PEAR FEST ‘24

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When

Friday 21st June - Saturday 22nd June 2024

Where

Bartlam House, Shrawley, Worcester, WR6 6TP

Soilstice Celebration

Unearth the Rhythms of the ‘80s at Pear Fest ’24!

This summer solstice, Pear Fest ’24 at our Worcestershire HQ is not just a festival; it’s a ‘Soilstice’ celebration, highlighting the vital role of soil health in our environment and personal wellness.

As the longest day meets the most radical decade, we’re set to revel in the revolutionary spirit of the 1980s—where synth-pop commanded the airwaves, epic tales unfolded on silver screens, and video games began their digital conquest. Whether you rocked out to the ‘80s live or you’re a retro enthusiast, our dynamic mix of music, gourmet delights, and vibrant atmosphere will thrill you from daylight to dusk.

Before we launch into the festivities, we invite you to delve into innovative conversations about sustainability that promise to enrich both the earth beneath our feet and the health that sustains us.

Retro Rhythms

Day 2 Ignites with ‘80s Vibrance at Pear Fest

Embrace the resurgence of the ‘80s as Pear Fest’s second day comes alive with the sounds and styles of a dynamic decade. Get set to enjoy once again the unique talents of Remi Harris and Hattie Briggs.

As the day transitions into evening, let the electrifying energy of That 80s Thing sweep you into the night. Their seasoned ensemble, known for captivating UK audiences, will deliver an unforgettable show featuring powerful vocals, soaring guitars, and that unmistakable ‘80s drum sound, all wrapped up in an ambiance of neon and leather.

Culinary Delights and Crafty Sips

Get ready to embark on a flavour-packed journey that showcases the best of contemporary Italian cuisine with a low carb, healthy twist. We are thrilled to announce that Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi will be returning to Pear Fest to serve up their legendary dishes.

Running a successful cookery school and a string of acclaimed restaurants across London, the Caldesis know a thing or two about delicious food. Expect mouth-watering Italian specialties that will transport your taste buds straight to the heart of Italy. The culinary excitement continues into Saturday morning, following the previous year’s success, with the Caldesis presenting another one of their highly-acclaimed cookery demonstrations.

It’s a chance for festival-goers to engage with these culinary maestros and discover the secrets behind their exquisite creations.

As we roll into Saturday afternoon, prepare for the return of Pear Fest’s cherished traditions. The aroma of our pig roast will mingle with the rustic scent of sourdough pizzas emerging from our traditional wood-fired oven – both perennial favourites that capture the essence of our festival’s culinary spirit. These mouth-watering staples are perfect for enjoying with friends old and new under the summer sky.

World-Class Speakers at Pear Fest ’24: Pioneers of Regeneration and WellnessJoin us at Pear Fest ’24 for an enlightening series of talks delivered by an impressive roster of speakers, including familiar faces and leading pioneers in the fields of regenerative farming and ecological medicine.

Adam Alexander

From Screen to Green: Championing Heritage Crops and Cultures

Adam Alexander is a consummate story-teller thanks to forty years as a successful and award-winning film and television producer. His films have included documentaries about little-known cultures, (A Year in Tibet), popular food series, (Return to Tuscany, The Urban Chef) and gardening programmes, (A Year at Kew, A Garden for Eden). He has won awards for culturally important ethnographic series including, Hughesovka, Eutopia, Unholy Land and Russian Wonderland. He has appeared on CNN’s Going Green, BBC’s Gardeners’ World and The Great British Food Revival and numerous radio stations around the world talking about his work saving and sharing rare, endangered and delicious vegetables. He has written for National Geographic Magazine, The Organic Way, The Sustainable Food Trust, The Cottage Garden Society.

His latest project is to encourage people to reconnect with their local food culture by reviving local varieties held by the HSL and also heirlooms he has discovered in the UK. These are being grown by market gardeners and re-introduced to communities through farmers markets, local shops and veg-box schemes. Local growers are also being provided with seed to grow out and bulk up supply for commercial use.

