Our Also Festival serves up brilliant speakers and their ideas to you in a stylish, relaxed and natural setting. Be part of our fifth edition in 2018 as we present Isle of Noises.
We are proud to work with 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. In 2018 ‘as creatives’ will present an exploration of The Tempest to reflect the theme of the festival, their exciting Torchlight Treasure Hunt which leads those who want to join on a trail of clues for after dark, CSI Tunes – an inventive mystery music biz crime solving session, their legendary bedtimes stories, desert island risks – what would you do to get home and many more across the weekend.
Join ‘Dark Net’ and ‘Radicals’ author Jamie Bartlett and ‘Death of the Gods’ author Carl Miller discuss the big question of our time – is the internet killing democracy. They very much disagree – Jamie Bartlett says ‘yes’ and Carl Miller says ‘no’, but what will you say when we reach the conclusion of our Also Festival discussion hosted by Salon London’s Helen Bagnall.
Rooted in the ancient folk traditions we know intimately, yet with a voice and lyricism that resonates unlike anyone before him, Will Varley, along with his band, performs songs from his latest album Spirit of Minne as well as choice picks from his four other artist albums.
We are fascinated about the role music plays in our lives and to celebrate this we ask our key speakers to talk us through the Soundtrack of their Lives. In ALSO’s now traditional session we get to ask our speakers to explain the tracks that have defined important moments in their lives. On the soundtrack stage for 2018, we have the award-winning business psychologist and philosopher, Margaret Heffernan and award winning writer Daniel Rachel.
Australian concert pianist Chris Lian Lloyd plays and explains how the avant-garde classical musicians at the beginning of the century influenced each other and how they imagined a future for music.
Want to understand the creative approach of musicians? Musician-turned-award winning author, Daniel Rachel will be at ALSO to discuss his exclusive conversations with the UK’s greatest living musicians the subject of his book Isle of Noises – Great British Songwriting.
We have debates, discussion and papers reviewed live in the bar each day. Grab your coffee and croissants and join Sky TV’s Nichi Hodgson and her guests each morning to review the day’s news and what’s on at ALSO. Also look out for the BBC’s Catrin Nye who will be debating how to find common ground in the UK as we try to define what we want in our Isle of Noises.
Understand all eastern and western philosophy has to offer – whilst listening to music as we present Salon London’s Dao of Jazz. Combining innovation, improvisation, and collaboration, Jazz is the music maverick that went mainstream. Philosopher Dr Julian Baggini explores the relationship between Jazz and philosophy and reveals what we can learn about how to live, just by listening a little closer. Accompanied by our in house jazz pianist and tracks performed live by Juliet Russell.
For 2018, dance and movement runs through our programming like letters through a stick of rock. Learn Pina Bausch’s Nelken Line, join our Capability Brown Parkland 5k, strike up a game of volleyball on our volleyball pitch or join in with one of our featured dance workshops. We also offer multiple yoga sessions including our gorgeous nighttime fireside yoga, sunset yoga, glitter yoga, rave yoga and yoga for people who hate yoga. Also, don’t miss our Carl Sagan inspired Voyoga – yoga to the soundtrack sent into space with the space probe Voyager.
A vocal powerhouse, whose reputation for uplifting, soulful performances has led them to perform everywhere from the Royal Festival Hall to BBC1's prime time choir show Pitch Battle.
The Also Festival is a rare chance to learn from leading UK TV vocal coach Juliet Russell (ITV’s The Voice, Michael McIntyre’s Big Show). For 2018 she has curated an incredible roster of opportunities to develop, understand and use your voice. Join Juliet’s in-festival choir to train and perform as part of the Saturday night spectacular, understand classic tracks by joining her Icons series (this year is a celebration Blondie’s Parallel Lines.) Also in 2018 kids can join Juliet’s vocal coaching session to understand how to shine on stage, and she will be hosting our Saturday night Lip Sync Heroes session.
Viv Groskop knows from personal experience that everything that has ever happened in life has already happened in Russian Literature. She’ll be at ALSO to explain how the lives and works of the great Russian writers can help us work out how to live the subject of her literary self-help memoir, The Anna Karenina Fix.
We’re so pleased to have the award-winning comedien and Infinite Monkey Cage host Robin Ince at ALSO to present for the very last time his ‘Pragmatic Insanity’ show – a story of love, death and art – he’ll be explaining how we see what we believe and we believe what we see.
Marie White is the real deal. A young singer-songwriter from Hastings with insight beyond her years, she creates her own uncompromising sound.
The author Lucinda Hawksley will be at ALSO to explore the women's movement in Britain, from the passing of the Marriage and Divorce Act in 1857 to women attaining the vote in 1928, she’ll explain how women were portrayed in literature, art and the media of the times.
