In Review: Treehouse Festival 2023

 In Review
Treehouse festival Oxfordshire 2023

Liz Dunn-Hallett reviews Treehouse 2023, the boutique indie festival in South Oxfordshire. It was Liz’s first time at the festival, and armed with a tent and a rucksack full of fancy dress, would she find festival nirvana?….

As a veteran of the ‘big ticket’ festivals in the UK, I was very excited and admittedly a little apprehensive to be visiting the Treehouse Music Festival, an independent 4-day festival in Oxfordshire with less than 500 attendees, for the very first time.

Would it be pretentious and cliquey? Would it be poorly organised? Would I be bored?

Like many of its peers, Treehouse has grown out of a group of friends and family having a camp out party and wanting to take it to the next level. The difference is that at Treehouse they want to take you along for the ride!

I arrived on my own (always nerve-wracking at a festival) and was instantly greeted by the check-in team who were friendly, informative and welcoming. Within minutes of choosing a camping spot the neighbours (from 3 separate groups!) had introduced themselves and got me a drink! I met a huge array of people across the weekend with one thing in common – they were all incredibly friendly. I chatted to people while waiting at the bar, ate birthday cake with one of the caterers who was celebrating his 50th and shared a hot tub with complete strangers (without it being weird!). Many of the attendees I met were first timers but it was wonderful to talk with those who have watched the festival grow across its 7 years and have helped to shape it by delivering workshops, clearing paths or connecting people.

Treehouse festival Oxfordshire 2023
Creative Writing Workshop in The Glade

The site is incredibly beautiful, framed by rolling hills complete with a herd of horses who popped over to enjoy the Friday sunset DJ slot by Lost in Long Play.

Treehouse festival Oxfordshire 2023
Friday sunset DJ slot by Lost in Long Play

 One key addition for 2023 is the Saunaverse and it did not disappoint with cold shower, plunge pool, ice bath, hot tub and 2 saunas with a full line up of rituals and experiences. I found myself visiting every day to refresh, relax and rejuvenate; there is also something undeniably magical about watching a band from a hot tub.

Treehouse festival Oxfordshire 2023
Enjoying the hot tub with Lynne from Wandering to Wonder Coaching

Toilets are always a concern especially at a smaller event but there was rarely a queue and they were always clean with ample loo roll! The sponsors this year were Fill Refill who are a local B Corp and at each sink and shower area their eco-friendly products were available to use for free. While the food provision was small, it was all local, high quality and delicious; without the festival price hike you often see at bigger events. I particularly enjoyed my mezze platter from the Damascus Rose Kitchen, an Oxford social enterprise supporting refugee women. Interestingly the site was vegetarian only, a simple but effective step towards a greener festival. Further green credentials included reusable steel cups, no single use plastics and encouraging ride share.

Treehouse festival Oxfordshire 2023
Delicious food from Damascus Rose Kitchen & The White Horse Pizza Co with beer from Tap Social

At no point was I bored and in fact I actually managed to miss a couple of things as there was so much to do! The workshops were varied from 5km runs to sound baths and lino printing, offering new skills and experiences to all. Highlights for me were yoga in the torrential rain with Katie from Every Body Studio – our soggy sun salutations worked eventually! Winning the Friday night pub quiz, finding the secret disco box containing some of Annabel Patisserie’s amazing chocolates! Even at this micro-festival there were plenty of side quests and hidden spots or activities to entertain.

Treehouse festival Oxfordshire 2023
Hidden disco treasure box

Musically they did well with sing a long sets from cover bands, local indie rising stars and DJs pumping out party tunes until the early hours. Campfire acoustic sessions and an open mic slot meant the attendees were once again invited to become part of the Treehouse gang and get involved. This is the first time I have ever witnessed a conga line of people on shoulders or sang non-stop for 2 hours; Bush Fyre’s anthemic set which took us through the decades was to blame for a lot of lost voices on Sunday morning.

Treehouse festival Oxfordshire 2023
Sherman Tender on the Treehouse stage

Tom and his family and friends have not only created a stunning treehouse but a safe, friendly and creative space for people to relax, have fun and reconnect with each other. It was like discovering a secret party and being welcomed with open arms. My initial fears were completely unfounded and I cannot wait to see the Treehouse family at the next one!

Treehouse festival Oxfordshire 2023
Treehouse 2023 fancy dress theme was space disco!
Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Boomtown2022Truck Festival 2023