Festival preview: Cloudspotting

Phoebe Hurst
Cloudspotting festival, Gisbern Forest, music festivals

Could this be the summer’s most relaxing festival? Cloudspotting keeps things simple with a weekend of music, beer and food.

There aren’t many music festivals that promise revellers a chance to “relax and ponder” but Cloudspotting isn’t about the party hard/repeat next year festival experience. Billing itself as a “micro music, food and beer festival,” the weekend retreat runs this month in the secluded grounds of Stephen Park in Lancashire’s Gisburn Forest. This year’s headliners include Clinic, Jesca Hoop and Sweet Baboo, and the Soundbytes stage plays host to alt-roots singer Marc O’Reilly. The festival also features a “locals’ day”, as Lancashire band Drop the Floor promise flat caps, whippets and traditional folk songs a-plenty.

It’s easy to see why the laidback festival has won plaudits from Michael Eavis

Living up to its food and booze pledge, there’s a decent smattering of market stalls and beer tents alongside the musical line up. The Bitter Suite tent serves ale and cider from local breweries such as Dent, Bowland and Hopstar and the festival also lays on regional pub grub and a farmers’ market, ensuring that no one is at risk of festival-induced scurvy. Cloudspotting is also big on its family friendly vibe, with a variety of kids’ activities such as den-making running throughout the weekend. (Though anyone with toddlers quite as cross as ours may be advised to steer clear of the children’s archery sessions. The phrase “you could have someone’s eye out with that” will take on a whole new meaning…)

All in all, then, and archery “incidents” aside, it’s not hard to see why the festival has won plaudits from the likes of Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis. With an intimate woodland setting and laidback atmosphere, Cloudspotting harks back to Glasto’s golden age, when beer, music, sun and the occasional hippy was all a good festival needed.

Culture Guides

Cinema

Black and white classics and a Tarantino-scripted pop-thriller are amongst our Valentine’s themed picks for February.

Exhibitions

The world of art and exhibitions never quite stops, so we have lots of new shows to look forward to at the start of 2023.

The Spongebob Musical at the Manchester Opera House

Families

New year, new start, and what better way to welcome in 2023 than by planning and experiencing all sorts of exciting family events in Manchester and the North?

Gwendoline Riley. Photo by Adrian Lourie

Literature

From local writing to international talent, we have heaps of online launches and in real life readings not to mention some extra special festival events coming our way in live literature land.

Music

More brilliant gigs appear on the horizon as we inch further into 2023.

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

Queer Contact Festival, stunning physical theatre and intimate in-the-round performance top our eclectic list of drama, comedy and dance this month.

Classical Music

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Food and Drink

Start 2023 as you mean to go on, with the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North.

Tours and Activities

Eat your way through Ancoats, build a miniature eco-system and immerse yourself in visual art in this month’s tours and activities guide.

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts