THIS June sees the launch of Out & Wild, the UK’s first Wellness Festival designed for queer, questioning and curious women and those who are non-binary. This new and innovative event, celebrating an often-under-represented part of the LGBTQIA community, is being launched to mark the 50th year of Pride.
Out & Wild has been designed to be an inclusive, safe and supportive space to explore new activities and experiences and embrace nature. While the primary focus is on queer, questioning and curious women, the event actively welcomes supportive allies.
Out & Wild features a range of wellness and experience -themed activities including:
● Entertainment, food and drink (music, comedy, DJs, food, bars and stalls)
● Wellness and workouts (including yoga, tai chi, pilates, dance, breath-work, ice baths, massages, meditation and mindfulness)
● Sport (including 5 aside football, guided hikes and runs)
● Out in the water (including wild swimming, paddle boarding)
● Spoken Word and Interactive workshops (including book readings, poetry, foraging, outdoor pursuits, nature, sustainability, crafts)
Polly Shute, co-founder of Out and About LGBTQ, who will be hosting the festival explained: “We are delighted to host the first ever Out & Wild Festival in a stunning location in Wales overlooking the River Cleddau. Our three-day event is packed with experiences, and has been designed specifically to facilitate shared connections, something which our community is crying out for in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.
“The response we have had to date has been incredible! From the quality of the sponsors and partners coming on board to the range of experiences taking place, and the talent that will be performing – not to mention the support we have had from the Welsh Government, which has awarded us a three-year grant as part of its commitment to being the most LGBTQ friendly nation in Europe. We are also proud to have Pink News Group on board as our media partner, the world’s most read and watched LGBTQ publication.
“We are excited to be able to offer three days packed with amazing experiences, all designed by and for queer, questioning and curious women and those that are non-binary.”
The event will be taking place across the three days and nights in Lawrenny, Pembrokeshire, from 10-13th June 2022. First release of early bird tickets have sold out. Second release of early bird tickets are now available to purchase from £120 (excluding booking fee), for three nights from the Out and Wild website.
Key acts and experiences
Wellness and Workouts
Out & Wild is delighted to welcome Luisa Bradshaw White, ex Bad Girls, Holby City, This Life and EastEnders actress who runs LuluOm. Luisa, who trained as a Breathworker in 2002 who will be delivering sessions focused around Soul Breathing.
She explained: “Since my early 20’s I have been on a path of self-discovery taking me all over the world. Breathing at festivals alongside hundreds of other heart-led people in Australia, in waterfalls in Bali and ice baths in the UK!
“I have studied with pioneers of Breathwork including Christabel Zamor, Sondra Ray, Foster Perry and Diana Roberts. As well as leading Breathwork retreats and workshops in the UK and Morocco and working with private clients. I am so excited to be sharing Soul breathing with you. It is hugely transformational, and the breath is powerful medicine”
Music and Comedy
Out & Wild are committed to supporting new and existing female and non-binary talent and are delighted to be partnering with The F-List Directory of UK Female+ Musicians.
We are also keen to promote Welsh talent. We will be announcing acts in the next few weeks.
Vick Bain, Founder of the F List explained: “We are super excited to be working with Polly and the team at Out and Wild, which is a festival set up with exactly the same values we hold; equality, inclusion, respect, and fun! With most festival stages women are in the extreme minority, if present at all, Out and Wild is such a fantastic idea – women rocking on the stages and women rocking in the fields; brilliant!”
Every night DJs will lead silent sets so attendees can dance in the moonlight, overlooking the Cleddau River. Out & Wild is also collaborating with the legendary Club Kali and Mint Events.
Spoken word and Workshops
Zaina Arafat – Award winning LGBTQ Arab- American fiction and non-fiction writer. Author of novel, You Exist Too Much, which won a 2021 Lambda Literary Award.
Annie Garthwaite – Acclaimed historical writer, her book, Cecily, was lauded by Waterstones as best book of 2021.
Workshops will be focused around the core festival areas and also include sessions on sexual health and sexual empowerment.
Our sport area will be curated by the Director of Pride Sports, Lou Englefield and will include a 5 aside football pitch and tasters of different sports for attendees to sample. There will also be guided walks, runs and hikes.
Lou Englefield explained: “I’m delighted to be an Ambassador for the Out & Wild Festival. During my time as Chair of Pride Cymru one of our pillars of ambition was to showcase Wales to the world. Promoting our creative talents and highlighting our amazing Welsh products, whilst supporting local businesses and the economy to thrive. I am thrilled to see Polly and her team adopt the same ethos and enthusiasm for Wales and join us all in our ambition to make Wales the safest and most inclusive country in Europe for our Queer communities.”
Out in the Water
Laura Owen Sanderson is a cold water swimmer and the founder and director of WE SWIM WILD who, with the support of a grant from HydroFlask’s Park for All Campaign, will be delivering water safety sessions, wild swims, candle lit starry night swims and environmental talks at Out & Wild. Laura is a firm believer in using adventure activism to highlight issues in the environment.
