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For all you lovers of culture, art, comedy and performance, and those who fancy a different festival experience- why not head up to the famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year?

It’s the largest arts festival in the world and takes place every August for three weeks in Edinburgh, Scotland. The festival is a wonderful combination of established acts doing a rare intimate gig,  to an unknown artist establishing themselves in the industry. The performances vary from theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, circus, cabaret, children’s shows, musicals, opera, music, spoken word, exhibitions and events. In 2013 there were 45,464 performances of 2,871 shows, making it the largest ever arts festival in the world – something for everyone!

The Festival is spread over the whole of Edinburgh and utilises over 250 venues, you can enjoy the shows at any budget with ticket prices varying and some being free! Having a look through the programme  it’s clear to see that there are so many acts to discover throughout the festival. It’s impossible to pick out the best, but here are a few suggestions to get you started…

1. Luisa Omielan was a huge hit at the Fringe festival last year with her stand up piece- ‘What would Beyonce do?’ her much anticipated return with ‘Am i right ladies?’ is sure to be FLAWLESS!

2.Another female comedian performing at the Fringe festival will be Josie Long, who was nominated as Best Newcomer in 2006 who has a new show about love and the outdoors- sure to put a smile on your face! 

3.Cardinal Burns- They have their own series on Channel 4 with a second series coming soon, they will be performing various sketches together this year, a true comic duo.

4. A wonderful free event for all the families out there, why not take your children to see Albee Vector the sound collector, an interactive theatre piece which will keep the kids entertained.

5. Sofie Grabol famous for wearing knitted jumpers on The Killing plays Queen Margaret in the third of these plays about James I, II and III of Scotland, and excellent bit of high quality theatre, a must see!

This is a small fraction of what the festival has to offer, whatever age, budget or style you have be sure to book that train to Edinburgh next week, pick up a programme and discover the wondrous Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014!


“The Invictus Games are about survival in the face of adversity and the strength of the human spirit. They will send a positive message about life beyond disability.” Invictus Games

Peppermint are proud to be apart of the Invictus Games closing Concert event which will conclude a fantastic event where over 400 competitors from 14 nations will take part in various sporting events specifically for the wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women. The event is championed by Prince Harry and it will shine a spotlight on Armed Forces personnel and veterans who have put their lives on the line for their country. There are many sporting competitions taking part such as Athletics, Wheelchair Rugby, Archery, sitting Volleyball and many more!

The line up has recently been revealed for the Closing Concert event at the famous Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and what a line up it is! Foo Fighters will make their grand return to the UK by headlining the event on the 14th of September 2014, along side Ellie Goulding, Rizzle Kicks and many more exciting acts!

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Be sure to get hold of tickets for the Closing Concert which will be on sale this Friday, 1st of August. There are also still tickets available for the sports taking place so make sure you grab a ticket quick!

 


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The World Cup is over and Wimbledon is done for another year, but for the sporting fans out there, all is not over yet.

Last week saw the start of The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. A time for sporting heroes from across the Commonwealth of Nations to come together and compete, all vying for the top spot in their chosen disciplines. The Commonwealth Games takes place every four years, just like the Olympic Games. It offers athletes both established and new to the competition world the opportunity to show off their skills and potentially be crowned the best in The Commonwealth of Nations.

71 nations are competing in this years games, in 17 different sports ranging from netball, to swimming and lawn bowls. Each of the countries taking part in the games has chosen their best athletes to represent them in each of the sports. Some familiar faces will be among those taking part, including Jamaica’s Usain Bolt competing in the sprint relay and England’s Nicola Adams taking part in the women’s boxing.

Sadly, the first day of the games brought the news that England’s own Mo Farah has withdrawn from the competition due to illness and will no longer be representing the country in the 5,000m and 10,000m races. Instead he has chosen to focus on his recovery and training for the European Championships in Zurich.

With much sought after medals up for grabs, the games is taken no less seriously than any other sporting event. Athletes have been training relentlessly since they were chosen by their country to take part and represent them.

