Bearded Theory’s Spring Gathering is one of the early festivals in the season, taking place over the last weekend of May. Interestingly, its location is rather unique. It borders three counties (West Midlands, South Derbyshire, and Staffordshire), and 50% of the UK population live within 2 hours of it!
It has won several awards including Best Independent Festival, Best Small Festival, and loads of kids festival awards. So, what’s all the fuss about? For a start, they let attendees bring their own alcohol into the arenas (even though they have award-winning bars). There are dedicated areas for kids, teens, crafting, and healing therapies. There’s even a festival school (although it’s full for this year).
Bearded Theory has also raised over £300,000 for charity. The money has helped youth clubs and village halls in the Midlands, as well as supporting food banks and rescue centres.
This year’s festival features Frank Turner, Placebo, The Hives, Patti Smith, and many more! Here’s our guide to Bearded Theory 2022.
Location and transportation
Catton Park is a 250-acre private estate in the National Forest Catton.
If you are driving you can initially follow your sat nav to DE12 8LN. However, you have to avoid the narrow bridge in Walton Upon Tren so make sure you follow the AA routing signs, not your sat nav, when you are getting close.
Car park tickets will be much cheaper if you buy in advance, and caravan/camper passes will only be available online in advance.
The festival is not closely served by public transport, but the organisers suggest that you could consider car-sharing options, such as Go Car Share, instead.
Make sure you buy in advance as tickets will not be available at the gate. There are tiered ticket prices for children depending on their age, with free tickets for children aged 7 and under. Tickets are available online.
Logistics and accessibility
The festival takes place between May 26 and May 29, 2022. The gates will open at 9:00 a.m. each day, with music starting at 12:00 p.m.
The festival website provides a list of local accommodation options if you’d prefer not to camp.
You are permitted to take moderate amounts of alcohol into the campsite and arena, but please also consider supporting the on-site bars. Remember to bring ID if you are or look under 25.
Kudos to Bearded Theory for publishing the type of food trucks available! You will have your choice of Indian, Mexican, Caribbean, Chinese, pies, Sunday Roasts, Tibetan, Italian, and burgers and hot dogs.
Bearded Theory 2022 line-up
Bearded Theory’s Spring Gathering line-up for 2022 includes The Hives, Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls, Placebo, The Flaming Lips, Patti Smith & Band, Working Men’s Club, Afflecks Palace (Editor’s note: no, not the Manchester shopping mecca!), Bob Vylan, and many more.