Larmer Tree Festival, 25 years young- 14th – 19th July 2015

Will Wilkinson | 28th July 2015

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We were excited to be back at our favourite small festival, Larmer Tree set in the beautiful gardens designed by General Pitt-Rivers with its fun family friendly vibe. This years Larmer Tree Festival was 25 years young and commands some of the biggest names on the music and comedy scene. This time around saw the return of the legend Tom Jones who headlined the first two nights and Bill Bailey taking over sunday’s main stage for his brand of stand-up comedy.
Larmer Tree always has a great mix of things to do for all the family from Yoga and Tai Chi in the mornings, talks, workshops such as Bollywood, Cajun, Polka and Samba dance, Inta Africa Drumming, Ukulele Jam session, Comedy clowning and many many more activities to suit all ages. In fact Larmer Tree  is an incredible  display of creativity, talent and colour.
As always there are the usual array of great shops in the village for an indulgent and eclectic festival shopping experience and many great eating places, bars and cafes.
Back to the music and what a great line up Larmer Tree had to offer this year. As mentioned Tom Jones topped the first two nights tuesday and wednesday sounding as good as ever with thursday being headlined by Bellowhead and Levellers plus a late night performance in the Big Top by the 2 Tone ska legends The Beat. A late night comedy sesh was also on the cards with Ed Byrne, star of Father Ted, Buzzcocks and Have I got News For You. Friday saw the Magic Numbers and Rodrigo y Gabriela the amazing Mexican guitar duo with their flamenco, rock and heavy metal influenced sound.. a must see for anyone who loves guitar music.The Grammy nominated Afrobeat sensation Femi Kuti and the Positive Force commanded the main stage on Saturday night. Sunday was rounded off by Bill Bailey and the Jamaican master and 68 year old Jimmy Cliff, still doing high kicks while singing The Harder They Come.
Yes, Larmer Tree is the coolest, friendliest and chilled out small festival in the south and with the great weather this year we felt as if we had had an amazing holiday. As always VIVA would urge you to keep the date in your diary for next year, you won’t regret it.
Larmer Tree Gardens – on the Wiltshire/Dorset border, just off the A354 (between Salisbury and Blandford), OS Ref ST940170.
The beautiful Victorian gardens of the Larmer Tree are in the heart of the Cranborne Chase, and are home to stunning views, roaming peacocks, colourful macaws, ornate pagodas and mysterious woods.
A small, well-contained site with the Main Stage nestled in the heart of the magical Larmer Tree Gardens, and a large open area known as The Village.  The site is easily accessible for wheelchair users or families using buggies (extreme weather permitting) and is a magical place to enjoy our festival.
We caught up with BBC Introducing’s Meadowlark, read about it here.