Just So Festival reveals intrigue and trickery theme

Skinny Lister, and Hope & Social, Tales of Animalia, films, fun, and more

By Scott Williams | Published: Mon 14th Mar 2016

Skinny Lister

Friday 19th to Sunday 21st August 2016
Rode Hall Parkland, Scholar Green, Cheshire, ST7 3QP, England MAP
Daily capacity: 5,000
Last updated: Fri 22nd Jul 2016

Just So Festival which returns to Rode Hall Parkland, in Cheshire, over the weekend of Friday 19th until Sunday 21st August 2016 has revealed this year's theme will be 'Codes & Ciphers, Detectives & Disguises, Mysteries& Mayhem the game is afoot'.

Organisers state, "With intrigue and trickery as the theme for 2016, family adventurers should keep their ears to the ground for new and exciting experiences to be announced and further instruction from the brilliantly bonkers Just So Bureau. Inquisitive explorers can expect to tour the most curious of lands and encounter creatures and characters beyond your wildest dreams."

The festival provides an experience where art, music and literature around the theme is embedded and entwined in the landscape. Skinny Lister, and Hope & Social are the first of over 20 other  acts on the Footlights stage. There's also more foot stomping and wild whirling and swirling at Jitterbug with music and dance performances and workshops include the first chance to squash, roll, pop and squeeze in Sponge, the premiere of the new show by participatory dance artists Turned On Its Head, evening discos, and Around The World in 80 Notes with Melanie Ash and Jade Jagger.

The Village Green offer the chance to meet some of the children’s authors sharing the best new books out this year and encounter a sports day with a difference - toddler jousting or pillow fighting anyone? The Village Green is also home to the Tribal Tournament. Headed up by immersive theatre specialists LAS Theatre. The Fox, Frog, Owl, Fish, Stag and Lion tribes will compete in ridiculous games and all manner of unexpected shenanigans. Break codes and solve mysteries to win points! Find your tribe on festival Sunday and take part in the Tribal Parade.

Spellbound Forest will offer new outdoor performance for families, including a new show from comedian James Campbell, an interactive dig with curious archeologists in How Time Flies, by Handmade Theatre on the Woodland Stage. Phone Box, a new solo production by Corey Baker Dance, and live demonstrations of impossible happenings in Professor Kelso’s Strange & Unusual Phenomena. As well as the return of campfire tales, music and songs as dusk falls and the woodland magic really begins.

There's a new area this year - Tales of Animalia, from the strange and unusual imaginations of The Fabularium.  "Beyond the pines and oaks lies an open glade where creatures play, telling stories and singing songs for all that wish to hear. But to grace the forest with your presence you must tread carefully, and with luck the animals will invite you to meet the Moving Trees and the Living Stone Fossils. Whispers have also reached our ears of a Fairy City and Fairy Ball found within Away With The Fairies, an enchanting woodland, home of the Fairy Queen."

There's another chance to take to the High Seas for some bonkers nautical adventures. This year for the first time adventurers can take a voyage in wooden rowing boats onto Rode Pool and watch films under blankets at the outdoor cinema as night falls with family classics such as Labyrinth, The Wizard of Oz and, of course, Swallows & Amazons.
The Head over Heels area will be home to tumblers, somersaults and aerial mastery with shows, and a chance to have a go at circus skills, there will be The Fantastical Flying Exploratory Laboratory by Les Enfants Terribles, and the opportunity to follow Dr Latitude and his team of misguided misfits on their global quest in their hot air balloon flying machine to discover new lands, tribes, flora and fauna!
Fot the very young (ages 0-2 years) there's the Peekaboo area where you can find arts (and facilities) for the tiniest visitors. This year toddlers can become part of a carousel in Cheval Solitaire the new inspirational interactive dance and music show by aboutNOWish. Music, paint, clay, dens and bubbles, listening to stories and songs and baby bath time, as well as choral lullabies as dusk falls.

buy tickets now >

The early bird offer has ended. An adult weekend (including 3 nights camping) ticket is priced at £125,  a children's weekend ticket is priced at £50, and under 3s free. Prices do not include booking fees.

The performances and activities on offer span a wide range of high quality arts and this year will include premiers of new commissions as well as works reimagined for the outdoors.

The family festival experience includes family camping, nice loos, baby changing tents with changing mats and wipes, a breast-feeding boudoir, an area with electicity points for bottle warmers and sterilisers, and more. 


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