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UK’s first-ever wellness festival for queer women coming to beautiful Welsh countryside

Kaite Welsh March 8, 2022
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Pembrokeshire and the river Cleddau

Guests will camp in Pembroke National Park and will be able to join wild swimming sessions in nearby river Cleddau.

The UK’s first-ever wellness festival for queer, questioning and curious women, and those who are non-binary, is set to take place in Wales this summer during the 50th anniversary of Pride.

Out & Wild promises three days and nights with dozens of wellness activities – such as sports, spoken word, poetry, wild swimming comedy and music – in a safe and supportive space.

The festival, taking place from 10-13 June in Pembrokeshire, offers camping, glamping and space for caravans while providing a platform for queer female and non-binary talent who are often underrepresented at UK festivals.

Polly Shute, co-founder of Out and About LGBTQ, who will be hosting the festival, explained how Out & Wild has been designed to be an inclusive, safe and supportive space to explore new activities and experiences while embracing the beautiful, natural surroundings of the Welsh countryside.

“The response we have had to date has been incredible,” she said. “From the quality of the sponsors and partners coming on board to the range of experiences taking place, and the talent that will be performing – not to mention the support we have had from the Welsh government, which has awarded us a three-year grant as part of its commitment to being the most LGBTQ-friendly country in Europe.

“We are excited to be able to offer three days packed with amazing experiences, all designed by and for queer, questioning and curious women and those that are non-binary.”

Tickets are on sale now. Although the early bird tickets are officially sold out, organisers have given PinkNews readers a chance to get their hands on a discounted ticket if you book here.

What is there to do at Out & Wild festival?

Set in the heart of Pembrokeshire National Park overlooking the River Cleddau, the festival will make the most of its stunning backdrop with guided hikes and runs. And if you fancy a refreshing dip, Out & Wild revellers will be introduced to wild swimming, one of the hottest trends at the moment, with guided swims, water safety sessions and even a chance to swim by candlelight in the river at night. Then again, there are plenty of outdoor hot tubs to enjoy the view while taking a relaxing soak.

As you might expect from a wellness festival, there’ll be plenty of time to unplug and unwind with massages, ice baths, meditation and yoga on offer – along with breathing workshops and tai chi.

While those who prefer their relaxation a little more active will be able to take part in Out & Wild’s dance classes and workouts to really get the endorphins going.

Let’s face it, the stereotype of queer women being into sports exists for a reason – and it’s not just Megan Rapinoe’s muscles. And in this regard, Out & Wild really know their audience. Run in partnership with Pride Sports, Sport England’s expert LGBT+ partner, there’ll be taster sessions for all kinds of sports to try from across the UK, from five-a-side football to hockey, and everything in between.

If you get your kicks and stimulation from activities more mental and cerebral than physical, Out & Wild boasts a line-up of talks and workshops covering everything from queer literature and sustainability to crafts and even foraging – but don’t worry if you’re having trouble identifying which mushrooms are edible and which are poisonous. The festival promises a wide selection of food to satisfy all tastebuds, too.

Issy and Rachael, who run LGBT FIT, have signed-on to curate the festival’s Wellness Zone – cutting their own honeymoon short to bring the best-possible experience for festival-goers.

“We’re really excited to be part of the Out & Wild team,” they explained, “and we will be delivering sessions that appeal to all levels.

“This is a great opportunity to try out new wellness experiences in a fun, safe and supportive environment.”

There really will be something for everyone, basically.

Who’s performing?

Although the full line-up is yet to be announced, Out & Wild has already confirmed singer-songwriter Marieke, whose acoustic, folk-infused tunes have won a legion of fans across Wales, and retro-pop and country chanteuse Kaysha Louvain.

And if you like your festivals with a sider order of eco-activism, you can tap your feet to cult favourites Fossilheads, who will be performing their acclaimed climate crisis cabaret, which promises to put the “ooh!” back into “existential doom”. And for those who packed their dancing shoes in among their camping gear, there’ll be a silent disco every evening under the stars in the former grounds of Lawrenny Castle.

I’m in! How do I get to Out & Wild festival?

Out & Wild is located in the heart of the Pembrokeshire National Park in the village of Lawrenny. If you’re travelling by train or coach, Out & Wild will also be organising transport to collect revellers from the station – for a small charge to cover costs. And although the festival may look rustic, it’s not fully in the wilderness – free WiFi will be available across the site.

A general ticket is available from £120 plus booking fee, which includes entry for the entire festival and camping. It’ll be an extra £50 plus booking fee if you’re planning on bringing a campervan, or a weekend ticket without any camping is available from £100 plus booking fee. Car parking spaces are also available for an additional £15 plus booking fee.

If you’re looking for a little more than the basic package, there are a few add-ons on offer – perfect for those of us who’re glampers rather than campers.

The Premier Area is situated near the main site entrance and key amenities with reserved space to pitch your tent, available as an upgrade when purchasing your ticket.

There are also a limited number of VIP glamping tents to upgrade to in a separate VIP area away from the main site. These include luxury glamping accommodation, a welcome food and drink box on arrival and tickets to the VIP area, with food and drink tokens, and a concierge service.

More: Festival, mental health, Wales, wellness

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