When it comes to blogging I am not the most constant. I’m not one of these people who manage to produce a wonderfully written, well thought-out blog three times a week. It’s just not who I am, mostly because when it comes to writing I can only write about something I’m truly passionate about.
This blog is about something I’m really, honestly passionate about.
Leopallooza is one of those festivals that you wish you’d be involved with longer. Starting as a bunch of friends in a field with some ciders and a few guitars, it has quickly grown to a full-size, award-winning, completely kick-ass festival. Still set in the same field where it all began – that field is just now a tiny bit bigger – in the middle of the North Cornwall countryside, still run by the same four guys whose original idea it was, and still committing to live up to their tagline ‘The Greatest House Party…In A Field!’.
This year the festival celebrates its tenth birthday after a year off, and I happen to have it on good authority that it’s set to be the biggest one yet! With a whole extra night and tickets only costing £95 for the full weekend plus camping, what’s your excuse for missing out?
I’ve been lucky enough to be involved with Leo for a fair few years now. I’ve crawled through a foot of mud under stages, been tricked into painting the inside of drawers, sold t-shirts, pulled thousands of pints, annoyed literally everybody else involved, and enjoyed every damn second. I’m never happier than when I’m in that field.
This year will be incredible, that much is a fact, but unless you have tickets you’ll never know! The general advice is to grab yours now, nobody wants to that guy who left it too late.
It might sound like I’m coming from a somewhat biased stand-point, but let me convince you that dancing in a field in Cornwall is exactly how you should be spending the last weekend in July…
It wouldn’t be much of a music festival without a banging line up of music now would it? Leopallooza are certainly not going to disappoint with their’s this year. Every year bands from across the world are chosen carefully with love – and it shows. Spread across seven stages and three days and nights this year’s line up is the biggest and the best yet.
Leopallooza is the festival where you discover your new favourite band. Every year people walk away having fallen completely in love with one of the many bands who grace one of the stages. It’s not all new up-and-comers though, a quick scan of the poster and you’ll recognise more than a few names on there. Every single band will blow you away, but here are a few of my must-sees this year…
The Duke Spirit
A name you may recognise from their many acclaims from various critics as well as high-profile support slots. The ultimate word of mouth band. Their unique style of electro-rock is one you won’t want to miss.
Must hear song – Blue and Yellow Light
Any football fans out there? Well you might have heard this lady’s vocals on the official BBC song for Euro 2016. But don’t worry, she’s got much more of a chance of success than the England boys did.
Must hear song – White Tiger
Rag and Bone Man
This is one to get excited about. Plenty of people already are! Just back from a packed-out set at Glastonbury, Rag and Bone Man will be bringing his style to Cornwall this month. Definitely not to be missed, trust me.
Must hear song – Bitter End
Ok, you don’t need me to tell you that dance tent headliner on Saturday night, DJ Yoda is a total must-see. But I can’t not give him a mention, because my God am I excited!
Get excited – a little preview of what to expect
And for those of you who have been before, the eagle-eyed among you might have spotted a certain Leo favourite are sneaking back for a DJ set…?
To get practising your dance moves check out the Leopallooza playlist here.
What is a festival without great beers and great food? Pointless, that’s what. But don’t you fear, Leopallooza have you covered on both fronts. With Sharps ensuring the taps keep flowing the party will be a winner from start to finish, at the Leo-standard of local pub prices (no £10 cans of Stella here!). But being the sensible, grown-ups we are we’ll need something to soak that up right? Well don’t you worry about that either, as well as having their very own kitchen inside the main arena – The Hungry Badger – there is also a whole mini village of small, independent food vans in Palloozaville, just outside the arena. No matter what your preference, you are guaranteed to find something to fill the void.
Every year there is a new incredible taste to discover, whether you’re after a burger, something meat-free, or something totally vegan. Here are a few that I’m most looking forward to sampling this year…
Anybody who knows me knows just how passionate I am about pulled pork. I truly believe pulled pork can make anything better. Crappy dry burger? Add pulled pork. Boyfriend pissing you off? Add pulled pork. Feeling fat? Add pulled pork and get over it.
Just Pigs happen to do some of the best pulled pork you could ever get your hands on, Cornish pigs slow-cooked for fourteen hours in Cornish cider. What more could you want? Just look at it!
‘New York style, Devon quality’ is their tagline. I can’t see anything wrong with that. Authentic American-style hot wings, served with plenty of choices of sauces and sides – what’s not to love here?! I have been staring longingly at the website for hours now and cannot wait to get my paws on some of that poultry.
La Bonne Crepe
Bristol-based with an authentic French taste, La Bonne Crepe is a can’t miss taste this year. Whether you go savoury for lunch or need something decadent to quell that sweet-tooth, La Bonne Crepe is your answer!
And for those of you who have been before, I have some good news…Let’s Wok will be returning! Get practicing with those chopsticks.
Obviously I have to do a little push of the family side of the festival, what with most of us having something small permanently strapped to us. So for those of you who couldn’t convince nanny to babysit this year is the year of the family at Leopallooza. It’s always been a hit with the little ones but this year they are going all out on ensuring there really is something for everyone. Family camping is separate from the rest of the revelers so you may be able to get a little bit more sleep – depending on how kind the kids are feeling to you.
Leopallooza have made sure to keep the weekend jampacked with activities for the kids this year, as well as adding the Leo crèche (manned by fully qualified childminders), so you can grab an hour of necking cider and jumping around to your favourite band like a teenager!
The wonderful Swamp Circus will be onsite to amaze and awe (not just the children, trust me) all weekend, with clowns, acrobats, magicians, and more. I also heard a rumour about a circus school…
The Other Brother theatre company will be on site with their unique and curious style of entertainment, the ever-popular roller disco is back again with the disco ball polished and ready to go, and – as is Leo tradition – there will be plenty of surprises throughout the weekend!
And to top it all off? [Not so] Secret crush of mums everywhere…Mr Bloom will be gracing the field with is presence! It’s for the kids. Definitely for the kids.
What’s best? Under 5s go free and the family ticket is a deal and a half! I can’t stress enough how much the kids love the vibes at Leo, I know mine most definitely does. (Look out for the kid covered in glitter, that’ll be mine)
This year’s Leopallooza has a theme! Not to be outdone by those Brazilians they’re turning the party up to 11 and adding a carnival. None of us need an excuse to cover ourselves in glitter and feathers, but being the kind folk they are Leo are giving us one anyway. Oh and bring your competitive side too, because there’s gonna be a mini Olympics to compete in on the Sunday.
Fan of watching people fly through the air, doing crazy tricks, while attached to a bike? Good because that’s just on more thing you can catch at Leo. You may want to watch some of this from behind your hands because boy do those guys go hard!
The field is always full of surprises, and this year will be no different! Keep your eyes peeled on their social media and prepare for the unexpected once you’re in the field!
Oh yeah, and they set a car on fire.
Leopallooza is held near Week St Mary in North Cornwall. The Wyldes is hidden down traditionally, winding Cornish roads. But it’s easy enough to find! Stick EX22 6UX into the sat nav.