The Good Life Experience

at Estate Farm Shop, Hawarden

This event has been and gone.

The Good Life Experience takes place at Hawarden Estate, Flintshire, North East Wales, from 16-18 September. It is a feel-good festival with a difference.

Now in its third year and co-founded by singer, broadcaster and author Cerys Matthews with Pedlars founders Charlie and Caroline Gladstone, The Good Life Experience draws the best of literature festivals, music festivals and food festivals into one outside event: it’s all about passion and discovery.
Cerys has hand-picked a fantastic music line-up, from Romanian gypsy band Fanfare Ciocarlia, to DJ Gilles Peterson. The Campfire Cooking Sessions will see a host of celebrity chefs, from Thomasina Miers to Bill Granger demonstrating their skills over the campfire.

There is a strong aspect of craft running through the weekend and this year there will be 40 makers: blacksmiths, potters, boat builders, weavers, mosaic makers, printers, axe specialists and more. The festival combines contemporary and heritage, inviting visitors to engage, in a modern way, with objects that have been around for thousands of years.

All of the makers run hands-on activities, giving visitors the chance to invest some time and effort to make something. Almost all activities are included in the ticket price, from axe throwing to spoon carving, and there are free rides all weekend at the 1930s vintage fairground.

There is good news for families in 2016 as the age limit for children to go free has been raised from 9 to 12 years old, and the upper age limit for youth tickets has risen from 16 to 17 years old.

Please visit www.thegoodlifeexperience.co.uk/ for more information.


Gilles Peterson

Gilles Peterson appearing at this event

Best known as a radio presenter on Saturday afternoons on BBC 6Music and as an international club DJ, Gilles Peterson is also an avid record collector, a curator, a music producer and record label boss. Every year he puts on two large events – the Worldwide Awards in London which are his annual showcase of that years best music and the Worldwide Festival which has expanded to two editions – one in south of France in July and one in Switzerland in March. He also presents a syndicated weekly radio show that is broadcast all over the globe, from Shanghai and Sydney to France and Germany. He has a long history of running record labels, including Acid Jazz in the late Eighties, Talkin Loud in the Nineties through to his current venture, Brownswood Recordings, which releases some of the best underground music around.

See Gilles Peterson tour dates

Cerys Matthews

Cerys Matthews appearing at this event

Cerys Matthews first achieved fame as lead singer of the group Catatonia. She had an equally successful parallel solo career duetting with Tom Jones on the perennial classic Baby It's Cold Outside and with Space on The Ballad of Tom Jones, plus three critically acclaimed solo albums Cockahoop, Never Said Goodbye and Don't Look Down. Nowadays you're more likely to find her hosting radio shows on both BBC 6Music (Sunday mornings) and BBC Radio 2 (Monday evenings).

See Cerys Matthews tour dates

Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo appearing at this event

The author of over 90 books, Michael's reputation in the world of children's books is unmatched, 'The Sleeping Sword', 'Why The Whales Came' and 'Dear Olly' to name a few.

See Michael Morpurgo tour dates

12 Ensemble

Virtuosic un-conducted string orchestra.

See 2 tour dates featuring 12 Ensemble

Fanfare Ciocarlia

Fanfare Ciocarlia appearing at this event

Fusing infectious, lightning-fast melodies, thunderous drums, unbridled brass and a mischievous, captivating stage presence, Fanfare Ciorcarlia are unparalleled live performers. Described by The Times as “a heavy, heavy monster of sound” and by The Evening Standard as “the best live band in the world’’, Fanfare Ciocarlia have taken their eerie Balkan groove into venues, festivals and dance clubs across the planet. Fanfare Ciocarlia live blast appeals to punks and headbangers, jazz and funk fans, world music aficionados and those who simply love music that sounds absolutely unique. The Romanian’s style involving breakneck speed, technical chops, ripping rhythms and sweet and sour horns is quite different from any other brass band on earth. Everyone who has heard Fanfare Ciocarlia agrees on one thing: no brass band had ever played as fast as this before!

