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  Bearded Theory

Bearded Theory is the Midlands largest performing and creative arts festival which is hosted within the iconic grounds of Catton Hall in Derbyshire.

Covered festivals:

    Bearded Theory 2013

    Bearded Theory 2014

    Bearded Theory 2015

    Bearded Theory 2016

    Bearded Theory 2017

    Bearded Theory 2018

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Festival news Festival news Written 2016-04-14 05:44:15
Happy Belated Easter Everyone

We are finalising the preparations for this year’s festival and have spent a lot of money making some substantial improvements including lots of boring things like parking teams, temporary roadway, water and in addition some less boring things such as the site art, the children’s area, improving the PA systems and toilets. It’s all very rock and roll.

We will say this again just in case you didn’t read it in our past newsletters; the parking is now very close to the campsite and you do not need to go down any steps. It is very trolley friendly, so let yourselves go and enjoy the walk in.
Convoy Cabaret Line Up Additions

The randomly lovely Convoy Cabaret have been hard at it planning this years new Bearded Theory attraction. They already have an amazing festival line up and in addition they have booked in some late night and early afternoon acoustic acts. Acoustic/daytime/late night acoustic acts. In a rather disorganized order they are CAPTAIN HOTKNIVES, ROB MILLER, CHRIS BUTLER, DOZER MC DOOZE, ANDY T, FFTP, EDDY ALLEN, SIDI MAN AND JACK OF HEARTS, CHASING WHISKEY, CAPTAIN GRIMACE, JOHNNY TURPENTINE, BECKY FURY, RICH NOT FAMOUS, CHRIS THE POET and BILLY THE SQUARE. The DJ offering is equally as decent and they include PAULY PIPER, OBERON, TRAV CHAV, MARK KELLY, CHRIS D’ BASE and STEVE RUDEBOY. Convoy sideshows include God Shave the Queen, Lucky Cat Musements, Twattoo Parlour, Freak Boutique photo booth, Spanglegrinders, Convoy Chorus line and Ariel/acro/hoop displays plus a load more we couldn’t write down.

Ticket Update

Tickets for this year’s festival start being distributed at the end of April by See Tickets. Disabled and carer passes start being distributed in early May. Do not panic if you see people getting tickets on social media and you haven’t had yours as we phase sending them out to avoid Mrs Goggins having a hissy fit. See Tickets also have a handy order tracker you can use which can be accessed by going here.

Tickets of all shapes and sizes are running very very low and we broke even in record time which is fantastic. We cannot thank you enough for your continued support.

Entry Times

Please make sure you read the entry and exit times on our general information page on our website but those of you who can’t be bothered here they are: – Gates open at 14:00 on Thursday 26th May and 09:00 Friday, Saturday & Sunday May for all weekend ticket holders. Gates close strictly at 20:00 on Thursday for entry/re-entry, 21:00 Friday & Saturday and 19:00 on Sunday. The general information page gives good information about ticket distribution, what you can bring, tent thefts and local hotels. Check it out

Bar Tariff

We love our bars and we have improved our offering once again. This year’s main ales are Bearded Theory Festival Ale – 3.8% Golden Bitter, Lord Marples – 4% Classic British Bitter, Galaxia – 4.4% Australian Hopped Pale Ale, I Love You, Will U Marry Me – 4.5% Strawberry Blonde, Jaipur – 5.9% IPA (voted Worlds Best Keg Beer), Parma Porter – 6% Parma Violet Porter, Cocoa Wonderland – 6.8% Chocolate Porter, St Petersburg – 7.4% Imperial Russian Stout. Prices start at £3.60 a pint and go up to around £4 for the stronger ales. The full bar list is here.


Don’t just worry about packing your beer and happy things, please do think about what clothes to bring also. It can get cold at night and with that bring your jumpers and also it can be hot like last year so bring your hot pants, mankinis and shorts as well.

We do our best to prevent tent thefts and have a very good track record catching them. However please do not stock up with cash and always keep your valuables on you at all times especially when sleeping in tents. Only bring what you can afford to lose but remember your safety is our main priority.
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Festival news Festival news Written 2015-04-05 10:34:46

Coaches depart from Derby Train Station (Pride Park Side)
Thursday – 14:00 & 16:00
Friday – 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:00

Return (Multiple coaches) departing from the pickup point.
Monday – 09:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00

£7 single ticket
£12 return – A free festival programme worth £5 will be available from the driver for every passenger with a return ticket.

There will be no booking fee and the ticket can be printed at home.
Tickets on sale via and
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Festival news Festival news Written 2015-04-05 10:33:02
Mark Chadwick Finalises Thursday Line-up

We are delighted to announce that Mark Chadwick (Levellers) will be performing as our special guest on the Thursday night.

