Whilst many of the big festivals were coping with mud over the weekend we were thankful that our Brummie feet were firmly on solid ground as we arrived for MADE. With a line up that boasts heavyweight names such as MK, Heidi, Claude Von Stroke, Julio Bashmore and David Rodigan, as well as prominent local acts Tom Shorterz and Adam Shelton, there was plenty for everyone in this urban playground.
MADE is a mini Metropolitan festival that brought ravers from all corners into the heart of Birmingham city. Now in its second year, the site had been expanded to include six stages set across the Digbeth triangle and the Rainbow complex. In keeping with the creative melting pot of the area, that ethos was very much evident in the site production from the epic wall mural by Newso & Gent48, live graffiti art and illustrative signage.
First up was veteran DJ and reggae selector David ‘Ram Jam’ Rodigan on the Heavyweight Bass Champion stage, a boxing ring with caliber of booming bass and DnB acts to match. 40 years in the business and David still knows how to rock a crowd. He invited all the ‘young tongue shooters to take a trip to Jamaica’ with him as he spun tunes from reggae, dance hall and DnB. He bounced around with the energy of a teenager, puffing out his chest and rewinding the decks, it was a pure joy to watch.
Next up was Norman Jay MBE playing from a fire exit high above the car park. The Bloc Party stage set up wasn’t a massive success and it was a shame to see Normal play to smaller numbers than expected. The VIP terrace above the Warehouse offered the best views over the main stage and revellers danced with the inflatables in the hazy afternoon sun. We stopped for some much needed respite with a delicious gourmet pizza from Baked-in Brick.
Back on the Heavyweight stage was beat-box extraordinaire Beardyman and friends for the ‘Bass Battle Off’. DJs Pete Graham, Marc Spence and Santero went back to back with only 7 minutes to impress the audience. We darted round the site, catching glimpses of sets from Korupt FM, Stanton Warriors, and Blonde who performed live as confetti cannons launched multi coloured flakes into the sky of the main arena. Julio Bashmore and Dusky were the stars of the Underground stage as they played to hyped punters in dark sweat-box of a room.
A packed out crowed gathered at the main stage anticipation for the headline act. It seemed as if most people had come to see MK (Marc Kinchen) as the other stages emptied out. As his first record dropped confetti cannons boomed, followed by smoke jets and fire streams lighting up the crowd. His set was bursting with techno and club classics including remixes of Rudimental’s ‘Powerless’, Bakermat’s ‘Teach me’, Dumont’s ‘The giver’ to the crowd pleasing anthemic sing-a-long moment ‘My head is a jungle’. MK dived into the crowd at the end of his set and was hoisted up on to shoulders for the fireworks finale whilst Low steppa took up the mantle.
We caught up with Pete Jordan festival organiser about the challenges of delivering 11,000 capacity inner-city festival. “Digbeth is a unbelievable place and we had the opportunity to go bigger. We have had a phenomenal amount of support from the council, police and emergency services.”
“Having the indoor and outdoor spaces created a different vibe and we tried to put a bit of personality into each individual stage. Delivering bass music in a conceptual form such as a boxing ring makes people experience the music in different way. To see some of these stages really come off makes me really proud.”
It was clear the festival was a big hit with the punters too. Carly Banks from Staffs said “I have literally had the best day/night of my life!!! so unexpected and so worth it!!!!!”
Despite the terrible weather on Sunday they still had good numbers through the door for Made by Day. The organisers worked quickly to relocate as much of it indoors at the rainbow complex. There was a great selection of food available from gourmet burgers, pizzas, Caribbean, North African, Thai from Digbeth Dining Club regulars, as well as comedy, music and retro gaming from Dead Pixels.
Made my day was a great success and provided thousands with the best in bass and dance to party through day and night. We’re already looking forward to what 2016 has to offer.