He is in demand as a consultant and advisor to private gardens and institutions wanting to showcase British heritage crops. His book The Adventures of a Seed Detective was published in 2022 and his new book, The Accidental Plant Breeder will be published in March 2025

Roger Morgan-Grenville

Soldier, Explorer, and Guardian of Biodiversity

We are proud to introduce Roger Morgan-Grenville, a distinguished new addition to the Pear Fest ’24 line-up. Roger is a prolific writer, eloquent speaker, and dedicated campaigner on issues pertaining to nature and biodiversity, particularly within the United Kingdom. His work is driven by an acute awareness of the stark biodiversity loss that has occurred within our lifetimes, with the sobering statistic that we have effectively lost half of what we once had.

Roger approaches his mission with a unique blend of hope and realism, intertwining science with personal anecdotes to craft narratives that resonate with humanity's role in both the degradation and potential restoration of nature. He is a staunch advocate for the Eurasian Curlew, working tirelessly to restore Britain’s largest wader to a robust population. Moreover, he campaigns fervently to re-establish Natural History as a core element of education for all children, ensuring that knowledge and respect for the natural world is not a privilege, but a right.

Before dedicating himself to the conservation of nature, Roger served with distinction in the Royal Green Jackets for nine years, with deployments across five continents. His adventurous spirit led him to lead the first successful expedition retracing Shackleton’s remarkable journey across South Georgia, showcasing his leadership and tenacity.

Souren Ala

Visionary in Garden Design and Wildflower Meadows

Born amidst the rich cultural tapestries of the UK and Iran, and enriched by his experiences in the southwestern USA, Souren Ala returned to the UK in 1998 equipped with a diverse background. After earning an advanced degree in Geology, Souren embarked on a successful 15-year career in hydrocarbon exploration and contaminated land investigation/remediation, before a profound shift led him to his true passion—horticulture.

A self-taught horticulturist, Souren’s professional journey in garden design began at the millennium's turn following the completion of a Level II RHS certificate. Over the past 23 years, his dedication to garden design, creation, planting, and maintenance has transformed numerous landscapes, each infused with sustainable and innovative practices.

Since 2014, Souren has been a vibrant voice in "The Hardy Plant," the prestigious journal of the Hardy Plant Society, and he took the helm as editor in 2019. He has a deep-seated passion for bulbs and wildflower meadows, the latter being the focus of his upcoming talk. A recognised authority in this field, Souren will share his extensive knowledge and practical tips on creating thriving wildflower meadows, demonstrating how they can enhance biodiversity and beauty in any space.

Join us at our conference to gain invaluable insights from Souren on how to design and nurture wildflower meadows, drawing from his vast expertise and innovative approach to gardening.

Monique Parker

Nourishing Connections: Rediscovering Our Bond with Nature for Health and Harmony

Monique Parker is a qualified nutritionist and author of the book ‘Conversations on the Lost Connection with Nature’. She is passionate about nature in all its forms, especially the effects it has on our life, health, and well-being.

Having experienced the healing qualities of nature herself and having witnessed it in her clients and many other people, she always wanted to share the message about the special relationship we all have, consciously or unconsciously, with nature, the benefits for our health and well-being, and the necessity to restore this lost connection to save our planet and our future.

Monique has a strong interest in food, not just the growing, cooking and eating of it, but also the issues of our broken food system, and of course the link between food and health, which also features in her book.

She will be talking about the how and why of the book, her relationship with nature, and about the inspiring people who contributed to her book.

Dr David Jehring

CEO, Black Pear

Our CEO will be talking about the journey he is on to use agroecological methods on the land at our HQ in Worcestershire to improve the soil and biodiversity and how this ties in with improving the health of our citizens and cutting the burden of chronic disease.

