Spring Gathering


Bearded Theory is a multi-award winning creative and performing arts festival set in the beautiful grounds of Catton Hall in the heart of the National Forest. The festival borders 3 counties of West Midlands, South Derbyshire and Staffordshire and only 2 hours away for 50% of the UKs population.

In 2016 we won “UK`s Best Family Festival” at the UK Festival Awards, 2014 we won “Promoter of the Year” award at the UK Festival Awards and Festival Kidz “Silver Award”. In 2013, after being shortlisted for many years, we finally won “Best Small Festival” at the UK Festival Awards and a Festival Kidz “Gold Award”. In 2011, we won the “UKs Best Independent Festival” at the AIM Music Awards. Over the years, we have also been shortlisted for many awards including Best Grassroots and Best Toilets. We have also been named as “Gig of the Year”, “Festival of the Year” and named as the UK`s Best Family and Medium sized festival in various major print media.

We have been recognised in the National press as being one of the best festivals of the summer in various articles in the Guardian, Express, Sun, Independent, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 1, Channel 4, BBC Entertainment and the Mirror. We have an award winning free Children’s Village along with an award-winning bar selling real ales, lagers and ciders at pub tariffs. In addition, we are one of the very few festivals that allow you to bring your own drink into our arenas.

In our history, we have donated and generated well over £300,000 to charity. We have financially supported a vast amount of youth clubs in deprived areas across the Midlands to enable their survival, supported local Village Halls with funding the replacement sound and lighting equipment, supplied and paid for stocked bars to be sold at charity events, mended holes in Village Hall roofs, financially support food banks and rescue centres and much more besides. We continue to financially support National and local charities from the festivals profits.

The festival has always been audience led and our programming is operated the same now as when we started 14 years ago, we book acts off the back of your recommendations, improved our infrastructure in line with feedback and sourced the vendors and bars off the back of the suggestions of people that attend.