It’s with tremendous sadness that we have to announce the gates to our odd little corner of Hampshire will unfortunately not be opening this July.
We’ve been on quite the journey together. 18 years ago we invited some friends to a party in our back garden, and from there we’ve somehow grown into an award-winning small festival.
We’ve done things we’re tremendously proud of. We’ve seen performances that have changed our lives. We’ve made some of the greatest friends we could have ever dreamed to meet.
We’ve built a family.
A huge part of everything we’ve achieved has been down to you. Whether you dropped by just once, or have seen the sun rise over the Hidden Hedge with us more times than you care to admit – our hearts, and our arms, and well just about everything else are open to you. We love you. We will miss you.
We have always been an independent festival. We have always run Blissfields as a family, in our own DIY way. That’s allowed us to take risks, and do things a bit differently to other festivals. But that’s also been a hard tractor to keep moving – emotionally and financially. We’ve seen the festival industry in our 18 years blossom and change into what it is now. With so many other events for you to pick from, with rising costs of booking artists, with the music industry changing and the dimming light of music press and media… it’s gotten harder and harder each year to produce and promote the show we want.
We were happy to have existed in such a wonderful time of the quirky English festival as we did. In the last twenty years the UK has become a pioneer of festivals, the envy of the world over, setting a benchmark for quality and quantity. We’re glad to have been part of the mayhem. As part of that tapestry we’ve helped bring people together, offered first steps into the industry for some of our crew, helped break emerging artists, and offer you early performances to what are now household names. We’ve had some tremendous reviews, watched thousands of hours of your videos and even picked up the odd award. Above all though, we hope we’ve given you some good memories.
In 2018 we wanted to strip it all back, and reinvent what we were doing in a new, unfiltered way. While everybody else was going big, in effect we were going “home.” We wanted to build something completely individual – boiling all the best bits of those 17 years into a micro-festival the likes of which nobody had ever seen… and then stick a huge fire in the middle of it all. We didn’t want to just rest on our laurels, rather continue to challenge and intrigue you. We wanted to take Blissfields back to its roots.
Sadly though it seems that’s not what the public wanted – at least not enough for us to go ahead with Blisscamp this year. As not enough tickets are sold for us to start finalising and building the festival, we have had to make the call to cancel.
It was not a decision we made lightly, and it’s one that fills our hearts with such sadness we can barely begin to even put a pinch of how we feel into this message.
So many of you have supported us, and we’re sorry that we’ve not been able to bring you a party this summer. Your tickets for Blisscamp will be refunded once we sort out the details on our end – so please just bear with us, but rest assured that your ticket money is safe. We will be sending out a further email later this week covering the refunding of the tickets. Thank you to all of you who bought tickets this year and believed in what we were creating.
In the future if we feel that there is a place for our individual style of entertainment to make a return, then who knows – maybe there’s a “to be continued” written in the stars over our ride into the sunset. If the tide changes back to more immersive camping festivals, maybe you’ll see our hats poke back above the horizon.
Thank you for 18 years.
Please continue to support your local bands, your local venues, local press and festivals. These are difficult times with a lot against us. Don’t take anything or anyone for granted. Never settle. Fight for what you believe in. Without independent promoters and thinkers the entire music industry will fall apart or turn into one homogenised mess. Keep the UK festival scene the strongest in the world. And keep supporting Hampshire.
Thanks to everybody that’s been part of it all – for your time, creativity, sacrifices and endless dedication. We wish you the greatest luck in all your future adventures.
And thanks to whoever’s upstairs that we pretty much always had nice weather. That was a bonus.
Have a great summer.
Melanie, Paul and the whole Blissfields family.