The Willow Music Festival is a free 3-day music festival which takes place in Peterborough, UK in July. Willow returned in July 2012 after a nine year hiatus and looks to be a permanent fixture on Peterborough's calendar from now on.
The Willow Festival 2013 featured performances from Aladdinsane, Backlash Blues Band and A Great Notion.
The Willow festival is primarily a family-friendly event, and organisers describe it as the 'premier' arts event in its area - as a result, the atmosphere is said to be inclusive, welcoming and very relaxed.
History & Facts
The Willow festival is not aimed at showcasing big international names and instead aims to act as a showcase for local, independent and unsigned talent.
It underwent a nine year hiatus prior to 2012, where adequate funding ensured that it could return as an event for Peterborough residents. It attracted in excess of 50,000 attendees.
The festival comprises two main music stages - the main stage and the acoustic stage. The Willow Festival does not offer Dance or DJ Tent facilities, but featured 123 bands, many solo acts and comedy and street acts in 2012, as well as fairground rides, arts & crafts and food. The festival also operates a 'no backing track' policy, and insists that all performers do so live only.
Tickets & Travel
Admittance to the festival is free to anybody who wishes to attend, though this can mean it fills up fast, so it is recommended that you arrive considerably earlier than the festival's start time of 4pm on the first day, and 11am on the final two.
Children are welcome at The Willow Festival, as it is intended to be a family-oriented event.
What to Wear
The Willow Festival is an open-air event and takes place during the height of the British summer. There is no dress code, but it's recommended that attendees prioritise comfort.
The Willow Festival offers camping at an as-yet unconfirmed cost, priced on a per-person basis, rather than a per-tent basis. Camping tickets may also be purchased on a daily basis.
Campsite rules are as follows:
- Day Ticket holders must vacate the camp-site by 11am the following day.
- No motorhomes or caravans.
- No pets permitted.
- A valid ticket is required to use the campsite.
- Use chemical loo disposal points.
- No open fires.
- Barbecues on stands only permitted.
- Alcohol permitted for own consumption only.
- Fire extinguishers & sand buckets located central to camp site at security office.
- Campsite noise must be kept to a minimum during the hours of darkness.
- All tents must be placed 10ft apart.
- Bins supplied, so campsite must be kept tidy.
- 24 hour campsite security will be present, but campers are responsible for their own belongings.
- Independent sound systems or radios must not be used on the campsite.
- Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.
The Willow Festival is held at Peterborough Embankment, which is located 5 minutes from the city centre and offers ample parking space for festival goers.
It is strongly recommended that you book accommodation as soon as possible - as there is no campsite, hotels around the area get booked out well in advance of the event.
The Willow Festival runs a partnership with Quality Hotel, which is located 1.5 miles from The Embankment, and overlooks Thorpe Meadows Park and Peterborough's International Rowing Course.
Willow Festival-goers can stay at Quality Hotel, Peterborough for £55 per night, including breakfast, and guests who stay for two or more nights are entitled to a 25% discount on food and drink purchased from the hotel.
Quality Hotel's Address is as follows: Thorpe Meadows, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE3 6GA
And bookings should be made directly with Quality Hotel by telephone on 01733 564240. Festival goers must quote 'The Willow Festival Weekend Offer' in order to qualify for these rates.