The Game Fair returns to Ragley Hall!
- Credit: thegamefair.org
After last year’s cancellation, Europe’s largest outdoor countryside festival will be back, bigger and better than ever this summer
July 23-25, 2021
It’s been dubbed ‘Glastonbury for the Green Welly Brigade’.
We all desperately missed last year’s Game Fair, so you’ll be delighted to know that it’s returning to Ragley Hall, Warwickshire, this year... and it’s going to be bigger and better than ever! As Europe’s largest outdoor countryside festival, around 120,000 visitors are expected to be there across the three days, from Friday, July 23 to Sunday, July 25.
The annual gathering for people passionate about countryside pursuits as well as the great British countryside in all its glory, is a huge – it's had five million visitors since it began – and hugely popular event that is effectively ten events in one, and costs around £4 million to stage. Due to the pandemic, of course, it wasn’t able to go ahead, but it’s back with a bang in 2021.
‘It’s what’s not new that really counts,’ says James Gower, managing director of The Game Fair. ‘Everything you’ve come to know and love about the Fair will all be there.
‘The fact it’s happening, against the odds, when other events can’t, is testament to the love and support for the Game Fair.’
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It’s heartening to hear that 98% of previous years’ exhibitors have returned, plus there will also be around 230 new ones, many displaced from other events which haven’t been able to happen. In fact, there’s so much going on that many visitors have decided to make a weekend of it, meaning the original campsite has already sold out, so organisers have had to build another.
And for the exhibitors, it generally means around £60 million of transactions, so it’s hugely important to them.
‘Our ticket sales are actually 400% ahead of where we would be normally,’ continues James. ‘That sounds so far-fetched I’ve often chosen not to tell people. People are booking at unprecedented levels, and that’s an indication of the passion for the event.’
‘After the gap year, this is going to be a bloody good day out where you can come together with friends to swap stories.
‘It's been hard work, but now the event is in rude health, so we're grateful for everyone’s help, and look forward to seeing you there.’
Ragley Hall, Alcester, Warwickshire, B49 5NJ, thegamefair.org
Top things to see and do at The Game Fair 2021:
- The Shooting Line: The most comprehensive outdoor shooting exhibition held anywhere in the UK, whether you’re an expert shot or a complete novice.
- The Fishing Village: Pick up expert tips on the Casting Pool. Also expect a dedicated fishing theatre, and demonstrations from The Veniard fly tying team.
- Have-a-go activities: Including clay shooting competitions, longbow archery, fishing, traditional crafts, falconry and dog competitions.
- The Falconry Village: Featuring a huge selection of birds of prey, the flying ring will feature exciting demonstrations, plus there will be specialist traders, artists and UK falconry clubs on hand to give advice.
- VIP packages with chef James Martin: Renowned chef, author and television presenter James Martin will be creating a game-based menu inspired by the best of British ingredients.
- Open air cinema: Enjoy a very special screening of little-known 1976 BBC film John Macnab. Based on John Buchan’s celebrated novel, the film follows three high-flying men who set themselves a shooting and fishing challenge to end their boredom.
- Traditional crafts: From beekeeping and taxidermy, to furniture and glass making or willow weaving, meet dedicated artisans specialising in crafts dating back centuries.
- The Clarence Court Main Arena: The jam-packed itinerary includes a variety of competitions and educational demonstrations, including Shetland Pony Grand National, hound parades, scurry driving, mounted Pony Club games and gundog demonstrations.
- The Carter Jonas Game Fair Theatre: Three days of lively discussions and TV-style chat shows, which will include some meaty political debate.
- The Field Kitchen Theatre: Watch some of Britain’s top game chefs give cookery demos throughout the weekend.
- Totally Game Area: Yet another new and exciting addition for 2021, The Totally Game Area focuses on educating people about eating and cooking with game.
- Camping & glamping: Turn your visit to The Game Fair into a full-blown mini break by camping or glamping for the weekend or perhaps a little longer. Very limited availability left!
- Game Fair Gardens: This year’s 30x17-metre show garden will showcase how ‘smart’ a garden can be using modern technology.
- Shopping: One of the biggest retail areas in the UK over the three days, with nearly 1,000 stands – plus 230 new brands exhibiting for the first time.