This year Laura is swimming just under 1000km back to back across all of the U.K National Parks to test for micro plastic pollution. Laura recently won Wales Business Woman of the year for her work at We Swim Wild.
Bars and Foods
Out & Wild will be working with local drinks and food brands to make sure festival goers experience a real taste of Wales. We will have a full bar and pop-up food stalls.
Out & Wild are also delighted to be supported by Club Soda, who will be manning an alcohol-free bar and delivering mindful drinking sessions – to ensure we cater to all tastes.
Out & Wild will be hosted at Lawrenny in Pembrokeshire, situated at the edge of Pembrokeshire National Park on the site of a former Guardian newspaper’s top 5 Adventure and Wellbeing Festival, The Big Retreat. The main site, which once featured a 19th century castle, overlooks the River Cleddau and was the birthplace of the ‘National Parks’ concept.
Out & Wild has been designed for queer, questioning and curious women and those who are non-binary. It is a festival of experiences, with dozens of activities taking place across the three days and nights covering music, comedy, wellness, sport, wild swimming, spoken word, poetry, and interactive workshops.
Out & Wild is proud to support both existing and new female and non-binary artists and acts from across the UK who are often under-represented at festivals. We are working with The F-List Directory of UK Female+ Musicians to ensure we secure only the very best talent.
● Out & Wild is the UK’s first Wellness Festival designed by and for queer, questioning and curious women and those who are non-binary.
● While the primary focus is on queer, questioning and curious women, we actively welcome supportive allies.
● Out & Wild is a festival of experiences designed to facilitate the creation of meaningful connections among an often-under-represented part of the LGBTQIA community.
● Out & Wild is proud to be able to provide a platform to queer female and non-binary talent – as well as welcoming local Welsh performers.
● Out & Wild is proud to have been awarded a three-year grant by the Welsh Government as part of its commitment to being the most LGBTQ friendly nation in Europe.
Co-Founder – Polly Shute
Polly has spent the last 10 years working on LGBTQI events, including being on the Board of Pride in London up until 2018. A former Marketing and Fundraising Director, working within the commercial and not for profit sector, Polly is a Partnership and Inclusion Consultant and has worked with clients such as The Royal Society of Medicine, Women in Sport, Brentford FC and is part of the EW Group – Full-Service Diversity and Inclusion Consultancy (theewgroup.com).
Polly is a Chartered Institute of Fundraising award winner and was recognised as a leader in Profit for Purpose at the 2019 UK Sponsorship Awards. As part of her D&I focus, Polly was recognised in top 20 LGBT+ leaders list by Outstanding and The FT in 2018 and was on the Pride Power List in association with the Guardian in 2019 and 2020. Polly sits on a number of inclusion committees and is a Director of Trans in the City.
Co-Founder – Becky French
Becky is a veteran of the Royal Air Force, serving abroad on numerous occasions. Upon leaving the service she transitioned into the private security sector where she specialised in operational and event security. Becky’s work involved planning the security architecture for teams in international high-risk countries as well as planning the security for internationally recognised sporting events. Becky is a keen sports woman, having played golf for both the Royal Air Force and Combined Services teams. She also played a lot of squash and rugby during her time in the RAF.
Wellness Curators – Rachael Capper and Isabella Beni
Wellbeing gurus Rach and Issy are behind LGBT FIT, a judgement-free, safe space where people can log on, work out and be part of a like-minded community. Both have been on their own separate journeys of self-acceptance, self-discovery and healing. Together, they have over 16 years’ experience in helping people with all thing’s fitness, nutrition and mindset.
Music and Comedy Curator – Sarah Maslen
Sarah lives on the beach in Llanelli, Southwest Wales. She is part of the Senior Leadership Team of YMCA Swansea and the Deputy CEO of LGBT+ Cymru Helpline. She is a solo Mum to three young children, and they spend as much of their time outside – and wild – as possible, with their ponies exploring and having adventures. She is also a director of Trans in the City. Sarah is passionate about inclusion and empowering others.
Taster of Sport Curator – Lou Englefield
Lou is a founding Director of Pride Sports, a UK LGBTIQ+ sports development and inclusion organisation. Lou has been a leading voice on LGBTIQ+ inclusion in sport & physical activity for more than 10 years. She has directed the international Football v Homophobia campaign since 2012, is Vice Chair of the FARE Network and is Co-Chair of Pride House International. Lou presents and speaks on issues of LGBTIQ+ inclusion in sport and physical activity globally and has ensured that Pride Sports has become a leading authority in the field, at the forefront of insight, policy, and practice.
Spoken Word Curators – Zoë Berryman and Nicola Cottington
Zoë is passionate about all things literary. She works for a charity providing supported learning and activities for vulnerable adults with learning disabilities and mental health issues, something she is very passionate about. She is also the co-chair of the DIVA Book Club together with Nicola Cottington. Nicola is a Chief Operating Officer at an NHS Trust in the East of England.
She also runs the Cancer Survivors Book Club.
● Bobbi Pickard – CEO of Trans in the City
● Lu Thomas – Ex Chair of Pride Cymru
● Rachel Ashe – Founder Mental Health Swims