The Big Feastival is a food and music festival that was created six years ago in the UK by chef Jamie Oliver and Blur’s Alex James. Now attracting over 25,000 attendees per day, the Feastival decided to stretch its legs across the pond to Burl’s Creek Event Grounds in Oro-Medonte, Ontario. Look Local spoke with Judy Merry, Event Director for The Big Feastival, to get the rundown on this exciting event.
There are four main “pillars” of The Big Feastival, according to Merry: camping, music, food, and family fun.
The Feastival is focused on providing family-friendly campgrounds. “Normally, when you go to a campground, you have a ‘car-tent-car-tent’ setup. We’re making it a little more organic. The cars will not be parked by the tents, so it will be a really safe, family-oriented camping-ground.”
Both adults and kids will be able to appreciate the Feastival’s food offerings and culinary programs, according to Merry. “There’s lots of programming for adults all day. You can take cooking classes, do wine-tastings and whiskey-pairings, and your kids can pick herbs and vegetables at the garden and then go and do a cooking class with the chefs.”
The food vendors were also chosen with families in mind. “The ethos for the event is to have great, healthy food on offer. The menu offerings are organic, free-range, lowsugar, and low-salt. We’re working with the vendors to create menus that are really for families,” says Merry.
Family-friendly entertainment and activities are also integral to the Feastival, says Merry. “We’ll have a fun fair with rides, lawn games, and a rock-climbing wall.” On the main stage, kids can enjoy acts like Paw Patrol, Splash and Boots, and Fred Penner. “We will have a Big Top, which will have family fun activities inside like a silent disco for kids, a circus workshop, and a bubble party.”
But the Feastival has plenty to offer for adults—not just the little ones. “We have headliners like Weezer, Ben Harper, OK Go, and The Strumbellas—which is great programming and really geared toward 30-to-45-year-old young parents,” says Merry. The Feastival is perfect for parents who are still wanting to attend music festivals, but have trouble finding child-friendly venues—and childcare is expensive! “When I went to the Feastival in the UK, I had high expectations, but it so exceeded them,” says Merry. “I was thinking: this is just as much fun for adults as it is for families. It’s not that it’s too grown-up for the little ones, and it’s not dumbed-down for the adults.”
So why Burl’s Creek? “The venue is perfect because it has beautiful, scenic grounds and Simcoe County is booming,” says Merry. “There are tons of great farmers, products, and markets already in the area.”
Ticketing information, as well as more details on entertainment, accommodations, food, and family fun, can be found at canada.thebigfeastival.com