Larmer Tree – The Festival For All …

With ‘festival fever’ almost upon us, Women UK takes a look at this summer’s Larmer Tree Festival.  Taking place from 13th – 17th July, Larmer Tree Festival, really is a festival for everyone.  Here is just a snippet of some of the treats that  you can expect …

Larmer Tree Festival returns this summer, presenting the adventurous, the absorbing and the unforgettable, with an all-new programme of music, comedy, theatre, poetry and more across five days (13th-17th July 2016).

Set in Victorian gardens in the stunning landscape of the Cranborne Chase, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty spread across Dorset and Wiltshire, Larmer Tree is the quintessential party; an intimate and eccentric festival perfect for first-timers and experienced festival-goers alike.

Each of the stages are carefully curated by the Larmer Tree team, combining established favourites with newcomers destined for success. The final line-up will appeal to festival-goers of all generations.


Jamie Cullum3 © Larmer Tree Festival

With five stages and over 80 acts, music forms a major part of the festival bill. The much anticipated 2016 line-up will see headline acts Jamie Cullum, Tom Odell, The Stranglers, Calexico and Caro Emerald taking to the main stage across the five-day festival. Plus, Jack Savoretti, Gabrielle Aplin, Afro Celt Sound System and many more acts across the festival’s stages.

New for 2016 is The Chase, a stage championing the finest in emerging talent, with headline acts including Quantic, Sidestepper, Hot 8 Brass Band and This is the Kit. The Chase performers have been hand-picked by Todd Willls and Matt Aitken, the music programmers of Bristol’s most popular music venue Colston Hall and newest additions to the Larmer Tree team.

With an emphasis on discovering both emerging talent and musicians who deserve to be on your radar, The Chase promises to be a firm festival favourite.

For those looking to extend the party into the night, last year’s new late-night venue The Hide is back by popular demand. Tucked into a clearing in the woods with the Shepherd’s Hut bar close to hand, The Hide will host top-notch DJs from Friday to Sunday, for a fantastical all-night dance party. Nightowls will also find diversion at The Social, enjoying high-energy live music and dynamic DJs, with a late-opening bar ready to quench the thirst of the hardiest of dancers.

Comedy © Larmer Tree FestivalOnce again, Larmer Tree Festival will be welcoming their late-night comedy club to the ARC stage. This year the club will be headlined by celebrated comedians Mark Steel, Paul Foot, Sam Simmons and
The Boy with Tape on his Face, supported by the fantastic Phil Nichol, Tiff Stevenson, Max and Ivan, Stuart Goldsmith, John Hastings, Brett Goldstein, Jen Brister, Jonny Awsum, Laura Lexx, Tom Webb, Danny Ward and Barry Ferns. New for 2016, the festival will be showcasing previews from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and playing host to a live on-site recording of celebrated podcast Comedian’s Comedian.

Theatre & Shows
Extraordinary, quirky, endlessly amusing; the festival’s programme of roaming street theatre will captivate festival-goers at every corner of the site. From an impromtu dance-party in the poshest portaloo to a troupe of mime artists in the Flag Circle, keep your eyes peeled as you won’t want to miss a moment.

For an array of one-off shows, talks and screenings those in the know can pop into the Pavilion, an indoor theatre space set in the heart of the gardens, for an array of talks and screenings, with further talks popping up across the festival site.

Crowd at Garden Stage, Stuart Walker © Larmer Tree Festival

Poetry, Literature & Talks
Larmer Tree’s poetry and spoken word headliner is Dr John Cooper Clarke, who will be taking to the ARC stage. An original, performance ‘punk poet’, Clarke has toured with punk and reggae legends including the Sex Pistols, Elvis Costello and Joy Division, with his characteristic set of lively, rapid-fire, a cappella poetry.

For a further dose of literary happenings, slip away from the music on the Main Lawn and visit the Lostwood, a haven of winding paths and sun-dappled glades perfect for mysterious gatherings.

Visitors to the Lostwood Stage will find themselves immersed in spoken word; from poetry readings to spooky late- night storytelling.

Family Festivaling
For the very first time, all children’s tickets for under 10s are free, with prices for youth tickets frozen across all tiers. 2016 sees an exciting special guest for the littlest festival-goers.
Pop along and say ‘Ello!’ to Mr Bloom from CBeebies. There’ll be a bundle of veggie stories, gardening games and catchy Nursery songs for Tiddlers and Parents alike.
From workshops, puppetry, theatre, disco and more, the festivalcaters for all ages. The dedicated Family Lawns provide a welcoming hub for families, but children will find acres of fun to be had across the whole festival site. The festival is pleased to have Odstock Day Nursery returning as a partner for 2016, taking over The Nest for under 5s and providing sensory play and fun for all.

Atmosphere © Stuart Walker

Workshops and Experiences

Larmer Tree gives festival-goers the chance to tap into a wealth of creativity and artistry. With a broad range of adult workshops from dance classes to arts and craft sessions and morning yoga, there has
never been a better time to try something new!

For a more ‘zen’ experience, festival-goers can immerse themselves in the tranquility of the Secret Garden and The Retreat, returning this year with a soothing array of therapies from massage to mindfulness and workshops from holistic parenting to laughter yoga.

Food & Drink
Promising to tickle your taste-buds and fuel your festival antics, the food and drink at Larmer Tree is hand- picked to satisfy your every craving. Scattered throughout the site, the 2016 selection offers a true feast for the senses; from hearty festival fare to cooling ice creams and refreshing cider, Larmer Tree has got it covered.

The festival pays homage to the beautiful surrounding countryside and the wonderful providers of local produce it sustains. Expect well-stocked bars full of Festival wines, ciders, beers and Ringwood Brewery ales including the bespoke Golden Larmer, whilst the Dorset Farmers Market will be open throughout the festival with delicious local goodies in abundance.

Extras and Eccentricities
Larmer Tree Festival are pleased to welcome back the daily Songlines signings with an opportunity to get up close and personal with many of the performers and artists after their sets. Extra-lucky festival-goers may also find themselves listening to a private gig in the festival’s garden shed as Songs from the Shed will be recording sessions throughout the five days.

Fancy-dress fans will have an opportunity to try out their costume-making skills for Dress-up Saturday (theme to be announced soon, shhh!). All across the site there will be wonders to see and explore such as the returning Larmer Tree, a 25th anniversary installation, the Carnival parade on Sunday and of course one or
two pop up surprises like 2015’s party door and singing postbox.

The full line-up can be found at, where you can also buy tickets and get in touch with the Larmer Tree team, should you have any questions.

Ticket information:
Tier two tickets and day tickets are on sale now, with weekend tickets priced from £170 and five-day festival tickets from £230.
For the very first time, all children’s tickets for under 10s are free, with prices for youth tickets frozen across all tiers.

Larmer Tree Festival was the winner of the Small Festival of the Year 2015 (National Outdoor Events Association) and shortlisted for  Best Small Festival 2015 (UK Festival Awards).  If you are an experienced festival goer or dipping your toe in for the first time, then Larmer Tree Festival will be a delight either way!

View from Main Stage of General's House Through Confetti, Stuart Walker © Larmer Tree Festival

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