See the full image set here https://www.flickr.com/photos/summerfestivalguide/sets/72157656009069788
Have you heard of Nozstock before? I wouldn't blame you if you haven't. This modest 5000 capacity festival, aptly sub-headed 'The Hidden Valley' is hidden deep within the Herefordshire countryside- near the Hamlet of Bromyard. Now in it's Seventeenth year, Nozstock has established itself a dedicated fanbase of locals, and those from increasingly further afield. Each year has a theme, and this year's- A Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy, saw the site lovingly decorated in everything space. The theming did stop there though, with space related workshops and activities for the younger members of families and the audience, those tired from listening to music could retreat to any of the activities area to participate in Jetpack making, building spaceships, rockets, blacksmithing, to the vaguely advertised 'Space crafting' (at the Enchanted Glade 17:00 Sunday).
In my now seemingly traditional festival journey, a gruelling 8 hour drive down to Bromyard at lunchtime had me pitching my tent in darkness, in the hammering rain, undeterred from enjoying ourselves, we set off to explore the site and listen to some music.
Nozstock festival has an intriguing demographic, due to it's diverse acts -as you will hopefully read throughout this writeup- and as the night draws on, the crowd grows wilder, heading down to the COPPICE, BULLPEN, and CUBICLES stages, all dedicated to different styles of Dance, Electro, Dub, 2 Step, Hip-Hop, Garage, Basscore and Drum 'n' Bass. Admittedly, upon arrival; and without any prior knowledge of the festival I was worried that my only dance move 'Big fish, Little fish, Cardboard box' wouldn't last me throughout the weekend and I would be ousted as an impostor of dance and electro music. Much to my relief, the friendly crowds didn't catch on.
Heading to the Orchard Stage for NEVILLE STAPLE BAND's headline set, we caught a jam packed performance full of crowd skanking in the mud, churning up the sodden floor, kicking the first night of music off with a energetic and tight performance. It has to be noted however- that this festival breaks the tradition of curfew by 11, or half past, with headline sets on the mainstage starting as late as 23:45, with smaller bands playing throughout the site to as late as 2:40, before music stopping around 3:30. The site however is fantastically laid out with sound from each stage not spilling over into over crowds, and bearing in mind that it only takes 10 minutes to complete a circuit of the site, this is a seemingly impossible but well realised feat.
We kicked off Saturday with HIPICAT, winners of the 'Gigslutz PlayNoz 2015' competition, who brought the new day in with easy to process (for those hungover) Psychedellic rock. Luckily the rain for Saturday had abated, and throughout the day, the churned mess in front of the stage dried out enough to sit down and enjoy the weather. As mentioned earlier, before around 8pm the day had a completely different vibe to the night time, becoming more diverse musically, and more appealing to families with younger children. South African loop pedal artist, JEREMY LOOPS wowed the afternoon crowd with multilayered tunes consisting of massive harmonies, beatboxing, harmonicas and guitar arrangements that have taken him around the world, picking up bits of culturally diverse sounds and mashing them up into a impressive set.
It has to be said about the hospitality of the NozStock press team, which was second to none. Instantly upon arrival, Damo and Nolly were on hand to answer any questions about the site or anything else, and organising a press picnic on Saturday was the icing on the cake. ROZELLE treated an unfortunately modest crowd to an expertly crafted set of Indie Rock tunes, and personally I thought they would have been better suited to a later slot than they were given, or been allocated a place on one of the bigger stages at a similar time. As the evening grew cold, back on the Orchard Stage SKINNY LISTER kept the crowd warm with their pub folk tunes, rallying mass dance offs, swaying, and mass cheers to a highly energetic set.
As are most festivals, NozStock is not just limited to stages for music, with the Wrong Directions Cinema Tent providing short and feature length films throughout the day, the Laughing Stock stage promoting comedy, and Bantam of the Opera & Velveteen Valley offering magic, theatre and late night cabaret to indulge in. Saturday's comedy headline came from Seann Walsh, who through his blend of current topics, anecdotes about living with his girlfriend and stand up comebacks gave the audience 40 minutes of non-stop laughter.
WU-TANG CLAN's set was flawless, apart from the fact that they didn't actually show up. Pulling out of the festival late last week, they had yet to provide a reason for this late and very unprofessional cancellation by Saturday. The disappointment throughout the crowd was noted, with expletives slamming Wu-Tang's to be found scrawled on toilets around the site. Fortunately DE LA SOUL was on hand to provide a heavy and incredibly well received set, expertly encouraging crowd response, easily drawing the biggest crowd of the weekend.
