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A taste of Sussex

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Elderflower Fields is all about trying new things. After overwhelmingly positive feedback our So Sussex Sunday taster picnic is back. It’s a chance to sample new food and introduce kids to some delicious local produce, but above all, a chance to meet new friends and come together as a community.

All our activities at Elderflower Fields encourage families to join in and give things a go. Seeing children enjoy new experiences and become part of our magical community is what makes our event so special for us.  The family picnic experience invites you to collect a picnic bag and enjoy the delights inside with a group of 12 festival guests.

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We support small local producers through buying their products for the picnics and introducing their brands to you. In addition this year we are also pleased to announce the support of two other great Sussex based companies; Higgidy and Oloves who are keen for you to sample their wonderful products. Also, look out for a couple of Belvoir’s amazing sparkling Elderflower drinks in the picnic bag this year.

We are hugely proud of our picnic and the team involved in organising it. Putting together almost 300 picnic bags is no easy task in a field!

The picnic is all about sampling a selection of excellent locally sourced produce. Our food vendors remain open during the picnic and you are welcome to bring your own food to enjoy and share as part of the communal experience.

Unfortunately, we are unable to meet every dietary requirement with the picnic but we work hard with our onsite food vendors to ensure as many options are available as possible. We also appreciate, that even with the best will in the world, some children are just never going to eat mackerel pate!

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A big thank you to all our volunteers who make the picnic happen, and of course to the fantastic brands listed below who lovingly make all the delicious items in each picnic.

We look forward to welcoming you to our So Sussex taster picnic this May!

Higgidy – Oloves – Belvoir  – Sussex Kitchen Bakery – High Weald Dairy – Plumpton Estate – Weald Smokery – HedgeWitch – Ouse Valley Foods – Veasey & Sons Fishmonger – Farmhouse Cookery

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Spotify Playlist

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We’ve got some great performers lines up for you in May and we’re starting to get excited here at EF HQ as this year’s festival approaches. To help get you in the mood we’ve started a Spotify playlist featuring some of the great acts you’ll be able to hear at EF2016.

Priory School design Kids HQ

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So Sussex, the creators of Elderflower Fields festival have been working with students from Priory School in Lewes on another exciting competion for this years festival.

Last years two year 9 students from the school won ‘Design an Elderflower Fields app’ and this year pupils have been invited to design the festivals ‘Kids HQ’. The winners will see aspects of their own designs come to life at our 5th birthday festival this May.

Priory School has run the new Elderflower Fields competition for pupils to be involved in the design of 3 connecting, themed geodesic domes that promote the festival ethos: nature, art, music and sports.

Once the winning design is selected a team of Priory students will be helping construct the geodesic domes on site at the festival and the winning designers will enjoy a family weekend at the event.

So Sussex works closely with school’s and young people through the School’s Without Walls programme providing outdoor learning and experiences that are both fun and stimulating. So Sussex are keen to involve school’s and young people in Elderflower Fields and our sister festival Into The Trees.

We aim to provide exciting and unique family experience that opens children and their parents’ minds to new opportunities in sport, music, the arts, the environment and food in the great outdoors

Elderflower Fields has partnered up with GnERGY

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Elderflower Fields has partnered up with GnERGY, one of the country’s new and upcoming energy firms who are giving the big six a run for their money. Not only are GnERGY intent on keeping things simple when it comes to electricity and gas bills, but because they are a community run organisation they don’t need to make huge profits and consequently are saving us all a few quid. You can even go and visit them for a chat if you want to…

Find out more about the folk at GnERGY at gnergy.co.uk and if you fancy a change of energy supplier give them a whirl. We have.

Countdown to Christmas Competition!

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To celebrate our upcoming 5th birthday, we’re launching a very special competition in the run up to Christmas. Every week for four weeks you can win some fantastic prizes, courtesy of our festival partners. To enter, simply head over to our Facebook page, then like and comment on the competition photo.

You can enter once per week – and each entry gives you a extra chance of winning, so if you enter every week, you’ll have four chances at winning the final prize!

Check out the fantastic prizes below, plus every week there will be a runner up prize of a bottle fizz from award winning Blackboys Vineyard.

Week 1

Glow Wild at Wakehurst Place

A family ticket to the wonderful lantern trail around the gardens of Wakehurst Place. For more details, visit the event page here: www.kew.org/visit-wakehurst/whats-on/glow-wild.

