PlayFest 2012 Preview


So to my surprise another early week inbox confirming my attendance at a festival which had totally slipped my mind, Play Fest!

Play Fest has only been running a single year and returns once again this year building its previous years success. Consisting of a comprehensive bill of musicians, bands and artists across various stages, the genres of music on offer are largely Rock, Indie and Dance which should accommodate to the majority of tastes.

Held over the jubilee bank holiday weekend & taking place at New Eccles Hall, Quidenham, Norfolk it’s expected to draw in excess of 4,000 each day.

With three main arena’s packed with major artists including Ash, Feeder, Roots Manuva, The Correspondents, DJ Zinc and Sub focus certainly makes for an impressive line-up.

My two personal highlights for the festival which have been on my wish list to see for a while will be Toddla T who has been a late night DJ on BBC Radio 1 for a number of years and has had recent chart success with the single “Take It Back” and also Hip-Hop duo Scroobius Pip with a number one UK Indie single “"Look For The Woman".

Let’s hope the weather holds out and we have another hot weekend, not a typical British wet and muddy one. Either way come rain or shine the people and music will make for a scorching weekend.

By Dan Wheatley

Final lineup’s announced for this years Play Fest

Roots ManuvaJust added to the bill are UK Garage legend and Kiss FM stalwart DJ EZ on Saturday, and drum’n’bass supremeo Sub Focus on Sunday. The latest additions join an already full to bursting bill of acts that include Ash, The Pigeon Detectives, Reverend and the Makers, Roots Manuva, The Correspondents, Shy FX, Zinc, Toddla T, and Jaymo & Andy George.  This means the full line ups for Saturday and Sunday have now been revealed, so it’s nearly time to don the Play-suits, dust off the wellies and get on down to Play Fest!

Kick starting Saturday night in the POW! Dance Arena, is a DJ widely considered to be one of UK Garage’s greatest talents, DJ EZ! Honing his craft on London’s pirate radio stations in the early 90s, DJ EZ rose to prominence in the late 1990’s when he was offered a permanent show on Kiss 100. Over the years, DJ EZ has hosted a variety of different radio shows, mixed a bucket load of Pure Garage compilation albums that have sold over 1.7 million copies, and won a sack full of accolades and awards; including ‘Best Radio Show’‘Best Old Skool DJ’ and ‘Best DJ’ at the People’s Choice Awards. Play Fest revellers will be taken on a trip through the archives of UK Garage by one the best tour guides there is!

Sunday in the POW! Dance Arena welcomes even more shining lights of the electronic scene and Play Fest can now reveal that supporting Toddla T at the top of the bill for Sunday night will be Sub Focus. Having been on the scene for nearly a decade, Sub Focus is somewhat of a boy wonder of drum’n’bass. He became one of the leading practitioners within only two years of his emergence whilst his debut single ‘X-Ray’ was awarded Single of the Week on Zane Lowe’s Radio One show. In 2010 he produced the track "Kickstarts" for British singer/rapper Example, which peaked at number three on the U.K. singles chart, and last year he signed a deal with Mercury and has a new album due for release at the end of 2012. With so many strings to his bow and a sack full of heavy tunes to delight the party animals out there, Play Fest are ecstatic to have such a D’n’B heavyweight overseeing the run up to the final hours of this year’s festival!

Other additions to the Sunday POW! Dance Arena include: the musical knowledge and surefire selections of Numbers co-founderSpencer, the contrasting styles of Foamo and Bondax, while Oli D.A.B and Robin will be on hand with their particular breed of house. Rounding off the bill will be hometown hero Joshua Roberts and the techno and house vibes of Josh 2084 and BoaBoa & Fazhands.

Over in the Asylum Stage additions include the mega brass extravaganza of Gypsy Hill and Norwich home-grown reggae talent Jah Head, with Murphys Lore on Sunday and Saturday welcomes Kodeta and Woodland Creatures to the lunatic bill of the Asylum Stage!

A limited number of tickets are still on sale via the Play Fest website:



Saturday: Ash, The Pigeon Detectives, Reverend and the Makers, The Big Pink, Little Comets, Tellison, Tripwires, Solko,

Sunday: Feeder, Delilah, Scroobius Pip, Natty, Spector, Lonsdale Boys Club, Ria Ritchie, Dumbfoundus, Lee Vann

Big Top: 

Saturday: Roots Manuva, Sonic Boom Six, Killamonjambo, Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun, Alloy Ark, Kamilla Lovett, The B Goodes, Eyes, Under The Influence, Dingus Khan

Sunday: The Correspondents, Federation of the Disco Pimp, Juan Zelada, Boat To Row, Deers, Rory Mcvicar,  Model Staggs, The Soft, Underline The Sky, Ill Murray

POW! Presents: Dance Arena


Zinc, Shy FX, Melé, DJ EZ, B.Traits, Urban Nerds, DJ Cable, Get Low Cartel, POW! Party Boys


Toddla T, Sub Focus, Jaymo & Andy George, Spencer (Numbers), Foamo, Bondax, POW! Party Boys, Joshua Roberts, Oli DAB & Robin, Josh 2084, Boa Boa & Fazhands,

Asylum Stage


Double Drop, Cabaret show – Chantelles Wedding


Sam & the Womp, The Vagabond, New Town Kings, Swingball,  Kodeta, Feral Mouth, Woodland Creatures, The Harvs, Mc chrome + Illinspired, Cielo, Gael, Julia Jenkins, Inlay.


