Looking forward to the next Larmer Tree Festival, it’s hard to believe it was nearly 26 years since the first ‘seed was sewn’. The festival’s now quite a bit bigger and longer, and there’s loads more going on. But the original ‘Larmer Tree’ atmosphere has never been lost.
James’s original inspiration was the Bracknell Jazz Festival in the beautiful grounds of South Hill Park in the late ’70s. One day when out jogging the rolling hills and ancient woodlands of the Cranborne Chase, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, he found the perfect setting to start his own festival. Nestled in a picture-perfect spot The Larmer Tree Gardens revealed itself in all its Victorian splendour with canopies of glorious greenery, majestic trees and verdant lawns all (albeit a bit untamed in the early days!). Within five months he welcomed the first audience into the Gardens, and unknowingly embarked on quite a journey!