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Timber Festival - What to expect

"It's going down, I'm yelling timber You better move, you better dance!"

You all know how much I love a festival and walking in the woods so I thought I'd find out a bit more about Timber, a new family festival exploring the transformative impact of forests this July 6-8 in Feanedock, a large forest on the Derbyshire and Leicestershire border. This is not one we are attending ourselves but it sounds so great I wanted to share it!

Highlights include the world premiere of Seek, Find, Speak, the outdoor theatre companion to the enchanting, best-selling book The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris.

They'll be music around the campfire with award-winning bands and musicians, spectacular light and fire installations, the premiere of Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon – an incredible seven metre moon sculpture featuring detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface.

Attend a masked ball, watch thrilling aerial acrobatics, climb trees, build dens, and take part in woodland worshops.

The Bewonderment Machine - a magical cycle-powered ride-on carousel and miniature theatrical flight of the imagination from A Bird In The Hand Theatre, and after-dark screenings of top-quality forest themed films including Moonrise Kingdom, Into the Woods, Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Princess Monokoke. Amazing!

Timber has been created by the National Forest Company and Wild Rumpus (award-winning producers of the Just So Festival, renowned as one of the top family festivals in the world).

What's on?


An ambitious adventure into sound and music, rooted in the forest, across three stunning bespoke wooden stages (including the enchanting Eyrie Stage suspended between the trees) and around the campfire for the chance to see some of the most exciting new music live in an intimate woodland setting.

Don’t Miss:

• Composer and sound-artist Jason Singh, whose work includes vocal recreations of birdsong and forestry environments.

• Multi award-winning progressive brass band Perhaps Contraption will be performing an exuberant show.

• Musician, artist and filmmaker, Ichi from Japan will take the notion of a one-man band to new limits.

• Venture into the woods to be immersed in compelling sound installations, storytelling, soundscapes and DJ sets. Sound artists will be responding to forest environments in incredible, interactive ways, and choirs will be bringing the woods to life through song.


Torchlight processions, light projections, fire gardens and luminous installations, will help us see the forest in a new light. Expect incredible performances as dusk falls each night, and discover the unexpected as into the night the forest will be transformed by spectacular installations.

Don’t Miss:

• Take a journey into the heart of the forest at dusk in the English festival premiere of Tree and Wood, a new interactive performance exploring our relationship to trees and forests by leading artist and producer Jony Easterby, with a team of international artists, musicians, performers and foresters. Tree and Wood explores our relationship with the trees and woods we depend on for our survival both past and present through a journey through a series of installations, movement, song and music. Known for his dynamic and immersive sound and light works across the world, Jony Easterby’s recent immersive night time adventure For The Birds has wowed audiences across the UK.

• Explore all the sides of the moon in the greenfield festival premiere of Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon – an incredible seven metre moon sculpture featuring detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface and sound by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award winning composer Dan Jones.

• Witness an enthralling fire-garden created especially for Timber Festival by leading artists, sculptors, designers and technicians pa-BOOM.

• Enjoy campfires and bonfire bands each evening as the forest magic transforms the night.


Come together to celebrate, collaborate, collude and carouse in a world of arts, crafts and enterprise rooted in the forest, creating a vibrant living landscape.

Don’t Miss:

  • Experience Seek, Find, Speak: A Conjuring Told In Gold, the world premiere of the outdoor theatre companion to the enchanting, best-selling illustrated book of acrostic poems The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris. Created by Director Collette Murray, experience a forest theatre trail for all ages, both self-guided and also led by a charm of Goldfinch performers. It will feature stunning 3D installations of Jackie Morris’s golden illustrations and Macfarlane's words, such as spells wrapped in gold lettering around trees, animals to be discovered in the woodland, and lines of spells perched on branches like starlings. Together with sound recordings of the spell poems from some of Britain’s famous voices of all ages and accents, including inspiring athletes, naturalists, actors, poets, musicians and scientists, The Lost Words will come alive in the National Forest, for families to Seek, Find and Speak this summer (see separate press release for further details).

  • A masked ball and thrilling aerial acrobatics in the trees, bringing ancient tales to life from Whispering Woods.

  • Riveting storytelling inspired by British folk tales and world myths from Ian Douglas and mindbending science and magic from Dieter Wadeson.

  • Take part in The Coppice Maze. Come and help to create a beautiful collaborative maze, then get yourself lost in it. Using a beautiful planting of silver birch, hand dyed fabric coloured with natural dyes will be wound around the trees to create our maze.

  • Hop aboard our vintage library bus, exploring our relationship with nature through ‘The archive of outside’. Exchange a piece of nature for your woodland memories, within our woodland installation.

  • Take part in tree climbing, slacklining, leaf art and mask making workshops.

  • Join Responsible Fishing to create some seemingly impossible stone sculptures and beautiful geometric land art.

  • Wild play rules at Hammer & Chisel, our unique woodland playground. Create your own world or add to ours using pallets and tyres, ladders and ropes, help us put together a myriad of walkways, dens and secret spaces. Pick up your tool of choice and get ready to build a timberland.

  • Take part in huge adventures for smaller festivalgoers at The Bewonderment Machine, a magical cycle-powered ride-on carousel and miniature theatrical flight of the imagination from A Bird In The Hand Theatre.

  • Watch those innovating in forests as they share their passion in Woodland Workshops and get hands on wood stacking, constructing with timber, wood carving, and willow weaving - explore the beauty and possibilities of wood as a material.

  • Celebrate Black to Green, exploring how the heart of the National Forest has been transformed from coal pits to tree tops - featuring songs and poems from the Heart of the Forest Ballad. Collective and beekeeping experiences with The Bee Farmer.

  • Cuddle up for some favourite forest films when the night falls including Moonrise Kingdom, Into the Woods, Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Princess Monokoke

  • Look out for the magical Dream Antelopes roaming the site.

  • Forest Monsters - don’t worry, they’re friendly! A fantastical installation of woodland-dwelling beasts and creatures imagined by pupils from schools within the National Forest.

  • Have some buzzing adventures with Beekeeping experiences with The Bee Farmer and interactive theatre show Bee Cart from Sheffield’s Pif Paf Theatre. Meet Bee Guides Bombus and Borage for much Bee wisdom and surreal fun. Delve into the world of Bees, learn the pollen packing dance and the waggle dance. Try out their Buzz Pollenator, and maybe even get your nose pollinated.


We’ll explore the atmosphere in the woods at twilight, midnight, dusk and dawn to delight in the rhythms of the day. We’ll be singing the dawn chorus, running through the gloaming, and revelling at secret midnight gigs.

Don’t Miss:

  • Making clay sculptures inspired by artist David Nash’s Noon Columns. The National Forest is home to six of these temporal-based sculptures, through which the sun sends a shaft of light at true noon every day.

  • Take part in a visual art installation marking the passing of time.


  • Loosen up, laugh, bend and stretch with the whole family with yoga, tai chi and capoeira practice.

  • Take part in natural wellbeing therapy Forest Bathing and Sarah Spencer’s Think Like a Tree programme which unlocks nature’s secrets to resilience and happiness.

  • Don’t miss the Murmuration installation, an incredible flock of starlings above your heads, accompanied by a beautiful soundscape and transformed by light as night falls.


A joyous exploration of food and drink, from farmers’ market stalls to food trucks, foraging workshops to picnics and banquets, contemplate and consume some fantastic fodder. Look out for incredible performance along culinary lines, foraging walks and chefs creating exciting menus from our hedgerows and woodlands.

For a great review of Timber Festival read this post from Zena's Suitcase - it sounds amazing!

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