Curious Arts Festival 2018 - Lymington.com Review
Nationally acclaimed New Forest festival now firmly on the annual festival calendar
Five years since its creation by London based curators Patrick Keogh and Clare Conville the Curious Arts Festival is now firmly on the map of British Festivals. Thanks to the hospitality of Lord and Lady Teynham who own the Pylewell Estate this magical rural waterside setting with views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight now takes on an “other world” dimension for three amazing days every July. If you keep thinking about it but haven't experienced it yet, just to mention here Super Early Bird Weekend tickets are on sale for next year - see below.
Local participation growing
It was really pleasing this year to note how Lymington and New Forest locals comprised a large proportion of the ever increasing band of “Curious” enthusiasts who make a point of blocking out the whole weekend in their calendars and really immersing themselves in all the curious acts and activities on offer. It’s testimony to Patrick and Clare and the Curious sponsors including Fever Tree whose founder owner lives locally too, that locals are beginning really to appreciate how lucky we are to have this fabulous Festival on our doorstep!
Food and drink, literature, music, current affairs, comedy, children’s entertainment, health and well being and much more
Here are a few of our own favourite highlights from this year’s Festival - there is so much on offer it's impossible to cover it all so these really are personal picks!
Hendricks Gin Cocktails
Some of us were greeted on arrival on Friday evening by the curiously attired poets and other entertainers delegated from the Hendricks Garden to lure us in for gin!
Delicious cocktails – free too, for those like us who played the game, seized the poetry book and recited a poem back to them! And a lovely way to get in the mood...
Literary Highlights - probably Lemm Sissay
There are too many magic moments from the line up to mention here, but Lemn Sissay’s poetry reading was an enormous hit with all ages. His incredible combination of words so powerfully moving help to make his appeal universal and timeless. Here's a taster although it's not the same without his voice to read it...
"Let there be peace
So frowns fly away like albatross
And skeletons foxtrot from cupboards,
So war correspondants become travel show presenters
And magpies bring back lost property,
Children, engagement rings, broken things."
Musical Surprise - Milky Chance
Milky Chance’s Friday night’s headline music act was a revelation to many of all ages but immediately sounded familiar and made you want more... a frenzy of downloading took place afterwards and our house now regularly gets going in the mornings to their haunting melodies. “German Folk Group” doesn’t quite capture this one so here’s a taster with Down by the River...
On Saturday night John Newman captivated all festival goers with a high energy act which again young, old and in between alike seemed equally to enjoy, and on Sunday evening Gareth Malone was the star. The music continued every evening until late in the main bar area, so there was no need to retire for the night in one's campervan or tent until exhausted!
The first ever Curious Dog Show
Perhaps the canine companions were least impressed by the music but they had their own fun to look forward to on the Sunday with the first ever Curious Dog Show hosted by Sway’s Clare Muir and Oscar Pet Foods, and comprising a number of challenges including emulation of a literary character of choice together with owner performance of a sonnet in best Shakespearean language and expressive style!
Dog loving Judge Damian Dibben pictured with Clare below would now love us all to read his new book "Tomorrow" about a 217 year old dog searching through time for his lost master. So take a look in Waterstones - who were as usual in attendance with an enormous book shop tent for everybody to browse, and for the purchase of signed copies of books immediately after all the author talks.
Breakfast Club - the current affairs "show" as good as anything on TV!
Gigantic brains which whir astonishingly fast belong to the men and women whose words speak so much wisdom yet in down to earth style, who make up the panels for the enormously popular news and current affairs discussions which take place in the “Drift” tent at 9.45 both Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Paul Blezard and Simon Evans were joined on Sunday morning by the brilliant investigative journalist Misha Glennie (McMafia) as well as other editors from The Week - of which free copies were available and what a perfect opportunity to remind oneself this is a good read! See more here
The panel discussion with audience participation about ongoing Brexit negotiations on Sunday belied - or is it defied? - our New Forest “Leave” location with an overwhelming hands up from the audience in favour of a second Referendum, the majority clearly wishing to Remain...
Super Early Bird tickets on sale for next year
If we’ve whetted your appetite for the curious comings and goings which take place at the Curious Arts Festival put dates in diaries for 19-21 July 2019.
Super Early Bird Weekend Adult and Family tickets are on sale now, visit http://curiousartsfestival.com to view more photos from last weekend and book yours!