3 Daft Monkeys headline the night along with Mark Chadwick, Hobo Jones & the Junkyard Dogs, Barsteward Sons of Val Doonican and Zombie Met Girl. This will be an belting start to the weekend and the bar has been granted a late license on the Thursday night.
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Festival news Festival news Written 2015-04-05 10:31:57
*[UK's Best Small Festival, Best Independent Festival & Promoter of The Year (Richard Bryan)]

The unique, family friendly festival Bearded Theory are thrilled to announce what is their strongest line-up yet in 2015, their 8th year. Multi-million selling indie legends JAMES will now bring the festival to an emphatic close when they headline the festival on Sunday night. Fresh from a sold out UK tour, their 13th studio album La Petite Mort was released earlier this year to critical acclaim and hailed as one of the “Best Albums of 2014” by The Guardian featuring the singles ‘Moving On’, ’Frozen Britain’ ‘Curse Curse’ and 'All I'm Saying', all mainstays on BBC6 Music.

Jim Glennie from James said: “It's a real pleasure to be asked to play at Bearded Theory 2015. I've heard great things about the festival and I appreciate the ethics and principles behind it. I'm thoroughly looking forward to it and I hope we can end the weekend with a bang”.

Steve Blount from Bearded Theory says “We are delighted to have secured arguably our biggest booking to date while freezing adult ticket prices and having reduced or frozen child ticket prices. 2015 is on course to be our quickest sell out in our history after 25% of our capacity sold on the first day tickets went on sale and with early bird tickets selling out in less than 4 minutes”.

Bearded Theory is a creative and performing arts family festival hosted in the heart of England at the picturesque Catton Park on the West Midlands and Staffordshire border. Hosted over 4 days, with a line up unrivalled against the ticket price and still allowing your own drinks into the arena, Bearded Theory remains the best value independent festival in the country. Bearded Theory remains independent and the organisers remain unsalaried and work fulltime. This means they can deliver the best festival experience possible against the ticket price.

The festival has set up home at Catton Park where the festival showcases 5 stages including a Woodland Stage celebrating the National Forest location, a dance arena, huge outdoor Main Stage and all with cutting edge production. The festival is hosted over Spring Bank Holiday 21st – 24th May 2015.

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An iconic year in the making...

2015 is set to be an iconic year for Bearded Theory. As well as the eclectic range of music on show there is, amongst other things; a teen area run by the Drop Inn, the amazing Children’s Village, more site art by the wonderful Labyrinth Arts and finally Groovie Movie Solar Cinema will be making an appearance. These changes along with bringing back the old favourites such as the real ale bars operated by award winning brewery Thornbridge, allowing own drinks into the arena, the magical Woodland Stage, Disco Shed, Open Mic Tea Tent, Magical Sounds, Victorian Circus, Healing & Earth Area, wandering weirdness all mean 2015 is on course to be our best festival yet.

2015 Line up in full:


The Mission, Alabama 3, Gun, Itch, Dizraeli & The Small Dogs, The Wakes

New Model Army, Afro Celt Sound System, British Sea Power, The Mahones, Skinny Lister, Neck, Three Minute Heist,

James, Buzzcocks, Misty In Roots, The Beat, Mad Professor + The Robotiks, Pronghorn, Back To The Planet, New Town Kings


LAB4, Jah Scoop/ Geezer, Zion Train, Clumsy, Halcyon, Andy Haze, Chigs and Techip, Data 3, Drum Machine

East Static, Green Nuns of the Revolution (DJ set), Cosmosis, Ed Tangent, Zetan Spore, Kristian, The Pressure Technique, Charlie H, Drum Machine

Banco De Gaia, Merv Pepler (DJ set), Transglobal Underground, Black Star Liner (DJ set), Dr Trippy, Templehead, Grousebeater Soundsystem, Rev Phil Dread, Ushti Baba


Jaya The Cat, The Talks, Pigbag, Kilnaboy, Tree House Fire, Captain Knives,

Cara Dillon, Bill Smarme, The Jack Ratts, Louise Distras, The Leylines, Joe Zeffa, Mark Harrison, Troubadour,

Paprika Corps, JB Conspiracy, P.A.I.N, Baba Jack, Mistys Big Adventure, Keiths Big Uke Jam, Superfast Girly Show, Please Y Self Skiffle Band, Mr Motivator


3 Daft Monkeys, Hobo Jones & The Junkyard Dogs, Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican, Zombie Met Girl

Radical Dance Faction, John Player Specials, Gaz Brookfield, Muff Said, Sweetchunks Band, Ash Victim, Ukulele Dave,

Inner Terrestrials, Tarantism, Who Killed The Bear, Pure Evil, Demob, Muddy Summers & Gails Whores, Efa Supertramp

AOS3, Stuart Turner & The Flat Earth, Society, Abdoujaparov, Skewwiff, Quercus Burlesque, Penny Orchids, Tez & The Suicidal Fish
Bearded Theory | FESTIVALPHOTO