Behind the Castle Festival with Founder Ian Lyster.

Festival season is almost upon us – hurrah! Folk up and down the country will soon be dusting off their tents, making sure all the creepy crawlies have been discarded and brushing off last year’s Glastonbury mud from the old faithful Hunter wellies. Dancing to their hearts content in a field watching the sun go down, whilst their favourite artist or newly discovered act are on stage, with a standard pint of West Country cider in hand of course. Pure hedonistic bliss!

With so much choice these days from small, boutique festivals such Green Man, End of the Road and Secret Garden Party to the big and bold commercial ones like V-Festival and Reading and Leeds. It’s a minefield to know which one to invest your weekend and hard earned cash into.

As many people will know, I’m a West Country lass, who loves attending festivals and a huge supporter of made in Dorset ventures. So, when I heard there was a brand new festival on the block being held at Sherborne Castle, I got in touch with Behind the Castle founder Ian Lyster who was more than happy to chat to Country Bumpkin Chic.


Behind the Castle – the low down…

When: Saturday 14th June, gates open 12:00

Where: Sherborne Castle – hence Behind the Castle.

Who’s playing? 3 stages, 15 acts including: Newton Faulkner, Levellers, Seth Lakeman, Cara Dillon and Steve Knightly.

What else: It’s all about the music and food – they’ll be a variety of local food stands.

How much are tickets? £46 all in (including booking fee & car parking).

Head to to buy your tickets.

Follow on Twitter @BehindCastle14 and like on Facebook for all the latest news.

Ian, tell me how the concept for Behind the Castle was born?

For the last 5 years I’ve been busy working at folk festivals in the UK including Purbeck, Bournemouth in Dorset to the Cambridge Festival which is now in its 50th year and was the first festival I attended at the tender age of 3 months!

I’d been working on the North Dorset Folk Festival and putting on some folk nights in a small intimate venue in Marnhull with my music events label Upturned Pebble and realised I needed to upscale to make it profitable. So, the idea of Behind the Castle was put into motion and the first ever one day festival at Sherborne Castle will be held on Saturday 14th June.

What type of music vibe can we expect on Saturday 14th June?

With 15 acts across 3 stages including names you’ll recognise from Seth Lakeman, Newton Faulkner, The Levellers to Cara Dillon it’s a real music lover’s festival. We’ve worked hard on making sure it’s top quality music acts at an affordable ticket price at £46 – making it competitively priced compared to a lot of one day tickets out there. There’s no booking fee or car parking charges, and we’ve decided against any sponsorship tie ins so we can make sure that it really is all about the music and none of the commercial stuff you see at other big named festivals.

Seth Lakeman

Photo courtesy of Tim Young

Newton Faulkner

Photo courtesy of Upturned Pebble & Newton Faulkner

What’s the reception been from the acts towards a brand new festival in Dorset?

We’ve had really positive feedback from everyone we’re working with. The Levellers have truly been fantastic and supportive about the new event and getting behind us on social media.

The Levellers

Photo courtesy of R Marrison

How many people are you expecting to get through the gates?

Capacity is 5,000 which will make it a snug intimate festival. Two-thirds of the ticket allocation have been sold with just under 6 weeks to go, it’s looking like it will be a sell-out event in its first year which is a great feeling.

Are there plans to make this an annual festival?

Yes definitely. Presuming we get the thumbs up from the Castle, we already have a line up in mind for 2015.

Which acts are you most looking forward to seeing on the day?

Oh that’s a tricky one as it’s all the people I like and I hope the Behind the Castle festival goers will enjoy too. It would have to be Paul Brady as I remember sitting on my Dad’s shoulders watching him while I was 9 years old, so it will be great to see him perform.

Paul Brady

Photo courtesy of Upturned Pebble & Paul Brady

Seth Lakeman and Newton Faulkner are both great and real crowd pleasers. I’m a huge fan of Newton’s.

The Levellers will most definitely help get the party going and one not to miss are Bristolian’s Sheelanagig.


Photo courtesy of Upturned Pebble & Sheelanagig

Steve Knightly is fab too, I’ve known him most of my life, so will be great to see him on stage.

And finally, can you sum up Behind the Castle in 5 words?

How about – music, fun, friendly and affordable. Basically, it’s all about the music!

Thanks Ian for being this week’s special guest on the Country Bumpkin Chic Blog.

Hopefully that’s got everyone rummaging around for their wellies and sunhats. We look forward to seeing you on the 14th June for some sunny summer tunes.

All the best 

Becky x

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