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Beautiful Days – a potted history

This weekend Escot Estate welcomes Beautiful Days festival – for its 20th anniversary event.

The festival started in 2003, founded by the Levellers and organised by DMF Music. In fact the 20th anniversary should have been last year, but it skipped a year in 2020 due to the pandemic.

That first year, with just the Main Stage and Big Top, had a line up that included acts who have returned time again, including Dreadzone, The Selecter, 3 Daft Monkeys and, of course the Levellers. It was held over two days, Saturday and Sunday. In 2005 it became a three-day festival and The Little Big Top was added. In 2007 the Bimble Inn first popped up.

Other regular festival favourites include Alabama 3, New Model Army, Flogging Molly, Seth Lakeman, and Gogol Bordello, with a huge range of headline acts including Boney M, Squeeze, Leftfield, James and the much missed Sinead O’Connor. There’s no limits to music styles, from reggae, alternative rock, punk, folk rock, dance to blues. This year sees Britpop stars Suede take to the Main Stage for what is sure to be an energetic set.

The Sunday theme has been popular for many years and revellers really go to town, dressing up in all sorts of weird and wonderful outfits! This year, the theme is Out of This World, a wide theme embracing anything from extra-terrestrial and intergalactic to supernatural, alien, fantastical or mythical.

Now with a capacity of 17,500 people (making it a less crowded festival than many) and known for being family-friendly with a vibrant area dedicated to younger festival-goers, Beautiful Days goes from strength to strength.

The affection for the festival really stood out this year when tickets sold out in April. Lots of people are on the look out for resales. Resale site Twickets is always the best bet for bona fide last minute tickets, but there isn’t much available this year. So if you haven’t got a ticket, best be on the ball for next year.

So a huge happy birthday to Beautiful Days and we wish festival revellers the very best time. See you in the beer tent!

“Beautiful Days remains the portal of energising hope and one of the last bastions of music as a place and palace of hope and ideas” Louder Than War (2021)

“Full of positivity for families and feel-good entertainment!” Critical Popcorn (2021)

“3 days of music, dancing, fun and frolics in what has long since been THE ‘go to’ festival” MusicMuso (2022)

PS – and yes, sometimes there is mud!


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