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Digitally detox at crowdfunded Samphire Festival

The new Somerset festival will encourage attendees to put down their phones and enjoy the Exmoor scenery

By IQ on 03 May 2016

Flora Blathwayt, Josh Beauchamp, Samphire Festival

Josh Beauchamp and Flora Blathwayt


A new British festival will aim to help phone addicts kick their habit in July with three days of music, art, drama, comedy and “tech-free” activities such as tree-climbing, stargazing, den-building, yoga and stand-up paddle-boarding.

The first Samphire Festival, promoted by music journalist/DJ Flora Blathwayt and chef/engineer Josh Beauchamp and held in association with Unplugged Weekend, will take place in Exmoor national park in Somerset from 8 to 10 July and encourages festivalgoers to “disconnect to reconnect and enjoy their natural surroundings”.

“I know I’m very often guilty of this, but so often we miss out on special moments because we are too busy documenting them,” says Blathwayt. Anti-tech features at Samphire will include the Rendezvous Bandstand, a chalkboard for messages, and ‘phone police’ to encourage people to keep their phones in their pocket.

Over 40 live acts and DJs will play across two main stages, including reggae band Will and the People, BBC Introducing-backed singer-songwriter Violet Skies, dark-pop duo Ardyn, Ethiopian jazz-funk group Tezeta and 12-piece afrobeat band No Go Stop.

Blathwayt and Beauchamp raised £42,855 from a £20,000 target on Crowdfunder to fund the first festival.