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A different kind of festival in the Cotswolds


Fantasy Festival at Sudeley Castle

Fantasy Forest Festival brings music, magic, adventure and wonder to Sudeley Castle this summer.

A weekend packed full of entertainment and immersive experiences awaits at Sudeley Castle, this 14 – 16 July 2023, when the hugely popular Fantasy Forest returns to transport festival-goers to a world of enchantment and wonder.
 
Get ready to hoist the Jolly Roger and set sail on an adventure, with swashbuckling pirate bands taking the stages, pirates roving the picturesque grounds, and even a Pirate Encampment. The Historical Living Company will showcase thrilling display fights, map-making, and captivating story-telling all weekend long. While leading the musical charge are headliners Ye Banished Privateers, a wildly popular pirate band from Sweden who will take visitors on a 300-year journey back to life on the high seas in full historical dress. Joining the crew are Brighton-based The Captain's Beard and scallywags Reivers' Gallows, serving up endless piratical shenanigans!
 
Sunday 16 July at Fantasy Forest promises to be particularly popular with music lovers, with an impressive line-up across the four stages. The Dolmen, a popular Celtic rock band, will bring their high-energy performance to the Dragon stage, while Harmony Glen showcases their unique blend of folk and rock music on the Dream stage. On Sunday afternoon, The Film Orchestra, the UK's 70-person orchestra dedicated to performing music from the world of film, television and gaming, will take to the Castle lawn for a captivating performance complete with 40-strong choir.  
 
In addition to the musical entertainment, festival-goers can witness an epic medieval battle at the Tournament Arena within the Medieval Village, featuring the impressive all-female fighters, Swords of Cygnus. Experience the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat as the fighters clash in authentic medieval armour.
 
Head to the three Games Marquees to play or watch board games, role-playing games and war games. And if that's not enough, meet the legendary fantasy artist Anne Stokes in her specially themed area, where visitors can enjoy her mesmerising artwork and discuss her creative process.
 
The excitement doesn't stop there! Immerse yourself in the world of Steampunk at Steam Nation, where there will be unique stalls, workshops, and a dedicated stage hosting the best Steampunk bands around. While Cosplay Court will feature displays and workshops for fans of the popular phenomenon.  
 
Saturday 15 July will see the ultimate showcase of creativity in a Bodypainting Competition, where talented artists will amaze with their stunning designs.  
 
Step into a Lord of the Rings inspired world at Herbie’s Art of Spellbound and discover how an ordinary looking van has been transformed into a breath-taking, immersive, off-grid space of magic and wonder. Plus, fans of the world-renowned author Terry Pratchett won’t want to miss stopping by a special walk-in installation celebrating his life and works.
 
On Sunday 16 July the incredibly talented West End Kids song and dance troupe will perform hits from cult-classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show, leaving viewers spellbound and wanting more.  
 
Martin Pelgrim, festival organiser, said:
"We are thrilled to bring Fantasy Forest back to Sudeley Castle this summer, offering a unique experience for all ages. 
“Families can enjoy the stunning scenery of Sudeley in the sun, enjoy live music and entertainment across four stages, snap up a range of artisan crafts, art and accessories in the UK’s largest fantasy marketplace, and marvel at Saturday’s spectacular Wicker Fire Ceremony and colourful Costume Competition. And of course, indulge in delicious food and drink whilst soaking up the friendly festival atmosphere.”
 
While camping tickets have already sold out, there are single day and weekend tickets still available, with children under 7 being free of charge and well-behaved dogs on leads also welcome.
 
Shuttle buses will be running from Cheltenham Spa train station throughout the weekend, and there is ample onsite parking too.
 
For the full line-up, and to purchase day, weekend and shuttle bus tickets in advance - see below.


Explore Gloucestershire
3 May 2023


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