Outdoor Programme

Running all week | Outdoor Programme Ticket prices vary each day and range from £10 – £17.50 Adult, £3 – £9 Child (5-15)

The popular outdoor stages will be hosting not only fascinating, inspirational talks, but also theatrical performances and interactive experiences. The Vintage Fairground will be back and even bigger.

All accessed on a single, inexpensive ticket.

THE OUTOOR STAGES

With plenty of stellar names talking either as a stand-alone or in discussions and panels, you are sure to find something of interest and inspiration! Our comedy panel show, Histrionics, will be back too.

Picnic tables will be in front of the stages, as well as a large fire pit at the History Hit Stage on flat ground before the slopes rise rather like a natural amphitheatre. People can sit on the hill or on the picnic tables or even bring their own seating. They will be most welcome to enjoy a picnic or drinks while events are going on.

During the weekday evenings, we will be holding evening story-telling by the camp fire in front of the stage, crackling as the sun sets behind the downs.

SPEAKER’S CORNER

For the first time at the festival, this year Speaker’s Corner will be focussed around a small, round, open-sided tent with seating for fifty plus a small stage.  These more informal, up-close-and-personal talks are designed to be shorter – half an hour max – and to be cover subjects that are a little quirky, but fascinating, informative and entertaining.  Sprinkled within the programme will be a little bit of stardust as some of our best-loved and most popular historians will also be on show.  The Speaker’s Corner programme will be going on throughout the weekend.

LIVING HISTORY

Upon arriving at the festival you will amongst an Iron Age round house and settlement – built specifically for this year’s festival and using the very tools and materials that would have been employed by those in Britain before the Roman invasion.

Living history spanning two millennia will be fully integrated throughout the site, including the Saxon camp, Medieval encampment, a Civil War marching camp, Ragged Victorians, as well as a Second World War camp of US Armored Engineers. Live demonstrations such as The Garrison Artillery Volunteers with a battery of quick firing 25-pounders, and the history of siege warfare from the Romans to the Civil War showcasing an array of weapons and monstrously big cannons. We will also recreate exactly how it was that King Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

Our Restoration Pageant: the return of the monarchy and King Charles II in 1660, will also feature Restoration-era horse racing over a specially developed race course at the far end of the festival site.

Historic fast food, available to buy, featuring street food that would have been familiar to those living in Pompeii in the 1st Century. We will also be exploring the very earliest metallurgy, as discovered by the Ancient Egyptians using meteorites. Traditional crafts, farming, and the role of women during the Second World War will top off our stunning living history for 2022.

VINTAGE FAIRGROUND

Our own historic funfair will dominate the festival skyline with our vintage Ferris wheel and helter-skelter, and will be joined by dodgems from the 1930s, electric yachts and a host of traditional funfair stalls.

Travelling Funfairs first developed in the US in the second half of the 19th century but really began to take off in this country in the late 19th century, developments of travelling fairs that more traditionally toured the country – Salisbury has an annual fair charter, for example, that was awarded to the city by Henry III in 1227 for the third Monday in October, and which is still enjoyed each year.

LIVE MUSIC

We will be bringing you live music throughout the week. Among the performers coming will be:

THE SPITFIRE SISTERS a three-part vocal harmony group performing some of the best-loved wartime classics

DARCEY O’ROURKE the angel-voiced folk singer

HICKORY MOON a traditional American-style folk band

NED HOLLAND singing and performing a number of songs from the past ninety years

RIBBLE an acclaimed folk duo

RIP IT UP a 1950s-sounding Rockabilly trio

TRIP FOR BISCUITS a 1920s flapper band bringing their own unique take on more familiar recent songs

OTHER ACTIVITIES

THE TRENCH

The Trench returns this year by popular demand.  It’s late May 1940 and on the one hill in Flanders that juts out above the surrounding French countryside, a small detachment of British infantry is desperately trying to stem the German advance.  Hold out here on this chalky outcrop and the bulk of the British Expeditionary Force might well be able to get back to Dunkirk and from there to England.  Much depends on these few men…

Learn about Cassel 1940, the heroic defence by the men of the Gloucesters and the Ox & Bucks, and experience first-hand the conditions and what it was like to be there in those desperate days of May 1940.

