Lewes wedding venue experiments with family camping amid covid restrictions
For the last seven years, the summer months have seen a field in Lewes transformed into a festival-style wedding venue for couples tying the knot.
Clusters of tents, tipis and marquees pop up between May and September at The Party Field, which is located down a private road near the South Downs Tennis Club.
Friends Lucy Buxton and Sarah Taylor, who run the site, said it had built up quite a following – with many guests returning to hold their own wedding at the field: “It’s all been very successful.”
But after the pandemic hit in March, putting a ban on weddings, the field has sat empty.
Since restrictions eased last week, weddings can now take place with up to 15 people in covid-secure venues but guests must still follow social distancing measures.
From May 17, up to 30 people can attend – but with The Party Field catering for up to 200 people at a time, hosting weddings will remain unfeasible.
Lucy said: “We’ve been trying to think up alternative ways to carry on.
“It’s such a beautiful spot right at the foot of the south downs.
“It’s a perfect setting, it seems such a waste to leave it empty.”
Instead, the pair have decided to turn the field into a campsite for families to enjoy a ‘relaxed camping experience’ during the half-term week.
From May 28, people will able to book a pitch for three nights.
There will be 25 pitches in total, Lucy said – “Enough to make a nice buzz and for it to be fun, but not busy so that you’re camped with you tent right next to someone elses.”
Families will be able to request a delivery of croissants in the morning and all tents will have their own fire pit.
There will also be a van selling wood-fired pizza on some nights.
Lucy said it would make the venue accessible to more people.
“It’s quite expensive to have a festival wedding there and it’s such a beautiful location, it’s good opportunity for other people to experience it.”
Find out more by visiting their website here.