Bearded Theory Spring Gathering
Thursday 24th May – Sunday 27th May 2018
@ Catton Hall, Derbyshire

Last year we took our 3 year old to Glastonbury – which was certainly a very different kind of Glastonbury experience, but still brilliant regardless!

This year there is no Glastonbury, so we thought it would be a good idea to take the opportunity to try a different festival, but which one?

Amongst my Glastonbury extended family, the two festivals that keep coming up are Boomtown and Bearded Theory.

Boomtown sounds amazing, but though they have a kids area, from the stories I’ve heard it sounds more like an adult oriented festival, with the main areas closed to children late at night.

Bearded Theory on the other hand (which gets it’s name from an annual world-record attempt to have the most people with fake beards – something their Facebook says is getting a bit tired after a decade and so they aim to emphasise the “spring gathering” part of the name in future) is very much a family-oriented festival, which even boasts an Ofsted approved school on-site to get around fines for taking your child out of school – and it’s free too!

Since the wee one will be at school next year, and our family budget probably won’t stretch to Bearded Theory and Glastonbury – if Bearded goes well for us then we will need to make a decision which one to go to next year.  Things like the Ofsted approved school could well tip the balance in favour of Bearded!

I never thought I’d say this, but in a way it’s good that there’s no Glastonbury this year as the wee one is too big to agree to sit in his buggy now, but still not able to walk long distances without a carry – so Glastonbury could have been a bit of a challenge this year.

The smaller scale of Bearded therefore sounds like it could be particularly handy, indeed I’ve heard that you can see the main stage from the kids field!  No more half hour dashes to try and catch the band you want to see!

Some Glastonbury friends tell me that they prefer bearded to Glastonbury – the good bits of Glastonbury – on a smaller, less commercial scale – high praise indeed!

In terms of lineup there are some real gems.  Robert Plant is a pretty big name for a smallish festival!  Jimmy Cliff was phenomenal when I saw him a few years ago.  For some reason I’ve never caught the Mary Chain, and I particularly loved their Damage & Joy album last year, so they are very much on my “must see, child permitting” list!  Fun Lovin’ Criminals should be fun, I’ve never seen Therapy?, Reverend & The Makers always good to see, and I’ve not seen The Whip for about a decade, so looking forward to seeing them again.

Look out for daily updates from the festival and a round-up after the event.