It would be stating the obvious to say that Kel and I are huge fans of festival hen/stag do’s. After attending The Sunrise Festival for my friends hen do (pictured above) and having an absolute blast despite the mud, I am even more convinced that it’s an awesome way of celebrating your ‘journey’ from Miss to Mrs – of course, that’s if you enjoy everything that comes with a festival.

Jessica Lambert from Redseven Leisure, one of the UK’s leading hen party organisers, recently got in touch with Festival Brides to share their ideas for alternative hen parties. Now I have to be honest, I am not a huge fan of companies that organise hen weekends BUT when I read the article Jessica has put together about Festival Hen do’s – I stand corrected……………

“The hen party has come a long way since the times of a Friday night down at the local pub or a few drinks at home the night before the wedding. These days the “hen party” has developed into the “hen weekend”, and as a result the choices are more diverse than ever. A week away in Ibiza, a cocktail making class in Dublin, a spa weekend in Bath; in the 21st century anything goes.

Last year I went on a hen party to the Wilderness Festival which was amazing (pictures below) and it made me realise what a brilliant combination a hen party and a festival is! With everything already organised for you from the beautiful setting, the food and the music, to the parties and extras such as massages and workshops, it was the most stress free and simple hen party I’ve been to.

This idea of combining a festival with the hen party is beginning to emerge as a popular choice. One of the major appeals of a festival hen party is the fact that there is minimal planning involved. All that is required of you is that you buy your tickets and turn up, the rest is organised for you. Dine on Moroccan one evening and feast on French cuisine the next, check out some comedy during the daytime and dance to your favourite musicians in the evening. The options go on and with the premise of a festival being based on freedom and hedonism, what could be better than spending a weekend at one for a hen party?

Whether you’re staying in the UK or venturing overseas, there are hundreds of brilliant festivals to choose from all varying in focus, so you can choose one which suits your character. Here are some of our favourites at Redseven;

Latitude Festival

Situated on Henham Farm in Suffolk, with a huge lake on site, the surrounding countryside is beautiful. A jamboree of music, theatre, art, comedy, poetry, cabaret, dance and literature, this is an ideal festival for those wanting to enjoy the variety of entertainment which larger festivals bring, along with the intimacy of smaller festivals. A multi-arts festival, Latitude is a great all rounder which will please all tastes. From the woods area to the painted sheep, a huge lake and three stages; there’s always something to feast your eyes and ears on.

When and Where; July 27th – July 30th, Somerset,

UK Sonar Festival

Taking place in the heart of the city of Barcelona along with benefiting from decent Spanish weather, this is the ideal festival for a hen do looking for a serious party along with a bit of culture. One of the best electronic music festivals in the world, it takes place in separate locations by day and night. By day, the festival is held in the centre of Barcelona in the Old Town and features live concerts and DJ’s as well as multimedia art demos and record fairs. By night, the festival takes place on the outskirts of the town in Coruna and this is when the party truly gets started. The music is mostly centred on electronic, house, hip hop and electro, so if you’re a clubber at heart then this is the perfect festival for your hen party. With Barcelona benefiting from a beach too, you can even enjoy some recovery time post-festival.

When and Where; 14th – 16th June, Barcelona and Coruna, Spain

Wilderness Festival

Only two years young, this festival sits on the outskirts of the Cotswolds, a renowned area of beauty with a huge swimmable lake on site and its very own spa with tipi treatment rooms and hot tubs. If that wasn’t enough, the festival takes huge pride in food with a banquet held on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights hosted by a different famous chef for each night. With huge long tables sitting up to 50 people, and live entertainment, this is one of the highlights of the festival and ideal for foodies. Along with delicious grub and beautiful scenery, they put on some great bands, comedy and top DJs to keep the party going into dawn.

When and Where; July 27th – July 30th, Somerset, UK

Burning Man Festival

Originating in 1989 from a summer solstice ritual which began between three friends who built and burnt a 9ft wooden effigy, this unique festival takes place at Black Rock Desert in Nevada and runs for a week. This world renowned festival is based on experimenting with community, expressive arts and self-expression. Nothing can be bought so essentials can only be exchanged, meaning that all festival goers must bring items along which will be of use to the temporary community or provide entertainment. With a record attendance of 51,515, the result of this communal effort is an epic collaboration of impressive art installations, paintings, eccentric fancy dress and an amazing atmosphere. This festival is one of the most unique and memorable experiences you will ever have in your life and what better way to experience it than with your closest girl friends for your hen party.

When and where; August 27th – September 2nd. Black Rock Desert, Nevada, US.

InMusic Festival

Taking place on the Island of Jarun Lake in Zagreb, the surrounding scenery is unique and idyllic. The largest open air festival in Croatia, the music is varied from electronic, indie rock and heavy metal so there’s something to suit all tastes. The festival site is only a stone’s throw away from many of Croatia’s finest beaches so it’s the perfect festival choice if you fancy an extended beach break with the girls. Plus, if you want a bit of culture and camping is not appealing to you, then you can stay in Zagreb and visit the festival from there.

When and Where; 28th – 30th June 2012, Zagreb, Croatia

Thank you so much to Jessica from Redseven for sharing her ideas and tips on festival hen weekends.

Do you think it would be ok to maybe have 5 hen weekends and visit them all!?

If you would like to receive more advice on how to plan an awesome hen weekend or to view the many packages Redseven has to offer then please visit their website or contact Redseven on 01273 872200

They also offer bespoke packages so if you are interested in attending a festival for your hen, them I’m sure Redseven will be more than happy to help you choose the perfect festival and plan a weekend to remember!

In June and July I attended 5 (yes 5) hen weekends, all of which have been very different. I’ve had the chilled weekend in a quaint cottage in bath; a drunken dancing on tables night in Brighton; an 80’s themed party in Maidstone; a 5 day mud bath at The Sunrise Festival in Somerset, and last but certainly not least my sisters hen weekend which was a mixture of all of the above!

Every single one of these hen do’s were brilliant in there own way and that was mainly down to the people that attended them. Without sounding cliché it really is your friends and family that make your hen do so, whatever you decide to do, if your best friends and family are all there I’m sure it will rock!

Happy Thursday Peeps

Big Love

Festival Brides xx

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