This summer, Unearthed Festival will rise again from the fertile fields of the Pembrokeshire peninsula for three days of music and art, ceremony and celebration. The festival will take place from June 16 to 18, the summer solstice hot on its heels.
Taking place in St Davids, Wales, the festival is set against some of the country’s most breath-taking scenery and in 2023 features everything from reggae to sea shanties, comedy to cacao ceremonies and psychedelic session orchestras to family folk duos. Not only that, there’s a whole host of wellness, good vibes and high quality and locally sourced food and drink thrown in for good measure, making Unearthed the antidote to stress and the essence of a good time.
From uplifting roots reggae music and Tropical bass to ambient music and Sea Shanty ensembles, this year’s festival will be spread across eight stages.
Socially aware and sustainably sound, Unearthed Festival aims to expand consciousness from the material to the ethereal with a line-up committed to nourishing the soul. From hedge-dwellers to hedge fund managers, to framers and factory workers, Unearthed offers something for everyone, so whether you want to commune with nature and take part in some soul-soothing ceremonies, or dance the night away with friends, family and compatriots, it’s the only place to be this summer.
The main stage will host some of the UKs leading artists, DJs and disruptors including award winning Queen of Reggae Dawn Penn whose hits have been sampled by the likes of Mary J Blige & DJ Khalid and Buster Rhymes and whose career has been honoured with the Martin Luther King Award for contribution to Music, among others.
Psychedelic ravers Henge will take to the mainstage for a genre-defying mashup of rock, punk, techno and electro on the night of Friday 16. Not the only performers with an epic cult following to be stepping into the spotlight this year, Mad Professor will also make his Unearthed debut featuring a guest performance from Sista Aisha, and audiences can expect body moving bass from one of the leading dub music producers responsible for bringing the genre into the digital age. Also hailing from Bristol both Get The Blessing and Da Fuchaman and his Fire Blaze Band will sandwich the BBC’s very own Aleighcia Scott on the main stage on Friday, with fans from Bristol and Cardiff alike expected to turn up in their hundreds for an electrifying run of rock jazz followed by award winning reggae, soul and funk. Into the night audiences can enjoy the cosmically weaving vibrations of DreamFaerie, a resident DJ with the psybass label & collective Shanti Planti, followed by the down-tempo, psychedelic chilled-out dub of Quanta.
Alongside mainstage performances bands of all sizes playing a whole range of genres will appear on the eight festival stages. Everything from music to theatre, cacao ceremonies to cinema will unfold in more intimate and unique venues and new to this year’s line-up is the Speak Easy tent, home of comedy, theatre and inspirational talks. With theatre from MSG cabaret, National Theatre Wales TEAM, The Show of Freaks and Fire Donkey Production, and stand-up comedy from the Semi-Finalist of Britain's Got Talent, Noel James as well as the award-winning Claire Ferguson Walker, and comedic favourites Josh Elton and Phil Cooper it’s a one-stop shop for culture buffs, comedy fans and intellectual aficionados, or simply anyone who wants to learn a little and laugh a lot.
Unearthed prides itself on creating a safe and stirring space for families and children as well as friends and compatriots, and the Speak Easy tent is also where children’s theatre and workshops will unfold. It will host a range of inspirational individuals who will talk about timely topics such as sustainability, aimed at making young and old alike want to pick up their shovels and start a revolution for 21st century lushness of life. Artist Ben Lloyd, creative producer and writer Angharad Tudor, multidisciplinary artist Cara Gaskell and artist & creative practitioner Rosanna Mckenna will be on hand throughout the weekend to help guide guests throughout their stay.
Saturday will serve up everything from jazz to jungle beats, topped off with 10-piece collective TC & the Groove Family ft. Franz Von whose music celebrates the coming together of cultures, followed by Worm Soundsystem from Bristol-based party-starters and label owners Worm Disco Club. Getting audiences in the mood throughout the day will be the virtuosic Roma-influenced music of Faith I Branko and the heady mix of electronics with traditional Latin American instrumentation courtesy of Xaman X, alongside performances by Richard Down, Annie Gardiner, Rona Mac, Sky barkers, TLK, Dawn Penn, DJ Gabrielle and topped off with an impressive performance from the Old Time Sailors.