The clouds burst early Sunday morning, turning the just dried ground back into a sloshy mess. This however didn't dampen spirits, as the crowds were back out in full force come 4pm for TANTZ's high octane Yiddish dance music set. Combining elements of reggae, electro swing, power-klezma, rock, dub and upbeat insanity, Aaran Kent riled the crowd up into a frenzy between -and whilst- on Clarinet duties. TANTZ, despite the miserable weather were able to deliver a hard hitting set that was without fault, and one of my favourite of the day.
The eclectic mixture of artists over the stages was impressive, and NozStock seemingly taking pride in promoting a lot of local and nearby artists, giving the crowds the opportunity to take a punt on many bands that they may not have heard of. This is a great attitude to have when organising a festival, as the promotion of smaller artists is invaluable to those working as musicians.
MR B THE GENTLEMAN RHYMER graced NozStock with two sets on Sunday, one at the Orchard Stage, and a later set on The Bandstand. The well spoken ambassador of rhythmic lyricisms split his catalogue for the event, self notedly playing more of his pop ditties earlier in the day, before giving a more chap-hop set in the evening. MR B's one man quest to 'introduce Hip-hop to the manners of the Queen's English' went down a treat, building a solid rapport with the crowd throughout the duration of his set. We stopped to eat later by the Orchard Stage whilst BROKEN BRASS EMSEMBLE's expertly arranged set of swing tunes drew an active crowd, an act I couldn't have even imagined playing at the same festival as the one I had initially seen upon my arrival on Friday. The brass troupe from Holland would transcend from swing into funk and Hip-hop styling flawlessly, and then come straight back into big band arrangements as though it was nothing, with slick professionalism.
Sunday night drew to a close with Motown legend, MARTHA REEVES AND THE VANDELLAS on the Orchard Stage. Unfortunately getting off to a late and rocky start- Martha Reeves called a abrupt end to her opening number within the first 15 seconds of coming on stage, before complaining to the sound engineers and starting over again. Martha Reeves' voice sounded a bit strained throughout their performance, but held up well regardless. Appealing to an audience of older and younger fans, it's lovely to see that the Motown Veteran's music has crossed the generations and was being sung along to, danced to, and enjoyed by such a diverse audience.
If I had to summarize NozStock 2015 in one word, it would be: Crazy.
Allow me to explain, and since being back for 12 hours (at time of writing) the 2 examples I have used to explain the unprecedented madness of this weekend to friends and family are: Firstly, the penultimate act for me this weekend involved me having to follow a guy dressed as a badger into a small room covered in zigzags where we had to dance to gain access to a secret stage, where I watched a three piece post-rock band who consisted of a Peter Serafinowicz doppelgänger and a mannequin torso on stage. And secondly, whilst out and about I saw a person dressed as a button being chased by a pack of kids with sparkly wooden spoons, attacking him under the command of a woman dressed as what looked like a salt shaker.
This weekend has been fantastic, and I would like to thank the team at NozStock for their hospitality and for such an unexpected experience, which I'd hope to experience again next year!
Beardyman, aka Danny Foreman, leads the charge for the latest additions to Brownstock Festival. UK Beatbox Champion in 2006 and 2007, Beardyman offers up a cocktail of drum n’ bass, dubstep and breakbeat in his sets using his mimic vocal chords and an array of tech. Considered one of the most innovative beatboxers, not just in the UK but beyond, Beardyman has torn up stages across Europe and has wowed crowds at festivals, his own shows and Edinburgh Fringe.
T Williams’ musical career began at just 17 years old when he began to make waves in the grime and bass world, fast forward to the present day and Williams has undergone something of a reinvention through his new found love of house music. Williams’ rejuvenated sound saw him named as one the ‘DJ Stars of 2012’ in TimeOut magazine. Tieks, the pop/house crossover producer and musician broke through in 2014 with single ‘Sing That Song’, influenced as much by film as he is by music, Tieks brings a cinematic sound to the Brownstock.
