Interview: Flora Blathwayt, co-founder of Samphire Festival
PUBLISHED: 14:49 06 June 2017 | UPDATED: 14:49 06 June 2017
A diverse mix of emerging artists performing until the early hours, exciting activities hosted throughout the day and a stunning location right by the sea – sound like your bag? Well enjoy the magic of West Somerset’s three day music and cultural extravaganza: Samphire Festival
From Friday July 7 to Sunday July 9, a beautiful corner of Exmoor National Park will be home to Samphire Festival 2017. We spoke to Flora Blathwayt, co-founder of the event, as she talks us through what festival-goers can expect….
Brainchild of music journalist and radio DJ Flora Blathwayt and partner Josh Beauchamp, a music collector and DJ, Samphire Festival was a pipedream for the pair who had always wanted to create their own music festival. The festival has bought together parts of festivals the couple love alongside innovative creations to truly make the weekend special.
“We had always had a dream to start one. We knew what we liked and thought we would be able to curate a pretty special one in this magical part of the world.” After many holidays with family to Porlock when she was young, Flora knew that this corner of Exmoor National Park would be the perfect party spot.
Festival-goers can enjoy a host of fantastic musical talent with the beautiful Bossington Hill standing behind the main stage. Visitors last year likened the scene to one of a theatre set; waking up each morning to views stretching out over the coastline of Porlock Bay.
The first festival took place last year, and garnered a great response. Its success was recognised at the National Outdoor Events Association Awards 2016 – winning the Best Small Festival category.
“It was a really fantastic crowd at Samphire last year; we saw lots of young professionals, families with young children – a complete mix.” The diverse mix of music, events, art and culture over the three days means the festival attracts a varied mix of like-minded individuals who were there to appreciate all the festival has to offer.
Taking place over three days, expect an eclectic mix up of emerging artists and talent. There is something to truly suit all tastes; from a variety of world music, including jazz, blues, folk, pop music and Afrobeat in the daytime to a mix of electronic music genres for revellers to dance to all through the night. A lot of thought goes into the selection of music sign-ups from music-lovers Flora and Josh who hope they have selected “something for everyone.”
Think Samphire Festival is just about music? Think again. Throughout the day, visitors can enjoy a cinema experience at the film tent, talks and story-telling, music-making workshops and yoga, mindfulness and meditation. Thrill seekers shouldn’t miss out on the giant game of snakes and ladders either! “We’re planning on making a giant game of snakes and ladders on the hill with stainless slides and planning to break the Guinness World Record which should be really exciting.”
As massive foodies themselves, Flora and Josh wanted to ensure that the festival was brimming with talented traders selling delicious food. This year Dorshi will be in attendance serving up an “amazing mix of oriental cuisine and local home-grown Dorset food including great dumplings” alongside Seadog who will be bringing “yummy fish-based treats” to Samphire – perfect for fish and chips by the sea! There will also be wood-fired pizzas, wraps and tasty vegetarian and vegan dishes.
Stunning sea views are guaranteed while camping, whether you choose to bring your own tent or opt for a more luxurious stay in the boutique camping.