The organisers of the Greenbelt Arts Festival have announced the decision to return to Boughton Park in Northamptonshire for the 2015 Festival.
Tickets will go on sale to the public early in Feburary, along with the announcement of some early names on the bill.
After 15 years on the tarmaced roadways and solid joys of Cheltenham Racecourse, the move back to the beautiful, greenfield setting of Boughton House last summer was not entirely plain sailing. Not everyone wants to camp under the stars at night and, as anticipated, numbers were down on the previous year.
‘But the reception of those who came was overwhelming,’ explained Festival Chair Andy Turner. ‘They wanted to come back to Boughton. People said it felt so much more of a festival, it felt like coming home.’
With the decision now made not to return to a hard-standing site, organisers are embarked on a festival ‘reset’ – reshaping the programme and venues, the staff and volunteer teams to create a more bespoke greenfield event. And the launch of a simpler ticketing structure designed to attract more families and young people.
The idyllic setting of Boughton – camping under trees, breathtaking vistas, a river running through it – are hard to match, but the financial margins on a greenfield site are much tighter. A smaller ‘festival delivery team’ will focus on producing the August Bank Holiday weekend event while some festival perennials, like the open-air Mainstage, will take a sabbatical.
Over the next two years, the aim is to develop a new kind of Greenbelt in its new greenfield home.
‘We have no shortage of ideas for the shape of Greenbelt in future but we think our audience may have some good ones too,’ explained Mr Turner. ‘We’ll be engaging in a consultation with key supporters, volunteers and partners in the coming months and hosting a major forum of ideas sharing at the festival itself in August.’