The big one: The Big Chill

Chills n thrills

The big one: The Big Chill

Photographer: Edd Westmacott29 July 2008

What is it?

The Big Chill is a unique festival that brings a diverse mix of music and arts performances, from the avant garde to pop-culture, in stunning surrounds for all ages to enjoy.

When and where?

Held from 1-3 August at Eastnor Castle Deer Park, near Great Malvern in Herefordshire, The Big Chill tends to contradict its name by consistently attracting three days of sunshine. Now that we've jinxed that for you and the other 20,000 or so going, we'll get our (rain) coat. 

Ones to watch

Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit – Club Tent, Friday – Folk blues, multi-instrumentalist Flynn is a spell-binding songwriter and stunning performer with talent beyond his years.

Thievery Corporation – Open Air Stage, Friday – the only UK festival appearance for this hugely influential duo who mix jazz, dub and bossa nova resulting in sublime electronica.

Bill Bailey – Big Chill Nights tent, Saturday – The troll like comedian, actor and musician is an improv genius.  This is the comedy performance not to be missed.

Benga – Cocktail Bar tent, Sunday – the 21 year old south London rising star with “the best afro in dubstep” released his debut album this year to critical acclaim.

Norman Jay – Open Air Stage, Sunday – If there’s any DJ who can get you feeling the festival vibe, it’s this one. His Sunday morning sets are the stuff of legend and no matter how ropey you're feeling we challenge you not to feel better afterwards.

Leonard Cohen - Open Air Stage, Sunday– At the age of 73, this living legend is unlikely to make many more festival appearances in the UK.  See him now while you can and sing along to 'Halleluja' with a small tear in your eye.

Go to Big Chill if you like…

…thirtysomething yummy mummies, beats, breaksy and bubbly music you may never have heard before, an eclectic mix of multimedia experiences, strange arty goings on in the woods.

Avoid if hate...

…straw cowboy hats, paying £7 for cocktails, walks up hills, a festival populated almost entirely by people from the city.

Alcohol of choice

No alcohol is allowed in the arena area but there is an array of cocktail bars and even a champagne bar.  You are allowed alcohol in the campsite, but no glass, so get filling those plastic bottles with vodka.

Take your mum score

10/10 It’s a relaxed, friendly vibe.  They don’t call it the ‘Big Chill’ for nothing!  Plus, if you do bring the kids, she can babysit back at the tent while you dance the night away.

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