Wednesday night’s opening ceremony marked the start of the games. With dance, music, fireworks and that all important Scottish charm, the beginning of 2014 The Commonwealth Games will go down in history.

The ceremony included the introduction of all the Commonwealth teams and even a giant model of the country’s famous Fourth Rail Bridge and dancers dressed as the famous Scottish treat, Tunnock’s Tea Cakes. Team Scotland entered the stadium to a roaring crowd, showing off their Scottish roots by wearing kilts and shawls. The ceremony ended with the Queen declaring the 20th Games officially open after the colourful and creative ceremony. Over 40,000 people were inside the stadium to witness the glory of the opening ceremony. Another 1 billion television viewers also tuned in from across the 71 nations taking part in the games.

Over the next 11 days, the Games will be broadcast across television networks, not just here in the UK but across the world. Those lucky enough to get their hands on tickets will be able to watch the sports up close at venues across the city of Glasgow.  Scotland is relishing the chance to be able to show off their country, showing the world that it is about more than just haggis and the Loch Ness Monster. Over the course of the games Glasgow will be showing off it’s highlights to the world.

If you’re heading down  let us know about your experience and make sure you join Peppermint at Glasgow Green and BBC at the Quay for a chilled beer!

 

Article Written by Millie Hamnett

 

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It’s a great way to meet people and it can be brilliant for your career but did you know volunteering is also seriously good for your health?Festival Volunteers

A recent impact report by Citizens Advice Bureau says 80% of its volunteers believe volunteering has made them healthier. 1500 volunteers were canvassed on all aspects of their volunteering experience, and responses suggest the sense of empowerment and purpose gained through volunteering has significantly boosted their confidence, resilience and self-esteem. 3 out of 5 said they felt less stressed, and 3 in 4 of those previously diagnosed with a mental health problem felt better able to manage their condition.

Volunteers are statistically less prone to depression. A 2003 survey of people experiencing mental health issues suggested volunteering helps by creating a sense of direction and meaning, and 2008 research by CSV revealed the value of participation in recovering mental health. Volunteering can also reduce the risk of depressive illness developing from social isolation. New friends and enhanced self-worth mean stressful situations can be shared and a good support network makes problems less likely to become overwhelming.

Emma, who has volunteered for Oxfam, the RNLI and a south London Park Protection group, had suffered from the low energy and mood associated with hypothyroidism, She told CharityJob“Volunteering has helped me find my personal strengths in my own time with like-minded people. It’s boosted my self-confidence greatly and given me a sense of pride and identity.”
In fact, numerous studies have revealed that volunteers generally feel happier about their lives. Research published in Social Science and Medicine by the London School of Economics even found a clear correlation between how much time people spent volunteering and how happy they said they were.

There are also physical health benefits, particularly if your voluntary job is active. While we’ve known for some time the positive impact of high-intensity aerobic activity, more recent research suggests moderate or even low intensity exercise, performed regularly, can improve overall physical health and reduce the risk of heart disease. Older volunteers in particular have shown a reduction in symptoms from chronic pain or heart conditions, and can even live longer.

Working in nature has its own particular benefits. Some scientists have proposed that humans are biologically attracted to nature, a phenomenon described as ‘biophilia,’ and researchers found even a view of nature through a window to measurably aid recovery after surgery. Working in a natural environment may have powerful effects on both psychological and physical well-being.

If all this has inspired you to give outdoor volunteering a try, there’s never been a better time to start. Join our happy Peppermint team at Camp Bestival this month and those lovely Bestival people will throw in a pass to the main Bestival in September as an extra thank–you. Check Festival Volunteer for this and other opportunities to volunteer in the great outdoors. It’ll do you good!

Festival volunteer


Festival Coaches

Festival Coaches

Unless the venue for your favourite festival or sporting event is in your town, attending is likely to involve travelling an unusually long distance. Emissions generated by audience travel to music venues was estimated in 2008 to account for at least 43% of the music industry’s environmental impact, so it’s worth considering your options carefully.

