Beacons Festival 2014 Review

It’s now two o’clock on Monday morning. My feet are numb, my ears are ringing and my tent is full of water and STILL this has been the best weekend I’ve had BY FAR since I sat in almost exactly the same spot this time last year.

Beacons festival is now in it’s third year and long may it continue. Aswell as being tucked away between some of the most perfect countryside I have seen and boasting lineups which have consistently excited me like a child on Christmas morning, the festival has another certain magic about it that is difficult to put into words until you experience it for yourself. It boasts an eclectic mixture of hipsters, underground music fans, families and artsy types, bringing in people from all walks of life and yet keeping focus on enjoying beautiful music and art. The Yorkshire Dales allow a wonderful setting to nurse a hangover and an excellent excuse to chomp on a succulent locally sourced hog roast.


Thursday was all about getting reaquainted with Beacons festival. Our first stop was for food, which took us on three laps of the arena before finally deciding on a fantastic little street food stall called Fish& for some delicious sweet chilli battered fish and chips. After this, we wandered into the ‘Impossible Lecture’ tent and caught the end of the previous performance. We were greeted by a naked, purple-haired lady, crowd surfing her way out of the tent. Welcome back!

Our Friday began to the washing ambient sounds of backwards facing ‘British Sea Power’ inside the main stage, which was hosted by ‘Loud & Quiet’ and ‘’. This was certainly not a case for starting as we mean to go on though, as the next artist we saw was the person I was most looking forward to from the whole weekend. The much anticipated Dan Snaith (aka- Daphni) entered the Resident Advisor stage at 6.00pm to an eager crowd. Luckily for us, the tent was designed with blacked out windows, making it feel almost like the middle of the night. The green strobe lighting was mesmerizing and the atmosphere was certainly not negatively affected by Daphni’s early set time. A wave of excitement passed through the crowd as Snaith dropped his latest Caribou release, ‘Can't do without you’ from under the guise of his alter-ego. It was a noticeable turning point for the resident advisor tent, which went on to host blistering sets from first Daniel Avery, straight off the back of Drone Logic and finally the techno/house inspired Roman Flugel. Friday’s headliners over on the main stage were Daughter, who seemed a little uninspiring after the electric atmosphere within the Resident advisor tent. Although they sounded beautiful, with their haunting minimalist sound and the raw emotion portrayed through Elena Tonra’s vocals, it was a slight downer on the fun I had experienced in the Resident Advisor tent earlier. I am sure on another day, perhaps at a different festival, Daughter would have blown me away with exactly the same set.


Saturday catered for the house lovers over at the Red Bull Tent. The party started with Pariah, an R&S labelman from London, who would get any electronic underground fan nodding their head with his approach in the current wave of British dance music. The DJ entered the part-open stage at 6:00pm – allowing festival goers to ease themselves into Saturday evening whilst the glorious sunshine brought warm party moods well into the sunset hours. The critically acclaimed ‘Huxley’ kept the beats going into the night, leaving the crowd screaming in excitement with the much unexpected addition of ‘Space Cowboy’ by ‘Jamiroqui’ emerging through his heavy house beats. Joy Orbison continued where Huxley left off and finished the night in style.


Saturday’s headliner was Jon Hopkins and once again, he did not disappoint. Blowing the crowd away with his explosive and bass heavy, kaoss pad inspired soundscapes. His set was an unsettling, yet completely soothing experience. A master of his art, Hopkins is known for his intriguing aesthetic performances. Halfway through this particular set, an unexpected sea of colourful giant bouncy balls sailed through the crowd as excited fans punched them into the air creating a colourful explosion of orbs floating over the stage. After the initial excitement of feeling like you are a big kid in a ball pit (and of course the fantastic visuals) the excitement wore off and we realized that being banged in the head by those things actually quite hurt…

