Just So! Festival Preview 2019

Have you ever experienced proper excitement? I’m talking the kind that makes your tummy flutter with butterflies and your arms go all goosey!

Yep? Well imagine trying to hold it all in for nearly 2 months! So, you can appreciate how excited I am to finally be able to tell you that we have been invited to attend Just So Festival 2019 as part of their press team!

*insert general fist pumping, loud whooping, and a bit of happy dancing here*

Credit: Ten Eight

While I sit and breathe into a paper bag, let me introduce you to what Just So Festival is all about…

With a love of stories and childhood escapades at its heart, Just So Festival enables families to step out of their day to day lives and into a wonderland of world class literature, arts, theatre, dance, music, comedy and creative pursuits together. Underpinned by the Tribal Tournament, the most bonkers competition in the land, it takes audiences (from bumps to great grandparents) on a unique expedition of mischief and mayhem, to lands full of magical midnight feasts, curious creatures, hidden retreats, top notch food, drink, boutique camping options and breathtaking beauty.

It looks and sounds AMAZING right?

Just So is celebrating it’s 10th birthday this year with the most incredible festival programme yet, including world-class music acts to get the audience dancing, adventurous theatre, circus and dance, and much much more.

Just So is a weekend of adventure produced by arts organisation Wild Rumpus; everything is focussed around families having an incredible time outdoors, enjoying live music and art together in the natural environment.

If you’re thinking ‘hmm, Wild Rumpus, who are they?’ then click here to read about our previous experience of their work.

We’re new to Just So and this is our first time, but what better year to start than with a double digit birthday celebration, we can’t wait to experience it all for ourselves!

To read a review of Just So 2018 by Typical Mummy click here, there are some great tips included for newbies like us.
The full 2019 line up and programme has been announced, and to be honest I’ve read it over and over but each time a different event shouts out to me! There’s Just So much to choose from! See the full line up here.

To give you a taster, we’ve each picked 2 things which we’re looking forward to seeing and experiencing the most to bring you our Just So 10th Birthday preview:

*yes, I’ve cheated and made an executive decision on behalf of Eli*

Stanley (aged 4 and 3/4)

Giant Marble Run
TwistingSpace are bringing their monumental wooden marble runs made out of culled rhododendron. Suspended between the trees of the Spellbound Forest, come and marvel at the prodigious carved channels as the marbles surge the woods.

Credit: Wild Rumpus CIC

Wild Rumpus Parade
Find your tribe on festival Sunday and round off the festival in style. Get in your costumes, bang your drum and let the wild rumpus start! The parade ends with the crowning of the winners of the Tribal Tournament.

Credit: Wild Rumpus CIC
Ben (aged 40)

Woodland DJ’s
If you go down to the woods tonight, the Woodland DJs will be bringing soul, house and disco from all corners of the world. Catch Sophie Sveinsson from Manchester’s Radio XS on Sunday night for some truly special selections.

Credit: Andrew Allcock

Fire Garden
See Just So Festival in a new light. As the sun sets, the new orchard near the Social will become illuminaed with an incredible installation of metal and fire. Small cauldrons suspended in wondrous patterns will guide a path through the orchard.

Credit: Wild Rumpus CIC
James (aged 2 and 1/4)

Biggest Ever Pass the Parcel
Yes that’s right! You heard us, the biggest ever Pass the Parcel. We at Just So do nothing by halves – so bring the whole gang along to find out what lies at the centre of this giant paper parcel.

Credit: Wild Rumpus CIC

Silent Disco: Our Kids Social
Head to the Flamingo Lounge with Our Kids Social for our silent disco with a difference – pick up a headset and choose your channel – will it be poptastic favourites or guilty pleasures? Bieber vs Bon Jovi, Beyonce vs Blur, Blondie vs Black Eyed Peas. Get down with the beats as we wake up and get our groove on. What better way to start the day with your family?

Credit: Sharah Booth
Emma (aged 39)

Thingumabob & The Thingumajigs
Thingumabob & The Thingumajigs are a band made up from a musical collective of friends from Salford who play “good time music”. They don’t play moody experimental stuff or virtuoso self-indulgent technical music; but great sing-along stuff. The music is a blend of pop, funk, ska, folk, reggae, soul, rock and everything in between.

“Think Mighty Boosh meets The Blockheads” – Carol Hodge, BBC Introducing

Credit: Wild Rumpus CIC

Disco Workshops
Tricia Arthur from Swirl Education, will be teaching 70s disco and 80s dance workshops this year. The workshops are suitable for the whole family. Each workshop will start with a fun warm up. In the 70s workshop, you will then be taught a few funky dance moves that will build into learning a dance routine set to music from the 70s. The 80s workshop will be full of classic Old School 80s moves.

Credit: Wild Rumpus CIC
Eli (aged 6 months)

Bubble Hour
Who doesn’t love a bubble? Or a million bubbles for that matter. Bubbles big and little will be floating and popping and doing whatever else bubbles do. Thanks to Fairyglass.

Credit: Katia Muscara Photography

Roller Flamingos
Just you wait til our roller flamingos hit the dancefloor. Retro roller booting flamingos with the kitsch routines to match, there couldn’t be a better fit in the flamingo lounge!

Credit: Wild Rumpus CIC

So there you have it, our current top 10 picks but it could all change!

Getting involved and dressing up is a huge part of Just So and the element that brings everyone together. This is the bit I’m most looking forward to. With less than 4 months to go, we have a huge decision to make….which of the 7 tribes shall we pledge our allegiance to? Just So’s Tribal Tournament is the only place you’ll ever witness bees, foxes, stags, frogs, lions, owls and fish going head to head in the fight for supremacy!
The costume competition is strong, I’m going to really have to up my game! Here are some costume triumphs I’ve saved for inspiration:

Team Lion credit and thanks to Kelly Pendry
Team Owl credit and thanks to Han at https://chimneyhouseblog.wordpress.com
Team Fish credit and thanks to Nele Demeyere
Team Frog credit and thanks to Debbie Rimington
Team Owl credit and thanks to Lucy Bailey-Wright
Team Lion credit and thanks to Abby Saville Bennett
Team Fox credit and thanks to Heather Young
Team Bee credit and thanks to Dawn Holford

Rowan Hoban and Sarah Bird, the directors of Just So Festival said…

“We’re so excited to be unleashing the full Just So programme. We’ve been doing this for ten years, and every year we’ve been amazed by the exuberant energy our audience brings to the festival. To celebrate our first decade, we’re making sure that this is the most incredible Just So ever. We’re bringing back old favourites, but also making sure to pack the festival with surprises you’d never expect. We can’t wait to share this extra special Just So with everyone. We have some plans that are really going to knock our audiences socks off!”

So, what are you waiting for?

Just So Festival takes place on 16/17/18 of August 2019 at Rode Hall Estate, Scholar Green, Cheshire ST7 3QT , one of the most stunning landscapes in the UK, with limited public access the rest of the year. For more information and to book tickets, visit the Just So website

Read about how we plan to have a more sustainable festival season here!

Disclosure: We have been invited to attend Just So Festival by Wild Rumpus as part of their press team. Tickets are being gifted in return for blog coverage, a review of the event and promotion across my social media channels.
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