The Big Kahuna Festival announces its initial line-up

The Big Kahuna Festival 2016
Holmbush Forest, Horsham, Sussex
Bank Holiday Weekend – 26th – 29th August 2016
Early bird tickets available now here

Line-up includes:

The Big Kahuna-forest

The Big Kahuna is a new, 3 day family-friendly music festival taking place on August Bank Holiday at Holmbush Forest in Horsham, Sussex. Set in stunning countryside and woodland, The Big Kahuna will run from 26th to 29th August and will feature outstanding entertainment, amazing music, 9 themed areas in the forest, comfortable camping, theatre, kids’ (and adults’) activities, silent disco, fully themed Frozen cinema, delicious and fairly priced food, a multitude of bars (craft ale, rum, vodka and beyond), kids’ bar, interactive arts and crafts experiences, workshops, and much more. There’s plenty for Big and Little Kahunas to do, and all in a unique and beautiful setting.

Early bird weekend camping tickets are available now priced from £130 (adults), weekend tickets from £110 (adults) via the link here. Please see Bookitbee for all ticket prices including children, camping, and parking.

Stages, Tents and Areas at The Big Kahuna

The first bands and DJs announced for The Big Kahuna are Happy Mondays, Paul Hartnoll (Orbital), Dub Pistols, English Disco Lovers, 808 State (DJ set), Tankus The Henge, Farley Jackmaster Funk, Carnival Collective, Faze Action (Live), Norman Jay MBE, Marshall Jefferson, X-Press 2, Fable, Bushwacka! Utah Saints, Rhythm Masters, Cuban Brothers, The Ska Toons, and many more.

Headline bands and artist will perform on The Big Kahuna Main Stage, which is situated in the middle of the forest in a large clearing surrounded by floodlit trees (and with plenty of space to dance, stand, or sit on the grass). DJs and dance acts will play at Bravo Zulu, an abandoned military base created in the forest – expect outstanding laser and light displays throughout the night. Please see below for current main stage and tent line-ups.

Further areas across The Big Kahuna site include Happy Jacks, a glorious mix of German Bierkeller meets British craft ale tent, with a packed line-up of energetic entertainment and light hearted amusement – from Cornish folk bands to tremendous tribute acts, including bands Black Friday, The Meow Meows, John Crampton, The Skimmity Hitchers, and Die Dorf Fest Kapelle. The bar will include locally produced beers, wines and ciders.

The Chief Kahuna Village is the heart of the festival with interactive entertainment to entice all ages. This bustling village has bars, a pottery school, painting classes, bushcraft, shops, smoothie tents, circus skills, entertainment, wood carving, great food and much more. Guarded by giant tikis to ward off boredom (and other evil spirits), the Chief Kahuna Village is in the forest beyond a mysterious, abandoned military airfield, with plenty of seating to sit back and relax.

Secure and alcohol free, the Little Kahuna area is dedicated to children’s entertainment and enjoyment, with an arts and crafts tent, face painting, balloon modeling, story tellers and beyond. The main attraction is a fully themed Frozen cinema including falling snow, frosted trees, polar bears and snowmen. Films will include the ever-popular Frozen, Lion King, Minions and an array of children’s classics. The kids’ bar will include healthy smoothies, pick and mix, popcorn and candyfloss, fruit bar, hot dogs and ‘Little Kahuna burgers’.

Within the forest is Alice’s Garden – a fantastical, out of this world playground for all ages, featuring white rabbits, giant toadstools, human-sized chess pieces, and glittering roses set amongst the trees. Attractions include a Co2 frozen champagne cocktail bar, nitrogen ice cream bar, beanbag shisha lounge, smoothie bikes, stalls, and more.

Under the forest canopy is the Forest Lights Bar selling rum, specialised vodka and beyond. The trees will be decorated with fairy lights with festoon lighting along the pathways and on the surrounding areas. Music will play from the morning until the small hours, and at night the centrepiece will be a roaring campfire.

Further amongst the tall pine trees is the Psychic Garden, featuring palm and tarot card readers, a psychic workshop, fortune-tellers, crystal shop, and possibly a witch or two.

One of the most unique woodland experiences at The Big Kahuna is the Silent Disco. As dusk approaches, festoon lighting will direct Kahunas into the forest and under a canopy of fairy lights and colourfully lit trees. Once arrived, they can choose their channel and DJ, and dance like nobody can see (or hear) them.

Food and Drink

The Big Kahuna’s bountiful offerings include high quality and locally produced food alongside a fine selection of world cuisine. Pop up stalls will serve amazing prime Sussex free-range burgers from Love Fayre, healthy smoothies, frozen yogurt, wood fired pizzas, Mexican street food, salad bars, sweet and savoury crepes and much more. As a special treat for campers, breakfast is available with free range eggs laid fresh on the farm that morning (subject to availability).

Bars will serve craft beer and ales, wine, cider, cocktails, frozen champagne, rum, vodka, and more.

Camping, Camper vans and Caravans

The Big Kahuna’s campsites (including glamping and family only camping options) are close enough to all the main action and the car parks, but not too far to walk between. Expect luscious greenery with plenty of space to socialise and room for the kids to run around (not wall to wall tents!). All standard camping sites offer oak studded Sussex countryside, toilet facilities, showers, wash areas, lockers, charging points, breakfast bar with fresh coffee, drinks bar, fresh eggs from the farm (subject to availability), well lit pathways, camping shop, and 24 hour security.

