'Secret' festival gears up for bumper weekend

Organisers of a family festival due to make its county debut are gearing up for a bumper Bank Holiday weekend.

About 5,000 revellers are expected to join in with the partying at this year's Shambala Festival at Kelmarsh Hall.

More than 100 bands will be performing across seven stages and an open-air hot-tub village and mediaeval sports will also be entertaining the crowds.

A recycled junk boat – a solid 10-metre structure made entirely of recycled materials, which featured at Glastonbury earlier in the summer – will also be making an appearance.

Crew-members will be organising workshops and debates.

Mehdi El-Radhi, the ship's steward, said: "Visitors to the junk boat at Shambala can expect something completely different, but they will have to come along to find out."

Festivalgoers can also learn tea dances, jive, swing and hula dancing in the dance workshop and there will also be a gurning competition as well as an infamous fancy dress night, The Festival of the Freaks.

A debating tavern, medieval village, cutting edge cabaret, circus events and a woodland walk with an art installation all add to the entertainment on offer.

The event has a philosophy of no sponsorship and advertising and exists totally through word-of-mouth.

The green family festival, now in its sixth year, has chosen Kelmarsh Hall in Northamptonshire as its venue this year, on Saturday and Sunday. The location and line-up are kept secret until the majority of tickets have been sold.

Cars are charged 15 to park, in line with the festival's green ethos, and there will be some composting toilets. Everything where possible is recycled.

Tickets for the weekend, including camping, cost 79 and 18 for children, while under-5s go free.

Limited numbers of tickets are still available. To book or for more information visit www.shambala.org or call 0870 44 44 400.

For more details of this weekend's Bank Holiday events, don't miss today's free Guide pull-out.