It all started in 2015 when I'd arranged to go to a fancy industry event in London with a group of my online small business buddies. The event will remain nameless, but just to say it was the biggest waste of £160 ever. We were all thoroughly dismayed by the whole thing, and started a jokey conversation about creating our own event... which would be much better, much more fun, and much much better value for money.
From an initial joke, somehow it actually became a reality, when we found a campsite in Shropshire with all the prerequisites; a nearby pub, glamping, B&B accommodation... and as an added bonus a lake with a boathouse! We hired the whole site, in the grounds of a stately home, arranged a marquee and a fish and chip van, and in July 2016 flung open the gates to over sixty friends and their family members.
It was a total leap of faith - and amazing that people actually got in cars and drove for eight hours to get there, not knowing quite what to expect! Fortunately (thank goodness) it was such a success we did it all again this year.
We're all small creative businesses, which is how we all met each other - but we come from all over the UK (in fact one Batfester this year flew in from Singapore); it's a great chance to get together with kids, dogs, tents, beer and food! Business is very much on the back burner for the weekend - helped no end by the lack of 3G onsite; it's basically four days of friendship, laughter and fun. Everyone goes away with a little grin, and a warm feeling inside, thoroughly content with a lovely weekend spend with like-minded folk.
Roll on 2018 - the campsite is already booked and I can't wait until it's Batfest time again!
If you want to put on a similar event then the campsite we use is at Walcot Hall in Lydbury North. To enquire about the campsite visit www.thepowisarms.com, call 01588 680254 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Say Becka from Batfest sent you!