ALSO Festival Also Festival

ALSO Festival

ALSO is the festival that brings ideas to life, and returns resplendent for Season Nine to connect and inspire an intimate community of like-minded thinkers, movers, shakers. 

This year guests will have their opinions shaken, be titillated and thrilled by author Juno Dawson, poet Salena Godden, author and neuroscientist Anil Seth, actor Orsola de Castro, Simon Armitage with his LYR music project, mythologist Natalie Haynes, adventurer Belinda Kirk, ex-Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger and Gallic misanthrope Marcel Lucont - among a multitude of others. 

Highly curated, exquisitely produced, lovingly realised; ALSO sprung from the loins of Salon London - and at its’ heart beats a cultural salon where ideas sit brazenly front and centre. An immersive escape set in divine surroundings, ALSO-land features eccentric, playful, thought-provoking programming. It’s a place to get involved, reflect, be inspired and experience ideas through creating, experiencing and experimenting. The stunning backdrop is a Capability Brown-designed landscape that rolls gently beneath your feet. 

As irreverent as it is provocative, ALSO combines a let-your-hair down mentality with inspiring content to truly challenge and inform. Alternative dining experiences sit alongside creative workshops and clever comedy. Nature walks through eye-popping countryside offset challenging talks and panels. Live music and late-night dancing meet yoga, wild swimming and meditation. And it’s also a book shop. 

Creative Director and Founder Helen Bagnall says, "We were one of a handful of festivals who went ahead in 2020 and 2021, so we are raring to present 2022 as our brightest, boldest and most brilliant edition. We help our guests free-wheel their way around interesting ideas, in the most beautiful location, rum cocktail in hand if they like. Whatever level you decide to experience ALSO you’ll definitely reset your circadian rhythms and get new insight into who you are and what you want to do, we also hope you’ll visit our brand-new venues the Perfume Scentorium, our Food and Drink Theatre or the Wild, Wild Woods area, take part our sustainable fashion show or raise Medusa from the lake on Saturday night in our all singing all dancing happening.  I can’t wait to see Simon Armitage taking spoken word and music to new heights, to dance, dance, dance to London Afrobeat Collective and to laugh in a field at/with Marcel LuCont - who is also showcasing his brand new show exclusive to us for 2022 for kids ‘Enfant Terrible."

Themes

One of this year’s themes is Arcadian Rhythms - or a reconnection to your animal self. Unpacking this theme will be neuro-scientist Russell Foster - though even simply sleeping under the stars at ALSO is enough to feel your ‘circadians’ gently resetting. Dr Peter Lovatt is author of The Dance Cure and leads in the theme of I Move Because I Must: the idea that bringing dance back into our lives will make them bolder, broader, more beautiful. Ch Ch Ch Changes is the working title for the theme of fashion - or more accurately - how to love clothes sustainably. Taking a deep dive on this topic is Orsola de Castro founder of the fashion revolution and author of Loved Clothes Last. Lauren Bravo wrote How To Break Up With Fast Fashion and collaborates on this with the exclusive ALSO Fashion Show: ‘Darling, Can You Walk?’.

Other themes include Travelling To A Higher Consciousness, The Future of The News, Getting Out of Your Head and Gods and Monsters - led by rock star mythologist Natalie Haynes. She’ll be reading from her new novel which shines a light on Medusa as part of the epic, lantern lit, lakeside Raising Medusa Saturday Night Extravaganza.