Sunday came and the heavens opened. The rain was torrential and so our day was planned around keeping dry, as well as who we would like to see. Tall Ships were the first band on our list and they played one of my favourite performances of the entire festival. T=0 being a highlight and it’s guitar hook has been stuck in my head ever since. After this we took position inside the Resident Advisor for Mano le Tough and then Dixon. Both of whom played quite similar sounding sets. Tough bordered more on house and modern disco, with Innervision’s founder Dixon edging towards progressive house and techno at times. The weather had put a downer on the day for me and although some people I had spoken rated Dixon as their highlight of the festival, I was not in the same mindset. The DJ seemed a little too similar to the artist previous which wasn’t his fault, but I found myself glad to move on from this tent by the time we needed to leave.

Once we had walked over to the final headline act, we were freezing and soaked to the bone. The rain was pouring and spirits were low. Darkside were make or break.

The guitar/electronica duo of Nicolas Jaar & Dave Harrington have some amazing tracks and there was a lot of hype around this performance, with Nicolas Jaar’s live set being one of the best around at the moment. The stage plunged into darkness for their entrance, before Jaar & Harrington took to the stage, which was a cloud of smoke. Spotlights set behind the stage made the two visible only as silhouettes, as they treated the rain-soaked crowd to a show that they will not forget in any hurry. Harrington’s live guitar added complimentary ambient textures to Jaar’s driving analogue synth sounds. A clued-up individual standing near me noted his use of max/msp for drum programming, which went completely over my head but sounded very impressive indeed.

I was completely blown away by Darkside. They were well worth persevering through the cold and rain; their expert shifts in tempo throughout their set shadowing the rollercoaster of a weekend we had experienced. ‘Paper Trails’ was magnificent and Jaar’s live vocals were such a refreshing thing to see and hear.

The fact that Beacons festival still kept it’s magic, even after one of the worst downpours I have experienced at a festival, speaks volumes for the place. Looking back now, as I sit in my little tent with my freezing toes, the past four days have been completely mind-blowing.

Thanks again Beacons festival…. see you next year.

Beacons Festival 2014 Preview

This weekend will see the return of Beacons Festival which takes place in the Yorkshire Dales.

Having started out in 2011 this music festival has gone from strengh to strengh pulling together a top lineup of artists from all around the world and this years lineup is no different.

Topping the bill for 2014 are electronic musican collaborators Darkside, UK indie folk band Daughter, american rapper Action Bronson and English producer Jon Hopkins.

Other acts joining in on the action include the likes of Erol Alkan, Jackmaster, Carli XCX, Joy Orbison, Nightmares on Wax, Neneh Cherry, Dusky and a whole bunch more.

Our picks and must sees for this weekend are:

Action Bronson: This upcoming hip hop artist has been billed as the "next" Ghostface Killa and his legendary stage antics include recently eating someone's burger in front of the audience he was performing for and rapping from a porta-loo mid performance.  This larger than life rapper is bound to put on a show that the Beacons Festival crowd will not want to miss.

Submotion Orchestra: Formed back in 2009 in Leeds, UK, this seven piece band plau a fusion of jazz, soul and dub and have been the favourites of the likes of Trevor Nelson, Jo Whiley and others.  Their live stage shows are full of energy and they are bound to get you bouncing around as they take to the Beacons stage on Friday nite.

Dusky: Saturday at Beacons will see London electronic music duo Dusky hit the crowd with a set of producions so diverse its hard to classify them.  Influnced by many genres, expect a fusion of house and techno and everything in between.

Darkside: Hailing from New York, Darkside are electronic music duo Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington.  Having recently released a remix of Daft Punk's 2013 entire album Random Access Memories to high praise this duo has blown up playing festivals and events all around the world.  Their latest album Psychic delivers a wide range of genre music and their live set is something not to be missed.  Be sure to catch them at Beacons Festival closing out Sunday night.

Action Bronson joins the Beacons Festival 2014 lineup

The festival news items continue to roll in as the Summer Festival Guide can now announce the special guests for this years Beacons Festival.

