Thursday, November 14, 2013


Greenbelt 2014: Travelling Light

Greenbelt Festival 2014 will take place in the beautiful grounds of Boughton House, near Kettering in Northamptonshire. After 15 great years at Cheltenham Racecourse, Greenbelt Festival will be moving to a new site for its 2014 event, taking place over the August Bank Holiday weekend, beginning a new and exciting chapter in its four-decade-long journey.

The Journey

Greenbelt has always been a festival on the move – beginning its life in Suffolk in 1974, the festival made its home in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire, before moving to Gloucestershire in 1999.
Cheltenham Racecourse has been planning to transform itself with a £45 million redevelopment for some time now and have now begun work in earnest on that scheme. In the light of that we undertook site research back in the summer of 2012 to identify potential options. We continued to work closely with the Racecourse to see if we could make our festival work there during the redevelopment. It was only after our festival there this August that we made the difficult decision that we needed to move on from Cheltenham, if we were to continue to create the vibrant festival we deliver each year.
So, we’re thrilled to announce that our 2014 Greenbelt Festival will take place in the grounds of Boughton House, a stunning estate which has been owned by the family of the current Duke of Buccleuch since 1528, and is now managed by his charity, the Buccleuch Living Heritage Trust. The estate is often called “The English Versailles”.

The 2014 Festival

Boughton House is an exciting location for our festival. Two or three large, well-kept field and lawned areas will house the majority of our festival venues, with plenty of other spaces to discover – in woods, alongside lakes, or around some of the striking architectural landscaping so distinctive to the site.
“As Boughton House is already a stunning environment, our job will be to create exciting spaces to for our festivalgoers to spend time – whether that’s under the beautiful trees, or enjoying the long views through the site.”
Saga Arpino, Site Vibing curator
Boughton is an ideal environment for making a festival. Our Operations Managers and site contractors are already well into looking at plans and considering logistics. We have learned so much about how to plan, build and run a good festival in our time at Cheltenham, and now it’s time to take this dedicated approach onto the lush lawns of Boughton House.
“Once I took a look at Boughton House I couldn’t help but become excited at the prospect of a move. This new site gives us the opportunity to create an exciting and vibrant new festival that connects people and the festival site in ways previously we could not have imagined.”
Stuart Radcliffe, Festival Operations Manager
Besides the beauty of Boughton, we’ve been bowled over by the welcome we have received from the team there, and we look forward to building a long-term partnership with them.
“We are delighted to welcome Greenbelt to Boughton House in August 2014. With so many vistas – from sweeping lawns, wide avenues of trees and the recently restored lake system, to small intimate areas, including Orpheus, our land art installation by Kim Wilkie – we hope that Boughton will provide an inspiring setting for an inspiring festival!”
Maurice Whittaker, Commercial & Creative Director, Boughton House
Greenbelt Festival’s move to Boughton House also returns the event to its geographical heartland – situated as it is between Odell, Castle Ashby and Deene Park. And those with long memories and responsibility for the trusteeship of the organisation are excited by this, too.
“It’s good to be on the move again, to shake things up, to wonder what the festival will look like painted on a new canvas. The Racecourse became a kind of home, but there were other homes before that and I’m really looking forward to arriving at a place where everything is a surprise again. It feels like time.”
Martin Wroe, long-term Greenbelt festival trustee
And we will be welcomed into Northampton by friends of the festival local to the site:
“We’re delighted that Greenbelt is returning to its ancient heritage in Northamptonshire and I’m thrilled at the prospect of never being more than five miles from an ensuite bathroom. We look forward to seeing you there!”
Rev Richard Coles, Parish Priest of Finedon, Northamptonshire

Travelling Light

We’ll always hold happy memories of the transformative time we’ve spent at Cheltenham. Our huge thanks to Ian Renton, David MacKinnon, Edward Gillespie, and all those that have made our time at the Racecourse so special.
“We have had 15 successful years working with the Greenbelt team, developing a really strong working relationship, with both parties helping to grow Greenbelt into the hugely successful event that it is today. However, with the grandstand redevelopment taking place at Cheltenham Racecourse over the next two years, we are not able to provide Greenbelt with the site and facilities that they require to create the event. For this reason, Greenbelt are to relocate elsewhere, but we wish Greenbelt and the team the very best in their new location.”
Ian Renton, Regional Director of the South West region of The Jockey Club
But we couldn’t be more excited about continuing our onward journey now. Greenbelt’s stated mission is to create spaces where art, faith and justice collide. It’s now time to create that space somewhere else. This is what we’ve always done. It’s in our DNA. We move on. And we can only do that because we travel light. Pitching tents instead of building in bricks and mortar.
Our hope is that this move to a more rural location will remind us all of what is most important in life: not the stuff we have, but the spaces we make together and the relationships we build and the way we live together in those spaces.

What Next?

While we work through the detail on the festival logistics and operational planning, our box office will remain closed. The box office will reopen in January 2014. If you’d like to be first to hear when tickets go on sale, fill in the online form here »
Read more answers to questions that you might have on our Essential Information page – click here »
For those of who have bought early bird tickets for 2014, you can relax, safe in the knowledge you’re already with us on the journey, joining us at Boughton House next August. If you have any queries about your early bird ticket, please email
When tickets go on sale in January 2014, we’ll have much more information for you about getting to Boughton House, camping, and much much more.
In the meantime, tell your friends about the exciting move – the documentary about Greenbelt’s history is still available from our Shopify site and gives an excellent introduction to Greenbelt’s story.
We think we’re going to make something truly special in the grounds of Boughton House. We can’t do it without you. Bring your friends, bring your family, let’s travel together one more time.
Camping Field
  • 13 November 2013