We have DJ sets a go-go. Don’t miss our Isle of Noises DJ set from Daniel Rachel on the floating stage, General Disco Procedure get the party started in the disco bunker on Friday evening, there’s punked-up power pop from The Surrey Women’s Bridge Club, Northern Soul rocks the bar, and for 2018 our legendary sunny sunshine Sunday afternoon set from superstar DJ Steve Vertigo. Many more across the weekend.
Join author, broadcaster, and journalist Nichi Hodgson & author Lucinda Hawksley as they celebrate 100 years of feminism.
Sarah Corbett believes if we want a world that is beautiful, kind and fair – our activism should match. She’s the award-winning campaigner and founder of the Craftivist Collective and she will be at ALSO to explain how craft can be a tool for gentle activism and to show us how to respond to injustice not with apathy or aggression, but with gentle, effective protest.
Also Festival is a fabulous chance to explore wild swimming – so grab your bikini (or trunks) and head lakeside for some swimming in this stunning spot designed by no lesser landscape gardener than Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown himself. The lake is half a mile wide and our daily wild swimming sessions are not only gloriously beneficial for your body – but it’s been found exercising in nature offer extraordinary benefits for the mind too. No wonder we all love it so much.
If you stroll along the banks of Compton Pools you’ll reach the area known affectionately as ‘The Beach’ – an area dedicated to the most beautiful vista that can be found at the festival. It’s designed for you to take a bit of you time and we have there for your delectation a Rum Shack, a restaurant built especially for the festival complete with parasol roof ‘Getaria’, a coffee area and our floating stage – with its own programme of music and bands. Do not miss.
Steve Parry dons his funky hat alongside his partner in crime Nick Gartland. These two have been together for many a year and are as good at banter as they are at DJing. Fun, Funk and Soul with eclectic sides. Anything goes! This will be a great party to kick-start the Bunker on Friday night. Fun for funk's sake.
Flâneur and irrepressible commentator, Rick Edwards, and Editor-at-Large of the New Scientist, Dr. Michael Brooks are at ALSO to delve into the science behind popular culture –looking at our favourite and most iconic films and explaining the science within.
We are so proud to welcome to ALSO Chris Watson, who has travelled the natural world extensively with Sir David Attenborough as his Sound Recordist. Chris will take us on a journey through nature via a number of guided soundscapes – a truly transporting experience.
Musician and writer Dave Randell will be at ALSO to explain Sound System - The Political Power of Music. His is a brilliant exploration of how music and politics came together from the banned chords of the 12th Century - through the slave rebellions - to the free festival movement, and he’ll explore just how music can be used to change the world.
Happiness depends on letting a bit of the unpredictable in, so to help we have created moments of craziness into the ALSO programme that you can join – view – ignore or miss entirely. We invite you to join our Prancercise World Cup – take part in our Extreme Song Lyric Bingo – watch out for our four crazy plays about Britain – bring your skates for our pop up roller disco – seek out Sylvia’s champagne hour – or join us to build an enormous illuminated land art creature. Go with it.
Let scientist Dr Michael Brooks introduce you to his hero Jerome Cardano. Yes, this unacknowledged 16th Century astrologer discovered the mathematical foundations of quantum physics and maybe even almost inspired Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Yes, we did say astrologer.
Championed by Steve Lamacq and Lauren Laverne, Xylaroo are a sister duo act with a refreshing indie take on folk music with a twist.
The KLF were famed for burning a million pounds in a boathouse on the Isle of Jura and saying they would not talk about it for 23 years. Guess what, the 23 years are up – and they have spoken about it – to John Higgs – and he’s at ALSO to explain all.
Want to really develop your understanding of Theoretical Physics? David Tong will be running a masterclass on boiling a kettle of water. Yes turns out this everyday act holds the key to understanding the unity of physics, and illustrates beautifully how nature uses her good ideas over and over again.
The award-winning comedian, Robin Ince will be at ALSO and in conversation with leading neuroscientist UCL’s Prof Sophie Scott to discuss the psychology of comedy.
We work closely with the Ibiza based dining chefs James Knight and Rebecca Otero renowned for their incredible dining experiences and each year we build a beautiful dining space – artfully decorated to house our incredible food events. For 2018 we invite you to enjoy our homage to the Great British motorway breakfast ‘Little Jeff’. Or book on to one of our daily rose tinted afternoon teas – our Sunday lunch paella with live flamenco up at the lake, our Sunday Isle of Noises Brit-Roast, our Friday Night Summer Heights Dinner or our Isle of Noises Banquet Spectacular on the Saturday Night.
For 2018 we have put together an extensive programme of ‘go deeper’ workshops, which offers the chance to go a little bit deeper with our expert in to their subject. Highlights for 2018 include ‘What Happens in Groups’ with psychotherapist Philippa Perry, explore gentle protest through craft with the Craftivist Collective, understand the micro and macro worlds through at the boiling of a kettle with physicist Professor David Tong, explore music production with Prof Simon Zagroski-Thomas, and how to flirt your way to success with Cate MacKensie.
