IF music be the food of love, play on… and if it’s good enough for Shakespeare, the organisers of this year’s comeback Burley Festival in the New Forest, on 27th to 29th May, could not be happier to follow suit.
So, to complement the festival’s delicious menu of fine artisan food and drink, they are serving up a tasty side dish of live music to lift the heart and soothe the soul.
The three-day family-friendly event at Manor Park in Burley attracted more than 12,500 visitors in its first year. After two years of Covid lockdowns the organisers are determined to make this year’s event even more successful.
“As news has spread the reaction to the festival’s return has been amazing,” says organiser Marianne Brown of Mojo Events. “Clearly, the public appetite to get outside and be together again is as great as ever, but perhaps some people are understandably still a little cautious.
“There’s a lot going on at Burley Festival we’ve designed the site so there’s plenty of room to move between the different marquees, areas and stages – it’s great for families and groups of all sizes. ”
The main Haystack Stage is open from noon on Saturday and Sunday with a daytime programme of jazz, blues, soul and funk bands winding down at the neighbourly hour of 6pm in favour of unplugged acoustic acts to play on into the evening.
The In’Tree’Ducing stage under Manor Park’s big oak tree and the festival’s main bar OUTside Inn Stage both host unplugged acoustic, lo-fi, folk, blues and country artists and singer songwriters on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to generate a relaxed atmosphere that rolls into the summer nights.
There’s a lot to do for the littlest festival-goers as well in the L’il Scrumpers designated children’s area with street entertainers, free workshops and activities as well as trails to explore around the village for all the family. Plus, Mr Merlin and Okey Dokey Dragon are set to return again on Saturday and Sunday.
The Va Va Vintage area with its classic cars, retro fashions and even some Lindy Hop lessons is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face and when it comes time to wind down a little there’s the magical Mystic Tree area behind the oak tree where gentle relaxation and some precious moments of peace can be found with a sprinkling of extra special New Forest wonder.
With the best local artisan food and drink on Deer Street there’s also the festival’s new organic, vegan and veggie corner – the Roots Veg Patch – home to an even wider range of tasty treats and fulsome flavours the way nature intended them to be.
“Burley Festival offers the best of New Forest in a nutshell,” adds Marianne. “Tasty artisan produce, creative artistic expression and some fantastic local music talent – whether it’s a day out the whole family can enjoy or an affordable weekend away in the beautiful New Forest, we’ve got it here.”
Burley Festival’s chosen charity this year is MyTime Young Carers (www.mytimeyoungcarers.org), the Poole-based charity that aims to provide support for young carers wherever there is a need. Well-behaved dogs on leads are very welcome.
Tickets are available at www.burleyfestival.com