Gypsy Hill, Jah Head, Nimmo and the Gauntlets, Murphys Lore, Project Multivitamin, Eliza Shaddad, Josh Doughty, Askala Selasse, Slightly Off Steve, The Proposition, Scott Wright, Andy Kirkham


Play Fest add Feeder to the bill

FeederHeadlining the Main Stage on the Sunday night, Play Fest have just confirmed indie legends Feeder. Slotting in next to Ash on the Main Stage bill, Feeder will be bringing their much-loved, pop-meets-metal style as the final act on the Play Fest lawn for 2012. Supporting Feeder on the Sunday night slot will be Chase and Status’ vocal muse Delilah. But as we all know festivals are about so much more than just the awesome chart topping acts on the Main Stage, Play Fest has a bounty of other stages, areas and bars to discover and uncover!

Step inside the extravagant Big Top and be transported in to a world of circus, swing and a bucket load of colour, all mixed in with a grass roots vibe… The Big Top features an array of unsigned talent, the stars of the future plus some hip-shaking acts including, The Correspondents ,  Roots Manuva and new additions to the bill Sonic Boom Six.

POW! Presents: Dance Arena – Play Fest's main dance stage, curated by Norwich's leading electronic club night brand, POW! Expect the best in up front electronic music from some of the biggest names in the industry, alongside some world-famous party starters.

Full Colour Arcade – Play Fest are over the moon to welcome onboard Full Colour Arcade. Following on from the success of last year’s interactive venue at Glade festival 2011, Full Colour will be going one step further this year at Play Fest by sinking their interactive pressure pad system into a brand new raised platform to create a giant drum machine, where ‘Play Mates’ will be able to jam together and create musical masterpieces! Hold on to your hats folks, with 9 pressure pads and a Turbo Sound System this is no run of the mill festival drum workshop, it will be electric and it will be LOUD! By night the dome will turn into a fun filled intimate venue hosting the regions hottest local DJ's, producers and performers.

Rebel Lion Reggae Tent – Rebel Lion are hosting the Roots and Culture Arena featuring Free King, Foundation Sound, Instrument of Jah, MC Chanter, Principal, alongside vegetarian Caribbean food and Rasta Culture Stores.

Asylum Stage – Powered by The Festival Asylum, expect the unexpected! A great mix of solo artists and bands during daylight hours and as night falls prepare to be sent crazy in this late night ‘live music’ venue with some of the hottest music acts and cabaret performances from the UK music scene.

Tipi Tent – Hosted by some of Play Fest’s favorite house music promoters and DJ’s.  Under the cover of darkness lively tech house will be pumping and keeping the Play Mate’s jumping! During the day time, under the sun lit skies of East Anglia you will be transported to a Norfolk version of an Ibiza beach party and a Café Del Mar sunset!

The Play Area – This kids, teens & family area is dubbed as “A magical mini festival as diverse as the rest of Play Fest.” Working in collaboration with Culture Works East, Play Fest brings you The Play Area. A festival within a festival, and will provide an extra special addition to the site. An area specially dedicated to families flocking to the festival which will offer high-quality cultural experiences, activities and facilities tailored to meet the needs of children, teens and their families.

With so much to see, do and get immersed in, all this fun on offer will be thirsty work, so fear not, the Play Fest folks have thought of everything and have four very different themed bars to tend to all your beverage needs! Main Bar – “Daisy Dukes” Western Saloon, Big Top – “Cirque Du Freak” Circus/Freak Show, Dance Arena – “Full Moon” Thai Full Moon Party and VIP Bar – Top quality beers, wine and cocktails. There will also be a Play Fest Mini Mart filled with all the essentials!