Closes: Thursday 3rd December.

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Week 2

A selection of books from Ivy Press

Six fantastic kids books designed to inspire and delight. If you don’t win, all titles are available to buy from: www.wordery.com.

Brain Twisters: £9.99, ISBN 978-1-78240-204-6
Christmas Paper Play: £9.99, ISBN 978-1782402473
Build! A Knight’s Castle: £12.99, ISBN 978-1782402732
Secrets of Winter: £10.99, ISBN 978-1-78240-277-0
Insects in 30 Seconds: £9.99, ISBN 978-1-78240-284-8
Weather in 30 Seconds: £9.99, ISBN 978-1-78240-285-5

Closes: Thursday 10th December.

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Week 3

Mr Fox Lemongrass & Ginger Body Wash and Body Lotion

One of three lovely gift sets from Green People.

Pop over to the Green People website for lots of brilliant Christmas gift ideas from the UK’s most loved natural and organic skin care brand.

Closes: Thursday 17th December.

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Week 4

A family ticket to our fifth birthday festival!

Come and join us at Elderflower Fields for a magical weekend of wild family adventure.

Don’t worry if you have already purchased your tickets, we can either refund you (a nice little Christmas bonus!) or offer you a free family ticket to our 2017 festival…

AND… a second prize of a family ticket to the brilliant Peter Pan at the Devonshire Park Theatre in Eastbourne on Friday 15th January.

Closes: Thursday 24th December.

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Every Week

A bottle of bubbly from Blackboys Vineyard

Every week there will be a runner up prize of a bottle the 2011 Blanc de Blancs – a 100% Chardonnay sparkler, white gold with pale green lemon highlights with an intense and prolonged fine bead and mousse.

The nose is clean and citrus with a hint of fresh bread. The palate continues with the fresh citrus theme with crisp acidity, hints of melon, cucumber, thyme and orange blossom. A long, vinous finish.

This is a well structured and classy Blanc de Blancs Sussex Chardonnay, at its best from a great vintage.

Blackboys Vineyard is a small, family owned and operated vineyard just 10 miles from Elderflower Fields. A regular at the Sunday afternoon picnic, Blackboys Vineyard is proud to support Elderflower Fields.

www.sussexsparklingwines.com

2011 Blanc de Blancs Tickerage small

- Click here to enter! -

For full terms and conditions please click here.

Thank you!

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A huge thank you to everyone who helped make EF2015 such a lovely weekend – we had a blast and hope you did too!

We’ll be posting some photos here and on our Facebook page very soon, plus we’re going to launch a photo competition to win tickets to next year’s festival – keep an eye on the Facebook page for that too.

In the meantime, we’d love to hear about your experience of Elderflower Fields this year. If you could spare 5 minutes to fill in our brief survey, it would really help us to continue to improve things for future years. We’ll also pick one entry at random from all feedback received before the end of June to win a weekend family ticket to Elderflower Fields 2016.

What to Bring

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The idea of bringing kids to a festival can seem a little daunting if it’s your first time. We’ve all been there with wet wipe disasters and forgotten flip flops. Here’s our little suggestion for what to bring and what to leave at home, to make your festival experience a success.

Your tent. Unless you’re lucky enough to own a camper van or have treated yourselves to a lovely bell tent, you’ll need something to sleep in. Plus sleeping bags, pillows and maybe some extra blankets. It’s worth remembering that it can get surprisingly cold in the middle of the night at this time of year, so bring something warm to sleep in.

Clothing. Ah, the great British summer! It will be sunny, hot, showery and cold at various times over the weekend if past experience is anything to go by. Bring waterproofs, wellies, layers and suncream!

Dressing up. Festivals are all about fancy dress and outrageous costumes! Dressing up is strongly encouraged and the theme this year is WILD!…

Food & Drink. We have some of the finest food and drink in the area available on site. There is something for everyone and the prices are exceptionally reasonable. Please see our Food and Drink page for more information. The bars stock a good selection of drinks but make sure you bring a water bottle to refill at the taps. If you bring snacks for the little ones or a camping stove to cook meals please make sure you recycle your waste and take non-recyclables home.