PBR Streetgang have remixed the likes of Lana Del Ray and held a residency at Ibiza’s club-Mecca We Love at Space, next up – Brownstock. Their disco/house set promises to be a jewel in the festival’s crown this July.
Also added to proceedings are Ten Story, Pied Piper and Kokiri, plus Essex’s own DJ Cable and Dream McClean.
With headliners Basement Jaxx, Example and DJ Fresh, plus sets from Sub Focus, Lethal Bizzle, Bondax and many more Brownstock promises a ‘hands in the air’, celebratory weekend of the finest pop, dance and urban sounds this July. Tickets are on sale now at the awesomely value for money prince of £79 and can be purchased via Brownstock.co.uk.
Holland’s famous Kraak & Smaak will give a great live show at the Arena and there are four new additions to the line-up of the A38 stage, including Danish singer-songwriter Agnes Obel, beatbox phenomenon Beardyman, London’s finest Citizens! and Berlin-based punk crew, Bonaparte. Meet them together with fans from over 60 countries this summer in Budapest, between 6 and 13 August.
Maxïmo Park was formed in the early 2000’s, releasing their debut album in 2005, which got them a Mercury Prize nomination the same year. Since then, thanks to millions of sold albums and great live performances, the band belongs to the elite of the UK indie scene. Their new studio album, The National Health is scheduled for release this June.
The Roots will also join the 20th edition of Europe’s freshly crowned and completely renewed best major festival. In fact they were already active even at the times before Sziget started and the American East Coast crew collected several Grammy awards since then. They provide a great mixture of hip-hop, rock, pop, jazz and soul, clearly proving this on a total of 10 studio albums, but first and foremost playing live on stage.
Kraak & Smaak has been one of the most exciting export items of the Dutch music scene for the last 10 years, brilliantly mixing jazz, funk, soul and lounge patterns with electronica. Their sets are loose and elegant, full of great tunes and taste, cheered on by thousands of fans wherever they play.
Agnes Obel is probably the most talented contemporary female performer Denmark has to offer. A singer-songwriter who already won great awards and is known all over Europe by now, supporting her singing with piano harmonies and always keeping a simple, clean, melancholic but also very cozy musical attitude.
Darren Foreman, a.k.a. Beardyman is a hyperactive showman from the Babilon of Europe, London. He is hailed for his phenomenal beatbox technique and also his eccentric live loopings. BBC already crowned him „King of Sound and Ruler of Beats” and for the last few years he has been a regular performer at the biggest UK festivals.
Citizens!’ music is British from head to toe, keeping a discrete, intimate, synth-pop based line, but also including speedy guitar themes. The 5-piece combo will be proud the present their newest album, Here We Are, right at the best possible place, Sziget nr. 20.
Bonaparte is probably more spectacular than the guy who lent them his name. They are the flag ship of the current Berlin punk scene, famous for wild and shocking carnival-like performances that involve a number of actors, dancers and musicians on stage. Their new album „0110111 – Quantum Physics & A Horseshoe” came out recently.
Only 74 days left till Sziget nr. 20!
!!! (CHK CHK CHK) / CRAZY P
WILLY MASON / GREG WILSON / TROJAN SOUND SYSTEM
THE NEXTMEN feat MC WREC / BIGKIDS / THE SKINTS / COSMO (Cosmodelica) / TURBOWOLF
FIGURES (live) / REVERE / BEANS ON TOAST / GOLDEN FABLE
BELAKISS / THE FABULOUS PENETRATORS
DEATH IN VEGAS / BEARDYMAN / FAT FREDDY’S DROP
CASIOKIDS / FIELD MUSIC / GABBY YOUNG AND OTHER ANIMALS / KING CHARLES / STEALING SHEEP YEARNERS / DUB PISTOLS / VADOINMESSICO / JENNY O. / special guests THE TIME AND SPACE MACHINE
and many more still to be announced…
Dance-punk’s finest, California’s !!! (Chk Chk Chk) come to the UK to play Standon Calling, their only UK festival show! Their live shows are about freedom of expression, unadulterated punk and pure escapism.
