I’ve always loved a festival from Reading as a teenager to the Isle of Wight in my 30’s, but many of my friends don’t share my enthusiasm. Camping with all it entails, terrible toilets, the dubious fast food offerings and warm wine; are a few of the reasons why festivals are something many of my contemporaries have consigned to their 20’s. But Smoked and Uncut is done differently – condensed into a full day of live music, delicious food, a wide array of delightful drinks and a family friendly vibe, it is the sort of event that even non-festival lovers will adore. Returning to Smoked and Uncut in the stunning grounds of Lime Wood’s luxury hotel last year was particularly special after two years of Covid-chaos.
The sun beamed down, families picnicked, teens danced, foodies feasted and children got crafty, all to the backdrop of a first-class summer soundtrack. Outfits were glittery and glamorous, boutique shops lined the spacious field and there was even a chance for the weary to enjoy a little pampering session at the pop-up festival spa. My children adored the wonderful activity tent, enthusiastically getting involved in flower crown making, T-shirt designing, plant pot painting and a story session with a children’s author.
Fortunately there was a lovely bar conveniently located right next door – where I was able to get a refreshing gin and tonic, before returning to watch the crafty creations take shape. All activities were free and there were plenty of materials and work spaces for everyone to join the fun. Nearby face painting, hair braiding and glitter tattooing stalls enabled youngsters and adults to create the perfect festival look.
Smoked and Uncut is hailed as much for its fabulous food offerings as its musical line-up with Lime Wood’s Angela Hartnett calling on many of her culinary friends to join her in cooking up a feasting extravaganza. Tasty treats were also plentiful at local food stalls and pop-ups across the site selling everything from vegan treats to falafels, burgers, tacos and stone-baked pizza.
Over the years Smoked and Uncut has boasted some top-notch acts including The Vaccines, Razorlight, The Kooks and Lulu, and last summer former Earth, Wind and Fire guitarist Al McKay delivered a nostalgic headline set to a rapturous crowd. Soulful duo MF Robots supported with an energetic performance on the festival stage. Lesser known (but equally brilliant) bands also got a chance to share the spotlight including the fabulously entertaining Tuba Libres, whose quirky costumes and entertaining stage antics made them an instant hit. Those with the stamina (and without young children in tow) also had the chance to party into the night away with resident DJ Harriet Rose at her house party set. So as we head towards summer 2023, I’m incredibly excited for the 10th anniversary Smoked and Uncut which is set to feature another stellar line-up headed up by Kelis and Gabrielle.
Buy your tickets for this year here!