Starfest 2013

13th Annual Starfest

9th – 11th August 2013

Adderstone Field, Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire

***Guest Speakers Announced***

Stuart Atkinson (Eddington AS) – Martian Rovers

Gary Fildes (Kielder Observatory) – An evening with the Hubble Space Telescope

Gary Poyner – An Introduction to Variable Star Observing


We invite you to attend our annual star camp for three nights of stargazing and astrophotography in the wonderful surroundings of our “Milky Way” class Dark Sky Discovery Site of Dalby Forest.

Attendees at Starfest during the Astromind quiz

For anyone who hasn’t been to our star camp before, this is an annual event which is well attended by over 100 amateur astronomers from around the country who travel to the forest to take advantage of the wonderful dark sky, as many other areas of the country suffer from urban light pollution, making observing and imaging deep sky objects far more difficult than under a dark sky.

This is a gathering of serious amateur astronomers and astronomical societies, but our regular attendees are a friendly bunch and are happy to chat and help those attending for the first time.  The field at Adderstone is well drained and we can accommodate caravans, motor homes and tents.  However, there is no hard standing, shower facilities or electrical hook-ups: this is camping at its most basic!  We hire private port-a-loos for the weekend which are emptied and cleaned, and there is a facility for disposing of chemical toilet waste from caravans.  Running drinking water is available at the top of the field at the water taps, and we switch on the hot water urn in the marquee each morning for that first cuppa of the day.

The fees for 2013 are:

£25 for adults

£10 for children (5-15)

£0 for under five’s

Starfest attendees on a walk to the Bridestones during Starfest 2004

The fee includes a pass for the forest for the weekend (the forest drive toll is usually £7 a day) so that you can take advantage of the delights Dalby has to offer, such as Go Ape, walks, mountain biking, access to the National Trust Bridestones, and the children’s play areas.

As for previous years, we are able to accommodate early arrivals for those who have a long way to travel and for members who wish to take advantage of an extra night on the Thursday night (8th August).  Please note that no one will be allowed entry to the site until after 5pm on the Thursday and the additional night needs to be arranged and paid for in advance.  The fee as last year for the additional night will be £6 per car.

M33 Triangulum Galaxy imaged during Starfest 2012 by regular attendee Juergen Schmoll

Friday night is the official start to Starfest and this has always been a “wine and nibbles” welcome.  However, since the 10th Anniversary it has become customary for us to hold a hog roast buffet, and we shall be organising this again for those who wish to partake.  The hog is carved and served on site with apple sauce, stuffing and a variety of condiments.  This has become one of the highlights of the weekend in recent years!  Hog roast tickets are to be paid at the time of booking and will be the same price as last year at £6 each.  A vegetarian option will be provided if indicated on the booking form.  The £6 includes wine or fruit juice.

Retailer Astronomica selling astronomy kit in the marquee

We will have trade stands in the marquee on Saturday, a range of talks throughout the weekend (itinerary to be confirmed nearer the time, but some exciting plans this year!), our annual rocket building competition and of course the Astromind quiz on the Sunday evening.

Places are limited and this is a popular event, so book early to avoid disappointment.  Please complete and send your booking form with payment (cheques made payable to Scarborough and Ryedale Astronomical Society) to:

Scarborough & Ryedale Astronomical Society
c/o Mell Jeffery FRAS
11 Chestnut Grove
Norton on Derwent
North Yorkshire
YO17 9BZ

For any queries relating to Starfest please contact Mell (full details on the booking form).

We look forward to welcoming you.