See Fanfare Ciocarlia tour dates

Mike Garry

The true poet laurete of Manchester, Mike Garry's emotive and powerful poetry is funny, dark and intense. His performance is so powerful that he captures a room with the power of his haunting words that are the best description of modern Mancunia and by extension any modern British city.

See Mike Garry tour dates

Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys

Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys appearing at this event

Hailing from Prince Edward Island, the award-winning Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys serve up old-time roots music with an energy level that practically yanks you out of your seat by the collar.

See Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys tour dates

Booka Brass Band

Booka Brass Band appearing at this event

Booka Brass Band are a group of eight musicians that span the length and breadth of Ireland stretching from Belfast all the way to Cork. Formed in November 2012, since then they have quickly gone from strength to strength on the live music scene in Ireland. With regular shows in venues all over Dublin including The Sugar Club, Whelan’s and Twisted Pepper, alongside stomping sets to festival crowds at Electric Picnic, Sea Sessions and Longitude, their unique offering and incredible live energy has brought them an unusual level of success in their first year together. Booka Brass Band have developed their sound and set up over the last twelve months through a succession of great opportunities, all well deserved and well executed. They have also grown in size, now containing seven members consisting of two trumpets, two trombones, saxophone, sousaphone and drums. With six band members still full-time students, they also stretch the length and breadth of the country coming from Cork all the way to Belfast, studying everything from medicine to law. Classically trained, the band also brings a great understanding of classical harmony which can be heard behind the beats of their original tunes.

See Booka Brass Band tour dates

Flint Male Voice Choir

See Flint Male Voice Choir tour dates

Diabel Cissokho

Diabel Cissokho appearing at this event

Diabel Cissokho is a renowned musician from Senegal, West Africa. His work draws on his rich heritage of traditional music, fusing it with influences of blues, afro-beat and more. With his skilled young band, Diabel's skills on the kora, vocals, guitar and ngoni cross cultural barriers and engage audiences of all ages and genders. His music is infectious and powerful, uplifting and accessible.

See Diabel Cissokho tour dates

Stealing Sheep

Stealing Sheep appearing at this event

A Liverpool-based trio that play alternative folk pop with delicate harmonies, medieval synths and drones, hypnotic beats, and spiraling whammy guitars.

See 3 tour dates featuring Stealing Sheep

Hooton Tennis Club

Hooton Tennis Club appearing at this event

Alternative indie / lo fi slacker rock from Liverpool.

See Hooton Tennis Club tour dates

The Magnetic North

The Magnetic North are Erland Cooper of Erland & the Carnival, multi-instrumentalist Simon Tong, formerly of The Verve and Gorillaz, and solo singer and composer Hannah Peel. They formed in January 2011 for the distinct purpose of recording Orkney: Symphony of The Magnetic North, an album about Orcadian singer-songwriter Cooper’s homeland. The Magnetic North’s evocative work is folk beautifully laced with classical textures, with a clear sense of place.

See The Magnetic North tour dates

Swing Patrol

One of London's leading swing dance schools.

See Swing Patrol tour dates

Shirt Tail Stompers

Shirt Tail Stompers appearing at this event

The Shirt Tail Stompers are heavily influenced by the great American band leaders and musicians of the '20s, '30s and '40s and are on a mission to bring swing music back into the mainstream with their own suave and raucous stamp. Equally at home in concert halls, festival stages and cabaret bars, the musicians' previous performances include The Royal Albert Hall, Cafe De Paris, Glastonbury Festival, Lovebox and Brighton Fringe Festival. They've even travelled across the world, playing to thrilled audiences in Australia, Italy, France, Greece, Austria, Germany and Cornwall! 'Righteously retro, but youthful, trad jazzers dive back to prohibition-era speakeasies for inspiration, playing clarinet/trumpet/guitar-led Dixieland hits from Waller, Ellington and Basie' (Time Out).

See Shirt Tail Stompers tour dates


Always dapper and trim, DJ 78 is one of the true gentlemen of the turntable, and a founder member of the Shellac Collective. Playing an eclectic selection of popular music from the dance bands of the 20’s to the rock’n’roll pioneers of the 50’s he makes any gathering that little bit classier.

