About Cloudspotting...


Cloudspotting Music and Arts Festival is a long summer weekend retreat for a few hundred people organised by a bunch of friends and festival enthusiasts. This year is our 7th event and the fifth at Gisburn Forest. We are family friendly – but by no means family exclusive – our kids bring a magical spirit to the festival, encouraging an inclusive atmosphere that all our audience members get a buzz from. Moving to our remote forested location in 2013 enabled the festival to stretch its limbs a little. It encouraged us to develop creative partnerships with other like-minded organisations, helping us deliver a much wider programme of Arts in addition to the eclectic live music schedule that the event has prided itself on. Approaching our 7th year, we have brought together our most exciting programme yet. Alongside two stages of emerging and established alternative music, we will present touring family theatre, interactive arts, music workshops, themed arts and crafts, fine food and a fabulous selection of ales and entertainment in our Beer Tent.  New for 2016 is The Cabin in The Woods where our late night DJ sessions will satisfy the nightclubber in all of us. We try not to overface you with masses of stuff going on at once. We let the programme breathe and encourage a strong audience for all our performances, allowing our visitors valuable time to hang out and party together! That’s not to say there won’t be early starts and late finishes! At Cloudspotting you choose which end of the candle you’d like to burn down.

 The high proportion of returning attendees has made for an intimate and extremely friendly festival. 

We hope you enjoy our site and find enough information to make the choice to join us an easy one. If you do want to hit us up for more information., please contact spottingclouds@gmail.com or sign up with your email address for regular e-bulletins.


Cloudspotting reaches the milestone of its 7th year in 2017 (July 28th-30th, 2017).

The story began at a legendary riverside boozer in the Ribble Valley (The Aspinall Arms, Mitton) in the summer of 2011.

We threw the first one together on a wave of momentum and the back of a fag packet; begging bands, borrowing equipment, blagging local farmers for camping ground.

One thing we didn’t skimp on was a crystal sounding PA, provision of good beer and a beautiful setting.  A couple of hundred friends and locals joined the throng. In the space of three months, Cloudspotting was born.

With a bit more time to think about what we were doing, 2012 took shape with a little better planning.   Most of the Cloudspotting family members have children of their own, so consideration into providing a wider offering of activities became a focus.

Regretfully, the Aspinall’s lease was up and in 2013, the rustic and much loved venue was taken over by a pub chain who have since undergone a pretty extensive redevelopment.

Cloudspotting needed to find a new venue and a lucky break came when we discovered our woodland location at Gisburn Forest.

On land managed by the Forestry Commission, we have been able to develop and create an event that encourages a larger family audience, providing a more detailed programme of live music, artistic activities and outdoor pursuits.

Food, Drink & Other Stalls

Don’t put up with pot-noodles, broken biscuits or UHT milk back at camp, come on a taste vacation with our extensive range of yummy treats.  Remember that delicious burger you had last year, or how about the best chocolate waffle experience of your life, or that morning coffee that really hit the spot? This year we have returning favorites and some new additions to give you better choice, quality and all-round culinary experience. Special Diets?  Our friendly food traders have plenty of options available to support coeliac, vegan and low-carb diets.  Quick bite, full meal, vegetarian, meat feast, light or spicy, we’ve got something for every palette and all operating around our covered food court to give diners a more social, intimate and comfortable eating experience, whatever the weather!

Watch this space for a full listing our our delicious food traders available this year.




All our non-food stall holders will be operating within the Village Green to give an alternative high-street feel.

A full guide of stalls at the festival this year coming soon.

The Bitter Suite

Your festival local, The Bitter Suite, is back serving the best in local ciders and ales at extremely quaffable prices so you don’t have to drink warm cans.

Our master-bar crew will ensure that all ales, lagers, ciders, wines, spirits and softs are expertly stored and served throughout the weekend.  During the day our DJ’s will play selections of fine chilled tunes to accompany your drinking. However, after the main stage headliner finish your local is still open with music, dancing and laughter until the wee hours.

Full details of this years selection will be available soon.






At Cloudspotting, we take pride in the fact that you can hang outside the tent, put your feet up and listen to the music drifting up the field from our main stage. It’s part of the joy of being micro-size and one of the few festivals left where you can camp in the same field as the music.

