The Leamington Peace Festival was founded in 1978, this year was it's 35th anniversay. It is always held in the Pump Room Gardens, a park in Royal Leamington Spa, every year on the weekend before Summer Solstice.
'The Leamington Peace Festival exists to promote an understanding of international peace in all its aspects, including environmental harmony & living in co-operation with others.'
For a day that was predicted to have stormy weather from 12-5, we were very lucky; there was no rain at all while I was out and it was actually very hot and sunny, which really was great as last year it tipped it down. It was a lot more fun showing my boyfriend around as he hadn't experienced the festival at it's best last year, and we also went with a good friend of mine who I'd recently got back in touch with.
Sunny weather on the Peace Festival weekend draws huge crowds who all want the same thing; to enjoy a really, fun, chilling day. The festival is a great place for people of all ages and interests. That's one thing that I really love about it, there is something for everyone, and as it's whole aim is for peace and fun that is exactly what you get.
The festival is split into sections across the park, with two main points which is where the music and entertain is staged, one point is the bandstand and the other is a stage at the far end of the park; this is where people come if they really want to relax, spread out on the green grass with their friends, listen to the music and take in everything.
The rest of the festival is busy, lots of people looking for unique gifts, great bargains, exotic goods and great food. The food stalls really are brilliant.
A few tips if you plan on coming to the Peace Festival and want to do it right;
1. Give yourself time to have a few hours there, especially if you want to look at everything, try products and chill at the stages.
2. Save some money. It is still fun if like me you enjoy looking at things rather than splurging, but if you intend on trying a few different foods and bringing back gifts I would say bring about £30 or more. The good thing is that it is completely free to go to the festival.
3. Look around first before you decide where to spend your money. For example, some of the stalls sell quite similar products, but you may find something more you at one than another, find a better price, or find a more genuine and friendly shop owner.
4. Bring a camera. Always ask for permission if you are photographing people's stalls, but almost everyone will say yes.
5. Chill out and enjoy it!
When I got there I was so hungry as I hadn't had time to stop for a bite to eat all day, apart from my cupcake I had at Gladrags when doing my photography and interviews over there, so I scanned the area for the nearest food stalls and decided that the vegetarian and vegan stall had the smallest queue. I do eat meat, but consciously try to eat less than most people do as I believe that most of us eat more than we need, so I love trying vegetarian stuff. I went for an organic tofu and nut burger and it was amazing! It was jam-packed, sauce and salad dripping everywhere. If someone handed it to me and not told me it was tofu I would never have guessed and as I neared the last few bites I yearned for another.
Every year at the Peace Festival there always seems to be a fad for girls, sometimes it's fairy wings, or silly hats, this year it was flower garlands of course; the festival may have started in the 70s, but it is bang on trend, so my friend and I both got one each. We spent a long time looking at the rings at each of the stalls too as they had a lot of nice ones with semi precious stones.
Had I had a bit more money on me I would have also picked up a new pair of poi for myself. I saw the most beautiful style at one stall. I have some that I've had for years but have become a bit tattered, so I will definitely be looking out for these again. I also really wanted to try the Spanish Churros, but as I didn't get a chance this time I am hoping to try to make them myself at some point.
The festival always has a wide away of music and entertainment. During the couple of hours that I was there I heard a bit of rap, metal and a band that were particularly impressive performing in the bandstand. They had a male vocalist, a violinist and their sound, to me, was reminiscent of Florence & the Machine.
Examples of stalls
There are so many different types of stalls at the Peace Festival. There are food stalls with a range of edible goods from a range of countries, entertainment, children's tents, face painting, workshops, places to sign up to hobbies, tents which give you information on alternative lifestyles, clothes, accessories, home decor, hammocks, didgeridoos; anything fun, exotic or relevant to alternative lifestyles is very likely to be there which makes it fascinating.
A friend of mine, Lyndsay, had a stall at the festival where she was selling hula hoops and signing people up to workshops. Her business is called 'Hooper Hoops', as incidentally to her passion her last name is Hooper. You can customise your own hoop, choosing grip tape colour and sparkle tape colour which she makes to your order. I recently bought one from her and it is great. The size and weight of the hoops, combined with the grip tape make it simple to pick up, and once you've caught the hoop bug you are hooked. There are so many cool tricks to learn as well as it being a good hobby for you.
I will be doing a 'Featured Artist' post about Lyndsay and her hoop business very soon, so if you are interested in flow arts, keep an eye out for this.
One of my favourite things about the Peace Festival is all the fairy related items you can find, and the best stall for these sorts of things is Fairyglass, a family run business. Their products make great gifts for girls young and old, ranging from fairy wings, to tutus and edible glitter.
They have a number of websites for their different products including;
For further information on the Peace Festival or if you would like to find out when the next one is being held, visit;