The idea was born when James Shepard came across Larmer Tree Gardens while out jogging, the grounds are said to have “an enchanted and tranquil atmosphere” and so it was decided James was to hold his own festival at the beautiful gardens. Larmer Tree Festival was born in July 1990, starting as  a one day festival headlined by Dick Heckstall-Smith with an eager audience of just 150 people.

The festival grew over time adding extra days and camping and has been running every year since it started with just one year off in 1992. The capacity has grown from 200 to 5,000 which it will stay at as the organise wish “to protect the intimate atmosphere cherished by devotees.”

Fibon_Jame Photography

Fibon_Jame Photography

Past years line up’s have included Caravan Palace, Tom Jones & Jimmy Cliff and this year will not fail to disappoint either! There’s lots more going on for those looking for something a little different including comedy, spoken word, art workshops, massage therapy and lots more.

26 years later, the festival is still run by a small team, based within the local community, continuing to offer that unique, party experience. James has been joined by two fellow Directors – Julia Safe and Rob Challice – who came on board in 1993 and 2014 respectively. The team are committed to keeping the festival wholly independent and free from corporate sponsorship.

The beautiful Victorian Larmer Tree Gardens in the heart of the Cranborne Chase is home to Larmer Tree Festival.  With breathtakingly stunning views, roaming peacocks, colourful macaws, ornate pagodas and mysterious woods.


The site is small and well-contained with the Main Stage nestled in the heart of these magical gardens, and a large open area known as The Village.  The site is easily accessible for wheelchair users or families using buggies (extreme weather permitting) and is a magical place to enjoy our festival.

You can find Larmer Tree Festival on the Wiltshire/Dorset border, just off the A354 (between Salisbury and Blandford), OS Ref ST940170.

Areas / What's on 2016


With five stages and over 80 acts, music forms a major part of the festival bill. Launching in 2016 is The Chase, a stage championing the best in new music. The Chase performers have been hand-picked by the festival’s newest team members Todd and Matt, music programmers behind Bristol’s home of music, Colston Hall. With an emphasis on discovering both emerging talent and musicians who deserve to be on your radar, The Chase promises to be a firm festival favourite.

For those looking to extend the party into the night, last year’s new late-night venue The Hide is back by popular demand. Tucked
into a clearing in the woods with the Shepherd’s Hut bar close to hand, The Hide will host top-notch DJs from Friday to Sunday, for a fantastical all-night dance

Nightowls will also find diversion at The Social, enjoying high-energy live music and dynamic DJs, with a late-opening bar ready to quench the thirst of the hardiest of



Larmer Tree has seen some amazing acts grace The ARC stage, with big names such as Ed Byrne, Lee Nelson, Abandoman and Alex Horne and the Horn Section appearing at the festival in previous years.

New for 2016, the festival will be showcasing previews from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. With the 2016 headline acts still to be announced, Larmer’s late night comedy club will have festival-goers clutching their sides all night long.

Theatre & Shows

Extraordinary, quirky, endlessly amusing; the festival’s programme of roaming street theatre will captivate festival-goers at every corner of the site. From an impromtu dance-party in the poshest portaloo to a troupe of mime artists in the Flag Circle, keep your eyes peeled as you won’t want to miss a moment.

For an array of one-off shows, talks and screenings those in the know can pop into The Pavilion, an indoor theatre space set in the heart of the gardens, for an array of talks and screenings, with further talks popping up across the festival site.

Poetry, Literature & Talks

Larmer Tree’s poetry and spoken word headliner will be taking to the ARC stage, for a further dose of literary happenings, slip away from the music on the Main Lawn and visit the Lostwood. A haven of winding paths and sun-dappled glades perfect for mysterious gatherings. Visitors to the Lostwood Stage will find themselves immersed in spoken word; from poetry readings to spooky late-night storytelling.

Family Festivaling

For the very first time, all children’s tickets for under 10s are free, with prices for youth tickets frozen across all tiers!

2016 sees an exciting special guest for the littlest festival-goers. There’ll be a bundle of veggie stories, gardening games and catchy Nursery songs for Tiddlers and Parents alike.

Larmer Tree are making it easier than ever for families to experience the joy of a summer festival with a bespoke programme of fun for little Larmers. From workshops, puppetry, theatre, disco and more, the festival caters for all ages. The dedicated Family Lawns provide a welcoming hub for families, but children will find acres of fun to be had across the whole festival site. The festival is pleased to have Odstock Day Nursery returning as a partner for 2016, taking over The Nest for under 5s and providing sensory play and fun for all.

Workshops and Experiences


Larmer Tree gives festival-goers the chance to tap into a wealth of creativity and artistry. With a broad range of adult workshops from dance classes to arts and craft sessions and morning yoga, there has never been a better time to try something new!

For a more ‘zen’ experience, festival-goers can immerse themselves in the tranquility of the Secret Garden and The Retreat, returning this year with a soothing array of therapies from massage to mindfulness and workshops from holistic parenting to laughter yoga.

Food & Drink

Promising to tickle your taste-buds and fuel your festival antics, the food and drink at Larmer Tree is hand-picked to satisfy your every craving. Scattered throughout the site, the 2016 selection offers a true feast for the senses; from hearty festival fare to cooling ice creams and refreshing cider, Larmer Tree has got it covered.

The festival pays homage to the beautiful surrounding countryside and the wonderful providers of local produce it sustains. Expect well-stocked bars full of Festival wines, ciders, beers and Ringwood Brewery ales including the bespoke Golden Larmer, whilst the Dorset Farmers Market will be open throughout the festival with delicious local goodies in abundance.

Extras and Eccentricities

Larmer Tree Festival are pleased to welcome back the daily Songlines signings with an opportunity to get up close and personal with many of the performers and artists after their sets. Extra-lucky festivalgoers may also find themselves listening to a private gig in the festival’s garden shed as Songs from the Shed will be recording
sessions throughout the five days.

Fancy-dress fans will have an opportunity to try out their costume-making skills for Dressup Saturday (theme to be announced soon, shhh!). All across the site there will be wonders to see and explore such as the returning Larmer Tree, a 25th anniversary installation, the Carnival parade on Sunday and of course one or two pop up surprises like 2015’s party door and singing postbox.

2016 Ticket Info

Fibon_Jame Photography

Fibon_Jame Photography

NEW for 2016, children’s tickets for under 10s are FREE and youth prices are frozen across all tiers.

Early Bird – SOLD OUT

Tier One – SOLD OUT

Tier Two- ON SALE NOW!

3-DAY – Adult £170*, Youth £95*, Child FREE

4-DAY – Adult £195*, Youth £115*, Child FREE

5-DAY – Adult £230*, Youth £135*, Child FREE

HOLIDAY – Adult £260*, Youth £145*, Child FREE

Tier Three – Not on sale yet.

Tier Four – Not on sale yet.

Tier Five – Not on sale yet.

*Prices marked with an asterisk + 3.5% online booking fee.

For more info & to purchase tickets please follow this link: http://larmertreefestival.co.uk/tickets/tickets-info/

2016 Festival Announcements

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