Our main festival camping field is well stocked with toilets, has good signage, water points, waste disposal units, festoon lighting and this year, will be a quieter place after main stage curfew.

We have responded to previous years feedback by introducing flushing toilets and hot showers available all weekend to all campers and included in your festival ticket price.  We also want to play our part to support the eco-system of our planet by making sure all waste is split for recycling as much as possible and hope you will help us make that possible.

We have various glamping packages which include bell tents, tipis and mini-yurts which start at under £15 per person per night.  Please email Helen for more information and prices.

The campsite will be open from 12 noon on Friday July 28. We ask that attendees please vacate the site and take ALL belongings with them before noon on Monday July 31.

Live-in Vehicles

We have a limited number of live-in spaces around the perimeter of the main festival field.

Tickets for live-in vehicles will sell out in advance so do not delay if you plan on bringing a live-in. There are no electric hook-ups but you are close to all our usual on site facilities. You are allowed to arrive from 12pm Friday 28 July and must be off site by 12pm Monday 31 July.


Year on year we increase off site activities and link the forest as your playground and although The Village Green is the hubbub of activity, you will be encouraged to explore the surroundings and venture deep into the forest for excitement and adventure more than ever before.

Our activity tent, Cloud-Cuckoo-Land will include interactive and creative activities throughout the weekend and we are pleased to be working with some innovative and exciting artists and organisations exploring art, wildlife and self expression.

Little Fluffy Clouds is an area specifically for babies and nursing families to relax and chill, art and creative workshops using many mediums suitable from babies to grannies, nature trails and hunts, performance and dance, and creative play.

More details to follow soon.

For more detailed information, please look at our specific Family Activities page from the main menu.

Car Parking

We are encouraging people to car share where necessary as car parking is limited in this part of the world. The purchase of a car parking pass (£10) is essential in advance of arrival at the site. Please register your car when purchasing your festival ticket. Those attending the festival on day tickets only will also require parking tickets for their particular day (£5) available in advance from our ticket shop.

Please don’t forget to purchase your parking ticket as you will be charged more on the door.


On arrival at the festival car park you will have the opportunity to register and receive your festival wristbands. Nobody will be allowed on site without a wristband.

This year we have 2 under 18 ticket bands:

Kids (2-12 years)

Teens (13-17 years)

Many of you will have bought tickets via our on-line ticket shop. If this is the case we will have your details, you will need to have some valid ID and potentially some proof of age if you have a teenage son or daughter to support their ticket purchase. Please note that young people aged 18 and over must pay an adult ticket for Cloudspotting.

Anyone under the age of 18 will only be allowed entry to the festival with a ‘Responsible Adult’ (who has to be over the age of 21).


Cloudspotting relies on volunteers to make the festival happen. If you are interested in volunteering do contact us for more details at spottingclouds@gmail.com.

Do's and Don'ts

Do behave responsibly – don’t be a crazy fool. Do look out for each other, do let your hair down and have a belting time. Don’t have any fires – anywhere.

Don’t bring any pets with you.  This is a dog free festival and they will not be allowed within the festival site.  Any persons with a pet will be asked to leave immediately.

Please do not leave any litter and leave the site as you found it.

Do have a fantastic weekend and lots of fun xxx

Glamping Accommodation

Don’t just chill-out at Cloudspotting…..stretch-out!  Festival Glamping Accommodation available from £15 per head per night!

At Cloudspotting we want to make your stay as comfortable as possible and have limited availability of some special glamping accommodation at 2016 rates.

4m Canvas Bell tent accommodation – sleeps up to 4 adults available for £180 = £15 hd/night

The above is based on a 3 night hire (Friday – Sunday), fully constructed and carpeted for your arrival and include unlimited access to hot showers and flushing toilets all weekend.

Additional camping equipment available and set-up for your arrival on request include:

Vango Atlas 250 single sleeping bag £23.00

Campingaz Quickbed Compact Airbed Single £15 / Double £23.00

Vango Adult Venice Camping Chair £20.00

Vango Childrens Little Venice Camping Chair £14.00

50% deposit for all glamping accommodation required at time of booking with remaining payment requested 4 weeks before the festival (Friday 30th June). 

If the Bell Tent is not right for your group, please contact Helen directly to discuss bespoke accommodation options.  To book and confirm, please contact helen@cloudspotting-festival.co.uk.

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