Crazy P bring one of the UK’s best dance music shows – a showcase punctuated with brilliant pop, eclectic disco and soulful rhythm funk that’s sure to get the crowd moving. A legend in his own right, Greg Wilson is a true DJs’ DJ – widely respected as one of the masters of the re-edit, and an exponent of disco and electro-funk sounds. Colleen ‘Cosmodelica’ Murphy is an eclectic, experimental DJ and producer and all-round purveyor of the psychedelic, the Balearic, and the cosmic.
Willy Mason’s headline performance on The Lordship stage promises to be special. Trojan Sound System are all about the reggae vibes, a collective of sound system legends like selector Earl Gateshead and Daddy Ad, and vocalists Superfour plus Chucky Banton who are considered some of the world’s best reggae party-makers. The Nextmen feat. MC Wrec bring the jump-about party to Standon. Expect anything from dancehall, drum’n’bass and dubstep to reggae, roots, UK funky, indie and leftfield. It will go off!
Turbowolf venture into psych-rock; hotly tipped lo-fi duo BIGkids promise samples, saxophones and sunshine singalongs; reggae and dub upstarts The Skints take the bull by the horns, with an all-singing, all-dancing party; and electronic production duo Figures bring live low-tempo electronic house music. Plus there’s seven-piece band Revere, folker Beans on Toast, psych-rockers Belakiss, who toured with Kasabian, Welsh chamber pop duo on-the-up Golden Fable, and slick rock’n’rollers The Fabulous Penetrators.
ALSO AT STANDON
This year’s headliners are Death in Vegas, Beardyman and Fat Freddy’s Drop. Rock meets electronica as Death in Vegas heads up Saturday night. Richard Fearless’s minimal beats meet psychedelic flamboyance and progressive rock stamina meets throbbing basslines. Beatbox, MC, musician and all-round vocal genius, Beardyman joins Standon Calling 2012, promising a non-stop show! And sliding in on Sunday, bringing with them their own brand of party-ready dub-funk-reggae-soul are Fat Freddy’s Drop.
The Time and Space Machine, Richard Norris’s latest – and trippiest – exploration of the psychedelic side of music, Norwegian synth-poppers CasioKids and engaging wonky electronic pop brothers Field Music are on the bill. Gabby Young and Other Animals returns, wilder, bolder and more irresistible than ever. MTV-tipped King Charles will thrill with his curious glam folk pop breezy sound, while ones to watch Stealing Sheep continue the psych-feel, with harmonic pop. Catch innovative three-piece folk band Yearners, see delicious ‘freak’-folkers Vadoinmessico or get lost in singer-songwriter Jenny O.’s infectious melodies.
THEME: JOURNEY TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH
Standon Calling’s theme is conveyed through the music, theatre, arts and fancy dress. And every year the costumes get more ornate. What will you come as? This year the theme is about adventure and the spirit of discovery: Journey to the Ends of the Earth.
The fields of Standon will be transformed into every unexplored corner of the world and your imagination. Watch acrobats swing from the Amazonian branches of the tree bar, discover creatures of the deep in the pool and dance late into the night with fantastical creatures in the Cowshed Club. The next morning take to the skies in a hot air balloon before crash landing at the feet of the giants of Gulliver’s Travels. Invent, create and discover yourself in the greatest adventure Standon has ever undertaken!
Heritage Arts Company presents the greatest treasure hunt Standon has ever seen: AN UNEARTHLY CHILD. Collaborating with Rolemop, Meet Alice, Circus Space performers and others to be announced, HAC create an interactive game for adults and children – with every part of the game an enjoyable performance for festival-goers… Nobody does interactive theatre like Standon!
There will be DJ outposts across the site to encourage late-night exploration. Dig It Soundsystem is a big, bad portable bike-pulled soundsystem that has become a favourite at Standon. The Groove Garden is a disco/chillout space centred around a customised garden shed, it creates a summer barbeque feel with a wide-open music policy, games, face-painting and lots more. The ever-popular Rockaoke returns to the Cowshed – indulge your fantasies of being a rock star. And, new this year, Beatbox Workshop comes from some of the UK’s most exciting emerging beatboxers – an opportunity to learn the basics, and discover your potential.