This Moscow-based indie rock band create hymns of beauty, freedom and the love of life. Honest, open-hearted music with catchy melodies, sparky guitars and atmospheric synths.
The greatest gift you can give to yourself mind, body and spirit is to be in nature and how for the ALSO weekend we have 50 acres of Capability Brown to roam and walk and listen and forget your tech. Want to go deeper we have a Bat Walk, our Forest School, talking trails, silent meditative walks, wild swimming, guided nature swims, a mini beast safari, morning meditations and much more…
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.
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 a) editing fatal diseases out of our DNA b) creating viruses that could eradicate entire swathes of the population and c) bringing back the woolly mammoth (in that order, obviously).
The year is 2018 in a futuristic society where corporations have replaced countries, sound familiar? Don’t worry – it’s only the plot for the 1975 film Rollerball – which was originally set in the future world of 2018. So to celebrate we’re setting up boutique pop up roller disco on the Saturday evening – think Studio 54 on wheels. Grab your skates and your glittery leg warmers and let’s go!
Combining electronic and dance floor influences with emotional song writing, Jono McNeil brings his latest album Broken Lives to Also.
We are so pleased to have at ALSO the renowned psychologist, broadcaster and author, Philippa Perry (How to Be a Surrealist, How to Stay Sane) to explain how to survive your family, how we humans operate in groups and will be leading us on a guided meditation in the most beautiful setting.
Not only did the UK’s most famous landscape architect, Capability Brown, design our beautiful venue but also it features the stunning and serene Compton Pools Lake. Experience the Also Festival from a different perspective and book on one of Suzanna’s guided swims in our gorgeous half-mile lake to explore the wildlife or to improve your wild swimming skills.
A revolution on the roads is approaching. Guardian news correspondent, Peter Walker, will be at ALSO to take us on a journey around the world, exploring the varying attitudes to cycling on our highways. He'll explain how rebuilding towns and cities for everyday cycling makes societies healthier, more equal and built around the needs of human beings.
Do moments of wonder make us nicer people? Yes says Caspar Henderson and in fact, experiencing awe helps us to feel more human. Wonder is a state of deep attention in which we feel good and think clearly, and connect to phenomena beyond ourselves. It has never been more important to cultivate than in an era when we are all distracted all of the time, and he is at ALSO to explain how to search out modern marvels.
For decades we’ve been told that development is working: that the global South is catching up to the North, that poverty will be eradicated by 2030. It’s a comforting tale and one that is endorsed by the world’s most powerful governments and corporations. But is it true? Author of The Divide and anthropologist at LSE, Jason Hickel will be at ALSO to give some uncomfortable answers.
Imagine a night out with the Kaiser Chiefs and Dua Lipa and that's Flo Gallop. Bringing a bright splash of neon to monochrome indie sensibilities, Flo mixes a raucous musical edge edge with pop star vocals.
The smart machines revolution is re-shaping our lives and our societies. To explain how smart machines are transforming us all - and just what we should do about it - one of Britain’s leading authorities on artificial intelligence, Sir Nigel Shadbolt will be joining us at ALSO.
Combrook resident runner John Wade, stalwart of the Stratford on Avon Park Run will be leading anyone who wants to join in a gentle 5k run around the beautiful Warwickshire countryside beginning and ending right slap bang in the Also Festival site.
For the brave, the foolhardy, the beautiful and the free, and the ones who can't remember where the exit is, the ALSO Closing Party is a chance to look back and allow the weekend to soak in accompanied by great music from covers band Little Blue House. Take in the stunning view, drink in hand, whilst coming to terms with the amount of information, thought, ideas and downright fun you've been subjected to. Sometimes the only thing for it is to sit and think. And drink.
A rare chance in 2018 to see the award-winning business psychologist and philosopher, Margaret Heffernan (who’s book Wilful Blindness was a FT book of the decade) will be at ALSO to incite us to not be a spectator in our own lives and to help us understand what we can do now to make more of your time in the world and crucially so they benefit all.
Laughter has a crucial role to play in sustaining communication with our nearest and dearest. It is also UCL neuroscientist Professor Sophie Scott's area of exceptional research. Sophie gave the prestigious Royal Institutions lectures this year and is at ALSO to help us understand the effect of laughter on the brain.
Iko Chérie is the moniker of the French born, London based musician Marie Merlet, whose fabulous three-piece band perform hazy, blissful indie pop gems with a DIY punk aesthetic.
AI expert, Dr Robert E Smith will be at ALSO to explain how the profound differences between human intelligence and machine intelligence are affecting everyone's lives, and get to grips with better strategies for humanity to work with artificial intelligence.
