The Good Life Experience is returning for its fifth year this September for the biggest party yet.
The event intends to be a celebration of artists and artisans, debates and discovery, action and adventure, rock and roll revelry and relaxation, family fun and feasts and carnival and culture.
The Good Life Experience takes place in the historic setting of the Hawarden Estate in Flintshire against the backdrop of two castles.
The festival was founded by singer and presenter Cerys Mathews MBE, founding member of multi-million selling band Catatonia, award winning DJ at BBC Radio 2, 6 Music and World Service and author of Hook, Line and Singer, a bestseller published by Penguin.
She was joined in its creation by Steven Abbott, arts consultant and manager of Lang Lang and Max Richter and Charlie and Caroline Gladstone, founders of online store,Pedlars, award-winning pub The Glynne Arms, Hawarden Estate Farm Shop and co-authors of The Family Guide to the Great Outdoors (Random House).
The festival will include music from all over the world curated by Cerys, axe-throwing, foraging, campfire cooking sessions with world class chefs, daily feasts, wild children, mass sing-a-longs, more than 40 expert craftspeople, beer served by experts, talks by explorers, abseiling, a free 1930s fairground, tree climbing, poetry, literature and many talks.
Everything is aimed at adults and children alike. It’s also dog-friendly so the whole family is welcome.
Over September 14, 15 and 16, the Good Life Experience will invite a host of entertainers, artists, creations, makers and thinkers to the Hawarden Estate to share their knowledge, skills or performance.
The eclectic 2018 line-up includes iconic DJs Trevor Nelson and Norman Jay MBE, brave adventurer Ben Fogle, poet Hannah Jane Walker, pioneering grower Alice Holden, motivational designer and author Gavin Strange, Purple Ronnie creator Giles Andreae, social activist Joshua Coombes, who pounds the streets offering London’s homeless free haircuts and many more, with further names to be announced.
Chester Pride will mark their first year at The Good Life Experience by throwing a colourful Pride parade through the festival site.
Cerys said: “It was an ongoing discussion about the search for the good life that led the four of us to create a festival with a difference.
“Our focus is on music, art, food, culture and nature. It’s a festival for every generation with an emphasis on discovery, exploration and adventure – a combination of The Great British Bake Off meets Bear Grylls meets The Tube.
“It’s about passion, making memories and getting back to nature. To learn something new is what life’s all about. Once you stagnate you’re not living life to the full.
“The festival invites people to reconnect with life and reconnect with nature.”
One activity comes from the festival’s new lake area, complete with Victorian boathouse and picturesque landscaped grounds.
Artist, educator and outdoor swimmer Vivienne Rickman-Poole, recently listed as one of Britain’s most inspiring adventurers, heads up an aquatic programme ideal for any water babies.
Vivienne, who lives in the mountains of Snowdonia and is an award-winning filmmaker, will lead small group swims in the Hawarden Estate’s tranquil lake, with each 20 minute swim immediately followed by a session where swimmers will use their experience as inspiration to create – be it a drawing, a poem, or some other form of expression through art.
As an ambassador for the Outdoor Swimming Society, Vivienne knows first-hand all the elements for a pleasurable, inspiring swim – so there’ll be a lakeside fire, with marshmallows and tea to banish even the smallest hint of a post-splash chill.
As part of a programme of new pastimes, the team are excited to announce fire walking for this year. Guests will be able to learn and practice this ancient, mind-boggling activity.
For those who prefer learning new skills, crafting and expressing their creativity, the festival’s Makers Row will again play host to a variety of creators and traders from all over the world to introduce their wares, and give demonstrations talks and classes about their labours of love.
Planned participants include print maker and illustrator Tom Frost, Helen Gittins Raku Ceramics, Margaret Markland Weaving, the Amazing Scene Machine Model Making and many more.
To make sure their time at the Good Life Experience is a stress-free as possible, most activities are free at point of entry and under-12s don’t have to pay to attend the festival at all.
Accommodation comes in the form of pre-erected bell tents, local B&Bs and hotels, or a picturesque spot to park your camper van or erect your tent.
Tickets from ww.thegoodlifeexperience.co.uk/buy-tickets/