The UnderCovers Literary Lounge returns to Standon, this time at the Lordship Pub, with poets, authors and comedians to entertain you. And there will be more literary Twister! Brought to you by Clapton’s Ultra Large Format darkroom Analogue Photo Booth is an experiment in mobile portraiture where the sitters produce their own portraits. Pose resplendent in your costumes on the Saturday before the fancy dress competition, or capture that magical festival moment and develop your own prints.
Take to the Standon skies on your very own balloon adventure. Around the World in 80 seconds! Join Standon newcomers Salon present Fresh Perspectives of Science, Art & Philosophy – The Most Fun You Can Have Without Sex. It’s an experience like no other, where expert presenters – hand-picked from three disciplines: Psychology, Science and the Arts – share their skills and spill their secrets. If you crave something different, with a friendly crowd and some of the UK’s most interesting speakers, this is for you…
Autumn Shift: Performance, Cinema & Calm returns with massage, bellydancing lessons, jewellery-making, sock puppet workshops, a 48-hour film competition, lazy Sunday morning papers, open mic, discussions, nightly cinema, singing workshops, live film score, and many more intrepid happenings! Enjoy all manner of treatments, hairstyling and yoga by the river bank. Or attend the Clare Trenchard Sculpture Classes for some therapeutic art.
The Dog Show is back. This time no human contestants are allowed, although no doubt a few will slip through! There’s the swimming pool – Standon is the only UK festival with its own pool! Standon Calling’s homage to the Olympic Games will be just a little leftfield – with obstacle courses and fun on the lawn. And that’s not all – there’s still much more to be announced…
The achievements of MUMFORD & SONS since the release of debut album ‘Sigh No More’ has been a success story rarely matched in recent times. A story, written and mapped out on the road. From a live adventure across India, to sold-out arenas in America and Australia, and from the festival fields of Europe, to impromptu parks on the Railroad Revival Tour in America, each and every town and city that has welcomed the band has been treated to a jubilant performance, regardless of the size of venue. With countless acknowledgements across the Grammy’s, Brits and Mercury Prize, the music of these multi instrumentalist marvels is real, authentic and simply stunning .
Now this band of brothers is preparing to unveil album number two and hit their spiritual homes on the road once again. A little wiser, a lot more experienced, but ready to take their electrifying live show to the masses. RockNess is thoroughly delighted to announceMUMFORD & SONS as the first of this year’s headliners.
Intense and inspiring, to witness a DEADMAU5 live show is to experience shock and awe. A dazzling spectacular of technical wizardry and kaleidoscopic visuals that has seen the Toronto-born behemoth (aka Joel Thomas Zimmerman) garner acclaim from both critics and fans alike, and continue his ascent as one of the very biggest names in electronic music. Famed for his brand of progressive dance that has been shaking enormodomes across the planet, the Grammy-nominated, Billboard-topping superstar DJ and producer is seriously hot property and his RockNess headline assault will be a major festival highlight of 2012.
As one of the very best live bands around, BIFFY CLYRO are at the top of their game. A decade long assault on the globe’s live music circuit and a five album-strong catalogue heavy on blistering, fist pumping anthems has seen to that. The trio’s unique sound, brought to glorious fruition on platinum selling albums ‘Puzzle’ and ‘Only Revolutions’ is well honed – a mix of off-kilter tempos, thumping guitar riffage and soaring vocals – and has steered the Ayrshire trio’s well earned rise to rock glory.
Now with studio album six well under way, BIFFY CLYRO are heading to Dores to unleash their seriously big sound in the band’s first ever Scottish festival headline slot. Unmissable!
Speaking about the announcement, Simon Neil, Ben Johnston and James Johnston of BIFFY CLYRO said ''We are thrilled to be returning to RockNess in June, and this time we'll be headlining. The location is amazing and the enthusiastic crowd made for a memorable experience in 2009, so we're counting down the days until our return in 2012.''