Carl will explain how control and liberation are wrapped up together in the digital age and how a new, digital form of power is emerging scaring CEOs, forcing politicians to resign, swallowing up newspapers, eclipsing experts, and pulling down companies.
Professor David Tong is one of the greatest scientific communicators on the planet and is at ALSO to take us further along our path of understanding life, the universe, and everything. This year David turns his attention on us – turns out we are talking, walking bundles of quantum fields - and he’s going to prove it.
The Saturday Night Bunker Session is the one where everyone let's go and finishes off the night in style. This year we are over the moon to have Steve Parry joining Steve Vertigo at the helm.
Combining a rich musicality with continent-spanning influences, Cassia play their own brand of calypso-flavoured, tropical rock, resulting in a deft balance of the quintessentially British and the unequivocally exotic.
Drawing from her hugely popular BBC Radio 4 show, ‘Natalie Haynes Stands up for the Classics’, the critically acclaimed writer and broadcaster, Natalie Haynes will be in conversation with Salon London’s Helen Bagnall who will be asking what they can offer modern life.
For 2018 we have put together clever pleasures – our programme of masterclasses designed to take your love of food and booze a little bit deeper. Book on Susan Schwartz’s time travel cocktail masterclass, or our rum cocktail workshop. We have an intro to whisky with Rachel MacCormack, a chance to get to grips with Cornish wines with vintner Dan Abbots, plus fascinating sessions on how to match beer with cheese and fine wine with cake.
To give you just that little bit more, more, more - each year we run a Double Talk session a little while after the speakers’ talk in our lakeside bookshop. Double Time gives you time to get your thoughts together post talk, and to explore the speakers’ ideas in more depth, in a smaller group and in a more relaxed session. Our Double Talk 2018 features Chris Watson, Jamie Barlett, Carl Miller, Catherine Nixey and many more.
Choralaoke - like karaoke, but backed up by a whole choir. Let your inner diva run riot as you become the superstar guest vocalist with London International Gospel Choir.
Introducing RUEBIN, the artist formally known as Ruby Blu*. We guarantee you will leave a fan, pursued for days by his catchy hook lines and chanting lyrics as if you’d heard them 1,000 times over.
Award-winning historian and author of The Darkening Age, Catherine Nixey is at ALSO to tell the terrifying story of the growth of early Christianity. Find out exactly what happened last time we turned away from knowledge, fact and evidence for a simpler, more spiritual time. Yikes.
We bring art and theatricality to the field’s with London's leading life drawing company the critically acclaimed Art Macabre, as they invite you to draw together at intimate drawing salons, for adults, for children, for all that make the most of our 50-acre site. Art Macabre has wowed London with their beautiful tableaux vivants and excels at inspiring you to be your most creative self and for 2018 we present the world premiere of quantum physics Art Macabre life drawing mashup with CERN scientist Prof Ben Allenach.
Viv Groskop’s literary self-help memoir, The Anna Karenina Fix explores the essential Life Lessons from Russian Literature.This extraordinary book has been picked as A SPECTATOR Book of the Year, An OBSERVER Book of the Year and A TIMES Book of the Year, and because of all of this love and because it’s such an accessible way of approaching ‘the Russians’, we've made it our 2018 in festival non fiction Book Club choice.
Philip Escoffey is an entertainer, mentalist and TV presenter and he has been exploring the world of psychics and mystics for over twenty years. We love the intelligence in Philip’s craft - which is why we have invited him to ALSO to perform a magic mind trick, involving everyone at The Also Festival - performed LIVE down by the lake at sunset on the Saturday night. Philip Escoffey has performed to over a million people as The Mentalist in the original cast of global theatre phenomenon, The Illusionists. He co-created and presented the first magic TV gameshow, "Impossible" and has had sold out runs at Sydney Opera House with his own show "6 Impossible Things Before Dinner".
As we begin to drink ‘less but better’ we wanted to take an intelligent look at the things we drink for pleasure. Kitchen Confidential broadcaster and author of Chasing The Dram: Finding the Spirit of Whisky, Rachel McCormack introduces us to the clever pleasures of whisky, including how to cook with it in a ‘Whisky in the Wild’ masterclass.
Philip Escoffey is an entertainer, mentalist and TV presenter and he has been exploring the world of psychics and mystics for over twenty years. We love the intelligence in Philip’s work - which is why we have invited him to ALSO to perform a magic mind trick which involving everyone at The Also Festival - performed LIVE down by the lake at sunset on the Saturday night.
We all know comedy is big in 2018 – and ours is super clever – don’t miss our sessions from Robin Ince. Viv Groskop, Ben Moor and Steve Vertigo. If you’re looking for ancient comedy – don’t miss Natalie Haynes and if you want to understand laughter and the brain we have the leading neuroscientist in this area (and stand up) Prof Sophie Scott.