Air
Almost any mode of transport is greener than flying, but if you absolutely have to, a non-stop flight is greener, and keeping your luggage light will use less fuel.
Rail
Any other communal form of transport is likely to be greener, so look at the options in each particular case. If you can use rail transport for the whole journey, that’s likely to be both greener and more comfortable, but don’t forget to consider any transport to and from railway stations. Big festivals like Glastonbury offer shuttle transport, but don’t rely on this without checking first.
Coach
Road transport has a greater impact, but communal forms of transport can reduce this, while also contributing to reducing traffic congestion by up to 25 cars per coach, so you’ll spend less time inhaling fumes. If you can do the whole journey on a coach with other festivalgoers, that’s often your best bet. Coach travel is between 4 to 6 times more environmentally friendly than taking a car, but also look for a company that makes a point of servicing your chosen event.
National Express runs coaches direct to most major UK concerts, festivals and sporting events. Happy Bus specialises in UK music events, particularly gigs.
Big Green Coach covers UK and European festivals and sporting events. Its green claims are based on a scheme of sponsoring Peruvian rainforest to offset their carbon emissions.
If you’re in Brighton, you can also consider The Big Lemon, a Community Interest Company running both local buses and festival transport on used cooking oil collected from local restaurants.
Car
Sometimes the location of the event, or your home, means you can only really contemplate travelling by car. If you have to do this, try to at least offer or find a lift share. Websites like Liftshare.com’s FestivalBudi  are a great idea if your own network of friends doesn’t turn up a potential sharer. This has personal safety implications, of course, so always make sure your first meeting is in a public place, don’t give out your address or other details until you’re sure, and let someone else know your plans. Anyone decent will understand if you decide not to travel with them after all.
Bike
Cycling to a festival is an increasingly popular option. The Green Gathering in Chepstow even offers an organised cycling option from Bristol this year – you can have your gear carried for you and get a £10 reduction on your ticket into the bargain.
Bon voyage!


camp bPeppermint are getting very excited about Camp Bestival, and with only a couple of weeks to go they’ve got even more amazing fun in store for kids of all ages at the greatest family show on earth… at a castle campsite by the sea. Adding a whole heap of audiophile treats, visuals feasts, gaming joy and sing-along merriment, this July 31st to August 3rd at Lulworth Castle in Dorset is going to be a rip-roarer!

We’re delighted to announce that Klipsch Audio presents Classic Album Sundays will be at Camp Bestival with another series of classic vinyl listening sessions in the stunning surrounds of Lulworth Castle’s St. Andrews Church. This year’s sessions include legendary producer Joe Boyd discussing Fairport Convention’s ‘Liege & Lief’ and Nick Drake’s ‘Five Leaves Left’. There will also be a Kids Session on Saturday morning with a drawing contest featuring The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’. Laura Mvula and Steve Mason will also be presenting a favourite album each.

We’re also super excited that the Skylanders will be returning to Camp Bestival. This time, festivalgoers will have the chance to be amongst the first in the UK to play new game Skylanders Trap Team™ before it hits the shops in October! One of the biggest hits of last year’s show, the newest instalment to the franchise will reverse the magic of bringing toys-to-life, letting players take characters out of the digital world and bringing them into the physical world. Amazing! Not only can gaming fans and families play the new game before it goes in store, the Skylanders arena at Camp Bestival will also be hosting a range of fun interactive Skylanders Trap Team related activities, too.

And following last year’s world record attempt we’re overjoyed that Disney will be back at Camp Bestival once again. Promoting their summer movie Planes 2: Fire & Rescue, they will be keeping kids entertained with their revamped fire truck, and fun activities for all the family.

There will be a whole host of bands for all the family to enjoy in the Big Top this year including the world renowned Royal Albert Hall presents Albert’s Travelling Circus Band featuring a colourful troupe of musicians with an exciting circus themed musical extravaganza. The Fabulous Lounge Swingers will be having a proper knees-up, in their own distinct style. Macamu who specialise in music for children will introduce children to a range of musical styles. Mrs H and Her Singalong Band is an Exmouth Market legend and a must-see for all the family. And Shlomo’s Beatbox Adventure for Kids will be a dynamic world of funny sound effects, brilliant noises and cool music will make you smile, whether you’re aged one or 101.