As one of the UK’s most critically lauded new artists not to mention biggest domestic successes, ED SHEERAN’s rise to the top has been stratospheric. A triple platinum album, three sold out tours and a clutch of award wins and nominations – including four that sees him leading the way at this year’s Brit Awards, SHEERAN is hot. This one man, DIY phenomenon blurs timeless song writing with bang current hip hop, and he counts various collaborations including those with grime rapsters Wiley and Wretch 32 to his credit. ED SHEERAN’s RockNess appearance follows hot on the heels of a much anticipated and soon-to-begin three month US tour.
Annually topping the wish list of fans as their must-see live act at RockNess, it is with huge excitement that Gaspard Auge and Xavier de Rosnay, aka JUSTICE, will be bringing pummelling levels of intensity to the festival. The prospect of the French house duo – whose electrifying live shows have all who witness reaching for the superlatives – hitting up Dores is sure to generate elation.
The now seminal debut album ‘Cross’ saw JUSTICE widely revered as chief dance floor crusaders. Now with the release of long awaited second album ‘Audio, Video, Disco’ – an inspired push-pull friction of lush prog rock decadence underpinned with brutally executed beats – the dance floor is theirs for the taking once again.
In what will surely be the most fun journey of the summer, THE ROCKNESS EXPRESS makes its exciting debut this June and marks the Year of Creative Scotland. This specially chartered train will depart from London Euston, picking up festival goers at Birmingham, Derby, York and Newcastle, before delivering the up-for-it party people to their final destination of Inverness.
Expect a full scale shindig on board THE ROCKNESS EXPRESS with top music, surprise guests, the best of Scottish food, cocktails, games and goody bags. What’s more, RockNess Expressers will get priority access on site before anyone else arrives AND a private party! If that isn’t enough, the unbeatable price of £225 is sure to impress. For this, revellers will get a VIP weekend ticket with campingPLUS travel from any of these UK destinations (only £16 more than a VIP ticket on its own), and be boosting their green credentials while having heaps of fun at the same time. All aboard!
Packing a punch of originality, METRONOMY have creative vision and style in spades. Originally championed by Erol Alkan, this Devonshire electro pop four piece founded by Joseph Mount deliver a proper live electro proposition that’s as authentic and compelling as any rock band. Latest album ‘The English Riviera’ was one of 2011’s defining albums and Mount is also the prestigious remixer-of-choice for acts including Gorillaz and Franz Ferdinand, while collaborations with Florence & The Machine and Roots Manuva reinforce his musical crossover credentials.
With their shiny, radio ready melodies, NOAH & THE WHALE have moved into mass appeal territory with very good reason. Riding on a wave of euphoria generated by three consecutively impressive albums, including most recently ‘Last Night on Earth’, expect a brilliantly breezy set from these nu-folk popsters led by charismatic frontman Charlie Fink.
WRETCH 32 is one of the UK’s most talked about new hip hop artists. Smash debut album ‘Black and White’ incorporates diverse aspects of the hip hop genre from old school American funk through to contemporary grime and dub step, and guests include Example, Ed Sheeran and Chipmunk. WRETCH 32’s phenomenal success of 2011, which spawned consecutive top five hits including ‘Don’t Go’, ‘Traktor’ and ‘Unorthodox’ looks set to propel further with album number two due for a 2012 release. And he can cut it live too, vocally, instrumentally and visually…as the RockNess audience will bear witness to this June!
FRESH / LIVE aka DJ FRESH is one of the most influential figures of the UK’s drum ‘n’ bass movement. Having cut his teeth on the illegal rave and pirate radio station scenes of the 90’s, he went on to found the label BC Recordings and the genre’s most popular website Dogs on Acid as part of the drum ‘n’ bass collective Bad Company. Fast forward to a prolific solo career punctuated along the way with remixes for Pet Shop Boys, DJ Shadow, Pendulum, Grooverider and Apollo 440, plus the co-founding of the seminal Breakbeat Kaos label, and the output of FRESH / LIVE is as impressive as it has ever been.
