One of the UK's best-loved family festivals of the summer, Wychwood has become renowned for booking an outstanding mix of heritage, world music and up-coming talent along with an extensive roster of entertainment and workshops for all the family. This year organisers are pulling out all the stops with one of the most comprehensive family offerings on the festival calendar.
Workshops across the weekend invite festival-goers to get involved in a number of weird and wonderful activities. The hugely popular Circus Workshops from Solo Circus and Circus Kaos will amaze crowds, showcasing a wide array of circus tricks from juggling and stilt walking to spinning plates and unicycles.RU-Slack put festival-goers' balance to the test as they teach the ways of “Slacklining”. Kids and adult only classes are on hand to share skills of ukulele playing, yoga and samba, while adults can also take advantage of singing & choir lessons and writing workshops.
Dance features heavily this year, with workshops for 1920's favourites Charleston and Swing Dance. Samba shows and workshops showcase a unique fusion of Brazillian, African and Western beats played on everything from drum kits to dustbins through to congas and other world instruments. Other dance workshops on offer include Bhangra, Shim Sham, Glamba, Bollywood, Yoga, Belly and Break Dance to get the whole family throwing shapes.
Those looking to get hands on creative will love the arts and crafts offering at Wychwood this year, which includes everything from jewellery and head dress making to knitting, basket making and painting.
Passion 4 Laughter make an appearance, turning Wychwood into a theatre, using different characters to tell a whirlwind of stories with the help of acrobatic and physical tricks, all in the name of Street Theatre. Comedy Club 4 Kids will also host some of best comedians on the UK circuit doing what they do best. More shows for all the family come courtesy of Captain Barnacle Pirate Pantomime, poetry and choir performances, bubble shows and more.
Wychwood also announces its Literature Festival line-up in partnership with Waterstones, welcoming top authors and illustrators. Join Georgie Woolridge with her popular adult colouring workshop or listen to Chris Edge as he explores the parallel universe. Abi Elphinstone shares stories of her travels in Mongolia, John Dougherty sings about badgers and Michelle Roberts heads to the festival fresh from her collaboration with astronaut Tim Peake with her picture book about spotting bears. Other authors include Jo Correrill, Ali Sparkes, Lyn Gardner, Steve Antony and more.
Speaking about the return of the the Literature Festival, Children's bookseller at Waterstones, Barbara Pendrigh says: "Waterstones loves Wychwood and we're delighted to be bringing fabulous authors and illustrators to the festival again this year. Readers of all ages will find a warm welcome in our book marquee, and of course, something special to read too!!"
Cheltenham Poetry Festival join Wychwood this year, bringing with them a feisty feast of stand-up, hip hop, comedy and poetry including punk pet Jim Higo, standup poet and singer Claire Ferguson Walker,Miserable Malcolm aka The Poet of Doom), hip-hop and spoken word artist JPDL, singer-songwriterChris Hemingway, spoken word performer KA Poetry plus stand-up poet Samantha Samms. All performers will also be imparting their wisdom in writing and performance workshops for Wychwood festival-goers.
The family programme and literature line up join an already amazing musical offering with The Waterboys,10cc, Bill Bailey all set to headline. Revellers can also expect performances from Idlewild, Peter Hook & The Light, The Selector, Ms Dynamite and Matt Berry & The Maypoles, CBeebies superstar Justin Fletcher and Wychwood veteran Craig Charles plus new comers Tiger Club, Haelos, Honne, InHeaven,Cash + David and more.