Dates: 24th-27th May 2018
Location: Catton Hall, South Derbyshire
This is one of the comparatively smaller festivals (if a 12,000 capacity is small), and primarily family orientated. It is entirely independent, and has grown organically from small beginnings in 2009. Set within the Derbyshire National Forest, a stunning surrounding, the festival is made up of six venues, in each of which can be found all sorts of different musical styles to suit the eclectic attendee make-up.
With a foundation such as this festival has, one can be certain that its development would follow unerringly the whims and desires of both the people who made it and the people who wanted it. As such, it remains a personal and carefully tailored event that improves and evolves every year. With a number of fun and quirky touches, Bearded Theory seems to have found the blueprint to suit everyone. Famously, their patrons attempt to break the record for the largest number of people wearing fancy dress – most importantly, of course, a beard – with each ensuing year.
The music for this festival is slightly less mainstream than that of others, more often than not featuring Indie, Britpop and Alternative acts on the main stage, though the other venues (such as Tornado Town) will offer literally everything and anything – from ska and punk to swing, gypsy and folk… and more. And with every different flame, comes every different moth – so prepare to immerse yourself in very diverse yet happy-minded company.
Aside from the music, there are plenty of other types of entertainment on offer to guarantee you won’t be lacking for amusement. On every sort of subject you might expect to find a workshop, a demonstration, a lecture – be it circus acts or graffiti, solar cinema or a medieval living camp, you can throw your mind and body any which way you please. Your taste buds will have a good time too – with food concessions featuring cuisines from the world over.
If you’re coming with children, fear not – they too have been carefully considered and their needs anticipated. With plenty of free workshops, you will be able to learn and do with your children without having to bust your purse/wallet. On top of that, their creativity and imagination will be stoked by the storyteller’s tent and kid’s open mic stage, and they can have fun in the disco. If you’re a new mother, you may be pleased to hear they even offer ‘breast-feeding facilities’ – who said they didn’t think of everything?
The festival has moved its whereabouts a number of times to adjust to its growing popularity and identity. From a birthday party in a field behind a pub to Catton Hall on the Staffordshire and South Derbyshire border, this event is now in its best spot yet. Meticulous planning and organisation has resulted in a location that delivers both aesthetic and logistical constancy.
So luxury camping at Bearded Theory really couldn’t get any better. Not only is the physical location in a beautiful part of the countryside (and right in the middle of England), but in addition to the painstakingly pondered layout of the event, which means no inconvenient time-wasting or discomfort for anyone, you can also luxuriate in gorgeous glamping tents and rest assured that you are getting the best of everything you can. So pack your beards and book your boutique camping!