Why the “Wild Words Festival?”
Well it’s a festival with lots of reading but the name Reading Festival was sadly already taken. Instead we’ve gone with Wild Words Festival because
- We’re a camping festival set in the beautiful countryside just outside London
- We care about wildlife, and are a low-impact festival
- We’ll also create 100 wildflower spaces with the help of our attendees
- We care about words – they’re one of the most important ways we connect as humans
- We care about access to words and to the wild and we’re inclusive in our programming and our production
- And we’re a celebration – a festival – full of joy, discovery, and connection
Isn’t there a pandemic on?
We know that life is pretty unpredictable right now. That’s why you can cancel your cooking, no questions asked, up to 7 days before the festival (per eventbrite’s refund procedure.) And if you have to cancel because you’re pinged – or worse, you have the dreaded double line on the LFT, we have you covered for on-the-day cancellations too.
What’s more we’re an outdoor event – albeit one with ample shelter from the rain in the form of marquees – meaning there’s very low risk of being shut down, and very low risk of infection. And we are, of course, following the science. See the full details of our Covid Safety policy here
Is camping in June a good idea?
We have marquees for the stages because we’re not daft – we know that June can be hit or miss. The camping and festival site is level and well drained so even if there is a bit of rain it won’t turn into a quagmire. And there’s a cafe and street food stalls onsite catering to a wide range of dietary needs so no need to pack your calor gas!
Obviously pack according to the forecast – you’ll decide if it’s wellies or flipflops, t-shirts or fleeces – but June temperatures average a high of 20 degrees C and overnight lows of 12 degrees.
And if you’re really not up for camping we’re easily accessible by public transport you can find affordable hotels just a couple of train stops away in nearby Enfield
I think camping sounds great – what’s it like on site?
Us too! And we’ll lay on water, plenty of toilets, a lovely wild campsite, local food producers for everything from your early morning coffee and pastry to your delicious picnic dinner. The site will be laid out along a spectrum from larks (far from the entertainment) to night owls (nearest the entertainment) so you can decide if you want to be surrounded by the early-to-bed-early-to-rise set or the chat-until-the-small-hours types. And because our post 8pm events are unamplified, you’ll find it easy to wind down with younger kids – or if you just want a peaceful night watching the sunset.
What do you mean by a family friendly festival
The festival has an amazing program of events for all ages, so kids and adults alike can go and take part in something that inspires them. We have science, performance, and writing workshops for five to 15 year olds. If you do want to bring your baby or child, all performances are relaxed performances so there’s no need to worry about plaintive wails of “I’m hungry” or “I need the toilet.”
And on that topic – there are plenty of toilets and changing spaces. Also places to find a quiet moment and calm down, as well as places to play and be excited! And the Saturday evening highlights include a silent disco with two sets of tracks – so even if you and your kids have wildly different opinions about 90s britpop you can still dance Saturday night away together as a family.
So where are your “family” tickets?
We recognise that families come in all shapes and sizes so we’re not selling a “two adults, two kids” package. Instead our prices are as low as possible while still being fair for everyone; making sure that our staff and speakers are paid, and that as many people can access the festival as possible.
What do you mean by an inclusive festival
We know that publishing isn’t as inclusive as it could be. We can confidently say we’re bringing you the best of the best because we’re looking for inspiring, entertaining, exciting speakers everywhere and making sure they can appear.
That also means that the festival infrastructure is inclusive. From BSL interpreters, to accessible toilets and changing places, to support packs for autistic guests (and speakers), to relaxed performances and free companion tickets. We want you to be able to have an incredible time at the festival!
How are you planning to plant 100 wildflower spaces
That’s where you come in! The first 100 orders incude a special commemorative box of Seedballs. These smart, sustainable spheres have everything needed to get a bee and butterfly-friendly patch started. Whether that’s in a windowbox, a garden, a patch of wasteland, a grass verge, you’ll help spread biodiversity wherever* you come from!
*(Sorry – for reasons of phytosanitary control, if you live outside the UK you’ll have to scatter them this side of the border – we want to rewild but not by sending out invasive species!)
What else are you doing to protect nature
By asking all our vendors to eliminate single use plastic when serving (and – as far as possible – in their supply chain.) We also have a reusable cup scheme where – for a small deposit – you hire a cup for the festival and then either return it or save it as a souvenir! Our electricity will be sourced from a green generator comapny – we’re trying to source a solar pod so watch this space. And if you can come by public transport then you are doing an absolutely brilliant thing and we love you for it. We’re also asking that you don’t leave behind tents and camping equipment on site – save them and come back next year!