The Forum talks with Melanie Bliss, co-founder, along with her Husband, and creative director of Blissfields Music Festival

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To spend even a small amount of time with the effervescent Melanie is inspiring. Her creativity is seemingly endless with ideas flying, ricocheting all around.

Having been a London person too I ask her what drew her to Hampshire, she answers simply,
“Marriage”.
And her favourite place here?
“Would have to be the field near Bradley where Blissfields
is held.”

How did the festival start?
Melanie laughs, “Well we thought we would have a party in the garden for a few friends and my Paul, my husband suggested we should have some live music. It was such a success that it became an annual event and soon outgrew our garden.

So since 2001, Blissfields has relocated to a field at Vicarage Farm Woodmancott, owned by friends, and has grown into an annual event – recognized as one of the most important boutique festivals in the calendar – attracting around six thousand people over the three-day festival. It’s turned into a full time occupation for us but we have a fantastic event management company now called Sundogs production. Actually the team is in top notch condition and I’m so proud of them especially this year.”
With current ticket sales booming, Melanie is expecting an even larger crowd this year, not surprisingly with such an impressive musical line up, which will please Marstons who run the popular beer festival at the weekend and also the Born Free Foundation, the charity partner.

“It’s great to be inviting Dizzee Rascal and Everything Everything to headline this year which is so exciting and a testimony to the brilliant reputation of Blissfields as an excellent festival to be involved with. We pride ourselves in showcasing new talent too with over a hundred acts. We are definitely on the map and seen as a serious contender by the Music Press.”

Music is not the only reason people flock to Blissfields.
“People come because Blissfields is such a vibrant festival. Not too large it has become a rite of passage for local college graduates, often their first festival with theirs friends. Revelers can camp for the weekend or a limited number attend for the day to experience a diversity of music across seven stages. There’s so much to try with crafts, workshops, yoga, hot tubs and loads of stalls along with varied non-music entertainment. I want people to be enchanted and energized by what they see and hear at the festival. This year Blissfields has a “House Party” theme, visually it’s going to be amazing but I can’t tell you any more than that! It’s important to me that people get something beautiful, new and unexpected every year. With tickets selling faster than ever this year and heading for a sell out we seem to have struck the right chord.”

What inspires Melanie?
“Energy – art, music, successful team work anything with making something beautiful. Blissfields celebrates diversity which keeps the festival fresh, people come back year after year never sure what they will see and hear.”

Does Melanie play?
“I play guitar and sing, I’m in a nine piece Ska covers band called ‘One Step Too Late’ and we will be performing at Blissfields. It’s very energetic music so I get to sing and leap around all over the place!”

So how does she maintain her lust for life and enthusiasm for the creative arts?
“I couldn’t live without family, friends, music and art which is exactly what Blissfields is all about. But I also believe you shouldn’t be afraid to try something new every week to keep it fresh, keep it moving. Even if it’s something really challenging it will more than likely work out in the end.”

Who would be in Melanie’s dream line up for Blissfields?
“Oh so many! It would have to be Prince, Massive Attack, Basement Jax, The Doors, The Clash and Bowie.”

What next for Melanie Bliss?
“Blissfields! 30th June, 1st and 2nd of July. Actually before that our band will be playing at Rookwood Festival, a charity event in Four Marks we warmly support. I’ll continue to develop the ‘Art of Bliss’ that will be incorporated into this year’s festival. I’m passionate about my newly formed art team already and we set sail with the first projects tomorrow”

Be sure to make Blissfields part of your celebration
of summer.
– GG.

For more information and tickets:
www.blissfields.co.uk
Facebook Blissfield’s 2016

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