Within the site The Big Kahuna have set aside a large area for campers and caravans. Facilities within this enclosed area include hot showers, toilet facilities and access to a fantastic breakfast bar.


Glamping at The Big Kahuna is an experience in itself, the bell tents are enclosed in a private area with its own service counter that supplies drinks, snacks, coffee and breakfast. The glamping comes in the form of 4 berth canvas bell tents. Facilities include luxury toilets, hot showers, camp bar, snack and breakfast bar, gourmet coffee bar, welcome hampers, tipi lounge, and a beauty tent.

General Information

Date: 26th – 29th August 2016
Location: Holmbush Forest, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 4SE
Opening Time:
26th – car park and campsites open 06.00am, main site opens 12.00pm
27th/ 28th – 9.00am car park and admissions open, main site opens 11.00am
Closing Time:
27th/ 28th – 04.00am
29th – 13.00pm all campsites must be clear
Camping: yes

About The Big Kahuna

Located in the heart of a beautiful forest it offers a truly unique festival experience in outstanding natural surroundings with woodland clearings lending themselves perfectly to the different areas. Music-wise, expect to hear iconic 90’s bands, smooth soul and jazz, funk and reggae and classic house and beyond.

However, The Big Kahuna offers so much more then a great line up… interactive experiences, workshops, various types of entertainment, high quality food and drink options, specific kids areas and entertainment and some creatively themed areas are all part of the package for a truly interactive and visually extraordinary experience. On top of that, The Big Kahuna aims to conquer all those festival gripes that may taint a festival experience! So expect to enjoy:

  • An exceptional and unique location in the heart of the forest
  • All camping in close vicinity of the festival so a short stroll home
  • Parking next to campsite so no lugging bags for miles
  • Quality food at a fair price
  • Bulk buy discounts on drinks
  • No muddy water pits! All walkways and paths are hardcored

About The Team

The Big Kahuna is the brainchild of a professional events company based in Brighton who’s specialised in creative, themed events for over 16 years.

Age Restrictions

Children under 5 years old do not require a ticket.
Children 5 – 9 years old will require a child’s ticket to attend.
Children 10 – 15 years old will require a young persons ticket to attend.
Teenagers 16 and over will require a full adults ticket.

Any persons under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult that is 18 years or older and onsite for the duration. Those wishing to stay in the family campsite must have children 16 years or younger in the group. Please note all adults will be required to provide ID when entering the site and all bars serving alcohol will be operating challenge 25 procedures.

Valid ID types:

  • EU passport (no photocopies)
  • Full or provisional photo driving licence issued by DVLA
  • Valid UK card bearing the PASS hologram

The Big Kahuna will contain acts unsuitable for children. The age restrictions for all films shown in the cinema will be advertised outside of the tent however throughout the weekend there will be showings to suit all ages. Other areas and stages may contain swearing and other material unsuitable for children. Unfortunately due to the nature of live performance we are unable to pre-empt this.

Festivals Don’ts

Below is a list of items that are not allowed on site. Festivalgoers may be bag or body searched at the entrances and banned items will be confiscated; dependent on the item people may also be refused access to the site.

  • Glass – no glass is allowed anywhere on site for health and safety reasons
  • Illegal substances
  • Nitrous Oxide (we mean it, No Nitrous)
  • Fireworks and flares
  • Animals (except registered guide dogs)
  • Any items that could be considered as a weapon
  • Electrical generators
  • Chinese Lanterns
  • Unofficial tabards and reflective jackets
  • Excessive amounts of food or alcohol
  • Gazebos

Please note the below items are permitted in the campsite but cannot be taken through to the main site:

  • Alcohol
  • Any liquid vessel
  • Camping equipment
  • Disposable BBQ’s

Travel and Transportation

On foot
There is no pedestrian access to the festival site and the roads surrounding are not suitable for pedestrians. Festivalgoers must be dropped off or use the shuttle bus for their own safety.

Shuttle Buses
The Big Kahuna will be running regular shuttle buses throughout the weekend making it as easy as possible to get to and from the site. Shuttle buses will run from Gatwick Airport and drop off at the festival entrance. A PDF will be released in due course with all timings and services via the website.

The best station to head to is Gatwick Airport, with a shuttle bus providing transport directly to the festival. Please see National Rail website for train times.

By Car
Please follow postcode RH12 4SE on approach and follow signage for the festival and car parking. Car parking tickets can be bought in advance for £15 from festival ticket outlets or will be charged at £20 on site (prices vary for campervans). Parking tickets will be valid for the whole weekend (even if Kahunas leave and come back).

Coach Travel
The Big Kahuna has teamed up with local coach companies to bring people from far and wide to the site. Coaches will be running from various locations in the South and will drop directly at the site. Locations and timings will be released shortly via the website.

About the Author

Director and DJ, Ian French (Naif) is passionate about every genre of music from Breakbeat, to Drum & Bass, to Techno and House. A man that lives in a world of beats and bass, and total confusion about life!