The Forestry Commission are responsible for the management, protection, and promotion of woodlands in England, with the purpose of increasing their value to society and the environment. Each summer, The Forestry Commission host a series of Forest Live concerts at seven stunning forest venues throughout England. This weekend Forest Live took place at Westonbirt Arboretum, and I was lucky enough to go twice!
Westonbirt Arboretum, known as the National Arboretum, is located just outside Tetbury in Gloucestershire. Planted in the mid-19th century, it is said to have one of the finest tree collections in the world, carefully laid out within a beautiful Grade One listed historic landscape. Welcoming over 400,000 visitors a year, it is particularly famed for the incredible autumn colour of its 15,000 labelled trees.
In total, four consecutive evening concerts took place, from Thursday to Sunday. On Friday the kids, hubby and I saw the Kaiser Chiefs, and on Sunday I saw Tom Jones with my lovely friend, Jo.
The kids are huge fans of Ricky Wilson, and were so excited to see him and his band play. The Forest Live venues are intimate in comparison to the usual big arenas that bands play in, and so are the perfect venue for kids. The backdrop of the arboretum is stunning at any time, and after a fairly wet day, it turned out to be a pretty dry evening, with just a few spots of rain. We had a fab evening, with the added bonus of one of the supporting bands – Spring Kings, totally rocking the place- they really were brilliant, and well worth checking out!
Sunday, was a girlie night. Armed with picnic and cocktails, we sat in the pouring rain, and gorged ourselves, before joining the crowds in front of the stage to welcome Tom Jones. And he was Amazing! We sang, and danced and watched knickers fly through the air (I thought it was a myth but it definitely isn’t!). We had the best night ever, the atmosphere was incredible, and I loved every minute of it.
The Forestry Commission states that it “is committed to taking the importance of woodlands to new audiences, and making them relevant to people in new ways”, and with their Forest Live concerts they certainly achieve their objective. It is a fantastic way to see a band, and I’d recommend their concerts to everyone!