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Sadly it's our Last One Ever!!

PRESS RELEASE: 10/06/2024


Oxfordshire’s Beacon Festival celebrates final event after 12 years


Beacon Festival, recently named by The Times as one of the seven best small independent festivals in the UK, has announced that 2024 will be its final year.


After twelve years at Watlington Hill Farm Sanctuary, Oxfordshire’s annual family-friendly festival set in the heart of the Chiltern Hills will celebrate its last-ever event this June.


Beacon Festival has grown to become one of the best family-friendly festivals in the area.

Starting in 2012, Beacon Festival has been run for more than a decade by a team of committed volunteers at the idyllic Watlington Hill Farm Sanctuary, home of the charity Neigh. It has brought talented musicians and artists – both local and from across the UK – to festival-goers, many of whom return year after year.


Beacon Festival has always been a community-focused, sustainable and affordable festival, with children under 14 going free and the cost of a weekend ticket never exceeding £60. This year has seen a record number of music festivals closing and cancelling in light of the cost-of-living crisis, alongside festival expenses skyrocketing. Beacon Festival has been equally affected by these rising costs: already for this year, the set-up has had to change to ensure its viability.


Lindsay Howard-Dean, Festival Operations Manager and owner of Watlington Hill Farm Sanctuary says:


‘Beacon Festival has been a stalwart of Oxfordshire’s music scene for over a decade, and it’s a festival we absolutely love putting on. The decision to make 2024 our last festival was not taken lightly, but we know it is the right thing to do.


A number of factors led to this decision, a major one being the significant rise in costs associated with putting on the festival.  With this cost pressure, we would have had to significantly increase ticket prices to over £100 in order to continue the event, which did not feel in line with the accessible, family-friendly, community ethos that guides the festival.


Other factors which have led to this decision include the fact that the festival is run entirely by a team of volunteers; running a weather-dependent event is becoming too big a risk, and the team would be personally liable for losses if we see fewer ticket sales due to adverse weather.


Beacon has always raised a large amount of money for local charities – and we have to be responsible with the huge amount of money we have raised. Over 12 great years, we will have raised over £50k to support our community and we look forward to announcing the projects we will be supporting this year.


Being a not-for-profit event, run entirely by volunteers, we have had challenges over the years but through everyone’s hard work and commitment, we’ve always got through – just because we all know how special Beacon is.


At Beacon, the atmosphere is just unlike any other festival, the scenery unrivalled, the music amazing, and the people so full of energy and kindness. We are so thankful for all of our loyal festival-goers who have supported us over the years – you have helped make Beacon what it is today.


It’s incredibly sad, to know that this year is Beacon’s final festival - but we are asking everyone to come and celebrate with us for one last time, so we can go out with a bang! So, if you haven’t yet bought your ticket, do come and show your support.’

Ticket sales for 2024 continue for what is promised to be a party to remember.


The last ever Beacon Festival takes place on the summer solstice, 21-22 June, and, as with each year, boasts a stellar lineup of bands across three stages, from ska to rock, folk to indie.


Folk-rock group Rusty Shackle return to the festival as Friday’s headliners, and Green Day tribute band Green Haze will headline Saturday’s main stage. Other notable artists include Dolly Mavies, who will also be performing at Glastonbury this year, and Birmingham-based Punch The Sky.


Since 2022, in line with its sustainable mission, and the ethos of the sanctuary, Beacon has been plant-based, offering a wide selection of global street food, alongside local ales and ciders, and artisan traders. The Kids Zone is always a major draw of the festival, with its variety of workshops and activities for children throughout the festival. The Feel Good area returns, offering massages and treatments to relax festival-goers. Camping and glamping is also on offer.


Day and weekend tickets for the final Beacon Festival are still available.


Come and join the party!





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