impromptu acoustic performance by some visitors who are trying to rally the crowds. Oh and not forgetting the fields of ostriches, pigs, chickens, ducks, and the resident dogs. Something for all the family!
This is a festival that you have to try and luckily for you, tickets for 2017 have just gone on sale so you can do exactly that!
Our BOTF best bits:
- Feeling like you are part of an exclusive group who get to experience music in a way that is so hard to come by.
- Bragging rights over having seen artists ‘before they got massive’
- The farm shop on site – hangover food tastes so much better when it’s straight from the ground!
- The resident miniature dachshund, Remy… need I say more?
Visit www.barnonthefarm.co.uk to get your tickets for next year’s festival now.
Words: Florence Thornton-Weeks