He will show how the technology that Black Pear pioneers can aid in social prescribing of lifestyle interventions to make this available to patients at scale alongside work he is doing as a trustee of the PHC.

Russ Carrington

Revitalizing Landscapes: Pioneering Regenerative Agriculture for a Sustainable Future

Russ Carrington was the driving force behind the Knepp Estate's regenerative agriculture project in West Sussex. A former civil engineer and regenerative farmer, Russ has devoted himself to helping food production and rural societies become fit for the future. Knepp pioneered the use of free-roaming grazing animals which transformed Knepp into a wildlife haven. Knepp was once an intensively farmed estate that has become a leading example of how low-cost rewilding methods can restore ecological health and create a thriving rural economy.

Russ was brought in to set up a regenerative farm alongside the rewilding area at Knepp to produce beef, eggs and vegetables. He will tell how this can kick-start ecological restoration and benefit the environment and local communities everywhere. Russ was also a founder and later general manager of the Pasture Fed Livestock Association, working with farmers around the UK and Ireland to produce 100% grass-fed beef, lamb and milk.

Dr Jenny Goodman

Champion of Ecological Medicine

Dr. Jenny Goodman, a seasoned ecological doctor, will also grace our festival with her expertise. With over two decades of experience, Dr. Goodman is a strong proponent of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine. Her philosophy is grounded in the belief that diet, reduced toxin exposure, and lifestyle adjustments are critical in treating chronic conditions and improving overall well-being. Dr. Goodman will not only share her insights into ecological medicine but will also give us a preview of her upcoming book, which promises to be a significant contribution to the field.

Prepare to be inspired by these extraordinary individuals who are not just experts in their fields but also passionate about sharing their knowledge to make a difference in the world. Their sessions are designed to be a transformative experience for anyone interested in the intersection of health, diet, and sustainable living.

Giancarlo and Katie Caldesi

Restauranteurs and low carb advocates

Giancarlo and Kate Caldesi had a string of successful Italian restaurants and cookery schools across London but their life was changed when Giancarlo was diagnosed with diabetes. Suddenly the energetic Italian chef was overweight and depressed with excruciating pain. But when a nutritionist friend suggested he do the unthinkable and drop the pizza, pasta and bread in favour of a low carb diet his condition was transformed. Now the couple have co-authored a low carb cookbook to combat diabetes and created gluten free pasta recipes as well as finding alternatives to pastry, bread and pizza.

You can read about their healthy recipes at https://www.thegoodkitchentable.com/. They will be doing a demonstration of how to prepare some of these as well as helping to provide the food at Pear Fest so you can sample first-hand how healthy food can also be delicious

Christopher Bellamy

From Electric Vehicles to Biodesign: Innovating for a Sustainable Future

Chris is a designer and engineer who is fascinated by how we can live in more sustainable and regenerative ways. After studying engineering at the University of Cambridge, Chris started his career at Jaguar Land Rover, where he helped to develop their first electric vehicle, the Jaguar I-Pace. He then transitioned to the footwear and apparel industry, developing customizable and recyclable shoes, aiming to reduce and improve the staggering annual production of approximately 20 billion pairs of shoes.

Realizing that incremental improvements to plastics and metals would never be sufficient to meet climate targets, Chris shifted his focus towards working with living systems, embracing the philosophy that nature does it better. This pivot led him to complete a Master's in Biodesign at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, London, where he explored the potential of living materials. As part of his degree, Chris had the unique opportunity to work and teach in French Polynesia, learning about the region’s profound relationship with nature and how it could inform sustainable practices worldwide.

Chris is now poised to apply this knowledge in launching a sports nutrition business aimed at resolving the paradox of people engaging in sports for health benefits while consuming foods more suited to astronauts. This venture reflects his commitment to integrating sustainable, nature-inspired solutions into everyday life.

