Beyond The Woods Festival - TomAndThat

Beyond The Woods Festival

In 2015, we had a party in our back garden for my brother Joe’s 18th birthday.

It was so successful that we decided to do it again the next year, and the year after, and the year after that.

Eventually JoeFest, which became Beyond The Woods Festival, grew into a 3,000 capacity event, with four stages, overnight camping, and some of the UK’s most exciting new artists coming to our little corner of Lincolnshire.

Holly Humberstone played the festival in 2017, and is now one of the UK’s most highly-rated new artists

Joe, who is now a music promoter, was in charge of putting the bands on; while as the managing director I looked after all the less-glamorous organisational things, like having health and safety meetings with the council.

There were late-night DJs, a secret bar disguised as a garden centre, and we were one of only very few festivals in the UK where you could start your day by feeding some deer from the back of a tractor.

Stourton Woods, where the festival was held, had its own deer park

Sadly, as with a lot of events like our, Beyond The Woods didn’t survive the Covid pandemic.

While the festival kept getting bigger, it was still organised by the same group of mates who were at the original garden gathering.

Although there was a brilliant sense of community behind the twenty or so people who came together to put this big party on every year, there was one thing we were missing: A huge corporate benefactor with fat piles of cash.

And so, after an incredibly memorable run, Beyond The Woods Festival was put on hold indefinitely in 2021.

The original JoeFest in 2015

Joe is still putting on gigs under the banner of BTW Presents; and I’ve still got the event management plan tucked away safely, ready for when we need to dig it out again in the future.