From the creators of ‘Gorrid the Horrid’ and ‘The Pirate Adventure’ comes Al Start and the Beastie Band whose songs are catchier than chickenpox! And finally we have Bach to Baby, an innovative and critically acclaimed concert series for featuring world-class performances by musicians steeped in the classical tradition.

If you’re in pursuit of a little cultural downtime, then head to our Big Top Cinema Sessions each morning to catch a wide selection of family-friendly cinematic offerings. For the first time at Camp Bestival, we have invited short film experts Director’s Notes to curate a unique and varied daily family programme. Take a journey through the weird and wonderful world of bite-size cinema as we serve up screenings designed to entertain, enlighten and even educate an audience of all ages.

But that’s not all! Friday heralds the much talked about Project Wild Thing film, where you can discover why spending time in nature is currently at the top of our priorities list, and why we have dedicated a whole area to Wild Time at Camp Bestival 2014! On Saturday, catch a very special Camp Bestival pre-release screening of Disney’s Muppets Most Wanted. Join Miss Piggy, Kermit the Frog and the gang as they take on the world in an exciting and hilarious new spy thriller. And on Sunday, kick back for an indulgent Wallace & Gromit triple bill, with our most loved Aardman duo.

We also have news of the Bigtopmania Kids Theatre & Circus in the Upper Kids Garden, which once again promises to be a totally full-on play experience brimming with activities, experiences, random entertainment and a full programme of theatre shows and crafts, where you can See, Play and Make Circus!

And finally, with just under a fortnight till show time, weekend tickets are about to sell out, so if you want to join our festi-holiday paradise you’re going to have to grab your tickets now, while you still can. Don’t miss out on the official Best Family Festival – head to Ticketline and get your tickets now!


Glastonbury's new compost loos- Western Daily Press

Glastonbury’s new compost loos- Western Daily Press

It’s not just about Metallica and Dolly – as well as a music festival with a worldwide reputation, Glastonbury is a flagship for all aspects of festival culture. This year Michael Eavis’s enduringly popular gathering of the festy clans achieved a world record to make environmentalists cheer – the largest number of compost loos ever provided at a single event.

Anyone who’s been to a festival knows the state of the toilets can dominate conversation more than the weather, especially if they’re bad, and portable loos are notorious. Being enclosed in a sun-heated plastic box with the necessary chemicals is unpleasant even when it’s clean, and most of us have at some time been confronted with one that’s blocked and over-full. The seasoned festival-goer will typically be found shadowing the cleaners hoping to nab a toilet they can bear the thought of sitting on.

Glastonbury has used portable loos for more than 20 years, but there were just 150 this year, and the uber-festival now sees them as “a thing of the past”. “Frankly they are not up to the job,” sanitation manager Jane Healy told the Independent recently. “They don’t work in our particular high-intensity environment, partly because the experience is so unpleasant that many people don’t want to touch the plastic, so they don’t flush.” Hence the rise of the “long drop” alternative, with cubicles open to circulating breezes. You could still find them from 500 yards with your eyes closed, but compared to the stench from a bank of overfilled portable loos, they’re positively pleasant, and at least offer the potential to spread the ‘muck’ on Worthy Farm land later.
Meanwhile, at the tiny festivals, many of us have found the compost loos on offer something of a revelation. In most cases the motivation for offering them rather than chemical toilets has been ideological, but with the addition of a little care and attention to detail (Buddhafield take a bow) they have often also proved more pleasant to use.

But compost loos have always been regarded as impractical for a 200,000-ticket event. Enter Aussie environmental scientist Hamish Skermer, who, with his company Natural Event, intends to establish the viability of compost loos as a large-scale solution. Hamish, who began by creating the compost toilets for Victoria’s festival of Folk Rhythm and Life, has been instrumental in converting several entire festivals, including establishing site-wide, permanent compost loos for 12000-capacity Rainbow Serpent, also in Victoria. Conquering the bigger UK scene was an obvious next step.