Pack light… Our single best tip is to pack light. It’s a five minute walk down from the car park to the main camping field and although there is the Elderflower Express on hand this year (see our guide to arrival here) you’ll still have to trek across the campsite at least a little, so having less is definitely more! If you forget bits and bobs there is always the festival shop which will stock snacks, camping essentials and milk etc.

What not to bring. Finally, please remember, no pets, no sky lanterns or fireworks, no sound systems and no glass…

Festival Kidz Silver Award!

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We’re thrilled to start the new year with news of our first ever festival award!

Festival Kidz, the excellent online family festival guide, felt Elderflower Fields worthy of their Silver award, which is especially gratifying given some of the challenges we faced moving to a new site last year and dealing with torrential rain!

Festival Kidz state: “We considered and rated the festivals in the following categories: Toilets, Camping, Quality of Children’s workshops, Entertainment for Adults, Children’s food options, Value for Money and Green Credentials.

To win a Silver Award, a festival had to be exceptional or good in most categories and may have scored poorly in one of the categories.

Because we considered so many more festivals in 2014, we needed to be harsher at judging them – so some festivals have slipped from Gold to Silver through no fault of their own. All our Gold and Silver winners are wonderful festivals that we highly recommend to families.”

As a small, independent organisation, it’s exciting to be held in the same light as big, established festivals like Camp Bestival and Wilderness. A huge thanks to all who’ve helped develop the festival over the last three years and here’s to a brilliant and sunny EF2015!

Last minute Christmas gifts

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Less than two weeks to go until Christmas. If you’re looking for a couple of last minute stocking fillers then we’ve got great recommendations from two of our festival partners.

For those of you in need of a little pampering this winter, our friends at Green People have got some great natural product ideas. We are looking forward to seeing more of them in the Woodland Spa at EF2015. Check out their Christmas store here.

Marina and her colleagues at Circle Of Life Rediscovery who provide many of the brilliant woodland activities at Elderflower Fields have recently written a book jam packed with amazing family outdoor activity ideas. Click here for more info and to buy.

Camping Tips

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New to Camping?

Here are our five top tips for family festival camping:

1. Keep warm & keep dry. It seems like stating the obvious, but the British summertime is notoriously unreliable… The last two years have been gloriously sunny, but this year, who knows? So, pack plenty of jumpers, a good quality rain coat and wellies. It can also get surprisingly cold at night, so in addition to a sleeping bag, maybe bring a hat and extra blankets. Plus, leave a full change of clothes in the car. That way, if the worst happens and you get really drenched, you’ll still have something comfortable to get home in at the end.

2. Arrive in good time. Try to avoid turning up too late – it’s never easy putting up a tent in the dark with a bunch of tired and hungry kids nagging you to explore the site. This year you’ll be able to drive to the edge of the main camping fields so you can unload your heavy gear before you go off to park, but please be aware that you may have to park the car some distance from the camp site.

3. Find a good spot. The main camping fields are massive, so take your time and find a area that suits – maybe a bit of shelter next to the woods, or somewhere really quiet right over in the far corner. Either way, up the hill a bit is a good idea and find the best bit of flat-ish ground you can. Then it’s a simple matter of popping up the tent and blowing up the air bed…

4. Get your bearings. Spend a moment noting where you camped – it can be surprisingly hard to find your tent amongst the sea of canvas at midnight after a few too many cocktails… Then take a look at the site map and go for a wander, but please be extra careful around ponds and water.

5. Relax! Grab an elderflower cocktail, check out the music line up, maybe book in a session at the Woodland Spa. There’s tons of activities for the kids so get them involved and then unwind for three days of magic!

Calling all action heroes

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If you’ve been to Elderflower Fields in the past, or indeed any other festival, you’ve probably noticed slightly tired looking, smiling, helpful folk wearing brightly coloured tabards. They’ll answer your questions, help you find things and make sure you and your kids are safe and sound. They’re the glue which sticks festivals together and they give their time for free, to make your festival experience better because they are just super awesome action heroes.

Elderflower Fields needs almost 200 volunteers and stewards to work safely and efficiently. If you fancy getting involved, head over to our volunteer application page to see what it’s all about. You’ll get to experience the festival in a fun new and challenging way. It’s invigorating stuff and many of our volunteers become hooked once they’ve done it.

Click here to find out more…

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