First fabulous Seek Out Festival rocks Gisburn Forest

What makes Seek Out Festival special is that it is a tribute to a Clitheroe man who touched many people's hearts.
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This brand-new event follows the success of Matt Evans' award-winning Cloudspotting Festival, which was cancelled last year after his death.

His loved ones hosted last month's fabulous event to help keep his legacy burning, and like Cloudspotting, it was a micro three-day music and arts camp-out in Gisburn Forest.

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I went along on the Saturday session with my two-year-old son, and though the skies rained down on us for most of the day, the vibe was friendly, warm, and sunny. The rain didn't dampen anyone's spirits, and there were smiles everywhere I looked, including on my son's as he splashed in the muddy puddles.

Seek Out Festival 2023. Credit: Derren Lee PooleSeek Out Festival 2023. Credit: Derren Lee Poole
Seek Out Festival 2023. Credit: Derren Lee Poole

This grassroots festival was a sellout success, and it was easy to see why: it boasted an electric atmosphere thanks to a stellar and eclectic programme of live music and fun woodland arts, all set against the stunning backdrop of Gisburn Forest.

There was something for all music lovers to enjoy, from stunning solo folk sets to the thrilling sounds of indie-pop band Millie Milner & The Deadnames, who rocked the forest stage before the Modulate Takeover cranked up the party vibes.

There are simple pleasures in life that all people should experience because of how liberating and invigorating they are: dancing in the rain, exploring forests, toasting marshmallows by an open fire, making art or escaping into loud music in the woods, and hearing emerging musicians live before you ever hear their record. Seek Out had them all.

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This glorious festival catered to all ages, from dens, mark-making, and giant bubbles for the youngest, to delicious street food and local ales and ciders for the adults.

Bright Light Rooney at Seek Out Festival 2023. Credit: Derren Lee Poole.Bright Light Rooney at Seek Out Festival 2023. Credit: Derren Lee Poole.
Bright Light Rooney at Seek Out Festival 2023. Credit: Derren Lee Poole.

One of its beauties is its smaller size. Being in its infancy, it was perfect for my little one, who has been enjoying his first taste of festival life over the past couple of summers.

It was exciting and a privilege to be part of the first Seek Out, and I'll happily raise my glass to its future legacy as a firm favourite on the festival calendar. Matt would be proud of everything his loved ones have achieved.

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