Natural Event facilities have already been seen at festivals including Sunrise and Sonisphere, and the pleasant, attractively decorated and distinctly non-stinky toilets, which use no chemicals, no water and no electricity in the disposal process, have previously visited Glastonbury on a smaller scale. This year there were more than 1,000 across 90 locations, including near the pyramid stage, along with 2,000 long-drops. The main difference from the long-drops is that rather than sloshing around in water and urine, the poo is separated and sprinkled with sawdust, instigating the composting process and stopping it smelling. Like the festival’s food waste and associated plates and cutlery, it then becomes a nutrient-rich soil treatment which is ready to use after a year.

Many of the modular cubicle loos are assembled and decorated on site, but Natural Event can also challenge the relative convenience of portable loos with a bank of 30 cubicles mounted on an articulated lorry, as well as male and female urinals to cut down those queues, and recycling and sustainability consultancy for the whole event.

So, have compost loos finally transcended their ascetic-hippy image and been recognised as a superior alternative? It would seem so. Glastowatch forum posts on the subject, while not completely starry-eyed, almost all feature the words “loved them” or “amazing”. “MandyPants”, typically, thought those she used on the way out “amazing, considering they’d had the whole festival to get really rank. Dry seat, lots of space and no stink. More of those please!” Much of this is of course dependent on good maintenance combined with user behaviour.  While early adopters are enthusiastic, some posters noticed evidence of destructive portable loo habits.  As “Lou’sOtherHalf” observed, “no amount of sawdust will protect a toilet seat from a hoverer who can’t aim!” But we think Hamish’s mission, to “Change the world from the bottom up” looks fair to succeed.

Have you used these or other compost toilets at festivals?  Let us know what you think.

 


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Matua Session’s Stage- Peppermint

Peppermint were at Love Supreme last weekend, a delightful 3 day Jazz festival in Sussex full of artists from the four corners of the world of Jazz; from Funk to Soul and  Blues to Fusion. Peppermint were involved in the activation of the Matua Sessions- an area dedicated to the Matua wine brand which had its own stage in an intimate secluded area. The sun shone throughout the weekend, and the Matua Sessions stage was the place to be with an eclectic array of bands, comfortable seating areas and the perfect place to enjoy with a glass of chilled Matua Wine.

Fantastic acts were playing at the Matua session stage, as well as the Jazz FM discovery competition winners ‘Mimika’ who played Saturday evening as well as opening the Arena stage in the morning. They’ve named their unique genre Balkan Space Jazz which consists of an energetic 15 piece orchestra who create exotic and urban grooves, elaborate stories with the sophistication of jazz!

After the successful weekend, Peppermint are looking forward to taking the Matua Sessions to Camp Bestival and Bestival in a few weeks time where the Festival First competition winners ‘Our Mother‘ will be playing. A delightful blend of indie and alt-pop will fill the area along side the newly announced   Paper Boats - the final competition winners. They are a new British band who describe their music as ‘Dreampop’ which will slot into the happy summery festival vibe perfectly at the Matua Session Stage.

Come join Peppermint at Bestival & Camp Bestival to enjoy the Matua Sessions as well as all the other fantastic bands playing. Tickets are still available, see you there!

  

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Switzerland's Roger Federer returns to S

Sipping Pimms, eating strawberries and cream courtside and watching the worlds best tennis players showing off their skills, what better way to spend a sunny British afternoon? Throw in some cucumber sandwiches and cups of tea and you have the epitome of the English stereotype.

This summer was Wimbledon’s 137th year and it still proved to be as popular as ever with people young and old. Fans and budding tennis players lined the streets around the famous courts from as early as 5am, vying for the best seats in the courts. With pro’s from around the world, who could blame people for wanting the best view. Supporters came from across the globe to cheer on their country’s players and become part of one of the best known tennis events in the world.

For two weeks a year England becomes tennis mad, with play taking over much of the BBC television and SW19 becoming the hub of the world’s tennis scene. Even those who are not regular tennis followers struggle to avoid the excitement and coverage that comes with the event.

