New two-day outdoor festival will see Steven Bartlett and Gareth Thomas take to stage in Wickham

A NEW outdoor festival will see some of the biggest names in business come to Hampshire to share their expertise.

Ideas Fest is a two-day festival taking place in the site of the popular Wickham Festival.

Taking place across Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 August, the festival will provide professionals from across the region and the rest of the country with a chance to enjoy insightful talks, networking and more in a relaxed festival setting.

The ethos behind the festival is to provide a relaxed and informal setting to allow busines leaders, founders and professionals to let their hair down and enjoy themselves while securing new business opportunities, meeting like-minded people and taking away valuable and actionable insights from industry-leaders.

Taking the stage will be some of the biggest names in business, including Dragon’s Den star and host of number-one podcast The Diary of a CEO, Steven Bartlett, as well as founder of meditation app Calm, Michael Acton-Smith.

More huge names including author of The Good Ally, Nova Reid, former captain of Wales and The British Lions, Gareth Thomas, will be giving talks and hosting panels across the two days.

Taking place across the festival will also be wellbeing activities such as morning yoga, workshops in skills such as public speaking and circus skills, a silent disco, independent food and drinks vendors, a ‘boujie’ car boot sale in association with Richmond Motor Group, with profits being donated towards causes in Ukraine.

There will also be live music, with a performance and Q&A session with So Macho star Sinitta, as well as performances from Oysterband, 10CC and Grace Petrie.

The event was founded by Francesca James, who also runs several national awards companies including the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

The brain behind the event, Francesca James founded the festival because she wanted to bring something new and innovative to the world of corporate events, to reimagine the way business events are done.

She said: ‘There is currently a new wave of business leaders and future founders and they don’t want to wear a suit and tie and drink coffee in hotel conference suites. While there is absolutely still a place for corporate events that encourage this, it’s important that we move with the times and innovate where there is a desire for it.

‘The idea is that people will be able to let their guard down and have a deeper experience that will result in a bigger outcome for them personally or professionally. Regardless of what stage of business that people are at, there will be something for everyone to take away from the festival. We are looking forward to sparking lots of opportunities and inspiring conversations that could change the world.’

The festival is offering people within the Hampshire area 30 per cent off tickets for the duration of June.

Until June 12 it is also running a two-for-one buddy promotion, offering a free two-day ticket for every two-day ticket purchased, which the 30 per cent promotion will also be valid on top of.

Tickets can be purchased from