Posts Tagged ‘Live Music’

Its nearly time for Treefest! By Gina Mills, Marketing Support Officer

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Well, the events team here at Westonbirt are almost certainly too busy to do any more blogs in the run up to Treefest, but the marketing team have just had a chance to go out on site and see everything taking shape ready for this weekend’s event – and it is looking fabulous!

Helter-skelter!

Helter-skelter!

Our first port of call was the helter-skelter, sadly not yet open, but looking suitably Victorian in its brightly painted livery. I get a feeling this is going to be a popular introduction to the festival.

The Royal Oak

The Royal Oak

We then wended our way through some more of the festival set up, towards the Royal Oak Marquee, where live music from some of the best acts in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire will be on offer along with day time workshops in art, craft and poetry. The big surprise was, well, just how BIG this marquee is. We’re really grateful to Danco Marquee Hire for their support in helping us to make this a fitting venue for all that is on offer there. They’ve also created a light and airy bar area in the entrance to the marquee, and I hear tell that some excellent local ale and cider will be on offer! There was rather a dark sky over the marquee when we were out there, but you can see all the festive banners and flags that are starting to go up across the site, along with Julie’s now famous 1000 metres of bunting!

Wood Sales team

Wood Sales team

Throughout the rest of the site, stall holders are setting up shop, and there is a real sense of community. Our very own Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum Wood Sales team seem ready to start Treefest already – not long to go now people!

Wonderful carved creation!

Wonderful carved creation!

There were some very interesting arrivals to site as we took our whistle-stop tour, including this fabulous carved creature. Definitely one to look out for during Treefest, what an amazing piece.

Working Woodlands

Working Woodlands

We then made our way across to the Working Woodlands area, where our friends from the coppice restoration project here at Westonbirt were also setting up shop, with timber framed buildings emerging and beautiful benches being unloaded.

By this time tomorrow the festival will be in full swing. I for one can’t wait!

Treefest: our new-look festival, by Simon Toomer, Director

Friday, August 19th, 2011

I hope you enjoy our new-look festival this year. Treefest is the latest incarnation of an event the Forestry Commission has been running at Westonbirt for many years. The aim has always been to appeal to everyone interested in trees and their uses and this year’s event is more diverse than ever. Features such as medieval longbow archery, live music and camping will give Treefest a fresh new feel while the traditional focus of woodworking and crafts remains as strong as ever.
green woodworking_Rob Cousins
This year, we also have an exciting opportunity to celebrate the UN International Year of Forests. How we all use wood and other forest products in our everyday lives can have a major influence on the wellbeing of the world’s trees and forest ecosystems and here at Westonbirt we want to help people understand that relationship. Throughout the weekend, the Great Oak Hall will become an interactive learning centre where children and adults alike can learn while having fun.
Treefest Childrens learning activities_FC picture library (1)
After 17 years as our main event partner, the charity Tree Aid has decided the time has come to go its separate way and we wish them well in their important work in Africa. The big tree carving that has proved a popular part of previous years’ events will continue at Treefest, on a smaller scale but with the same incredible skill and talent.

Many thanks for your continuing support for Westonbirt, The National Arboretum.

Setting the stage for Live Music, by Simon Hough, Events Business Manager

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

It’s that time of year again unbelievably – the week before Westonbirt’s first Live Music concert weekend when it’s all hands on deck to get the site ready for thousands of music fans.

Approximately 60 people will be involved in the set up over the week, installing the stage, sound and light systems, marquees, fences and toilets, setting out the car park – the list goes on.

Rigging the stage

Rigging the stage

The first thing to go in is the stage, as it’s the biggest structure and takes the longest to be built. Also, there are lots of sound and light systems to be installed and the sound engineers need at least one full day to do that. The location of the stage is also the most critical thing. We have the arena digitally mapped to give the best sound coverage, so we have to locate the stage and its associated speakers first and build everything else around it.

Next to be installed are the beer coolers! We have two large containers that have been converted into giant chillers and they are installed behind the bar location. We need to give these two full days to settle and reach the correct temperature before the beer can be delivered, so it’s important to get them set up early.

The team at work

The team at work

The smaller structures like marquees are next. These house a lot of the support crew, the catering and their equipment. The fencing, toilets and setting out the car park into neat rows and erecting all the signs all happen over the next few days. Most of the work is done by specialist contractors, but the local Forestry Commission team have lots of roles to play during this time, assisting and supervising the contractors.

We hope to finish the build by Thursday morning, so that we have a day spare should anything unforeseen happen. Sometimes some equipment is delayed getting onto site from a previous event and this can delay things.

Of course this will all happen seamlessly so that you can enjoy the concerts in the beautiful surroundings of the arboretum – so if you haven’t yet got your tickets, visit www.forestry.gov.uk/music!

The result! Happy concert goers

The result! Happy concert goers