The summer may well be coming to a close, with some getting ready for when school starts again (yey!), however the good news is that festival season is certainly not over yet!
If you are based in the North West, or happy to travel, the Head For The Hills festival will once again be rocking Ramsbottom and the Lancashire countryside the weekend of Friday 14th to Sunday 16th September 2018.
Liv and I have attended the festival on a few occasions in the past and have been lucky enough to review it on Sim’s Life previously. Check out how we got on and which bands we saw at the 2015 and 2016 festivals! First attending when Liv was 6 years old, she had a fantastic time – the festival has an amazing family feel to it, with many activities with a family and child focus, to keep families entertained the whole weekend.
By 2016 a 7 year old Liv was stating she wanted to stay later in order to watch Gaz Coombes of Supergrass fame and sang along with his songs… I have never been as proud
The Head for the Hills festival line up for 2018 is something quite special though and the headliners have made choosing simply one day to attend seriously hard. How can a music fan choose between The Selecter and The Beat featuring Ranking Roger, The Bluetones and finally… The Boomtown Rats featuring Sir Bob Geldof. You read correctly… Sir Bob will be paying Ramsbottom a visit with The Boomtown Rats closing the Head for the Hills festival on Sunday evening!
The Beat and The Bluetones will be headlining on the Friday and Saturday evening respectively and it has caused a serious dilemma. We normally attend on a Saturday in order to fully immerse ourselves in the festival spirit for the day and also meet friends, however I would love to experience The Selecter and The Beat live… their feelgood ska/ reggae/ punk rock vibe will certainly have the crowd rocking the village of Ramsbottom! The full line-up can be found here.
With an eclectic mix of bands performing for festival goers throughout the weekend, it isn’t all just about the music! There will be plenty of family events, hands on workshops, performing artists, face painting, hair braiding and much more to keep everyone entertained.
As part of the Northern Festival Network and funded by Arts Council England, the family arts programme includes magical performances from Manchester creative arts company, Travelling Light Circus as they showcase installations including the ‘Pendulum Wave Machine’ and new production, ‘The Playground of Illusions’, a collection of ‘giant toys’ that each contains a visual or auditory illusion; these toys are placed in an area that festival goers will be free to wander around and explore.
Pushing the boundaries further will be Mufti’s L_ve Hangman. A life-sized, 3D version of the timeless pen and paper favourite with a catchy original soundtrack, tongue-in-cheek puppetry and awful dress sense, L_ve Hangman is set to bring a huge amount of interactive fun to the weekend.
A Bird In Hand Theatre will be offering a sweet and gentle alternative piece of puppet theatre called ‘Special Delivery’, which is a show without words that appeals to both adults and children, blending beautiful puppetry with a good dollop of silliness.
Topping off the theatre programme will be ‘Baba Yaga’s House’ a new unique and bizarre walkabout from contemporary circus theatre company Dizzy O’Dare.
It is not just theatre performances that will get the family’s creative juices flowing, Head For The Hills will also be providing some exciting interactive workshops, including a new playful, physical comedy workshop by Shifting Sands Theatre called THE FILM KREW, where families can help re-create epic films such as Spartacus, Star Wars, Gone With The Wind as you’ve never seen them before.
Adding to the workshops further will be new Manchester and Bury collective, Gang Of Five who will be setting up their spectacular ‘ART-tillery Tent’ at the festival – a special art studio space, that is set to inspire festival goers’ artistic flare with exciting and interesting arty sessions inspired by the whole Head for the Hills experience including creating a Monster Head Army, making your own festival Zine and lively figure drawing with a difference.
Further details on family friendly activities can be found here.
The festival will feature a wide variety of food stalls and beverage tents offering a range of locally-sourced produce including its very own beer festival, organised by festival partners, Hollinworth & Price and Silver Street Brewing Co. The beer extravaganza will be a celebration of the region’s brewing talent with over 30 cask ales from across the North West, accompanied by a side order of fantastic DJ sets from well known artists.
I always say that the lineup at the festival gets better each year, but 2018’s line-up is utterly stellar and we cannot wait to dust off our wellies (just in case!) and head down for weekend of fun, food, friends and freakin’ awesome tunes!
Head for the Hills festival Ticket Information
Tickets for the festival can be purchased directly from the Head for the Hills website here, or at the festival entrance at the Ramsbottom Cricket Club ground. Another advantage for parents is that the festival is located on a beautifully maintained cricket pitch with a fully dedicated baby changing tent, giving festival goers with prams and strollers easy access and a hassle free weekend.
If you are travelling from further afield to experience the Head for the Hills festival, camping is available locally for the full festival experience (further details can be found here), though Bury does host a selection of hotels that are all within easy reach of the site.