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Open Air Business February 2018

The UK's outdoor hospitality business magazine for function venues, glamping, festivals and outdoor events

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EVENTS CASE STUDY Unearthed Festival A festival that aims to expand the consciousness of its attendees with great music and new experiences We talk to founder Tim Rees about an event that grew out of the launch of glampsite marketing business Quality Unearthed. Now a three-day affair, the Unearthed Festival provides transformative experiences for those who attend, from babes in arms to nonagenarians! Describe your event and how many people it attracts The mission of Unearthed Festival is the expansion of consciousness from the material to the ethereal. By this we mean that we would like to introduce interesting experiences, be that in the form of vegetarian food, a particular musical style or performer, or perhaps spiritual or philosophical concepts that our community may not be exposed to on a day-to-day basis. The idea is that with greater understanding of the self and universe, we are better able to walk the path of happiness. What is the event’s history? We started in 2011 as a one day 'business launch' for Quality Unearthed, the glamping marketing agency that I founded, which was basically an excuse for a party with some cool things going on. It was really popular; the community got behind it so the following year we made it a twoday event. Now it is a popular threeday event - nobody wants it to end! “THE PROCESS OF LEARNING AND BEING INSPIRED WAS SOMETHING I WANTED TO SHARE WITH MY LOCAL COMMUNITY IN WEST WALES” What inspired you to set up the festival? I had the good fortune to meet many fascinating people during my travels around the world in my youth - often when living in forests, caves, monasteries and fascinating communities. The process of learning and being inspired was something I wanted to share with my local community in West Wales. We are blissfully in our own bubble in this part of the world, but that can come at the expense of not being exposed to the varied activities taking place further up the M4. We aim to be a community event, and we’re proud to host a variety of characters, ranging from farmers to fisherman, eco-community dwellers to business folk, babes in arms to an older crowd. In fact, we have had couples meet at Unearthed, then bring their babies to their first festival here. Even our 94-year-old neighbour is a fan! We orchestrate the event so that the start to each day is gentle and peaceful, building in action until the evening, where there is a good kneesup. The site is laid out like a village green, the idea being that parents can be sitting enjoying the music and their kids can be running around with other kids and can’t easily go out of sight. Pembrokeshire's reputation as a culturally interesting and beautiful area precedes itself - we are blessed with a rugged coastline and, in many ways, a rugged, ancient culture. It is still the case that everyone knows everyone, and doors are left unlocked. This level of trust and support means that the local people really get involved in the festival and get behind it. I suspect that, in part, because there aren't a lot of people living here, and not a wild night life (apart from the rugby clubs on a Saturday night), people seem to appreciate such an event taking place. The fantastic St Davids Peninsula allows you the unique opportunity to explore three coastlines within a six-mile radius of the festival, do yoga in the morning, go and surf, come back to the site, eat some great vegetarian food, make a bow and arrow, dance to some great artists, and end the night drinking mead by the fire. How did you find applying for permission to run the event? We have found that Pembrokeshire County Council are very amenable to events happening on St Davids Peninsula. Festivals such as this draw in extra tourism to the area, which is one of the peninsula’s main sources of income. We have also been overwhelmed by the support of the local community, many of whom have stalls at the festival, and many of whom are part of the volunteer team. It is the support of the people of Pembrokeshire that make this festival the special annual event it is. WWW.OPENAIRBUSINESS.COM 49