Monday, 23 July 2012

So What Is The Big Tent Festival?

I can now tell you all about The Big Tent Festival after having had such a great weekend there!

The Big Tent is a weekend festival held in lots of tents on a designated site within Falkland Palace Estate.

Entrance to the festival

 The emphasis is on making this event have less impact on the environment than an ordinary weekend festival and for there to be lots if interactive and educational stalls, workshops and events going on over the weekend as well as great music and entertainment.

As a stall holder I didn't get round the festival site to get a good look at everything that was going on but my husband took some photos for me. 
The highlight of the weekend for him was sitting in a yurt watching the film 'You've Been Trumped' with an opportunity to put questions to residents affected by Donald Trump's golf course development that went ahead despite massive opposition on an area of out standing natural beauty and scientific interest. A film worth watching if you get a chance.

I love all the different tents, tipi's, yurts and huts that were on site as well as the innovative use of vans, trailers, buses, bicycles and horse boxes.

 This trailer was beautifully kitted out inside with eco fun clothing from Fox and Bhut. Look out for them at other festival events and in St Andrews at weekends.

The Pillars of Hercules Organic Farm and Cafe is situated near the festival site anyway but came on site with a massive tented cafe complete with colourful bunting and hay bails to sit on.

 Cute huts for sale

 This yurt was all closed up by the time I had time to look at it. There had been things going on inside and I'd have loved to gone in. It was so teeny wee and cute!

There were lots of environmental debates and talks going on as well as interactive things for children and adults to get involved in.
You can see the full list here

I was really impressed by the variety of visitors that the event attracted. Lots of local people as well as people from far and wide and it was wonderful to see whole families enjoying themselves including the Grandparents.

Here are me and Lizzy at my stall late on Sunday afternoon.

There had been a mad rush on cuffs which is why they are looking a bit untidy here. I'm also looking a bit worn out as I had to set off really early each morning to get set up and stood ALL day each day chatting non stop but having a great time. Visitors to my stall were delighted to see handmade items that are made locally.

My fellow stall holders were all lovely. We bought beeswax candles and handmade soap.
Gill from Artisan Threads is a real gem of a woman. She took time with her customers to teach them how to knit with big needles, crochet and how to use a drop spindle. Adults and children alike went away with new skills and inspiration. My daughter loved her and learnt how to use a drop spindle and made her own little ball of wool.

We got the spindle home with us too. It's made from a painted CD, dowelling and a screw in hook. My daughter can teach me now! Gill said she picked it up very quickly.
I also bought some beautiful silk fibres to use in my work.

We made our way to the main stage area after closing up shop around 6.30 each day.
It was very relaxed as the stage was set on a hill with a dip so while there was a small crowd right in front of the stage, there was a whole sea of people on the slope opposite sitting on deck chairs in family groups enjoying the music and getting up for a wee dance of they felt like it.

I didn't get to hear that much music but enjoyed the Treacherous Orchestra and it was great to hear The Proclaimers but the highlight for me was Karine Polwart.

This rainbow came out half way through Karine's set and rounded off what had been a really nice weekend. We could have stayed to hear the next band and Salsa Celtica after that but I was way too exhausted as were the rest of the family.

If you are visiting my blog here after picking up my leaflet, welcome and thank you very much!
I'll be taking some time off now to enjoy what's left of the summer holidays but I'll answer any emails and list some new things in my on line shop this week.


  1. Fabulous! I do love Karine Polwart and it's great to see people taking environmental issues into consideration for festivals. Thanks for sharing and enjoy the rest of the holidays! x

    1. Thank you Laura. I should have added that small things like forks and spoons were wooden and the glasses from the bar were 100% biodegradable. There were different bins for different rubbish and a lift share system in operation to help people get to the event. There were loads of other inovative things going on to encourage people to be more green in their everyday lives. It was all very good : )

  2. It looks like a brilliant event (I'm also a fan of Karine Polwart since I discovered her on MySpace many years ago). So glad you had a successful weekend and hope you have a good relaxing holiday!

    1. Thanks Pat. I love Karine's music and have known her since she first started out. She popped in to see me briefly with her husband and two gorgeous wee children. I'd love to have had more time to chat but she was on her way to her gig and our tent had a constant stream of customers at that point. She put on a great show and sang some of everyones favourite songs as well as some new ones.

  3. What a nice weekend you did have. Have a great holiday!gr.

  4. Sounds like a brilliant festival Aileen. I'm loving your posts on Facebook and here - you're a real blast of colour every day on my computer:)))

    We missed the start of Fiddlers Green yesterday but I'll be getting immersed in it from Wednesday - great to see Doris and Hugh back - and all the other visitors from far flung places. We'll see you all in November I hope xx

    1. Thanks Fil! It's a shame this festival clashes with Fiddler's Green, you'd love it! Tell Mum and Hugh that lots of people were asking for them. Hope you enjoy the rest of the week. We really miss coming over at this time : )

  5. It looks amazing! Your stall is beautiful and I love Karine Polwart :)

  6. Lovely to meet you at Karine's gig. The girls seemed to have fun! I agree ... great festival.

    1. Hi Eleanor, they did have great fun! I'd have been more chatty myself had I not been completely exhausted. Glad you found your way to my blog : )

  7. What a fantastic event! I wish I lived nearer.

    Your daughter is very clever to have made that ball of wool on her first attempt, and the bag of silk fibres could have been dyed with you in mind - they are very much your colours.

    Good news about the cuffs selling well, but I'm not surprised at all.

    1. Thank you Lyn. I'm really impressed with my daughter's efforts. She is only 7. Can't wait to use my silk :)

  8. Wow, it really looks like a most fun event! I don't think we have that kinda stuff in Spain much... I wish I could drop by one of those!

  9. I'd have so loved to have been there, Aileen. It looks like it was an absolutely brilliant festival, and that everyone was truly enjoying themselves. I can sense the good vibe and energy from the photos alone, so I can only imagine how much fun it was to be there on the day. Maybe next time, I'll make it over there.

    Your stall looks so wonderful and inviting, too - so many things to look at and be enchanted with (and so many things I'd want to buy - especially the wee sheepies).

    Glad the weather held up for all of you, as well. That's always a worry with outdoor festivals - even in the summertime - when you're in Scotland or here in Ireland.

    Thanks for sharing. This cheered me up considerably on this very grey and very overcast Irish day.


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