The Larmer Tree Gardens holds a special place in my heart. It hosts the most perfect festival.
Fond memories of basking in the sun whilst being serenaded by folk artists on the Garden Stage, devouring delicious organic Fish’n’Chips (with mint mushy peas, c’mon!) and wrapping up in a cosy blanket during the evening that was purchased earlier that day at the Oxfam stall. It really is wonderful.
End Of The Road Festival is very special. It’s just so … clean. No really, it’s spotless.
The atmosphere is very relaxed and much more scenic than other festivals. With fairy light decorated stages, a Woodland Library and a Healing Retreat close by, it’s your very own paradise on the boarder of Dorset and Wiltshire.
One reason why I love this festival so much is that the crowd are there for the music and not to down a bottle of vodka at 9am. Of course there will be some drinking but deep down everyone there is passionate about seeing the artists.
Previous artists that have played the festival include Ryan Adams, Conor Oberst, Bon Iver, Laura Marling and Modest Mouse. Altogether now, let’s just look and appreciate that fine list of people.
With the first ever EOTR taking place in 2006, it’s definitely a newish festival but it’s getting bigger every year with outstanding line ups and an ambience to knock all other festivals out of the park.
This year the line up is as impressive as always with dreamy Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós headlining, which for me, will be a very significant moment. Other acts playing include Bell & Sebastian, Eels, David Byrne & St Vincent, Warpaint, Dinosaur Jr, Daughter and The Walkmen. Are you excited yet?
The festival has an outstanding reputation for good quality grub. With a choice of maple smoked pulled pork and ribs, hand-made pies, fresh pizzas, burritos, crepes, soups, curries and churros on offer, you’ll be wanting to sample just about everything. A favourite place for me is the big purple bus, aka The Breakfast Club which serves British/American breakfast foods. An added bonus – being able to have Marmite on toast and a nice cuppa to kick start the day. Other condiments are available for all you haters out there.
The Somerset Cider Bus – that’s all I need to say on that.
There are other activities available too, including catching a film in the cinema tent, laughing (or in my case, cackling) to some good old comedy and getting creative with a variety of workshops. These include Circus Skills, Clay Creations and Stop Motion Animation which are ideal for all ages and proves the family friendly element. If you want to embrace your inner musical being, there’s a piano stage amongst the evergreens where you can entertain other festival goers if you’re brave enough. Pretty cool hey? Remember to look out for the free-roaming peacocks.
EOTR is great for shopping too. There are stalls dotted around that sell merchandise, quirky costumes, vintage and thrifty clothing and jewellery amongst other things. If you like to embrace your granny side like I do, head straight to the Oxfam stall and grab a bargainous quilted blanket for those colder nights.
When the lights go down and you’re not ready to slide into your sleeping bag, there is entertainment-a-plenty. Aesthetically pleasing, the Forest Disco is EOTR’s best kept secret. You can dance away with your friends to the sounds of the most varied mix-tape you’ll ever hear. The Bigtop Stage hosts a variety of DJ nights which prove much fun and a great place to get to know the other attendees. If you’re feeling peckish there are a few dining establishments open including the best crepe place you’ll ever come across, unless you go to France. I proudly stuffed my face with a savoury crepe to soak up those few ciders and went back at a different time to sample the Nutella variety. Greedy.
To be continued…
The End Of The Road Festival takes place at Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset, from the 30th of August to the 1st of September.
For more information and tickets click here.