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‘A celebration of human connection’: five reasons to attend Unearthed Festival

Now in its 10th year, Unearthed Festival in St Davids, Wales, promises a break from typical festival hedonism. From yoga and tantra workshops, to ideas sharing, it will be a weekend centred on community, family and wellbeing

Now in its 10th year, Unearthed Festival in St Davids, Wales, promises a break from typical festival hedonism. From yoga and tantra workshops, to ideas sharing, it will be a weekend centred on community, family and wellbeing

In fields outside of St Davids, in Pembrokeshire, Wales, the sun is glistening through the grass and Tim Rees is picturing what the scene will look like in a few weeks when, instead of open fields, there will be 18 different venues, 240 acts and 3,000 festival-goers.

Rees and his co-founder Dan Messore launched Unearthed Festival 10 years ago with the intention of introducing a sense of community to west Wales and with the ultimate goal of “contributing to human contentment”.

Through music and arts, talks and workshops, vegetarian food and community spirit, Unearthed, which takes place 17-19 June, promises to be a space for interconnection and individual growth.

Messore describes the festival as: “a real-life mixtape, with connection and love thrown in”. But what makes it so special? Here are five reasons why Unearthed is a unique addition to the festival calendar.

1. Big ideas

Unearthed isn’t solely focused on music, it’s also a place to come and expand your mind.

One of the speakers on the lineup is Andy Middleton (pictured), a sustainability expert with a few TEDx talks under his belt. He will talk about finding the sweet spot for change, believing that: “too often change gets stopped in its tracks because people with the know-how stay in their own crowd and don’t really talk to others who might have the keys to making shifts happen”.

Elsewhere on the lineup is Tony Wrench, whose low-impact home hit the headlines when it was discovered in 1998. The project was the centre of a 10-year planning permission row, before finally being granted retrospective permission in 2008. Rees describes Wrench as “a hero and a legend” among the sustainable self-build community and the “grandfather of the Lammas project”, an eco-community in Pembrokeshire.

Also speaking is medicine woman and healer, Hoppi Wimbush, who founded the Lammas Earth Centre, a place for courses and workshops that is based in the eco-community.

Image: Unearthed Festival 

UK festival
2. Wellbeing and ceremony

“We treat the festival like a ceremony,” Rees says. “We want people to feel safe enough to have open hearts and minds. When people feel safe, they are then open enough to have the sorts of discussions that maybe we don’t have day-to-day, which is particularly important for mental health.”

A new arena is opening in 2022 to help with this. The Temple will be a wellness area, where festival goers can enjoy yoga, tantra, storytelling, tea and cacao ceremonies, and more. One highlight will be 5 Rhythms Dance – a moving meditation practice – with dance teacher Alex Mackay.

Michaela Williams, a trauma expert, will also lead a two-hour guided trance session, a shamanic method of spiritual healing. She loves Unearthed because she says it’s “a celebration of consciousness, human connection, healing, expansion and creativity”.

“It’s just what people need right now as the mental health crisis is at an all time high. It’s the perfect medicine for our times,” she says.

Image: Unearthed Festival 

Get your tickets for Unearthed Festival Celebrating the expansion of consciousness, from the material to the ethereal Book now
3. Community

Central to everything that happens at Unearthed is the fostering of community. Thanks to the small size of the festival, attendees usually make many connections. Often there will be reunions of people who met during previous events.

One of the newest members of the festival team, Ronan Haughey, says this is one of the reasons he loves his job. “I’ve not even been to one of the festivals before and I already know that community is what makes it what it is. Everyone I speak to is so excited. There’s a real vibe already.”

Rees agrees. “If you haven’t got a vibe, you haven’t got a festival, you just have a bunch of tents in a field. There are lots of festivals popping up but building a community is one of the fundamental things you can do as an organiser. We haven’t lasted for 10 years by chance. It’s because we know how to create that magic.”

Image: Unearthed Festival 

UK festival
4. Family

Something that is important to Unearthed is keeping the festival family friendly. Children will be able to enjoy all sorts of games and creative sessions, while teens will have a space to try things like music production.

“We see all these kids forming tribes, tearing around the place, building dens and having a whale of a time, which is great,” says Rees. “Also, fundamentally, from an organisers point of view, kids moderate the energy really nicely.”

The festival has one simple rule, which is: “Don’t be a dick,” he says. “When you’ve got kids around, it’s really hard to be one.”

Image: Unearthed Festival 

5. Music

Of course, there will also be music. A mix of talented artists from around the world will descend on Pembrokeshire for the weekend, and will represent reggae, world and folk music.

Among those on the lineup are Marcus Gad (pictured), an up-and-coming roots reggae artist; The Turbans (main image), a band inspired by eastern European and baltic music; and The Dan Moore Funk Orchestra, an act celebrating all things funk and soul.

Rees says: “Where we are in west Wales, there’s not a huge amount of nightlife, so the festival has become a gathering point and a place to put on your dancing shoes and have a real big knees up.”

Image: Damalistik
Main image: Unearthed Festival 

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