Unearthed prides itself on being many things to many people. For those wanting to spend their time focusing on body, mind and soul, The Temple arena offers daily yoga, contact improvisation, devotional singing, Qi-gong and ecstatic dance workshops, alongside daily ceremonies including cacao. Within The Temple arena Gwynvyd holds workshops that require a more intimate closed environment and these include breath-work, shamanic journeying, sound healing and individual treatments such as Mayan massage, reflexology and physiotherapy. Also located at The Temple arena is Tan Tipi, a sacred fire venue which hosts ceremony, celebration and workshops on foraging and low impact living. This is also where the woodfired sauna and hot-tub can be found, access to both of which is included in the price of the festival ticket.
On Sunday, festival goers can wind down their weekend with the soulful sounds of acoustic folk couple and singer songwriters River Roots, followed by an intoxicating mix of techno, jungle and punk courtesy of live electronic quartet (and Leeds Conservatoire alumni) Long Legged Creatures. Phil King, Potts and Jammin, 6161 and Scribes will also take to the main stage throughout the day. Bringing the festival to a glorious and Glastonbury-worthy close will be Los Pulpos del Diablo, an extravagant 13 piece session orchestra compiled from musicians plucked from across the programme who come together to bring the weekend to a transcendent close. Epitomising the collective ethos of festival this psychedelic ensemble comprises a full spectrum of musicians, coming together to give thanks and love to the community that is Unearthed, making it an end-of-festival-weekend ritual not to be missed.
For the first time ever, festival favourite the Freedom Stage is extending its opening until the early hours of the morning on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 June, and until midnight on the Sunday 18, meaning an increased number of music acts and opportunities for new and upcoming musicians to perform to a festival crowd, many for the first time.
The ongoing success of, and support for Unearthed, is in no small part down to its investment in both local people and businesses. From this years’ head of recycling who first attended the festival as a mischievous 11 year old, to Haidar, an asylum seeker who now runs his own restaurant business and cooks for the staff and volunteers, Unearthed means it when it says it invests in people. In 2023 the festival will welcome its first official sponsor, locally distilled Barti Dhu Rum, and all bar one beer (which is sticked due to its affordability) come from Pembrokeshire. The vast majority of food and drink providers are also based in and around Pembrokeshire and for those who have indulged too much in the grainy good stuff, the festival bars will themselves be serving up, coffee, orange juice and a range of exclusive elixirs to lend a helping hand to those harbouring hangovers, for the first time.
Unearthed Festival is the creation of Tim Rees who grew up on the farm from whose fields the festival grows each summer. Tim said:“2023 will be the ninth fully fledged edition of Unearthed Festival and we cannot wait to welcome likeminded beings back to the idyl of the Pembrokeshire peninsula this June. Festival friends can enjoy everything from yoga and meditation, to dance, comedy, music and art and everyone from families hanging out around the campfire, to friends dancing the night away at Temple Arena, all and everyone is welcome. And as always, we wouldn’t be able to bring the festival to life without the support of our incredible volunteers, the local community, and of course all our returning brothers and sisters who help make what we do so special.”
Emma Thornton, Chief Executive of Visit Pembrokeshire, said: “We are so excited to be welcoming back the Unearthed festival in June this year. Unearthed captures and reflects the very essence of Pembrokeshire, a place which is wonderfully welcoming, and which is quite simply, food for the soul. You always leave seeing life a little bit differently; it’s why the festival is a tremendous draw for people of all ages. With the great variety of places to stay, both luxurious and quirky, a thriving foodie and art scene, alongside history, heritage and culture, you won’t want to leave, and will soon be planning your next visit”
About Unearthed Festival
Unearthed Festival is about unearthing something hidden within. Something that lies deep within us, sub language, sub thought, like an underground stream that connects us all and nourishes.
Celebrating the expansion of consciousness through music and arts, talks and workshops, vegetarian food and community spirit, Unearthed Festival is located near St Davids West Wales and 2023 is its ninth fully fledged edition.
Alongside music from some of the UK’s musicians, the festival also features talks on topics ranging from lucid dreaming and sustainable construction, to science and spirituality. There is ceremony, various forms of yoga, meditation and chant as well as, film, comedy, kids activities, jamming around the fire, sauna and paddling pool, performing arts, massage and so much more to get involved with.
Within the context of the current geo political environment with threats of war, environmental destruction, generations of poverty and poor access to human shared assets such as health and education, Unearthed Festival exists to put down some thoughts and ideas about how things can be done better.
The festival aims to bridge the worlds within our communities. Artists, farmers, philosophers, bankers, monks or minors, all are welcome without judgement – the ask is simply ‘are you are willing to be of open heart and open mind and help us co-create a better world, even if for just the weekend?’.
For each of the previous years Unearthed has run, the highlights are invariably the tales of inter connection, lovingness and individual growth.