"When there’s nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire..."
Seventeen years ago, we invited some friends round for a few drinks and a singsong around a campfire. Since then we’ve invited thousands of you to Blissfields, opening our doors on two sites, and enjoyed groundbreaking performances
from Sam Smith, Clean Bandit and Years & Years to Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling and Bastille. We’ve drunk ciders in the sunshine to Dub Pistols, woken up early for some Beans On Toast, ridden in hot air balloons, walked the trapeze, been in paint fights, dressed as animals, had tractor rides, travelled through time and put on the ultimate house party.
Yet the time has come to take a short break. In 2018 there won’t be a Blissfields; instead we’re taking it all back to our roots to begin a new journey together. We figure that the heart of Blissfields always lay in our intimacy, and those early years, and it’s on that basis we’re establishing Blisscamp.
This mini festival-ette (for just 1,200 people) will be built around The Outpost, our central campfire. There you’ll spend your days surrounded by storytelling and interactive action camps, expanding your mind among our tree-sized rocket candles. When the sun goes down, the fire will reach into the sky as our specially-curated bill of main stage acts take you into the night.
It's our Gonzo sense of adventure programmed right into the middle of Vicarage Farm, populated by bizarre or eccentric thoughts and commentaries. Come and participate in offbeat capers during the day, then dance the night away between the embers.
Then there’s The Arcade, our infamous dome reimagined for Blisscamp; roaring and exciting, and filled inside and out with light and energy. It’s a space to find perhaps your dizziest moments of Blisscamp. While our whole line-up is aiming to be our most exuberant yet, The Arcade is sure to house some of the biggest beats of the now four-day weekend experience.
The Hidden Hedge has been with us almost since the start, originating from a set of decks tucked in the trees around our first home. We’re delighted to be welcoming Coalescence Collective back into the fold, curating this spectacular window into the very soul of Blissfields, replete with their now trademark converted Boeing 747 cockpit, image mapping lasers, otherworldly installations and VDJs.
Of course, we've not forgotten about little Blisscampers too, and the beloved Angel Gardens are working with us to make sure they have the best weekend of their holidays. Plus, it goes without saying that we're handpicking our favourite food vendors and adding in some choice new spots to eat and drink.
And no summer camp is complete without a trip to the beach. The Bay will be building a sandy installation in the Hampshire countryside, and programming it with an unforgettable summer party soundtrack. It’s a hangout to laze, haze and misbehave; a place to cast off the pressures of the supposed real world.
Blisscamp is all about escaping, as Blissfields has been for years. Our sunglass-twitching anarchic spirit has led us this far, but sometimes you have to knock it down to build it back up. When there’s nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire.
Despite numerous sell-out years, Blissfields never allowed itself to grow too big, even amidst the festival boom of the last decade. Instead of hastily pushing forward, and perhaps against the grain of the market, we’re taking a moment to properly celebrate our independence and our DIY approach with our closest audience members.
In Blisscamp we’re building you a “best of Blissfields”, our greatest hits boiled down into a thick syrup of adventure and massive beats all played out beneath our customary blanket of July sunshine. It’s our most ambitious and carefully measured chance to start something new and we can’t do it without you. Don your sunday best, roll up your cuffs and stare into the stars with us. Summer’s coming.
Stand by for more on Blisscamp, including our first wave of live artists, in the new year. We're overwhelmed by how many tickets we've already sold - in fact we've sold more early bird tickets this year than ever before... without even telling you what's on the cards. If you'd like to be part of Blisscamp, tickets are available now