Hawarden Estate’s Good Life Experience celebrated a bumper fourth year in September, welcoming a record 5,000 festival-goers.
The were able to enjoy a unique weekend of music, axe-throwing, campfire cooking from an impressive line-up of world class chefs, a huge array of craft workshops and talks from illustrious speakers, including Michael Rosen, author of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.
Festival co-founder Cerys Matthews MBE curated the eclectic music line-up and highlights included a Friday night performance by Tuareg band Ezza, who were hailed by Cerys as ‘a power trio in the Led Zeppelin mould’.
Celebrated for their live performances, British Sea Power did not disappoint, as they were joined on stage by one polar bear and another in the audience.
Other notable performances came from high-octane Congolese-Belgian hip-hop artist Baloji and King of the Notting Hill Carnival, DJ Norman Jay MBE.
Liverpool’s Michael Head and The Red Elastic Band also played to a raucously appreciative crowd.
The festival choir The Good Life Chorale made its debut this year with festival goers rehearsing throughout the weekend and performing to a packed out main tent on the Sunday.
Chefs Thomasina Miers, Tom Herbert and Anna Jones were part of a collaborative line-up of chefs who stoked the campfire for each other and swapped tips on cooking over open flames late into the evening.
This year saw the first Good Life Experience Feasts, where five of the chefs cooked four sit-down feasts for lucky festival-goers. Petersham Nurseries head chef Damian Clisby’s Sunday lunch of pit-roasted lamb was highlight.
The Good Life Experience is one of the most dog-friendly festivals to be found and hundreds of dogs enjoyed the festivities this year, participating in the Shelter Cymru Dog Show and the Canine Circus School.
The festival has something for all ages. The Hawarden Estate is the perfect place for children to go wild and get muddy, toasting corn over the campfire and forget about mobile phones and gadgets for a couple of days.
Plans are already afoot for 2018, which will be the fifth birthday for this unique festival, and Super Early Bird tickets are selling faster than ever before.
This year Super Early Bird Ticket buyers were invited to an exclusive singing and spoken word event at Hawarden Old Castle with Cerys Matthews and there will be a similar event next year for festival pioneers.
An extra 10% locals’ discount is available on tickets bought at the Hawarden Estate Farm Shop, The Glynne Arms and The Hawarden Estate Farm Shop Café and General Store at Broughton Park.