Talks

You’ll find a collection of inspiring speakers, academics and authors on challenging subjects - which grow ever more whimsical as the sun sets. This year ex-Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger discusses this year’s theme: the Future of the News, Earth Scientist and climate advisor to David Attenborough Mark Maslin is in the field with his version of The Art of War - How to Save the Planet. Neuroscientist Anil Seth explains what we know and don’t know about consciousness - also known as ‘the hard problem’. Explorer and leader of the Adventure Revolution Belinda Kirk throws down the gauntlet and explains how and why we all need to take part in it. GBs cold water champion - ice queen Caroline Saxon - meets you lakeside to help you along with the joys of wild swimming and Jeffrey Boakye takes you on tour of the musical history of modern Black Britain via 28 songs. Immerse yourself in music and think again about those key moments in history, featuring Neneh Cherry, Stormzy and Musical Youth. Exploring the link between mental and physical health has long been an ALSO topic, and for 2022, leading psychiatrist Alastair Santhouse explains, explores and leads the discussion on how treating the mind and understanding the patient can help their physical health. 

The Weekend Papers is an ALSO institution and features speakers from the day's programming at the festival who will bring the broadsheets to life in a fantastically fun, fast-paced morning session - hosted by broadcast star, Natalie Haynes. Bring your coffee and start your day with a bang.

Music

Musically, there’s something for everyone. The jump-up London Afrobeat Collective will be delivering their afro-funk noise-bombs to the main stage: surrender to the unstoppable force of the groove as they carry the torch for the original afrobeat musicians. LYR are comprised of the incredible Simon Armitage - current British poet laureate - musician Richard Walters and multi-instrumentalist Patrick Pearson: the band is a nexus of diverse creative disciplines and one of the most thrilling musical and poetic prospects this year. 

Bask in the beauty of The Real String Orchestra on The Lake Stage with a deluxe Afternoon Tea from the award-winning Devon Heaven. Get energised by performance powerhouse Nuha Ruby Ra - East London’s avant-punk queen with a fanbase that includes the likes of Bo Ningen, Uncanny Valley, Charlie Boyer, Fat White Family Snapped Ankles, Flamingods and Warmduscher. Keeping the energy high are driving indie electro outfit Pynch and look no further than Tarsus for your big band festival sound: the outfit will be brandishing arrangements specially created for ALSO featuring Klezmer, French Waltzes, Bulgarian dances, folk music from Macedonia, Brazilian Bossa, Russian drinking songs, Irish jigs and Turkish pop odysseys. 

Food 

Chef, food writer, founder of 5 O'Clock apron and author of SIX excellent cookery books Claire Thomson smashes the start of an extensive food programming with her exceptional session on tomatoes. Learn, taste, experience them like you never have before.

Commission the ALSO Deli to craft you a deluxe hamper of locally-sourced treats to enjoy by the lake. Pre-load on Ibizan beats and paella at the much-loved Balearic Brunch at the boutique beach bar - where the sangria will definitely be flowing. Hunker down for a session with Cornishman and lovable wine merchant Dan Abbots and share some of Dan’s favourite bottles for summer 22. He also heads up the Gin Tasting Masterclass if gin odysseys are more your vibe. There’s also Chocolate Tasting with Cocoa Runners and Whisky Tasting with Rachel McCormack to tantalise the tastebuds.

What kind of ideas festival would be complete without somewhere to enjoy a handcrafted rum cocktail on the banks of a lake? A visit to the Rum Shack is always a highlight at ALSO. Kick back, have a dance to an in-house DJ and nurse a Dark n Stormy… Yes - The Rum Shack is back.

Comedy

You’ll find clever comedy at ALSO: explore memoir with comedian Christopher Bliss’ (the inspired creation of comedian Rob Carter) and his interview with author Cathy Rentzenbrink. The self-proclaimed “village-renowned novelist," is a genius in his own mind who has appeared on 8 Out Of 10 Cats Do Countdown and produced several lauded shows at Edinburgh Fringe. Take a deep dive with decadent diva of vintage glamour, Lili La Scala who will regale the late-night crew with a sultry set of soporific and bewitching songs on the tucked away Woodland Stage. Marcel Lucont’s Cabaret Fantastique - the cult hit from festivals worldwide is back with a vengeance with his heady mix of comedy, cabaret, music, poetry and circus - all held together as usual by dry wit and a dry white. Anna Mann - the wonderfully absurd creation of award-winning Colin Hoult (Murder In Successville, Derek, Harry Hill’s Club Nite) whose shows have been among the top 10 best-reviewed at Edinburgh Fringe for two years running - will make a dazzling appearance - as well as presenting her own show. Don’t miss Edinburgh Comedy Award-nominee Sarah Keyworth who brings her trademark sardonic wit and expertly-written gags. Britain's Got Talent finalist Nabil Abdulrashid reworks is in the field with his hit tour show, N.A.B.I.L. (Nobody Actually Believed I'd Last). And Alexis Dubus brings his incredible Character Comedy Workshops for you to try. Simply bring an idea and he will help you to mold and form your creation. There’ll be plenty more to be announced - including late-night comedy in the woods.