With the tournament drawing to an end on Sunday, thousands of people tuned in to their televisions, watched online or got themselves down to the courts to see Novak Djokovic go head to head with Roger Federer in a tense finale. The crowd included some well known faces with celebrities arriving to witness the much anticipated final. Even the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and showbiz royalty, the Beckham’s came out to show their support in the final match of this years event. Kate and Wills watched from the Royal Box, their excitement evident across their faces.

Serbian Djokovic smashed his way to victory, becoming the world’s number one and left Swiss Federer in second place after a tense and emotive match. Two great players on the courts, but Djokovic managed to edge ahead and take the title. Scotland’s Murray had crashed out of the tournament earlier in the week after losing out to Grigor Dimitrov , dashing Britain’s hopes of a Wimbledon trophy.

The tennis tournament offered more than just the tennis being played. One of England’s best known sporting events had something to offer everyone, from the on court tennis to restaurants, bars and even a museum with a full guide to tennis history, and medals and trophies on display. Open year-round to the public, ticket holders get exclusive access over the Wimbledon event period.

Now that Wimbledon is over, England’s tennis hysteria has died down. The courts go back to their usual use, giving some lucky tennis players a place to practice and enjoy the game outside of competitions. SW19 is no longer bustling with fans from around the world. And for the players themselves? Some much needed relaxation, before training begins once again. For the most committed fans out there, countdown to Wimbledon 2015 has already begun.

Article written by Millie Hamnett


beer festThis July there are plenty of cultural events to enjoy this summer outside of London, starting with celebrating the 4th July with an American Beer Festival in Manchester. Theodor Roosevelt is, to some, the defining American president – a bear-wrestling, trust-busting all-action answer to today’s effete career politician, with their chauffeur-driven cars and legions of bodyguards stopping them from so much as sneezing.

Incredible, then, that the popular corporate American beers so often rejects this bold, pioneering spirit, going instead for a broadly unpleasant invisibility. Budweiser tastes like a child might imagine a beer tastes; Coors feels like being punched in the face by a ghost. PBR, despite it’s ’08 hipster pretensions, is what happens to the water when somebody accidentally sits in a bath for too long.

The times, though, they are a changing. As part of it’s American Beer Festival, (running until July 6th) Manchester’s Port Street Beer House is welcoming a delightful selection of beers to our shores from a selection of craft brewers with an increasing pull. The popular Brooklyn Brewery, Sierra Nevada and Flying Dog will get a showing, as will the less-commonly-known Uncommon and Heretic, among many, many more. Particular suggestions: the wonderfully-named Hipster Ale from Evil Twin Brewing (a Danish-American collaboration) and old favourite Brooklyn Lager, which if you haven’t tried already you really ought to.

I’m not sure this resurgence in American brewing can be put down to a single factor, but surely it’s no coincidence that the quality of both their football and their beer has improved immeasurably since the re-emergence of old Teddy - in a bit of a different guise. Happy 4th July, y’all!

In other News from the North, Liverpool is hosting it’s bi-annual Biennial, curated by Mai Abu ElDahab and Anthony Huberman. As well as the usual selections of terminally hip contributions from international artists (of note: American Sharon Lockhart’s documentary photography of childhood in Poland at FACT), the curatorial team are also bringing a selection of paintings from the Tate Collection to Tate Liverpool for the first time. Famous names like David Hockney, Francis Bacon, RB Kitaj, and Andy Warhol, among others, are having works displayed in Albert Dock. Domesticity is the theme – “what if everything about a home was filtered through an artist’s vision?”

(Here’s hoping my kettle isn’t a Dali. I could murder a cuppa and to have steaming water leak out of the plug socket wouldn’t do much good.)

Over in Leeds, Yorkshire pride at hosting Le Grande Departe couldn’t have spirits any higher. The Tour de France kicks off on Saturday, with East Street Arts putting on a pedal-powered parade of talent. Tour de Sausage Sarnies, screening of the world’s premier cycling event, and dancing until the early hours, all accompanied by some of the most exciting names in the Yorkshire art scene and powered by a couple of blokes on a generator attached to a bicycle.

Are you planning on going to any of these events? Let us know how they go!

Article Written by Dominic White