Review: Poltimore Festival 2017

Set in and around the historic Poltimore house, this student run festival was billed as Devon’s own ‘Glastonbury’, and whilst we may not have been kitted out in wellies and living in messy tents, the festival certainly did not fail to deliver in terms of music, art and culture.

Early in the day we happily wandered round the site, taking in all the stages and the setting. The aesthetics of the festival were an instagrammer’s dream (as proven by the high number of posts seen throughout the day) with multi-coloured streamers adorning the trees and entrance gate and cut up and painted bathtubs littered around. We initially decided to explore the inside of the house to see what was on offer. Unfortunately, we timed it badly and managed to miss the film screenings, but a full turn out can only have meant good things! I particularly loved the art installation of random objects found in charity shop books which had been previously used as bookmarks.

Moving on from the arty portion of the day, we flitted back and forth between the main and courtyard stages, enjoying the different dynamics offered by the two. The intimacy of the courtyard gigs provided an excellent acoustic setting to enjoy some of the more laid-back music on offer. As the day progressed, the musical calibre increased. A highlight for me and many of my friends was catching Psychopomp winning Battle of the Bands on the courtyard stage. Playing an acoustic set for the first time to a full room may have presented itself as a challenge but the band fully lived up to the hype surrounding them and put on quite the show. As evening set in we headed to the main stage to catch the big-name headliners, Haunt the Woods and Matthew and The Atlas, who drew in big crowds as the sun set. A big gang of festival goers kept spirits up as it went dark and were helped along by the setting and mood created by the bands.

Another highlight of the day was seeing Shaun Hill and his friend Matilda perform their spoken word poetry set in the woods, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the main stage. They both captivated the audience in their LGBTQ* friendly space with personal and thought provoking poetry. A perfect break from the music as the day drew to a close.

With cheap as chips tickets, a stunning location, and some excellent performers, Poltimore was a great day out and a perfect example of cultural events taking place in the South West. Here’s hoping the team can pull it off again next year.

– Lowri Ellcock

Photos © Elliot Tratt Photography

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