This past weekend (2-4 June) marked a truly rambunctious affair: the first ever Great Estate Festival at Scorrier House in Cornwall. Describing itself as a garden fete, this festival offered so much more and it was superbly pulled off.
Scorrier House is a beautiful stately home in Cornwall, usually a wedding venue, but for one weekend only it was transformed into a magical wonderland of gin gardens, woodland silent discos and camel races. It was a family friendly festival with a half pipe, craft activities and circus workshops, along with inflatables and a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere.We arrived at the festival on Friday night with a few bottles of gin in an old water bottle, a bag full of nibbles, bananas (very important) and mixer. I also had the obligatory Vaseline, glitter, dried flowers and face paint; every festival-goers survival pack. The tent was put up, we had a slurp of gin and headed on in to the festival, walking through green grass with flits of yellow buttercups, past the Wild Wine Club (a place where you could book a three course meal and wine tasting in a stable sat on hay bales) and down towards the main stages.
The house itself had psychedelic pictures projected onto it each night and as you had to walk past it to enter or leave the festival, everybody would stop to admire the display. The stages were The Main Stage, Madame Wong’s House of Wrong (this also had a tattoo parlour and cut throat barber) and The Dome; these were the three main stages, which were next to each other and the array of food vendors.On the first night we experienced the silent disco in the woods. Following a small path, you wound your way into a woodland area with a dj shack, a silver trailer bar and a giant hanging disco ball. The headphone-clad masses were dancing and singing but no music could be heard; mismatched dance moves and tuneful singing helped to make this one of the highlights of the festival.
Great Estate had lots of workshops to participate in. I tried laughing yoga and can honestly say it was one of the best workshops I have been on. The idea is that by faking laughter it tricks your body into releasing the endorphins you get from laughing and I was belly laughing the whole time and felt amazing afterwards. I also went on a mini foraging walk, where we strolled around the grounds as a group and were shown different plants that you could pick and eat and some that would be good for medicinal purposes, which was very interesting. Then there was the Sanctuary Stage, which offered different workshops alongside some performances from the BBC Introducing artists.The musical highlights of the festival were Daisy Clark, one of BBC Introducing’s artists, who has one of the most emotion evoking voices that I have ever heard, and Hong Kong Ping Pong, who played a great set of breaks, dub-step and hip-hop, proving so popular that it was one-in-one-out of The Dome. The dance moves that were kicking off in that tent were insane, a mixed audience with some people old enough to be my great grandad shaking their bootys high and proud.
After a raucous Saturday night, what better way to relax than with a lovely bout of camel racing? With bets costing £1 it was a whole family affair, with children really getting into the race as the camels came galloping along the green in front of Scorrier House. If you partied too hard you could even relax in a hot tub and soak your hangovers away.This is one of the most magical festivals I have attended and it had such a great, loving atmosphere. With glorious weather and a fully immersive experience, this is definitely a festival that everyone should attend at least once. What a great achievement for The Great Estate’s debut.
Visit the official website for more information.