Seven days

SOLDIER SCHOOL

An opportunity for the youngest recruits to be drilled at the hands of an Army sergeant, learn about the weapons, uniforms and kit of the Second World War Tommy.

Seven days

SWORD SCHOOL

For the first time at the festival, the Now Strike Archery group will be taking charge of our ever-popular Sword school. ‘Pupils’ can expect instruction in swordsmanship and other skills required by the Hundred Years’ War soldier.  Expect much clashing of blades and battle cries!

Saturday & Sunday

HISTORICAL PERFORMANCE

HISTORY TELLERS

The ever-popular History Tellers are back!  This summer, take to the high seas with Captain Bligh and the mutinous crew of HMS Bounty, walk tall with knee-high Jeffrey Hudson, the seventeenth century cavalry officers and officially the smallest man ever in Britain; marvel at how the Victorians invented the concept of Dinosaurs, and take to the air with the History Tellers’ new show, Frightful Flights, as the lads explore the most dangerous jobs in aviation history.

All week, the History Tellers will be performing at their colourful base camp and trill to their historical stories of derring-do and rip-roaring bravery!

Seven days

FOREIGN FIELD

The Foreign Field group – Paul Bavill, Kyle Glover & Rory Ware – will be putting on a series of talks & demonstrations throughout the week, bringing a combination of historical skills, deep knowledge and showmanship.

Fifteenth Century Armoured Combat

The clash of armoured knights going toe to toe in medieval combat. Come and see the styles of armour, weaponry of the Wars of the Roses and 15th Century in action. Choose the weapons and enjoy the action.

A Polite Exchange of Bullets

For love? Over money? For honour? At Dawn? Come and see the step by step guide to settling arguments with pistols and make sense of the bizarre custom of duelling in the 18th and 19th Century gentry.

Corpse and Effect: How to Snatch a Body

A ‘live as we can make it’ demonstration of the macabre art of the 19th century body snatcher. How to do it, why you would do it, and why it was necessary. Come and learn the tools, the risks and the rewards of this grisly career.

The Red Devils

A presentation on the equipment and experiences of the British Paratrooper as he made the jump into Occupied France. Share the stories, the pitfalls, the challenges and the thoughts of some of the first into France

Seven days

THE SKILLS OF THE SAMURAI

William Parr will be demonstrating and discussing how Japanese Samurai of the 15th century adapted to the advent of the Tokugawa Shogunate and the birth of Iaijustsu, the martial art of the Samurai. Weapons, armour, and the incredible cutting power of the katana sword will be shown.
Seven days

Dr. VANIEN SCHUCH-DES FORGES’ MIRACLE ELIXIR, CURE-ALL

Do not be taken in by Charlatans, Confidence tricksters, Snake oil and especially Cola men!!

Dr. V. Schuch-des Forges, formerly of H.M. Queen Victoria’s Armed forces, is the creator and purveyor of this uniquely, beneficial, Cure-All. A miracle elixir, guaranteed genuine. Listen as the Doctor amazes his audiences with true stories, of hard earned, secret, knowledge and dazzles you with tales from ten lifetimes worth of adventure, daring-do, magic, science and roguery, from Egypt to Borneo, Tibet to Rotherhite and beyond.

The audience chooses a different ingredient for each show and you will scarcely believe your ears when you hear the adventure of how it came into the Doctor’s possession.

You can trust him. After all, he’s a Doctor…

HISTORIC FAST FOOD

A mouth-watering range of treats will be available to buy, featuring street food that would have been familiar to those living in Pompeii in the 1st Century.

THE ACROCHAPS
on Sunday the Acrochaps will be on hand – Edwardian jugglers, acrobats and jesters. The Acrochaps are firm believers that life can always be improved by the application of an impressive moustache, and by jumping and cavorting to entertain, dazzle and amaze…
Sunday only