Greenbelt Festival returns to Boughton House this month after covid hiatus

Greenbelt Festival.Greenbelt Festival.
Greenbelt Festival.
The acclaimed festival will return from Friday, August 26, to Monday, August 29 and tickets are still available.

After two years of cancellations, Greenbelt Festival returns to Northamptonshire this month, with singer songwriter Kae Tempest, playwright Bonnie Greer and comedian Shaparak Khorsandi among the acts performing.

Held in the grounds of Boughton House near Kettering during the last weekend in August, Greenbelt combines artistry and activism across a range of performing arts including music, comedy, literature and visual arts. The theme of this year’s festival is Wake Up.

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Creative Director Paul Northup said: “We wanted a theme for 2022 that was simple, direct and full of energy and hope. Something that would well and truly shake us from our slumber.

Kae Tempest.Kae Tempest.
Kae Tempest.

“It’s been three years since Greenbelt has been able to announce a full-fat line-up.

“And who better to lead festival-goers back into the fields than polymath and prophet Kae Tempest?”

Tempest will be headlining the Saturday night, but during the weekend there will also be performances by Jeremy Loops, The Magic Numbers, House Gospel Choir, Billie Marten, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Jake Isaac, Beans On Toast, Gunva B, Anaïs Mitchell, Wildwood Kin, Ben Clapton, Ron Artis II & The Truth, Ayanna Witter-Johnson, BCUS and many more.

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The wider programme is over-flowing with Greenbelt's eclectic, distinctive, diverse and heady mix of artistry, activism and belief.

Where else would you get former Archbishop Rowan Williams on the same bill as a Circus Strong Lady and award-winning race science writer Angela Saini on the same bill as the St Martin's Singers with their sacred choral music.

Mr Northup added: “The world is more divided and polarised now even than when the pandemic began.

“So, we want to make a space where we can look each other in the eye and have those difficult conversations with respect and love, listening to one another’s perspectives.

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“We’re not simply just compliant or conspiracist, left or right-wing, libertarian or communitarian, Christian or non-Christian.

“We are more nuanced, wonderfully-made and diverse than that. We are human.”

This year, Greenbelt will feature a new venue nestled in the woods called The Rebel Rouser.

Programmed with a DIY punk ethos and vibe in heart and mind, Greenbelt asked the band Mouses to curate it.

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Aimed full-square at young adults (but open to everyone and anyone daring enough to enter) expect the unexpected – through music, workshops, spoken word, all served up with a healthy dose of grassroots energy and urgency.

Head of Programming, Katherine Goodenough said: “Think of it like the rebellious younger sibling of our main festival.

“We’re thinking about The Rebel Rouser like a clearing, from where fresh ideas will emerge.

“In the face of all the odds, we want it to be a space that regrows hope, provides opportunity and builds community and action.

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“So, expect DIY, rough-around-the-edges inspiration and creativity. Expect a space where you can start to see the wood for the trees.”

Greenbelt's concerns and commitments around climate change, migration, UK poverty and inequality, and the situation in Israel-Palestine will be knitted throughout the programme.

However, determined to stress it’s a festival ‘not a conference’, organisers are promising plenty of laughter, singing, dancing, participation, and through just being together after so long apart – its usual wave of inspiration and provocation.

The Greenbelt Festival takes place at Boughton House near Kettering from Friday, August 26 to Monday, August 29.

Weekend adult tickets cost £210 with day tickets available from £35. Concessions for both weekend and day tickets are available.

For more information, visit