We’re making a few changes to our site layout for the 50th which we think you’ll love. This won’t mean much if you’ve never been to Greenbelt at Boughton House before, of course (you’re very welcome to join us, by the way!). But if you’re familiar with the lie of the land at our beautiful site, you’ll be excited to hear about the changes we’re making. Lest familiarity should breed (too much) content(ment), we thought a few changes would freshen things up for our special celebratory year.
(Here’s a copy of last year’s festival village map so you can get your bearings.)
The Shelter – our worship and spirituality space
The Shelter is moving up into the majestic row of trees between the great west lawn and The Playhouse – where The Canopy music venue has been for the last few years. Accessible, close at hand, and yet surprisingly peaceful and quiet, we’re really excited to see how its programme and vibe will draw and hold festivalgoers there over the weekend. We’re hoping to work with a new site decor team under the watchful and expert eye of our Greenbelt Site Viber, Saga, to create an ethereal, thin place in which The Shelter (a beautiful stretch marquee this year) and The Chapel can nestle – providing you chance to chill, contemplate, chant – and anything else you can think of beginning with ‘c’.
Our main ideas venue, The Pagoda, was super-busy last year – overflowing for pretty much all our great speakers. So we’re moving The Pagoda programme into the old Canopy stretch tent venue structure (see above). We’ll still produce the programme ‘in the round’, but there will be way more floorspace for us to fit way more of you in under its canvas cover. Because it’s a bigger venue footprint, we’ll be siting The Pagoda venue just a tad further up towards The Playhouse (roughly where you can see the Northern Lights tent in the photo below, just to the right of The Pagoda sign).
The Canopy becomes…
So, if The Shelter is moving to where The Canopy has been, and the Pagoda is taking over the Canopy structure itself, where is The Canopy venue going, and what is it going to look like? Well, here’s the best reveal of all.
At the very heart of the festival, just behind the big wooden gates (at the bottom right of the photo below) and the high red-brick wall, is the walled garden orchard that we use as our ‘back of house’ and is where we have run the festival from since being at Boughton. We’ve done this for a whole heap of good practical reasons. And we’ll still need to run the festival from here. But, by radically reimagining how we do this, we’ve freed up enough space to relocate The Canopy venue into the heart of this magical space.
What’s more, we’re changing up the venue structure itself, too – away from the stretch marquee it’s been in since we’ve been at Boughton and into the ‘Travelling Barn’ structure pictured below. We’re so excited about this change. The Blue Nun bar will be close at hand and there will be toilets there, too. To complete the picture, we’re going to rename the venue to suit its surroundings. It will be known as The Orchard Stage – taking up residence as it will be in a real-life orchard. Why mess with what’s there already? Especially when the vibe and purpose of an orchard is a perfect fit with the daytime programme and vibe of the venue (formerly known as The Canopy). Fruitful, mellow, slow grown, ancient, nourishing, beautiful, life-giving. We could go on.
The Hot House and The Hope & Anchor
After their brief visit over to the great west lawn, this year these beautiful venues will be making their way back into the heart of the festival village – The Hot House moving into the site where The Pagoda has been and the Hope & Anchor coming right into the Glade Arena itself, offering a genuine and proximate alcohol-free alternative to the Jesus Arms.
Who thought that, as we made it to 50, we’d kick back and rest on our laurels? Not at all. Bring it on.
Get your tickets for Greenbelt Festival 2023 here. Choose what you pay and spread the payments across interest-free, monthly instalments.