Great Devon Music Festivals – Pigstock in North Devon

As the crowds started to gathered the children ran off.  There was music already playing as the pop harmonies of a lovely local choir filled air.  Cider was flowing and the smell of freshly prepared festival food was wafting around the field.

There was no need to worry.  The girls were already engrossed in handling snakes and stick insects at the Really Wild Learning Show.  When I next checked on them they were hula hooping and playing with the free circus skills equipment.

All was well.  This was Pigstock 2018.  A fabulous small music festival in North Devon near Bideford.

Pigstock started life at a pub!

Like many good ideas, this one started small. I got chatting to one of the many locals there who told me they had been going from the start, which was a live music and pizza event at a nearby pub called the Pig on the Hill (hence the name).

Fast forward 5 years and having outgrown 2 venues it was now being held at a great new location for the first time. Just down the road from The Big Sheep (a family tourist attraction) and next door to the Ultimate Adventure Centre which was open for camping and other basic accommodation.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you will get that I love a music festival and am pleased that my girls have got the bug as well. My hubby is not at all interested in live music, so it’s just us that heads off to these events.

Great Devon Music Festivals - Pigstock ladies on stilts

6 Great things about Pigstock

1. Excellent live music

Music started at 12 noon with a local choir who sounded beautiful out across the festival field. Next up was the talented lSteve Ley.   He sang well but was also unintentionally very funny as he has tourettes and is prone to blurting out inappropriate language!

Great Devon Music Festivals - Pigstock Noble Jacks

Headliners were Right Said Fred and The Hossiers who were both great and a good draw for new customers. Also on the line up where the iconic bad The Wurzels.

However you can’t beat those bands that haven’t quite made the big time – Laid Blak from Bristol with their reggae vibes were huge crowd pleasers especially when they got some youngsters up on stage. Noble Jacks were amazing musicians with high energy fiddle playing who are also playing at a number of other festivals and have their debut album out as well.

Great Devon Music Festivals - Pigstock Right Said Fred

2. Fun, free activities for the children

There was an exotic animals show from Really Wild Learning where the children got to handle snakes, bearded dragons and stick insects.  An arts and crafts tent with festival headbands, stone painting and other craft activities. There was also a comedy show, a free bouncy castles (big hit with the kids!) and circus skills.

Just outside the entrance there was a climbing wall that has been set up by a local school –  also free to use, another hit with the kids.

Great Devon Music Festivals - Pigstock animal magic

3. A good choice of food and drink

From stoned fired pizza and middle eastern wraps to fish and chips and ice cream. There was also a bar hosted by Thatchers – can you believe it actually ran out of cider!   They used what I thought was quite a clever cashless system for buying food and drinks. However it has come under a lot of criticism and so next year it’s back to basics.

Great Devon Music Festivals - Pigstock thatchers

4. Camping with proper facilities!

Near by camping was at the Ultimate Adventure Centre where there were proper toilets and showers. Also the option to hire little cute cabins by the lake or share a bunk house. Note if you want to drive your camping equipment right to the centre (and not walk 1/2 mile) you need to arrive on Friday night or before 10am on Saturday or the road will be closed (as we found out!)

Pigstock camping Ultimate Adventure Centre

5. A friendly relaxed atmosphere.

With plenty of space to roll out a blanket and chill out,  Pigstock has found a great venue.

It’s true that you may get to see a lot more well known bands at the bigger festivals around the country and may even be torn between what to watch at the different stages. There might be more events and activities going on to entertain you elsewhere. But to be honest I love to be able to get close enough to really see who is playing and have a dance just metres from the band.  I like the fact that the kids can head off to a craft tent just a few hundred yards away and I do not have to worry about where they are. There’s a lot to be said for small music festivals.  Yes there is room for this one to grow and improve, there always is. But with a well established local audience and links with The Big Sheep, this festival has quite a unique set up and will be loved for it’s size and friendliness.

Great Devon Music Festivals - Pigstock festival music

6. Free Entry to the Big Sheep

On Sunday the festival site was closed but the entertainment carried on. There was free entry to the Big Sheep which we loved – reviewed here. Throughout the day there was entertainment around the park from a number of acoustic performers as well as live comedy (adults and children’s shows) and a real ale bar. A great place to carry on the party in a chilled out way.

The Big Sheep Family Attraction

Think you Might Like to Book For 2019 ?

Save the Date – Saturday 18th May 2019


You have a chance to get really great value tickets if you buy then now – click HERE for the link to the website and ticket sales. Limited numbers of early bird tickets are on sale , £24.95 for adults and £14.95 for children  – grab them soon.

Need more convincing – have a look at the video that was made of the event.

Hot off the press – in the line up for 2019 are Jo Whiley of Radio 2 fame, Doctor and the Medics and Eliza and the Bear and one of my favourites from last year Laid Blak

Great Devon Music Festivals - Pigstock group photo

In Summary

We had a lovely time at this festival and now I need to persuade my friends to join us next year.

A big thank you to The Big Sheep for organising the weekend for us and for Pigstock for hosting us. We also really enjoyed visiting the Big Sheep on the Sunday as well and wished we had had longer there.

Great Devon Music Festivals - Pigstock festival

DISCLAIMER: I was given free tickets for me and my daughters for Pigstock as well as camping at the ultimate Adventure Centre in return for this review. All photos and opinions are my own.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Country Kids