Roots Manuva, Scroobius Pip and more added to Play Fest 2012

Joining Ash, Pigeon Detectives and some amazing unsigned talent on the Main Stage, is the leading light and unmistakable face of the UK’s spoken word scene, Scroobius Pip. Taking a side step from his duo collaboration with Dan Le Sac, his Play Fest appearance will focus on his recent solo album, Distraction Piece. Be prepared for some clever and crafty prose, with insightful, thought provoking political observations and a killer bassline! Joining Pip on the Main Stage for Sunday evening is UK sunshine reggae maestro, Natty. Pulling from a variety of influences from South Africa, Italy and the UK, his style moves effortlessly from Reggae to West African Horns mixing in a fresh take on popular songs such as Armand Van Helden’s “You Don't Know Me”. Having reached both critical and popular success Play Fest are jumping for joy at the thought of seeing in the Sunday evening with Natty’s feel good summertime vibes! Another addition to the main stage bill for the Saturday evening will be North East four-piece Little Comets, their blend of tricky percussive rhythms and Afro-beat-tinged guitars has seen them labelled as the British Vampire Weekend and perfect to ease you into Play Fest’s Saturday evening!

Saturday on the Big Top Stage welcomes a very special guest, a man who needs no introduction; UK Hip-Hop supremeo, Roots Manuva who brings his mix of dub, ragga and trip-hop style to the Play Fest fields, a MOBO award winner and Mercury prize nominee, Roots Manuva has effortless charm and delivers an engaging stage show. Other acts newly confirmed for the Big Top include, Federation of the Disco Pimp, Rory McVicar and Boat to Row. These are all set to snuggle up on the Big Top bill next to the likes of the awesome electro-swing gods The Correspondents , local troubadours Killamonjambo and many more…

Roots Manua

Play Fest can also reveal some acts for the main Dance Stage, curated by Norwich's leading electronic club night, POW! Where the best in up front electronic music can be found from some of the biggest names in the industry, alongside some world-famous party starters! The bill so far is looking pretty meaty, with; Toddla T, Shy FX, Jaymo & Andy George, Zinc, Rattus Rattus & Klose One (Urban Nerds), DJ Andy H, [email protected], DJ Cable (DMC Champ), POW! Party Boys, Attack Yourself!, Joshua Roberts and Get Low Cartel.

Finally, it’s time to introduce Play Fest’s very own naughty corner… The Asylum stage! This is a place to fully expect the unexpected, to let your hair down and get involved in the mayhem. A spectacular mix of solo artists and bands will grace the stage during daylight hours, then as night falls, prepare for some crazy shenanigans at this late night live music venue, where some of the hottest music acts and cabaret performances from the local and UK music scene will be rocking the night away! Including; Double Drop, Sam & The Womp, The Vagaband, Feral Mouth, Swingball, Poppy Perezz, The Harvs, Cielo, Kodeta, Josh Doughty, Nimmo & The Gauntlets, Eliza Shaddad, Slightly Offensive Steve, Andy Kirkham, The Woodland Creatures, Scott Wright.

Although the bulk of the line up is now announced, the big-hearted folk at Play Fest HQ still have a few tricks up their sleeves and are still to announce the Main Stage Sunday headliner and support, along with the dance arena Sunday headliner and a sprinkling of other gems still to add to the bill. Watch this space Play Mates!

Play Fest earlybird tickets and website launched

Play Fest is one of the new kids on the block in the UK festival scene. Coming back with a vengeance as a ‘terrible two’ on a mission, Play Fest has already been turning heads and gaining industry attention.  Shortlisted for Best New Festival at the UK festival awards 2011, this is one little ‘un to keep any eye on and with the launch of their brand spanking new, keep on top of all the upcoming announcements and news with line up additions to be revealed soon!

Taking place from Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd June, this baby gem co-insides with the diamond Jubilee and is all set to be the perfect setting for an alternative garden party this early summer bank holiday! Situated in the heart of Norfolk, Play Fest provides a mix of top acts, local artists, DJs & activities. With an organic ethos and close working relationship with local bands as well as the big-name headliners, Play Fest join forces with a select number of organisations to promote unsigned bands and aim to fill 30% of the slots with local talent over big names. Previous artists on the bill in 2011 included The Futureheads, Frank Turner, Darwin Dees and The King Blues, so with the line-up for 2012 to be released in the next couple of weeks, the excitement at Play Fest HQ is mounting to near combustion level!

Early Bird tickets are on sale now and are available via the Play Fest website for the uber bargain price of £65, grab them now as the offer ends on 28th Feb


Early Bird Full Weekend Camping – £65
Full Weekend Camping – £80
Student Player ticket – Weekend camping with FREE travel from UEA, Cambridge University & Ipswich College – £80
Day Tickets – £35
Car Park – £2.50 per vehicle per day, £5.00 weekend
Children – 1 child 12 or under free per supervising adult / £40 full weekend / £20 day ticket


Opening times
Main Stage and Big Top – Saturday and Sunday 11:00am – 01:00am
Dance Arena – Friday 18:00pm – 02:00am Saturday and Sunday 12:00pm – 01:00am

The campsite opens at 4pm on Friday 1st June 2012, and must be vacated by 2pm Monday 4th June 2012.  The campsite provides toilets and the option to use showers.