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Big Chill in Llanthony

From humble beginnings, the Big Chill festival became a blueprint for festivals held in beautiful surroundings. Helen Mark visits Llanthony, where the festival began 20 years ago.

Twenty years ago The Big Chill festival pioneered the concept of the boutique festival. Helen Mark meets founder Pete Lawrence as he returns to the magical Llanthony Valley where the first festival was staged. Together they explore the history of this unique landscape which has attracted artists and seekers of solitude since the 13th Century.

The imposing ruins of Llanthony Priory have been painted by Turner and it is here where Pete first decided to hold an event characterised by music in keeping with the surroundings. Just down the road is the Maes-Y-Beran camping ground where the event took place, 500 music lovers congregated on Wyndham Morgan's farm in 1995 and Ariane Morgan has fond memories of that time. Helen takes Pete to remember that day along with some of the musicians and festival goers who were there.

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