In just under three weeks, we’ll be throwing open our gates and welcoming you to ALSO’s 5th year – and our theme this year is 'Isle of Noises'!
In the midst of all the noise, confusion and crises of identity, we’ll be showcasing the big ideas that will help you think beyond our boundaries and made up borders, all the while celebrating the brilliance of our Sceptred Isle.
The Big 'Isle of Noises' Ideas
For those of us who are wondering what type of country we really live in – author, John Higgs will be taking us on a psychogeographic journey along one of Britain's oldest roads, from Dover to Anglesey, in search of the hidden history that makes us who we are today. Hear the BBC’s Catrin Nye, with a panel of esteemed speakers trying to find common ground around the question of 'are the liberal elite totally clueless?' Musician-turned-award winning author, Daniel Rachel will discuss his exclusive conversations with the UK’s greatest living musicians the subject of his book Isle of Noises: Conversations with Great British Songwriters.
The UK leads the world in the experimental process of gene editing and we’ll hear from CRISPR scientist Dr Alasdair Russell exactly where we are in everything from editing fatal diseases out of our DNA to bringing back the woolly mammoth. WebRoots Democracy’s Areeq Chowdhury explains how we can all help bring about a kinder, gentler politics in the UK. Author of The Divide and LSE anthropologist, Jason Hickel will discuss the inequalities in the planet and what you can do to make a difference - a clue - buy less things! Lucinda Hawksley explains the stories of the women who secured votes for all women in March, Women March. Renowned philosopher, Julian Baggini will explore the complex history of truth and falsehood and don’t miss our Weekend Papers Live sessions - Sky Broadcaster and journalist, Nichi Hodgson will bring the broadsheets to life in our great fun, fast-paced morning session.
Our five stages will be packed with incredible music, bands, comedy - esteemed illusionist / mentalist Philip Escoffey will bring the festival together Saturday night for an illusion to involve the whole festival. Bringing kids? Well, we are proud to work again with the forward-focused kids' culture outfit, as creatives who have assembled ALSO’s world-class programme of events for children to stretch, challenge and entertain them across the weekend, including an exploration of The Tempest to reflect our 2018 theme. The theatre collective, Briefcase will perform three plays about Britain, including a play based on Kate Fox’s work Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour (described by Jennifer Saunders as 'an absolutely brilliant examination of English culture'). Book on our first-ever Immersive Land Art workshop – be part of the team who will bring our Pagan past to life by creating a giant rabbit on the hill marked out in fairy lights. And explore the nation's sense of humour with our evening comedy line up and our cleverly entertaining sessions and panels with Robin Ince, Viv Groskop, Natalie Haynes, Rick Edwards and Michael Brooks.
Want to explore our natural world? Join a nocturnal Bat safari with Stuart Spray, a specialist in bat conservation biology. Or why not grab your bikini (or trunks) and head lakeside for some wild swimming in our stunning half a mile wide lake. You'll find out why wild swimming sessions are not only gloriously beneficial for your body but offer extraordinary benefits for the mind too.
It is definitely time to finalise the food for you and your gang. Sunday lunch time's Ibiza Beach Brunch has now sold out. The menu is in for Friday night's Midsummer Night's Dinner - a glorious celebration of the local and seasonal food - it's a substantial three courses with a Belvedere cocktail and a glass of wine included - and served in our decorated dining tent. It's the perfect way to get the gang together and to ease into your weekend. Coming without kids and want an immersive, theatric dining experience? Join us for exactly that at our End of Empires Banquet and don't forget our no frills, no bookings Little Geoffoption for breakfast.
We are also focusing in on the food and drink of the British Isles in our workshop series, the music and wine has been chosen (and tasted) for the fascinating session on music, wine and the brain 'music to drink wine to....' with neuroscientist Dr Catherine Loveday and Planet of the Grapes' Matt Harris. We’ll be taking a closer look at the magical, fascinating, much-misunderstood world of whisky and you’ll get to taste your way around the Scottish highlands and islands with BBC Radio 4's Kitchen Confidential broadcaster, Rachel McCormack in our whisky masterclass. The University of Warwick’s food historian, Professor Rebecca Earle will be leading you in an exploration of why we came to Love the Foods we Love - and what that says about us as a nation, and our favourite wine loving Cornishman, Dan Abbots (ex-wine buyer for Bibendum) will be introducing us to the leading wines and vineyards of the West of England.
We can't wait for you to celebrate our theme Isle of Noises. Take a look at our line-up by day on the site (Friday / Saturday / Sunday) or pre-buy a programme and we'll send you a production schedule for you to plan your weekend and you can pick up a physical programme when you arrive on site.
Less than three weeks to go - and this is also the last week that we can take a booking for The Safari Hotel. So if you're planning on glamping - get booking this week.