Pear Fest ’24: Jazz Club EveningPrepare for an extraordinary start to Pear Fest with a captivating evening at our Jazz Club, featuring the enchanting acoustic sounds of the Remi Harris Trio, featuring Magnus Pickering a special guest trumpeter from London, and the dynamic jazz vocalist Tina Oldham. This event has a limited number of tickets available

Remi Harris Trio

Experience the pure magic of acoustic Gypsy Jazz with the Remi Harris Trio. Led by the exceptional Remi Harris on acoustic guitar, the trio is dedicated to delivering an authentic Gypsy Jazz performance on this special occasion. Their set will focus exclusively on this charming style, infused with the spirit of Django Reinhardt's pioneering music and other jazz classics. Known for their dynamic and heartfelt performances, the trio has dazzled audiences worldwide, including appearances at prestigious venues and festivals such as Buckingham Palace and the Montreal Jazz Festival.

His latest project is to encourage people to reconnect with their local food culture by reviving local varieties held by the HSL and also heirlooms he has discovered in the UK. These are being grown by market gardeners and re-introduced to communities through farmers markets, local shops and veg-box schemes. Local growers are also being provided with seed to grow out and bulk up supply for commercial use.

He is in demand as a consultant and advisor to private gardens and institutions wanting to showcase British heritage crops. His book The Adventures of a Seed Detective was published in 2022 and his new book, The Accidental Plant Breeder will be published in March 2025

Magnus Pickering

Special Guest Trumpeter

Enhancing the night’s allure, a celebrated trumpeter from London, Magnus, will join the trio for a selection of pieces. As the leader of the Weatherbirds and one of London's most sought-after freelance jazz cornet and trumpeters, Magnus has an impressive track record. He has performed with notable musicians such as Ewan Bleach, Brandyn Shaw, and Alex Mendham and his Orchestra. His vibrant and expressive trumpet sounds will add a special dimension to the mix, perfectly complementing the acoustic setting of the evening.

Tina Oldham

Special Guest Jazz Singer

Tina Oldham, a gifted jazz singer from Berlin, will grace the stage with her soulful vocals and compelling storytelling. Tina brings a blend of jazz tradition and contemporary influences to her performances, captivating audiences with her deep musicality and innovative style.

Caldesi Cuisine

Gourmet Dining Experience

The evening will be complemented by a delectable two-course meal prepared by renowned chefs Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi. Their culinary expertise will provide the perfect accompaniment to an evening filled with exceptional music and ambiance.

Pear Fest ’24: Music FestivalAs the longest day meets the most radical decade, Pear Fest ’24 is set to revel in the revolutionary spirit of the 1980s—where synth-pop ruled the airwaves, epic narratives unfolded on silver screens, and video games began their digital conquest. Kick off the day with the exceptional talents of Remi Harris and Hattie Briggs, and as evening falls, let the electrifying energy of That 80s Thing sweep you into the night. Experience powerful vocals, soaring guitars, and that unmistakable ‘80s drum sound, all amidst an ambiance of neon and leather.

Remi Harris Blues Band

Blues Band Showcase

Start your Saturday at Pear Fest with a powerful performance from Remi Harris and his band, as they bring back their acclaimed Blues set from last year. This dynamic group features the soul-stirring vocals of Dave Small, the robust basslines of Tom Moore, and the energetic rhythms of drummer Shane Dixon.

Paying homage to the legends, their performance will cover a range of iconic sounds—from the evocative melodies of Peter Green to the heavy, guitar-laden riffs of rock giants like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Led Zeppelin. This set promises to be a soulful tribute to the greats, crafted with virtuosity and passion.

Prepare to be captivated by the blend of intense blues and rock that will set the tone for a day filled with musical brilliance. The band's chemistry and skill ensure a performance that resonates with fans of classic rock and blues alike, making it a perfect kickoff to a day of vibrant festival entertainment.

Hattie Briggs

A Musical Revelation

As the musical journey continues on Saturday, Pear Fest is thrilled to welcome back Hattie Briggs, whose extraordinary voice and evocative songwriting left an indelible mark last year.

