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TRCH Robin Hood

No Direction Home Festival

3 June 12 words: Aly Stoneman
Andrew Bird, Richard Hawley, The Unthanks, The Low Anthem, Jon Ronson, Josie Long. Get meh?
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Gruff Rhys

Wellies and suncream at the ready, LeftLion are heading out of town on 8 June to check out No Direction Home, a brand new festival from the team behind End of the Road. Making its first outing at Welbeck Abbey in the northern reaches of Sherwood Forest, No Direction Home is offering a stellar line-up including Andrew Bird, Richard Hawley, The Unthanks with The Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band, and The Low Anthem. 

It’s the first time the ancient site of Welbeck Abbey will play host to a festival, and the beautiful rural setting – including the main Lake Stage -  should make for a magical environment in which to enjoy music, merriment and an exciting programme of film, literature, workshops and comedy, plus additional twists to the standard festival fare and plenty of locally-sourced scran and ale to suit all tastes.
 
Besides a great music line-up, LeftLion is looking forward to the more quirky elements of the entertainment, especially The Lost Picture Show Vintage Cinema, described by the festival organisers as ‘the most glamorous and luxurious festival cinema in the world’. We have been promised brand new shorts, deranged documentaries and some very special live performances, including everything from the Victorian experiments of Georges Méliès to the slick Hollywood product of today!
 
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Tempting though it might be if that capricious minx The Great British Weather has her wet and windy way with us, LeftLion does not intend to sit on its arse in the cinema all day and night. Besides a bit of culture, what we like is a right good ale and with three bars on site offering locally brewed guest ales (including Welbeck Brewery’s No Direction Home Festival Ale) we should be well catered for. The Flying Boathouse, overlooking the lake, seems a likely place to hang out. Curated by The Local's Howard Monk, the Flying Boathouse Society will offer a range of entertainment including songwriting sessions, DJ’s, live bands, and the Where Is My Mind? quiz olympics!
 
No Direction Home is also emphasising the power of words this year, with storytelling, a Comedy Tent, a Bookshop and a Literary Yurt. Most of the activity takes place in the day-time and early evening, with the Comedy Tent hosting UK Uncut activist Josie Long, Australian comedian Sarah Bennetto’s Storytellers’ Club, and Isy Suttie (Dobby from Peep Show) among others. On Saturday and Sunday a Literary Yurt will present authors reading from and discussing their writing, including journalist and film-maker Jon Ronson (The Men Who Stare At Goats) and London squatter and journalist Katharine Hibbert (Adventures on the Margins of a Wasteful Society), with book signings next door at the Lutyens and Rubenstein bookshop. 
 
For those who like to keep busy, a full programme of practical creative workshops - including Welbeck’s School of Artisan Food cookery sessions - should ensure popularity with your campmates when you return with the goodies!
 
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Richard Hawley

 
There is also the expected festival quirkiness abounding, with The Secret Post Office allowing festival-goers to send postcards to each other for free via a No Direction Home 'internal mail system’, reconnecting with the magic of receiving a physical letter or card in the digital era! For competitive types, The Annual Ludicrum offers old-school sports day fun of the egg and spoon/tug of war variety from 2-5pm every day, with a pair of tickets to this years End of the Road Festival up for grabs!
 
Night-owls will enjoy the campfire near the cider bus (a potent combination!) and the lake for late night frolicking! Right, we’re off to pack our pop-up tent and wet-wipes! See you there!
 
Weekend tickets (including camping) are £105 for adults, £55 for 17 years and under, and free for 12 years and under. If you’re after some luxury a Campervan/Caravan pass will set you back an extra £40.
 
For more information, see the No Direction Home website. 8-10 June 2012 
Welbeck Abbey, Welbeck, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, S80 3LL
 

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