Beacons Festival are very pleased to reveal the special guests for 2014. Action Bronson will be joining headliners Darkside, Daughter,Jon Hopkins and The Fall. Other great acts added to the line-up include the slick R&B XXYYXX, Dam-Funk (part of the revered Stones Throw gang and Greg Wilson. Predictability is never a threat.

Beacons Festival announce headliners Daughter, Darkside and more!

Beacons Festival is pleased to reveal the first acts for 2014. New York opulent disco / astral funk duo Darkside, ethereal and intimate yet mountain-range massive sounding London trio Daughter and the elegantly crafted electronica tunes ofJon Hopkins will headline the festival.  

The Fall, who will make a rare festival appearance are joined by Hookworms off the back of a huge 2013, Dixon who was Resident Advisor DJ of the year, Jools Holland favourite Melt Yourself Down, TOY, Daniel Avery, King CreosoteSweet BabooEagulls (after that Letterman performance) Max GraefMoneyGirl BandPinsGalaxians make up some of the first wave of bands.

The Thursday night welcome party will feature entertainment, expanded from last year to include a late night silent disco with special guest DJs. Art and Culture will again be an integral part of the festival. A new field named Hunters Field will accompany an expanded arts area, The Space Between, a larger Dawsons Art Hashhouse and the new outdoor stage, The Argyle. Entertainment will range from spoken word, yoga, film and documentary Q&As and meet The Brewers, with 5 Point Brewery being confirmed so far.

Beacons Festival has grown a reputation for providing festivalgoers of all ages with an extensive selection of award winning street food. This year the area is larger with confirmed vendors by REDS true BBQ, Laynes Coffee, Patty Smith burgers, Dough Boys pizza, Mothercluckers chicken and Bundobust (Indian street food/ craft beer combo).

Other festival highlights include The Diddy Rascals family area, which is also getting a revamp and will double in size. The Whitelocks Ale tent will feature the anticipated and expanded Ale festival. A new beer tent from Leeds’ hottest new venue, Belgrave Music Hall are amongst the new additions to Beacons Festival.

Keeping Beacons going after the flood in 2011 has been really hard, but when Wild Beasts headlined in 2012 the stars realigned and it was totally worth it. Now I don’t think about booking acts just to sell tickets. With Dixon, Jon Hopkins and Daniel Avery on site over the weekend we genuinely feel we have the 3 best producers in the world at the moment so we are well chuffed”  Ash Kollakowski, Beacons Festival






Beacons Festival 2013 – Review

Nestled within the picturesque North Yorkshire countryside, Skipton has been home to Beacons festival in mid-August for the past two years (or three if you’re counting it’s disastrous debut year which was cancelled before It’d even got started due to flash floods), the question upon mine and many others lips when arriving on site was: “Is it going to be third time lucky for this independent festival?”.

Early indicators this year were hinting at a successful affair with the capacity of 2012 doubling to 7,500 for 2013, the festival organisers boasting themselves of an increase in the number of toilets, a dedicated family camping area, aptly named ‘Diddy Rascals family field’, a vast increase in entertainment with added tents for visual arts and spoken word performances and if all of this wasn’t quite tickling your fancy the weather forecast looked far more cheerful than previous years.

After arriving at the festival Friday afternoon I was greeted by its small but quaint layout within the dales, there was only a small arena area with three tents dedicated to music bill, although amongst the other tents dotted about I was pleasantly surprised to see sponsors Whitelock’s, Kopparberg and Urban Outfitters with their own respective tents to entice the weekend festival attenders with food, fashion and by the looks of it a lot of fun! Furthermore on the other side of the site was the wide range of arty stuff with the tea rooms, ‘Beacons Boutique’ and ‘Into the Woods’ tent standing out as a popular choice with the latter showing art house films throughout the day.

