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Larmer Tree Festival

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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A Not So Secret Garden Party in Wiltshire

Llamas may not grow on trees, but that doesn't mean you can't have a Larmer Tree Festival. Inspired by the Bracknell Jazz Festival twenty-four years ago, this five-day camping event in Wiltshire is ideal for a family break during the summer holidays.

Of course, you don't have to go for the whole five days, you can also buy day tickets, or three to four day passes. Prices range from 39 - 240 for adults, 26 - 155 youths, and 20 - 90 children.

Before you spend all this money, you're going to want to know what this festival is all about, so with no further ado, let's set the scene: Between the 16th - 20th July there will be street theatre, carnival, a comedy club, over a hundred bands, and a hundred and fifty workshops, all of which are spread across eight venues in the beautiful Victorian Larmer Tree Garden.

Beautiful' is of course a subjective word, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so a description is probably more apt: roaming peacocks, colourful macaws, ornate pagodas, and mysterious woods. How does that sound?

If you're still unsure, does headliner, Tom Jones tickle your fancy? Or how about Tom Odell, and comedians Lee Nelson, Chris Ramsey, and Paul Foot?

Inside The Big Top, you'll be able to sing and dance in workshops such as Zumba, Belly Dance, Hula, Didgeridoo, Yoga, Tai Chi, and much more.

In the meantime, kids will get discos and puppetry with shows such as Sir Charlie Stinky Socks and the Tale of the Wizard's Whisper.

For those in-betweeners, there will be youth activities such as learning to juggle, building dens in the woods, having a go at street dance, and playing cards.

Something for everyone to enjoy is the carnival, which will be full of bright fantastical costumes. Each year has a different theme. This year's theme hasn't been confirmed yet, but previous themes include 'Into the Unknown', 'Recycled Safari', and 'Orchestral Manoeuvres'.

Need some rest and relaxation after all the excitement? Retreat to the Secret Garden for a massage and a cup of tea. Or perhaps you're looking for another form of therapy - namely retail. The Global bazaar is a combined vintage and farmers' market for those who like to pamper themselves through shopping.
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Why? Fun for music lovers
When: 16th - 20th August
Phone: ( 44) (0) 1725 552300
Where: Larmer Tree Gardens
Cost: 160-240, 105-155 youth, 60-90 child
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