Created by the team behind the award-winning Wilderness Festival and Citadel Festival (which you can read about in my blog post here) Somersault promised five days of stripped-back happiness and blissful outdoor life – and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
With so many festivals to choose from each summer in the UK, it’s often difficult to decide where to go. Attending the wrong festival weekend can often result in being forced to encounter mainstream acts, bad food, squalid conditions, hideous crowds and days filled with boredom before the music starts.
Somersault, however, guaranteed to delight in all areas . It featured full up feasts from leading restaurant partners, outward bound excursions under summer skies, exciting new artists and pleasant camping conditions. Even a spot of bad weather did little to dampen my spirits, which were constantly elated by the endless fun and activities.
So this summer I booked a whole week off to make summer memories at the festival before travelling around Devon to enjoy the beautiful British countryside.
After we arrived, we set up our tent, bought a programme and put on our wristbands. Along with my Somersault wristband I wore a friendship bracelet by Azuni London. The bracelet is beautifully detailed and expertly hand woven by traditional Mayan Indians. I love that they are edged with chain as it adds a real contemporary twist to the design. You can also have a look at my perfect festival outfit here.
Once settled into our new home for the next few days, we went to explore the festival. We were immediately consumed by the exciting rides, trapeze acts, variety tents, shops and food wagons. We also dropped into the activities tent to discover that seaside escapades, field trips, trekking, mountain biking, horse riding, surfing, craft, well-being and yoga were all on offer. Yet, undeniably, the most eye-catching feature of the festival grounds was the main stage, which was to host an international music programme featuring names like Bombay Bicycle Club, a personal favourite of mine, Laura Marling and Passenger.
In the afternoon, we were treated to some beer tasting by Sharps Brewery. A beer connoisseur took us inside a seemingly dingy box hut, only to reveal a beautiful array of food and beer in a remarkably sophisticated environment. He took us through each course, explaining how the different varieties of beer complimented the food on offer.
Slightly tipsy, we stumbled back into the country side where we wandered up to an old fort on top of a hill. From this viewpoint, it was clear that Somersault’s home is truly a magical, rambling corner of North Devon. A mystical garden punctuated with lakes, 18th century temples, breath-taking viewpoints and the river Bray.
Amongst the families and friends Somersault was the perfect romantic getaway for couples like us who love the outdoors. In the evenings my boyfriend and I returned to our tent in a corner of a field covered by a tree. Our soft lambswool Brora blanket provided the perfect bedding for a pre-dinner snack and our bright orange Vango Mistral 300 Tent was as cosy as it was waterproof . You can read about how I make camping a little bit luxurious here: Frey de Fleur’s Guide To Camping In Luxury. We snuggled up to sleep in our Vango Cocoon Sleeping Bags, thrilled to be in our exciting new environment and looking forward to the activities of the coming days.
The next few day did not disappoint in the slightest. The food was delicious, the entertainment was enjoyable, and most importantly the music was unforgettable. The team behind Somersault Festival cherry picked a great range of culinary delights and eateries that will pleased both my appetite and, thankfully, wallet.
To save money we packed a Trangia and made coffee each morning to enjoy with some brioche for breakfast. At lunchtime we would also return to the tent to get dry socks on and have some food; we cooked chilli con carne or beef meatballs for lunch but chose to enjoy dinner from the festival.
As the meals cost roughly £8-£10 per person I would recommend only having one meal in the main arena each day as then you will have some spare cash for drinks. My favourite festival food has to be the gourmet hotdogs from Popdogs which I’ve seen popping up everywhere. We also had wood fired pizza from Stoned and burgers from Le Bun during our stay – we were spoilt for choice!
Before the music started, there was always a great range of entertainment. My personal favourite was the comedy. Every afternoon, amazing acts, including Sarah Pasco, would take to the stage in the shelter of the variety tent. Just from the amount of laughter that rippled throughout the festival alone, it would have been difficult to tell that it was pouring with rain.
In a secluded part of the camp side, next to the river, there was a selection of wellbeing activities. Anybody could get in touch with their spiritual side, using yoga or meditation. There was also a forest party that went on until 3am every morning, for the teenagers in the family.
Undoubtedly, the best part of the festival was the music. On the communion stage, Lucy Rose drew massive crowds. She produced a spectacular performance; at one point even Jack Steadman was crowd surfing! On the main stage, Bombay Bicycle Club, Crystal Fighters and Passenger all produced impressive performances. Bombay brought up Lucy Rose onto the stage, Crystal Fighters threw giant beach balls into the crowd and Passenger charmed the crowd with his stories and heartfelt vocals.
The thing I find most luxurious about camping at a festival is the feeling you get when you return home. I never appreciate a hot bubble bath, cup of tea and sofa to curl up more than when I have spent a few days in a muddy field so I’m always grateful for a reminder not to take them for granted.
As soon as we returned we put on a log fire (yes it was that cold) had a long bath and opened a bottle of wine to mull over our memories of the weekend during dinner. Finally my beautiful Brora blanket, which I had taken in the tent, was back where it belonged…keeping me cosy on the sofa with a good book!
With tickets at a reasonable £125 for the long weekend it’s a true summer holiday experience. But don’t forget that the outdoor activities all cost extra and you have to book in advance! Each activity cost around £45 and includes equipment like wetsuits or kayaks.
If you fancy joining me next year you can find more information and register for updates here: www.somersaultfestival.com