Sunday, 21 July 2019

Small is beautiful, says organiser of Beacon Festival

Small is beautiful, says organiser of Beacon Festival

ABOUT 2,500 people attended the sixth Beacon Festival near Watlington at the weekend.

The two-day annual event held at Watlington Hill Farm celebrates real ale, music and the natural surroundings and is aimed at families.

There were 60 peformances on four stages, a health and wellbeing zone, a poetry competition judged by author Mark Haddon and children’s activities, including a skateboarding workshop.

The headline acts were Tankus The Henge and Guns or Roses.

Festival chairman Nick Acaster said: “It was amazing. We had great weather and a great audience and we have had some fantastic feedback already. We’re a not-for-profit festival run by volunteers and give any profits generated to charity.

“We feel we have got a special vibe and we’re very keen not to over-commercialise and to hold our numbers at the same level.

“We know other festivals have got bigger and have lost that personal touch that we feel we provide to not only our local community but also people from further afield.

“The Beacon Festival is certainly on festival goers’ radar now. Either it’s your first foray into the festival world or it’s those festival goers who have children and really don’t fancy going to the big ones.”

Sterling Moorecock, 62, from Christmas Common, said: “I come most years. It creates a good community spirit and everyone is together. There’s a fantastic view as well.”

Jacob Williams, seven, from Watlington, said: “There’s lots of things to do. Everything was really fun, especially the trampoline.”

Mr Acaster said he had success in reducing single-use plastic from the event.

He said: “Our bins were half empty rather than overflowing so we know the message is getting through.

“We had re-useable cups at the bar and, most importantly, festival-goers brought their own tankards and refillable water bottles.”

The winner of the poetry competition in the adult category was Louise Brakspear with The Locked Room, while Sofia Rowan won the under-12s category with Night-time Beauty. They were awarded book tokens and certificates.

The beneficiaries of this year’s festival are the Thames Valley Air Ambulance, Watlington and Chalgrove Children’s Family Hub First Steps, the Footsteps Foundation in Dorchester, disabled charity Thomley in Worminghall and mental health charity Restore in Oxford. The total raised is still to be finalised.

Tickets for next year’s festival went on sale on Sunday. For more information, visit 
www.beaconfestival.net

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