Just So Festival, Photo Credit: Chrissie Wild

Just So Festival, 16/17/18 August 2019, Rode Hall Estate, Cheshire

Just So Festival — the multi award-winning family arts festival produced by Wild Rumpus — has revealed details of the areas at their 2019 event. Festival organisers have promised ‘the most spectacular Just So ever!’

Now in its 10th year, Just So is dedicated solely to children and their families, offering astonishing arts and unique experiences. An annual, intimate, weekend-long festival, Just So is an imaginative outdoor adventure like no other. Just So Festival is renowned as one of the top family festivals in the world and the best place to see the best new outdoor arts each year.

With a love of stories and childhood escapades at its heart, Just So Festival enables families to step out of their day to day lives and into a wonderland of world class literature, arts, theatre, dance, music, comedy and creative pursuits together. Underpinned by the Tribal Tournament, the most bonkers competition in the land, it takes audiences (from bumps to great grandparents) on a unique expedition of mischief and mayhem, to lands full of magical midnight feasts, curious creatures, hidden retreats, top notch food, drink and boutique camping options in a stunning natural landscape.

New areas for 2019

Just So 2019 will have several exciting new areas for festival goers to explore. Be dazzled by the stunning Fire Garden, a pyrotechnic marvel of light and heat set among the trees of a brand-new orchard.  Delve into the mysterious Garden of Delight, a palace of secrets in a section of the estate that has never been open to the public before. Head into the woods to enjoy author talks, music workshops and night-time DJ sets in Wonderland. And come to the New Curiosity Shop to learn amazing art skills like stop motion animation, illustration or textile crafts in workshops led by expert artists.

There will also be new locations for some favourite areas. Footlights, where you can dance like wild things to a brilliant line up of live bands, will move to the lakeside. So now you can watch the sun set over the water as you and your family show off your best moves.

The best of the glorious rest – returning areas for 2019

The tenth Just So will also see the return of festival goers’ favourite programming from previous years. This includes the Ten Favourite Acts, those ten acts or events that have brought the most to Just So across the decade. There’s campfire storyteller Ian Douglas, award-winning musician David Gibb, the ‘riotously odd’ musical outfit Biscuithead and the Biscuit Badgers, family comedian James Campbell, the brilliant ceilidh dancing of Cut A Shine, Thingumabob and the Thingumajigs’ unmistakeable ‘good time music’, and the ever popular Midnight Feast, Silent Disco, Tribal Tournament and Lantern Parade.

Roll Up, Roll Up is our glorious, exuberant, large scale area dedicated to all things circus and seaside. In this most spectacular and flamboyant area of Just So, expect tumblers, somersaults and aerial mastery from the best performers in the land.

The Flamingo Lounge returns after its triumphant debut last year. Filled to the brim with all things dance and movement, you’ll whirl, swirl, jig, jive and disco together in this gloriously kitsch wonderland. And when the night falls, the neon comes on and the party really starts…

Head to the Ministry of Games for a little competitive fun. We’ll have the world’s biggest ever game of pass the parcel, plus your favourite party games and board games. Hone and learn powers of cunning, dexterity, strategy and (ahem) fair play together. Quick or slow, little or large there’ll be games for all.

Relax at The High Seas. Practice yoga and tai-chi while watching the light on the tranquil water of the stunning Rode Pool lake. Or, if you’d like to get even closer, take a rowing boat out onto it.

Step into the extraordinary Spellbound Forest for nature and bush crafts, tree climbing, campfire tales and bonfire bands as dusk falls. Watch incredible theatre and nostalgic film classics at the Woodland Theatre, our magical forest performance space. And enjoy wild-play at Hammer & Chisel, our unique woodland playground. Under the supervision of forest play experts, create your own world or add to ours using pallets and tyres, ladders and ropes to create a myriad of walkways, dens and secret spaces.

Head to the eccentric Village Green to be wowed by some of the best new outdoor arts performances created especially for festival audiences in 2019. You’ll meet all our amazing walkabout performers, dance the maypole, see incredible bubble displays and build your very own lantern for the Just So Lantern Parade.

The Village Green is also the nerve centre of the Tribal Tournament – join the Bee, Fox, Frog, Owl, Fish, Stag and Lion tribes to compete in ridiculous games, challenges and all manner of unexpected shenanigans. Earn golden pebbles and be crowned the winning tribe of 2019.

Step through a verdant archway into the Peekaboo Garden – an area of botanical bliss, innovative performances, activities and facilities for 0-4s in a gentle, tranquil valley. This area is about huge adventures for little people. There’ll be music, paint, clay, dens, bubbles and a baby book club. Baby bath time here will ensure the littlies doze off to the sound of our choral lullabies as twilight settles.

Just So is set in woodland clearings, rolling parkland, arboreal amphitheatres and lakeside spots in the Rode Hall Estate, Cheshire, one of the most stunning landscapes in the UK, with limited public access the rest of the year.

A not-for-profit arts festival, the ticket price includes all entertainment and programming across the festival site, with capacity capped at 5,000 to ensure a magical, relaxing and safe environment for all.

Winners of Festival of the Year, Best Small Festival of the Year, Tourism Experience of the Year, Best Practice Award, Festival Kidz Gold Award, Inclusive Tourism Award and Attitude is Everything’s Gold Award, Just So Festival aims to create memories treasured by families year-round and has a pioneering approach to accessibility, enabling families with all needs and preferences to enjoy and participate together.

Rowan Hoban and Sarah Bird, the directors of Just So Festival, said “We’ve been doing this for ten years, and every year we’ve been amazed by the exuberant energy our audience brings to the festival. To celebrate our first decade, we’re making sure that this is the most incredible Just So ever. We’re bringing back old favourites, but also making sure to pack the festival with surprises you’d never expect. We can’t wait to share this extra special Just So with everyone!”

Families planning to come to Just So 2019 are being advised to buy tickets earlier than usual this year, with tickets selling at a record rate for the 5,000 capacity August event. In celebration of the festival’s tenth year, a limited number of free weekend tickets are available for ten year olds. For full details and to buy tickets, go to www.justsofestival.org.uk


Just So Festival
Just So Festival

An imaginative outdoor adventure like no other as the only arts camping festival in the UK dedicated solely to children and their families.



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