Beacons Festival

To kick off the proceedings on the Friday afternoon I went to check out Esben & the Witch in the smallest of the three music bill designated tents entitled the “You need to hear this” stage, and was taken aback by the Brighton three piece’s sound of atmospheric rock which more than filled the rather small tent. Sticking around the tents vicinity was a certainty shortly afterwards as one of the hottest tips of the festival Dan Croll was to appear. Opening with catchy hit ‘From Nowhere’ it was a sign of things to come from the 22 year old Staffordshire singer songwriter throughout his whole set consisting of up tempo indie pop tunes, which went down pretty well with more than a satisfied crowd in the Yorkshire sunshine.

Over at the “Loud And Quiet” stage Mercury Prize nominated sub headliner Ghostpoet was about to perform the best set of the Friday with his set of hip hop rhythms which definitely filled the tent with people as well as an atmosphere that would definitely beat that of headliners Bonobo, with a massive reaction from the crowd for sing-along favourite “Cash And Carry Me Home”. To close Friday night was headliner Bonobo hailing from Yorkshire himself, accompanied by a diverse band and a female vocalist, his electronic beats set went down relatively well with the crowd but nearing the latter half of his set I began to feel a very samey vibe which is inevitable but hard to avoid playing songs of that nature for a long duration. To end the night myself and the majority of the crowd made our way to the “Residential Adviser’ tent for celebrated Spanish DJ John Talabot for more house vibes reminiscent of headliner Bonobo.

After John Talabot I was disappointed to find that the arena closed at 2am sharp to mine and the other festival attenders dismay which was also worsened on the Sunday night with all entertainment finishing at midnight leaving many people scratching their heads with what to do immerse themselves in for the remainder of the evening. Although the “Into the woods” and other artsy tents remained open till later I feel this is something organisers should address for next year to keep campers occupied instead of them resorting to creating their own amusements which coincidently occurred on the Sunday evening when a make shift drum and sing-along accompaniment was heard travelling through the camp long into the night.

Saturday started off on a high with rock and roll Manchester girl Findlay taking to the “You need to hear this” stage, with catchy singles ‘Off and On’ and ‘Your Sister’ and the latter reminiscent of 70’s Bowie, the reasonably early bird crowd were definitely woken up from their slightly hung-over state by this loud bluesy outfit. Closely following Findlay with a similar old fashioned vibe were Temples who took to the “Loud and Quiet’ stage on the Saturday afternoon with their set of 60’s psychedelic rock screaming out late Beatles/Pink Floyd.

Saturday night brought a rare treat in non-musical form which would turn out to be the highlight of my festival – this being a showing of the film “The Stone Roses: Made of Stone”, followed by a question and answer session with the director Shane Meadows, of “This is England” and the consequent TV series “This is England ’86” and “This is England ’88” fame. I felt that this late addition to the bill was a very smart move by the Beacons organisers and this is proved when I arrived at the ‘Into the Woods’ tent to find that it was completely full for the film showing. Afterwards I was pleasantly surprised by Shane’s honest, humble and thorough answers to questions fired at him and this left me and the other eager fans in the room with a developed insight into his different film and TV involvements throughout the years.

Shane Meadows @ Beacons Festival

Kicking of a rather gloomy Sunday afternoon on the “You need to hear this” stage were the aptly named The Wytches. The Brighten three pieces' dark psychedelic sound with loud drums and wailing vocals filled me with promising unique vibes which were strangely out of place for that low down on the bill – definitely one to watch. Later on in the afternoon was the time for the much anticipated Sheffield two piece; Drenge. Consisting of brothers Rory and Eoin  Loveless, they enticed the large crowd playing furiously loud riffs twinned with screaming vocals, furthermore with confirmed support slots for fellow Sheffield band Arctic Monkeys and Indie Pop band Peace things are looking pretty promising for the Loveless brothers at the moment.   

Closing the ‘Loud and Quiet’ stage and indeed the festival were Django Django, who have achieved much critical acclaim across the UK after 18 months of touring their mercury prize nominated self-titled debut album. Their psychedelic themed show got off to a slow start but with hit singles ‘Hail Bop’ and ‘Default’ winning the crowd over it was an atmospheric end to the festival.

