Opening weekend has the villages ‘buzzing’

The GAP Festival in full swing!

Posted on June 12, 2024

This years’ GAP Festival promised to take audiences beyond the realms, and the opening weekend certainly did just that. 

With early morning wellbeing sessions kick starting each day, participants were invited to try something new – beyond the realms of their usual daily routine – with Boxing and Stand Up Paddleboarding at The Swan at Streatley to fun family yoga sessions in Goring Village Hall. 

Little ones headed beyond their imaginations at Goring Free Church’s Teddy Bears’ Picnic. With almost 60 pre-school children (and their teddy’s!) attending, and the sun shining – it was a fantastic start to the Festival on Friday morning. 

Adults were able to head beyond the realms of creativity in the first of many art workshops at the ever popular Painting Party, run by artist Jane Dipple. Many attendees had never tried mix-media art before, and enjoyed creating their own paintings to take home. 

Simon Mayor and the Mandolinquents took to the stage of Goring Village Hall, dazzling the packed venue with humorous anecdotes and world-class mandolin playing.

On Saturday, the villages headed beyond the realms of our planet as Space Day took attendees on a journey across the solar system! Literally! The solar quest treasure hunt followed a scaled model of the solar system running from Rectory Garden (The Sun), up to the top of Lardon Chase (Pluto!) which saw over 150 quiz sheets completed! Other cosmic activities kept all ages busy as over 500 tickets were booked for sessions running throughout the day.

And it didn’t stop there – the evening saw a fascinating talk and Q&A with space scientists from OrbAstro, Lumi Space and European Space Agency. Followed by star-gazing, where attendees had an incredible view of the moon’s craters thanks to OrbAstro’s powerful telescopes. 

Sunday’s focus was all about encouraging us all to think towards a greener future, with our community’s contribution to the national Great Green Week initiative. The Great Green Food Day, showed how our eating and food can play a vital role in helping to tackle climate change. With a thought-provoking talk in the Festival marquee, family-friendly ‘poo corner’ and creative miniature eco-garden competition, the day engaged all ages in this important topic.

The afternoon celebrated the incredible creativity and imagination from young filmmakers across Berkshire and Oxfordshire, as the Children’s Film Festival red carpet premiere screened the finalist films and announced the winners. Head on over to to watch the winning entries! 

Plus, The Catherine Wheel hosted a wide range of talented musicians in its garden as the first of the Fringe music sessions. 

The opening weekend closed with a spine-tingling performance from the UK’s flagship female voice ensemble, Papagena, who transcended a sold-out audience in St Thomas’ Church with their stunning voices!

And if that wasn’t enough – there’s still a week of incredible events to go!