The sun sets in Lincolnshire. A few cows meander through a field as they are ushered home for the evening, clumps of rapeseed softly rustle as a light breeze runs through its yellow blossom, the sky stretches on for miles in glorious sundown colours of periwinkle and rose.
Observing this tranquil scene, it’s difficult to believe that just a few miles away, beyond a veil of trees and muffled by whispering woodland, a group of people smothered in glitter and adorned with horns, capes and masks are dancing around what appears to be the ruins of an abandoned church.
Nearby a man with a painted face and a top hat digs a shallow grave, a couple dressed in clothes from decades gone by wheel a pram and bundles of cloth and sticks decorate tree branches. No, I haven’t stumbled across a bizarre cult where I’m doomed to become a human sacrifice imminently. I’m at Lost Village, an immersive festival in the woods where music is just one thing on the menu.
These are 14 weird and wonderful things we stumbled across in the Lincolnshire woodland.
1. Groups of hooded woodland residents
We’re not sure what these lot were up to and didn’t stick around to find out either. If some sort of sacrificial ritual went down in the woods last weekend, you know who to blame.
2. Fine dining beneath the trees
If you can’t tell what those three dishes are, we’ll give you a few prompts from left to right; that’s pork belly with oyster cream and pickled shitake, beef tartare with oyster emulsion and capers and black cod with crispy potato, squid ink and vinegar. Told you it was fancy AF.
3. Trippy decorations swirling above
Dream catchers, boots, random articles of clothing and strange-shaped pieces of wood dangle from on high.
4. This “mind-reading” machine that looks suspiciously like an electric chair
What’s on his mind? A little drawing of a kebab and some salad, according to this machine. “I mean, I do like kebabs and salad,” says the guinea pig. It’s MAGIC.
5. This ominous-looking grave
The grave attracted a multitude of fans, from the Village’s Grave Digger character who twiddles his shovel menacingly and occasionally scatters soil on those who dare jump in to selfie-takers who are looking for something to reel in those likes on Instagram. Luckily for everyone involved, no one ended up using this as a toilet/bed/actual grave.
6. An organ powered by small electric currents and dancing frog legs.
The notes are created by sending an electric current between two wires. Or something along those lines. No real frogs were harmed in the making of this video.
7. Giant, realistic tree-men
Forget watching mind-blowing DJ sets from Ben Klock, DJ Koze and Fatboy Slim, by far a festival highlight was watching swarms of people claw at their eyes and question what on earth was in that strangers’ drink they stole last night as they watched these two tree-men materialise and walk quietly from stage to stage.
8. These scenes from the depths of the woods
Disco balls, slow-motion ballroom dancing and torches everywhere. More eyeball scratching ensues.
9. A man known only as “The Grave Digger”
By far the most ominous character we met in the woods was the Grave Digger, who flitted between outrageously outspoken and chillingly withdrawn.
10. Some very strong fancy dress game
Don’t bother with your half-arsed flower crown, hunter wellies and Glasto 2012 t-shirt if you’re headed to Lost Village. It’s go hard (we’re talking wizard robes, unrecognisable amounts of eye makeup and bits of stick in your hair) or get the hell out of Lincolnshire.
12.Some questionable woodland rituals
The girl on the left stood nailing love letters to a tree while weeping and grabbing passers by for company, while the lady on the right sat blindfolded as a Villager whispered a story in her ear.
13. Festival stages like no other
We perused through weird and wonderful objects “found in the forest” at the Bureau of the Lost, boogied by a church as the Abandoned Chapel, got wild and weird at the Forgotted Cabin and very nearly fell on our faces musing at the giant voodoo dolls surrounding the Burial Ground. Not a beer sponsorship banner in sight. Bliss.
14. Vows exchanged under a blanket of greenery
We’re not totally clear on whether the lady clutching the scroll has a licence to marry, but it’s doubtful anyone minds. The look in the cape-wearing fella’s eyes is stronger than any legal binding.