Tom Middleton hits the Deer Park Stage at The Big Chill

Confirmed for the arts programme are Fuel’s dance and sound spectacular Electric Hotel and The Simple Things in Life.

tom middletonTom Middleton, one half of Global Communication and a DJ in his own right, will be an integral part of The Big Chill this year. Having performed at every year of the festival for the last 16 years, 2011 sees Middleton host a stage of his own to build on that legacy. Now also added to his pleasantly hectic Big Chill schedule, a DJ set on the Deer Park Stage on Saturday featuring his expert blend of experimental, progressive and ambient electronic sounds.

Tom Middleton comments: “Fantastic to still be involved in The Big Chill! To have witnessed its growth and evolution from a humble 500 folk in a field to hosting 10’s of thousands of ‘Chillers’ at the glorious Eastnor Castle. And heart warming to see Festival Republic’s clear investment in preserving and expanding upon the original spirit of The Big Chill. The truly eclectic and entertaining line ups of classic artists and DJ’s to suit all tastes playing alongside the hottest new talent, with inspiring art installations, genuinely family friendly areas, the ultra chilled holistic therapies, and endless stalls punting a vast choice of ‘mouthgasmic’ global gastronomy. I’m looking forward to Djing and also curating a tastemaker space stacked with Function-One over the 3 nights showcasing the sickest underground emotive electronic and bass music Artists and DJ’s on the scene.

Another addition to the feast of offerings on the Deer Park Stage comes from the Brooklyn-based five-piece Here We Go Magic who will perform on Friday. Fronted by Luke Temple, Here We Go Magic was previously the moniker for Temple as a solo artist; however in 2009 he recruited four musicians to make the project a full live band. Having received praise from Pitchfork and a reported seal of approval from Thom Yorke, the audience can expect great things from the ethereal indie act.

Bringing skilfully arranged drum ‘n’ bass to The Big Chill will be NZ Shapeshifter, blending electronic sounds with heavy soul. The five-piece band, originating from New Zealand, are guaranteed to deliver monstrous live grooves that synthesize barrelling drum ‘n’ bass, cavernous dub soundscapes and pounding hard rock. NZ Shapeshifter’s energetic set takes place on The Revellers’ Stage on Saturday.

With support from the likes of Benji B and Giles Peterson to name but a few, Taylor McFerrin has been involved with music in many forms in addition to his own solo output. McFerrin has produced Brooklyn’s The Electric Baby, plays keyboards with cutting edge freestyle trio The Cell Theory and has played alongside his Grammy award-winning father, Bobby McFerrin. Rooted in 60’s soul but looking forward to the future sound of hip-hop, Taylor McFerrin mixes Rhodes, synths, samples and beat boxing to create his slick laid-back tunes which will play out on The People’s Ear Stage on Sunday.

The first additions to The Big Chill’s arts programme are also confirmed:

Fuel presents Electric Hotel, a lonely, bizarre and beautiful outdoor spectacle; a uniquely designed, fly-by-night hotel brought to vivid life through dance and sound by the team of David Rosenberg (director and co-founder of Shunt) and Frauke Requardt (choreographer, Pictures from an Exhibition at Sadler’s Wells/Young Vic) with Börkur Jónsson (designer, Woyzeck at Barbican, Metamorphosis at Lyric Hammersmith). Sitting on the outside looking in, the audience snatch glimpses of the do-not-disturb lives unfolding behind the floor to ceiling windows. Wearing headphones to eavesdrop on the internal spaces of the building they watch the residents in their private rooms: the natural habits, the unnatural fantasies and housekeeping of wildly varied quality.

Praised by The Guardian as “one of the most exciting and indispensable producing outfits working in British theatre todayFuel also presents The Simple Things in Life. Five short experiences to celebrate the simple things in life with Lewis Gibson, David Harradine, The London Snorkelling Team, Frauke Requardt and Barnaby Stone. A table with a story to tell, a band bursting at the seams, a sound journey through a good book, a surreal and mesmerising dance, and an installation that takes flight – each found inside a garden shed.

With much more to be announced, the arts programme at The Big Chill promises to be a wealth of creative, interactive and immersive experiences across film, dance, comedy, cabaret, visual art and more. Now a fully fledged member of the Festival Republic family The Big Chill is poised to build further on the successes of 2010.

Last year saw an international line-up of some of the biggest selling names in electronic, indie and pop music and 2011 sees another all-star cast taking to The Big Chill stages including an exclusive UK festival appearance by Kanye West plus The Chemical Brothers and Rodrigo y Gabriela. The Big Chill takes place from 4th to 7th of August 2011 at Eastnor Castle Deer Park in Ledbury, Herefordshire.

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