Uniquely arts orientated as well as hosting a list of flourishing musical artists, this independent minded and family friendly festival is definitely worth a trip. If not for the breath-taking scenery, or its diverse range of food, drink and ales then with ticket prices at less than half the price of a mainstream festival admission I’m struggling at reasons for why you shouldn’t give Beacons the light this time next year.

Dan Holderness

Beacons Festival 2013- Preview

Beacons Festival, nestled in the heart of the Yorkshire moors, is boutique bliss. Having burst onto the already swollen festival scene a mere two years ago, the four night event boasts the crème de la crème in food, arts and culture-and by no means slim pickings when it comes to stellar performers.

It’s tough to know where to start when the offerings span from up-front indie to chillcore trance, edgy noise punk to folky-psych pop (if you hadn’t already guessed, this festival could count as "one for the hip ‘n’ happening students") but Friday headliner Bonobo is a sure place to start. If you weren’t lucky enough to catch the trip hop megastar’s down-tempo London shows showcasing new album ‘The North Borders’ then you have no excuse not to go. Simon Green's bass-guitared brainchild will surely be the premier event of the weekend, with Gold Panda's similarly trippy blend of electronica shortly following.

Not to worry fans of the heavier side of life; Canadian hardcore outfit F*cked Up will no doubt, a la Gallows, prove they're eclectic and interesting enough to break out from the punk scene into all rounder NME poster boysF*cked Up may not be one not to take your kids to, but the festival's famously family themes (the Guerilla Rave Rug is apparently perfect for the child who wants every day to be their birthday) add generational variety beyond what the lineup suggests. 

For more chilled out vibes, check out Channel One Soundsystem and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats; the former being world famous reggae dub DJs (expect tantalising Panda Dub overlays) and the latter grubbing out some classic stoner rock 'n' roll. Nice. 

Others not to miss: Local Natives, Django Django, Eats Everything, Egyptian Hip Hop, Savages, Hookworms, Drenge

Beacons Festival takes place on the Funkirk Estate, Skipton between the 16th-18th August and, at just under £100 a ticket, is set to be the most economically priced-for-what-you-get fest of the summer. 

For full lineup details and information visit:

Danny Brown, SBTRKT, Gold Panda and more join Beacons Festival lineup

Beacons Festival, the cutting-edge music and arts festival are pleased to reveal the latest acts. Joining Bonobo, Ghostpoet, Django Django, Local Natives, Savages, Dutch Uncles is DANNY BROWN. A natural born rapper, the 32 year-old began his life in rhyme at a young age, thanks to his mum, who raised him on a literary diet of Dr. Seuss books. A little edgier than a rhyming kids' book writer, Detroit-born Brown started turning heads back in 2010 with his debut album The Hybrid. 2013 brings album number three, entitled Old and Danny's had hip-hop fans foaming at the chops with anticipation for its release. 


Beacons also revealed that the fancy dress theme for the Friday is Frontiers of The Future along with a new outdoor stage The Red Bull Music Academy. T. Williams, Throwing Snow and James Holden will headline that stage with further announcements due soon.

Beacons is a three-day, four-night festival and for a short period, tickets are available at £99.50 with deposit schemes still available. Early Bird tickets are now sold out and Beacons have launched a new ticket. The Beacons Bundle which features 24 cold beers or cider, a Beacons hand printed tote bag with the festival programme and a weekend ticket all for the price of £129.50.

Newly confirmed artists below:

Danny Brown 
Gold Panda 
James Holden 
New York Brass Band 
Sky Larkin
T. Williams 
Throwing Snow 

Beacons Festival 2013 Reveal 24 New Acts Including Melody’s Echo Chamber, Stealing Sheep Plus Many More

Beacons Festival are pleased to reveal the latest additions. Joining the likes of Bonobo, Django Django, John Talabot and Solange are: Melody's Echo Chamber bringing her sunshine pop and French melody; Stealing Sheep with their unusual contemporary folk; London's grunge scensters Splashh and the hotly tipped fuzz-pop band Menace Beach. Full list of additions are below.

