Popular fantasy and sci-fi festival returns to historic castle an hour from Bristol

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In addition to the musical entertainment, festival-goers can witness an epic medieval battle

The hugely popular Fantasy Forest festival returns this summer for a weekend packed full of entertainment and immersive experiences.

The three-day event takes place in the historic setting of Sudeley Castle near Cheltenham from July 14-16.

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There will be an impressive line-up across four stages, with appearances from popular Celtic rock band The Dolmen, Harmony Glen showcasing their unique blend of folk and rock music, and The Film Orchestra, the UK’s 70-person orchestra dedicated to performing music from the world of film, television and gaming.

There is something for all ages at the festival near Cheltenham (photo: Jurrien Suiskens)There is something for all ages at the festival near Cheltenham (photo: Jurrien Suiskens)
There is something for all ages at the festival near Cheltenham (photo: Jurrien Suiskens) | There is something for all ages at the festival near Cheltenham (photo: Jurrien Suiskens)

In addition to the musical entertainment, festival-goers can witness an epic medieval battle at the Tournament Arena within the Medieval Village, featuring the all-female fighters Swords of Cygnus. Experience the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat as the fighters clash in authentic medieval armour.

The Historical Living Company will showcase thrilling display fights, map-making, and captivating story-telling all weekend long. Ye Banished Privateers, a pirate band from Sweden, will take visitors on a 300-year journey back to life on the high seas in full historical dress.

Joining the crew are Brighton-based The Captain’s Beard and Reivers’ Gallows. In the Games Marquees, festival-goers can play or watch board games, role-playing games and war games.

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And if that’s not enough, fantasy artist Anne Stokes will showcase her work and discuss her creative process. Other highlights include Steampunk at Steam Nation with unique stalls, workshops and a dedicated stage hosting the best Steampunk bands around.

There will also be a bodypainting competition and a special walk-in installation celebrating the life and works of Terry Pratchett.

Martin Pelgrim, festival organiser, said: “We are thrilled to bring Fantasy Forest back to Sudeley Castle this summer, offering a unique experience for all ages.

“Families can enjoy the stunning scenery of Sudeley in the sun, enjoy live music and entertainment across four stages, snap up a range of artisan crafts, art and accessories in the UK’s largest fantasy marketplace, and marvel at Saturday’s spectacular Wicker Fire Ceremony and colourful Costume Competition. And of course, indulge in delicious food and drink whilst soaking up the friendly festival atmosphere.”

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While camping tickets have already sold out, there are single day and weekend tickets still available, with children under-7 being free of charge and well-behaved dogs on leads also welcome.

Shuttle buses will be running from Cheltenham Spa train station throughout the weekend, and there is ample onsite parking too.

For the full line-up, and to purchase day, weekend and shuttle bus tickets in advance, visit www.fantasyforest.co.uk

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