About Kelburn Garden Party festival 2021
The Kelburn Garden Party is an unique, independent, magical music and arts festival – an annual explosion of colour, creativity and culture in a spectacular setting on Scotland’s West Coast – the grounds and glen around a 13th century painted castle, established in 2009 and with a dedicated following. The festival is renowned for featuring a high quality and diverse range of musical styles that sits alongside a feast of creative happenings and fun attractions embedded around the site, from interactive art installations, living theatre, pop-up parties to glen walks, waterfall plunge pools, poetry, workshops, cabaret and downright surreal happenings. Kelburn is family-friendly and is well loved by all kids who visit as a fairytale playground. Under the madcap vision and leadership of director Dave Boyle, the festival is created each year by the dedicated efforts of the organisers, crew, volunteers, performers and of course you, the friendly campers and dancers. Below you can find out what need to know about a trip to the fairytale lands of the Kelburn Garden Party.
The Kelburn Garden Party takes place in the lush and historic grounds surrounding Kelburn Castle, near Largs (30mins from Glasgow, 90mins from Edinburgh), known around the world as the site of the Graffiti Project, an audacious plan that turned the historic 13th century castle into an international icon of street art.
The festival is unique in the way that entertainment is spread right across the site – making use of the most unlikey nooks and crannies to present music, art, performance and other attractions. The Kelburn Garden Party is truly the antithesis to the tired “main stage and dance tent” mentality of most festivals; A trip to Kelburn is really a non-stop multimedia adventure for the senses; impossible to describe to the uninitiated.
THE NEVERENDING GLEN
Besides the main festival site and various stages, festival-goers can enjoy, at their leisure, one of Kelburn’s most outstanding features: the Glen. In the space of just over half a mile, the Kel Burn, which has helped to form the glen over thousands of years, rises on the moors 800 feet above the castle and drops dramatically, by way of many waterfalls and deep gorges, to the sea. The glen has a wealth of wild flowers and ferns, shrubs and trees, and rugged trails criss-cross the burn, providing a little workout for those who feel the need. During the festival the Glen will be adorned with a carefully curated selection of contemporary art installations, pop-up parties and performance spaces in a groundbreaking project – The Neverending Glen – providing stimulation and entertainment throughout the day and evening.
THURSDAY BIRTHDAY BOLT-ON
In 2019 you are invited to come to Kelburn on Thursday to kick off your festival early and help celebrate our 10th Birthday with a party in the Smugglers venue. The party will kick off from 6pm and you can arrive in the day time and set up camp before the hoards arrive on the Friday. There'll be some great live entertainment and DJs for you, and food traders will be open. On the Friday you’ll be able to explore Kelburn’s amazing natural surroundings are we gear up for Friday night’s kick-off. Tickets are limited and on sale now when you buy a weekend pass.
FOOD & DRINK
At Kelburn tummies are important, and they have a wide and tasty selection of food from your old-school fairground tuck, traditional Scottish fare and a wide “world” choice, using locally sourced ingredients. This year you can choose from wood-fired pizzas, wraps, crepes, vegan, vegetarian, BBQ, Caribbean, Mexican, German and obviously haggis, neeps and tatties. Drink is equally diverse with a range of respected Scottish breweries (such as Williams Brothers, Thistly Cross and Kelburn Brewery) provide ales, lager and cider on tap. There are cocktail bars, tea tents and proper artisan coffee too.
It’s no secret that kids and parents alike love Kelburn, and they take great pride in the endless facilities and activities they provide, from adventure assault courses, a falconry, to secret woodland trails. They also have various dedicated children’s activity areas, a packed workshop program and various treats all over the space. There are also two supervised kids play areas and a weekend long programme of workshops and activities. The famous Secret Forest Project – a living theatre installation in the surreal Secret Forest – is a massive hit with children, and sets Kelburn aside from other festivals.
Kids under 5 go free but you need to register for Under-5’s tickets in advance. 5-12 year olds’ tickets are heavily subsidised.
Music genres: Folk, Funk, Electronic, World Music, Reggae
Kelburn Garden Party festival line up
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Kelburn Garden Party festival information & FAQs
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