Discovered while busking at Paddington Station by none other than Les Mis star Alfie Boe, Hattie Briggs' talent quickly catapulted her onto larger stages. Within six months, she was opening for the renowned tenor on his UK tour, culminating in a standing ovation at the Royal Albert Hall. With musical influences like Jeff Buckley, Joni Mitchell, and Goldfrapp, Hattie weaves together elements of pop, folk, and electronic music into her own distinctive sound. Her tracks have resonated on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, and BBC 6 Music, capturing the hearts of audiences nationwide.

Special Pear Fest Commission
Last year, Hattie was commissioned to create a song specifically for Pear Fest. The result was ‘Wild: Learn off the Land,’ a powerful composition that embodies the festival’s themes of living in harmony with nature and fostering mindfulness. Her performance of this song was a highlight of the festival, casting a spell over the audience with its profound message and stirring melody.

Anticipated Performance
Join Hattie and her bandmates, Jas and John, as they prepare to enchant the festival crowd once again. Expect a set filled with beloved tracks, new material, and the unforgettable ‘Wild: Learn off the Land.’ Hattie’s heartfelt lyrics and captivating melodies are set to make this another memorable performance at Pear Fest.

That 80s Thing

A Decade of Hits

That 80s Thing brings to life the quintessential sound of the 1980s with their electrifying performance. Featuring powerful vocals, soaring guitars, funky bass lines, and that quintessential ‘80s drum sound, they capture the essence of an era that revolutionized the music scene. For eight years, this band has been lighting up stages across the UK, gaining a reputation for their energetic shows that are as much a visual feast as they are a musical journey.

Dance the Night Away
As the final act of Pear Fest, That 80s Thing promises to deliver a performance that will have everyone dancing like it’s still the '80s. Their set is a celebration of all things ‘80s, from pop anthems to rock classics, ensuring that every festival-goer can sing along and dance to the hits they know and love.

End the Festival on a High Note
Join us for the festival finale with That 80s Thing and end Pear Fest on a high note. Whether you lived through the ‘80s or simply appreciate the timeless appeal of its music, this band will provide the perfect soundtrack to conclude an unforgettable day of celebration.

Outline of Pear Fest ’24 Schedule

Day 1: The Symposium on Agroecology and Wellness

10:45 AM Registration opens, setting the stage for a day of insightful discourse.
11:00 AM The symposium commences with our first speaker, igniting the conversation on sustainability and health.
5:30 PM The day’s sessions draw to a close, leaving attendees enriched with knowledge and new perspectives.

Day 2: The Music Festival

11:00 AM The festival kicks off with a captivating cookery demonstration from culinary maestros Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi.
2:00 PM Experience the new and exciting project from guitarist Remi Harris, as he, along with the rich vocals of Dave Small, the rhythmic foundation of bassist Tom Moore, and the dynamic beats of drummer Shane Dixon, pays tribute to the life and music of the iconic Peter Green.
4:00 PM Hattie Briggs takes the stage, offering her unique blend of melodies and storytelling.
7:30 PM The festival reaches its crescendo with That 80’s Thing, delivering two hours of high-energy ‘80s anthems to bring the night to an unforgettable close.

Join Us

For the Ultimate ‘80s Throwback

Don’t miss out on the chance to relive the ‘80s at the coolest party of the year. Join us, our partners, and fellow enthusiasts for a weekend of unforgettable music, insightful discussions, and good vibes all around.

Mark your calendars and prepare for a festival brimming with inspiration, entertainment, and unforgettable experiences.

The Pear Fest Mission

Our legendary chief operating officer Sean O’Mahoney had a simple vision that Black Pear would one day put on the best music festival with the finest bands, drinks and food in the country. He wanted us to put on a show worthy of our amazing partners and customers to celebrate everything you do away from the confines of the office. Following his sad passing in 2020, we are on a mission from God to realise his vision.

Highlights from last year