On the 5th August 2017, Woofstock will be holding its annual event for the first time in Dartmouth, South Devon. This excitingly different event is for any dog lover – all about dogs and for dogs! We met up with Heather who is the founder of Woofstock to get the inside story on the event and what people can expect on the day.
Please give a brief summary of who you are, your role in Woofstock UK.
Hi my name is Heather and I am the founder of Woofstock UK together with my springer spaniel Harry although he would say it was his idea! Woofstock UK is not my fulltime job although it takes up just as much time as if it were. Behind us is a small army of volunteers who turn up before the day to set up and also run the day as it is such a big undertaking. Mandie Horton has been with us from the beginning and designs all of the posters and carries out the marketing in the background with her dog Bella. Again this is not Mandie’s fulltime job as she also runs her own business.
As for me well I keep Harry in check and help him with the social media side of things. We have a FB page, a twitter account and a woofsite (website). On top of this Harry also has his own FB account, twitter account and woofsite too. This takes up our time with pushing out various updates to people.
It truly is a mammoth operation for us to ensure we provide a pawsome day out for everyone.
What is Woofstock UK and when is it on? Who should come to Woofstock UK?
Woofstock UK is a festival by dogs for dogs. That is no joke. The day is set up from a dogs pawspective. So if dogs had their own festivals what would it be like. This year we are holding it on the 5th August from 0930 – 1830 in Coronation Park Dartmouth Devon. A spectacular location in one of the most stunning towns in the southwest.
You do not have to be owned by a dog to come to Woofstock UK. If you love animals and want a day out which is full of fun and incredibly friendly then Woofstock UK is the place for you. We have visitors from all over the world who join us. We have recently been described as “a festival with a heart” and that’s what we aim to achieve a warm friendly fun bonkers day out.
Tell us a bit about the history of Woofstock UK and why Dartmouth this year? How did it start?
In 2012 I had become seriously ill. It was Harry and my other dog Maggie who had really alerted me to how ill I was. While I was recovering Harry never left my side and was a constant source of comfort to me. I had a twitter account for my business and one day wondered how many dogs were on twitter. I blame the medication for the craziness that happened next! So having discovered there were thousands of dog accounts on twitter I set one up for Harry under the name @spanielharry and it took off. At the end of 2012 we moved to Devon just outside Dartmouth. I had finished writing Harry’s first book “Help my dog’s on Twitter” and he had become some kind of celebrity in the twitter world. We had also started interviewing people from celebrities to charities through Harry’s blog www.spanielharry.co.uk all done in dog speak and all good humoured. Harry met Bella (Mandie) on twitter and between them their social media presence rocketed. We started raising money and awareness for good causes. It was all great fun. One day I thought I would love to set up a festival each year to support charities and really give back to Harry who had been my rock since my illness. Woofstock UK was born.
We were fortunate enough to have a field gifted to us in Dorset for our first and second year by Ninna from the Woofbed company. Without this we would never have gotten off the ground. We found that people who have spoken to each other for years on twitter or fb but had never met suddenly had a single place each year to meet up. We had people from all over the world come to the festival.
After the first two years we took a year out to regroup. In 2016 we decided it was time to bring Woofstock UK home to Devon. When thinking about venues we thought what better place than Dartmouth and Coronation Park. Not only was it easier for us but also we wanted to show off what a truly beautiful part of the world this is and how dog friendly too. We have also taken on an events company to help us spread the woof, Diverse Events, who love dogs as much as us so it is a brilliant partnership.
What can people expect on the day? What events are on and what does it entail?
There is a lot happening on the day. Plenty to see and take part in. We have 9 dog shows and a best in Show category. All winners of the dog shows receive rosettes and prizes. Agility displays and have a go agility, a disc dog display, charity mascot run where the charities mascot do an agility course competing with each other it is great fun. We are also thrilled that this year we have the Devon and Cornwall Police dogs coming to do displays and people will also have the opportunity ti speak with them about all they do.
Live music with 6 bands on stage. Doggy massage, doggy chill out zone even doggy ice cream! A whole array of stalls from a wide variety of food to an inflatable pub! Dog related pet products and something for the humans too. There is a huge amount to entertain you for the day.
Tickets are wristbands so you can come and go throughout the day and walk a few minutes into the town. Dogs get tickets too which are biscuits at the gate.
How can people get to Woofstock UK?
There is a wide range of accommodation in Dartmouth and the surrounding area. Many places allow dogs too. If you are travelling for the day we encourage you to arrive very early and park at the park and ride to ensure a space as parking is limited in the town.
Where can people find out more information and buy tickets?
You can find out more about us and passed events at www.woofstockuk.co.uk where you can also buy tickets for the day. Or visit our FB page at www.facebook.com/WoofstockUnitedKingdom or find us on twitter @woofstockuk or @spanielharry
Anything else you want to mention?
We rely on sponsors to put on Woofstock UK any amount is welcome. We have great opportunities for businesses ranging from as little as £20. Come and join us at this crazy festival by dogs for dogs. You will have a pawtastic day full of fun for you and your dog. I would encourage people to book tickets online as we may not be able to accommodate you on the day as tickets are limited. Remember this day is to raise awareness and support for charity so give generously at the dog shows. Above all, have fun!