See DJ78 tour dates

Tom Hodgkinson

See Tom Hodgkinson tour dates

Murray Lachlan Young

Murray Lachlan Young appearing at this event

The first poet to get a million pound record deal. A fascinating combination of performance poetry, social commentary and stand up. Imagine Oscar Wilde sharing a drink with Joe Strummer whilst in the background John Peel puts on some choice tunes. 'Never mind the Bellocs, Young has a penchant for exquisitely savage punchlines...and is treating the comedy circuit to some rather witty rhymes. He also has a great voice, Tom Baker-meets-town cryer, making the microphone redundant' (London Evening Standard).

See Murray Lachlan Young tour dates

Garance et les Mitochondries

French cabaret/busking acoustic chansonniere of immaculate taste (mais bien sûr) and internationalist influences, with accordion, fiddle, doublebass, etc. Her band is a mixture of Tom Waits, Edith Piaf and Frank Zappa, with the melancholy softness of alternative post-musette songwriting.

See Garance et les Mitochondries tour dates

Heavenly Jukebox

See Heavenly Jukebox tour dates

Laura Barton

Laura Barton writes for a range of publications including The Guardian, and is a regular writer and broadcaster for Radio 4; her series exploring the relationship between music and landscape will broadcast this autumn. Her first novel, Twenty-One Locks, was published in 2010. She is at work on a second novel, and a non-fiction book about music and sadness.

See Laura Barton tour dates

Modern Studies

Modern Studies appearing at this event

Modern Studies are a chamber pop band from Glasgow-via-Yorkshire. Their quietly experimental landscape songs are played on analogue synths, cello, double bass, drums, guitars, a wine-glass orchestra and, at the creaking centre of things, a Victorian pedal harmonium.

See Modern Studies tour dates

Aldous Harding

Aldous Harding appearing at this event

New Zealand singer / songwriter, Aldous Harding, has been wowing audiences around her native country for years with her original 'gothic folk' music. She’s known for her sinister torch songs with a charismatic combination of wit and quiet horror. She comes from the same dramatic realm where Kate Bush and Scott Walker reside.

See Aldous Harding tour dates

Laura Cannell

Laura Cannell appearing at this event

Playing over-bowed fiddle and double recorders, Laura Cannell draws on ancient transcendental and earthly musics.

See Laura Cannell tour dates

July Skies

July Skies is a West Midlands based recording project begun by Antony Harding in 1997. July Skies is: Orford Ness, lost youth, Henry Moore, pylons across fields, abandoned airfields, Avebury, endless childhood summers, forgotten England, the romance of the heavens well after closing time, Super8, countryside, mornings in May, ruins, faded innocence, post-war Britain, skies of all seasons, trudging coastlines, Festival of Britain 1951, memories made with a Polaroid Landcam 103, overgrown follies, East Anglia, concrete precincts and tower blocks, suburbia, old Ordnance Survey maps, lost airmen, rustic charm, John Nash, poppy day, a half remembered smile, BST, municipal parks at dusk, love, infatuation and loss.

See July Skies tour dates


Rosenblume appearing at this event

Singer-songwriter Daniel ‘Rosenblume’ Ross is inspired by the folk greats of Greenwich Village, Laurel Canyon and beyond.

See Rosenblume tour dates

Camerata Quartet

See Camerata Quartet tour dates

Also Appearing

Mercury Rev (DJ Set), John Cooper Clarke, Mari Samuelsen, Jeremy Vine, The Idler Academy, Dylans Mobile Bookstore, Do Book Co, Anja Dunk, Jen Goss, Donna Somerset Vintage Mobile Disco, Caught By The River, John Lewis Stempel, Rob Penn, Chris Watson, Ian Rawes, Amy Liptrot, Matt Sewell, James Macdonald Lockhart, Peter Francis, John Higgs, Vod Music, Mark Shayler, Gladstone's Library

Estate Farm Shop

  • Chester Road
  • Flintshire
  • Hawarden
  • CH5 3FB