A new festival championing women and wellness is coming to Cheshire

The Secret Sessions family-friendly festival boasts a 60% women and non-binary line-up

A new festival is coming to a stunning Cheshire castle this autumn – and it’s all about championing women artists, new music and health and wellness.

The Secret Sessions family-friendly festival boasts a 60% women and non-binary line-up as well as music-free mindfulness hours, yoga, HIIT sessions and top street food from some of the UK’s hot and emerging brands.

Combining the best in new music with mental and physical wellness programmes, visitors can expect a four-day celebration of human connection and togetherness at Bolesworth Castle, near the village of Tattenhall – and I Love MCR readers can get a special discount, too.

Tackling gender bias in music

Led by Harriet JW, founder of the Secret Sessions live music platform who has worked with  hundreds of influential artists including Bastille, Mahalia, Arlo Parks, Freya Ridings and Kacey  Musgraves, the festival is aiming to reignite the spark of togetherness that we have missed, whilst tackling the gender bias in the music industry by championing women and non-binary artists.  

Dedicated to ensuring that at least 60% of its talent will come from women and non-binary artists, the festival is addressing claims that a lack of non-male talent is to blame.

“Over the last 18 months, the creative arts have suffered immensely – as has the nation’s mental and social health,” says Harriet.

“After more than a year of social separation, mental struggle and musical deprivation, now is the time to bring people together for a renaissance. 

“In 2020, two thirds of the artists in the charts were male. 

“At Secret Sessions we discover and develop stand-out women artists who will help us change the narrative and the gender bias that still exists in the music industry. 

“I don’t think there’s ever been a greater need for a festival of this kind.”

Discover new music and talent – and take part

Photo: Jampond Photography

Known for its secret, intimate nights of live new music, where the line-up is only revealed to the  audience on the night, Secret Sessions has established a name for itself amongst music-lovers.  

The festival ethos is about giving emerging talent from all creative industries a platform – and they’re also holding a competition to find sensational solo artists and groups who will be invited to play the festival. Find out more here.

Attracting fans from a range of genres, festival-goers are encouraged to attend with an open mind as  they experience new music and discover new talent.  

“We want all of our festival-goers to feel revived and relaxed, as well as socially and artistically nourished having gone so long without,” says Harriet.

“The artists we have lined up to perform are some  of our best yet and we can’t wait to see the impact on listeners who are ready to reconnect.  

“Providing women and non-binary artists with opportunity is a big part of what we do and so at least  60% of our artist line-up will be non-male, to empower these groups to take centre stage and to  continue to address the gender imbalance in our industry.” 

Mindfulness, meditation, yoga raves – and discounted tickets

Secret Sessions is collaborating with fitness brand, Gymbox, to deliver wellbeing and fitness  initiatives including mindfulness and meditation classes, dance classes and sports activities, plus HIIT  sessions led by female instructors. 

As well as Gymbox there’ll be a massive line-up of other wellness activities, too. 

“After over a year of physical, social and mental hardship and uncertainty, we feel a  wellness offering as part of the festival would be the perfect antidote to 2020,” says Deepa Parekh, Festival  Director.

“It’s time to escape  the ‘to-do’ lists and give yourself some ‘me’ time with a dreamy mix of meditation, sound baths, yoga and breathwork.”

Expect high energy yoga raves and fly boarding on the lake, as well as soothing restorative yoga in the serene woodlands. 

Expand your mind with a diverse range of workshops in health and nutrition with inspirational and experienced practitioners who will be sharing tips and hacks. 

And it’s not just for the grown-ups. The mini-mes of the family will have their own programme of arts, craft, movement and mindset, making this a unique experience for the whole family. 

Secret Sessions Festival runs from 2nd – 5th September 2021. Adult day tickets are £49.50. Discounted rates are available for young children and teenagers. Family tickets and camping are available. Use the code I LOVE MCR to get 15% off tickets.


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