A festival with a difference will take place at Sudeley Castle next week, which organisers promise will be like ‘dreaming with your eyes open’.

The event will see a host of costumed characters from around the world visit the Winchcombe attraction for a weekend of music, fantasy, entertainment and wonder.

For the first time, characters from all genres will gather together for the Fantasy Forest festival which will take place over the weekend of July 20 and 21, 2019.

Visitors are invited to don their favourite costume to join the event and mingle alongside a host of characters, from fairies, pirates and Vikings, to Storm troopers, knights and elves.

Live music will also be on offer from leading Celtic rock groups The Dolmen and Greenrose Faire, as well as Irish folk band Harmony Glen and UK folk-goth band Inkubus Sukkubus, as well as Perkelt and other folk and rock performers.

Tickets are still available for the family-friendly festival, which will be the first of its kind to take place in the UK.

Event organiser Guy Clifford said the event is a new and exciting concept: “There have been numerous 'Comicons' and conventions, however Fantasy Forest is totally different in that it adopts an inclusive approach to all elements of fantasy, sci-fi and other allied genres. This type of event is hugely popular in Europe and has dedicated followers numbering thousands.”

Co-organiser Martin Pelgrim added: “We are thrilled to have so many fantastic bands, artists and special guests confirmed for the event, and to have Sudeley Castle as the backdrop will be the perfect magical setting for an event that promises to be out of this world.”

Highlights of the festival will include appearances from one of the world’s leading armourers, Terry English, who has created armour for many classic film productions including Excalibur, Aliens, First Knight, Batman and Robin and Gladiator. He has made suits of armour for leading actors including Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, Helen Mirren, Richard Gere, Patrick Stewart and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

World-renowned Italian costume designer, make-up artist and ‘cos-player’, Manuel D’Andrea, will also be a special guest at the weekend and will be giving demonstrations on makeup artistry.

British writer and expert in medieval legends, Professor Roland Rotherham, will also be giving talks at the event, and internationally-renowned artist Anne Sudworth will be exhibiting her works which include magical trees and haunting moonlit landscapes. There will even be a wicker dragon!

Throughout the weekend a host of other entertainment and activities will be on offer, including costume competitions, dancing workshops, children’s entertainers, archery, Viking and medieval re-enactment, a Wicker Man ceremony, food stalls, traders and much more.

Tickets to the Fantasy Forest Festival cost from £26.50 for an adult single day pass. Visitors will also be able to camp at the event by purchasing a camping ticket. To find out more about the event visit fantasyforest.co.uk/

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