Beacons has also revealed they are introducing a new art and chill space for 2013. Dawson's  Arthash House will allow you to kick back, relax and enjoy independent films, photography, graphic design and digital art. It's aim it provide a space where you can profile the creativity in cities around Beacons both up and coming and historic, in a laid back environment, to allow you to rest between all those great bands and DJS.

Django Django

Beacons is a three-day, four-night festival and for a short period, tickets are available at 99.50. All early Bird tickets are now sold out.

Confirmed bands for Beacons 2013 so far:

Django Django,  Local Natives,  Bonobo  Solange,  John Talabo,t David Rodigan, Obe Oneman, Ghostpoet, Theo Parrish + Andres, Eats Everything, Floating Points, Dutch Uncles, Savages, Fucked Up, Ben Ufo, Moon Duo, Machinedrum Egyptian Hip Hop, Lunar C, Bicep, Chad Valley, Bondax, Hookworms, Esben & The Witch, Childhood, Wolf Alice, Move D, Temples, Channel One Sound System, Iration, Steppas, Fatima Jaws, Gabriel Bruce, Jon K (Hoya Hoya), Thumpers, East India Youth, Prince Fatty, Ofei Dauwd


Beacons Festival adds Ghostpoet, Roots Manuva and more!


NEW SITE : A message from Beacons Festival regarding the cancellation of Beacons Festival 2011:

“Last year, due to extreme flooding, Health and Safety Executives made the decision to cancel Beacons Festival. We were devastated to have to cancel your party but were left with no choice. This year, we have moved the site away from any potential flood areas, still in the fantastic setting of Carleton.  The new location is even more picturesque than the previous site and we feel it can only enhance people’s experience of what will be a truly amazing festival.”

Beacons Festival is set in the heart of the Yorkshire countryside; an affordable festival brought to you by a collective of tastemakers who, for years, have been bringing the best music to reputable Northern venues such as Leeds’ Nation of Shopkeepers and Brudenell Social Club, Sheffield’s Bungalows and Bears, Club Pony and the Shipping Forecast. We’ve also got the organisers of London-based festivals and events like Underage and Field Day and the Shacklewell Arms venue on board. This year, the main stage acts are presented in association with The Stool Pigeon magazine.  The people behind Manchester’s coolest band nights, Now Wave are on board, as are London’s Eat Your Own Ears. Beacons will be bringing together the cream of the cities finest club nights and gig venues for one weekend in Yorkshire.

Factory Floor

Beacons is a three-day, four-night festival and for a short period, tickets are available at just £60 for the weekend, including camping (£55 for students). A limited number of early bird weekend tickets will be available from 9am Wednesday 15th February. Tickets will be available to purchase from the Beacons Festival website, HMV, Seetickets, Gigantic,, Jumbo Records and Crash Records.

We’re thrilled to welcome Rodney Smith aka Roots Manuva to Beacons this year. Following the release of last year’s 4everrevolution – his most powerful work since Run Come Save Me – the UK hip-hop legend will be bringing his innovative sound to the Yorkshire countryside this summer. And one of UK hip-hop’s rising stars will also be playing. The Mercury Music Prize-nominated Ghostpoet will be laying down his laconic beats and baritone drawl and you’ll get the chance to see why Factory Floor have made a fan of Joy Division / New Order’s Stephen Morris and had the likes of Pitchfork and Quietus touting them for bigger things.

Beacons represents a side-step from the usual treadmill of festival bands and burger vans. We book the bands we love, because we know that our visitors will love them too. As we announce more artists over the coming weeks and months, we will also be revealing our exclusive cinema programme. In addition to this, there will be children’s entertainment from the Ladybird Project, spoken word, theatre and dance.