Experiences and Immersive Events

Yodomo is a social venture on a mission to increase wellbeing and use and re-use of materials. They will be at ALSO22 delivering live participatory experiences around crafts and making. The focus this year is on how craft fits into the circular economy and how makers and craftspeople can creatively reimagine waste materials.

Writer, performer and founder of perfume house 4160Tuesdays Sarah McCartney brings her Scent Tent exclusively to ALSO - her multi-sensory, multi-discipline perfumed venue of beauty where you can take your understanding, knowledge and enjoyment of olfactory pleasure to the next level. Couture milliner Sarah Cant is on site with her millinery workshop using flowers and natural greenery and, for a truly life affirming choral experience, join leading UK voice coach and musical director Juliet Russell who will be coaching the ALSO Festival Choir.

The ALSO Running Club offers 5km or 10km routes, which this year features a historic trail that takes in nearly all the Capability Brown features. Kick off your day with gentle morning yoga in the forest - no experience (or mat) necessary. Take your family to build a raft - or try it solo. Join Ex-Marine Commando David Hamblett in creating woodland hideaways for the weekend in Dave’s Den Building session. Drift down to the floating stage and take Qi Jong or Pilates. Make a flower crown to don at the Saturday Night spectacular. Build your own fairy house. Go on a foraging walk, join a bushcraft session or fire workshop. ‘Nocturnes’ is a night-time series of nature-inspired walks, workshops and interactive sessions to help you explore the hidden side of your nature at night. And of course, Wild Swimming is glorious and restorative - and takes centre stage at ALSO with lake swimming sessions open to all. The lake is a quarter of a mile wide and was designed by leading landscape architect Capability Brown to look like the Mississippi.

Family

As well as the sprawling 50 acres to roam and explore, the little ALSO tribe are fully catered for, with everything from Den and Raft Building and Woodland Activities, to Enfant Terrible - a kid’s show from the simply sublime renowned Gallic misanthrope Marcel Lucont; an experiment in what happens when international insouciance meets infantile exuberance. 

The ALSO All Stars: If you can do the splits or a magic trick. If you can yodel, bogle or dance like a show girl. If you can do impressions or body percussion. If you can tell a joke, disappear in a puff of smoke or rhyme and rap or ballet and tap. If you’re a poet or a singer or a talented bell ringer, an eloquent talker or a tight rope walker. If you can limbo, tango or peel a mango without using your hands - YOUR FESTIVAL NEEDS YOU. Join in and have a go. 

There’s also the fabulous Debutots, Whittling and Nettle Cordage Making, and adventures to spot forest beasts like the Minibeast Safari and of course the Bat Safari.

This is the first announcement, a mere taster, and there is so much more to be announced. 

It’s worth noting that ALSO pride themselves on their amazing toilets. You can hire your own lockable loos! And the glamping experience is designed to be accessible for groups. And of course, not forgetting the fact that there is no need to book the talks - you can simply turn up. 

Tickets

Ticket link - https://www.also-festival.com/tickets/
8th - 10th July 2022
Weekend Tickets
Adult (includes camping) - £135
Family (for 2 adults and up to 4 children, includes camping) - £275
Single Parent (for 1 adult and up to 2 children, includes camping) - £190
Child - £65

Past & Future Events