Following an incredible response in September to The Good Life Experience’s second year of music, food, books, talks and The Great Outdoors, this very special festival with a difference is planning an even more wonderful extended weekend in 2016 on the Hawarden Estate in North Wales. The Good Life Experience was founded in 2014 by four friends, broadcaster and singer Cerys Matthews, ex teenage punk rock singer and now artist manager Steve ‘Abbo’ Abbott and founders of homewares brand Pedlars, Charlie and Caroline Gladstone. The festival came about as a response to mass consumerism and all that it entails; phones, social media, box sets, fast fashion, laptops, internet shopping… Post 2008 with the return –to an extent- to post war austerity, people have begun to think differently. They want to make things with their hands, to reconnect with the simple things and escape from mass consumerism. There is a real hunger for making and The Good Life Experience has done something about it.
One of the core passions of the four founders is supporting and promoting traditional British craft, and one of their promises for 2016 is to at least double the number of workshops and demonstrations on offer. Last year festival-goers were given the chance to watch demonstrations and take part in workshops from a hugely skilled and talented group of craftspeople and makers, including a blacksmith, a potter, an enamel maker, carpenters, butchers and much more. All of this was wildly popular; indeed demand for classes far out-stripped supply and each craftsperson was overwhelmed. Alex Pole, the blacksmith at The Good Life Experience 2015, declared “It's great that you are getting out there and telling people about this type of thing - it helps us craftspeople no end! I have been at the forge for just over 22 years now and it's extremely exciting that finally it's getting some main steam attention”. Plans for this expansion of the Makers’ Row area of the festival are already well underway, and the call has gone out to the very best craftspeople up and down the country.