Topping the NME Cool List for 2011, accorded third place in the BBC Sound of 2012 and championed by the industry’s mightiest star makers, twenty year old Harlem rapper AZEALIA BANKS, is without question, the hottest new name in music. Thrust into the spotlight with ‘212’ – her brilliant, bouncing, dripping-with-attitude debut, BANKS exudes wit and energy while her music walks a tightrope between fruity humour and outright controversy. Early stage position advised!
Following his barnstorming beat boxing onslaught last year, RockNess is over the moon to welcome back the stupendously talentedBEARDYMAN! As one of the planet’s foremost exponents of all things outrageously insane yet brilliant, Dores will need the next five months to prepare.
DEATH IN VEGAS are back. Richard Fearless is back. And sounding like a man with purpose. New album ‘Trans Love Energies’, recorded in Andrew Weatherall’s Shoreditch studio is a house inspired electronic rhythmical treat. Weird and wonderful lyrical medleys, supremely well crafted psychedelia and sometimes plain spooky vibes, expect bodies to move en masse come June.
Next up…cue disco-tastic fanfare…it is with monumentally huge excitement for RockNess to proudly announce that CHIC featuring NILE RODGERS, the funkiest band on the planet, are heading to Dores!
Founded by the legendary NILE RODGERS, these peerless purveyors of booty shaking beats, whose roll call of all time dance classics include ‘Good Times’, ‘I Want Your Love’, ‘Le Freak’, ‘Dance, Dance’ Dance’ and ‘My Forbidden Lover’…to name just a few…promise to deliver what will surely be one of the summer’s defining feel good sing-along, disco dancing moments.
Staying on a disco vibe, albeit the underground deep house version, ETIENNE DE CRECY (aka Motorbass, Super Discount and La Chatte Rougee) is the epitomy of the original ‘French sound’ and one of the best house music makers ever. A key figure behind the French capital's rise as a leading dance music hub during the 1990s, the quality of DE CRECY’s output remains fierce and well deserving of the respect he continues to generate.
Having recently put out only his third EP, albeit one on Joe Goddard from Hot Chip's Greco-Roman label, and continuing to rack up countless fans including RockNess favourite Annie Mac, Orlando Higginbottom aka TOTALLY ENORMOUS EXTINCT DINOSAURS's star is rising. Bouncing in true one-man-band style between laptop, keyboards, drum machine and live vocals, don’t be surprised if the speakers literally and metaphorically get so hot they catch fire (again) by the boundary breaking brilliance of this new talent.
Last time he descended on Dores the party-o-meter went off the scale, so RockNess is extremely pleased to announce the return of the brilliant BUSY P for more outrageously good music and vibes. As owner of the sublime Ed Banger Records, home to Justice, Feadz, Uffie, Sebastian and Mr Oizo to name a few, BUSY P’s parties are legendary as RockNess will once again witness!
A string of releases played out by the likes of 2 Many DJs, Boys Noize and Erol Alkan has brought the work of French maestroGESAFFELSTEIN recognition and acclaim as one of electronica’s undisputed hottest forces. Now aligned to Brodinski’s Bromance label,GESAFFELSTEIN makes perfect art soundscapes for purveyors who like their beats on the deeper, darker side but still with enough danceable allure. Also joining the bill is Newcastle born DJ, musician and Ed Banger friend RITON. With a new album due for release in 2012 with Surkin and AlunaGeorge, following hot on the heels of his recent output at the end of 2011 on his label Riton Time, expect an artist on suitably impressive fine form.
And RockNess just wouldn’t be complete without the irrepressibly entertaining and absolutely magnificent THE CUBAN BROTHERS, heading back to Dores for a weekend long mix of madness and mayhem.
Last but certainly by no means least, RockNess is thrilled to reveal the homegrown electronic heroes from The Scottish Highlands who complete this first announcement for 2012. Operators of the biggest club night in Inverness and winners of ‘Club Night of the Year’ at Scotland’s ICA Awards, FILTH djs Ross Lyle and Andrew McGibbon are on fire . They are joined by POLYMATH aka Martin Gowans. This talented rising star whose own tech house productions have featured on the playlists of Radio 1’s Kissy Sell Out, Tiga and Wolfgang Gartner will be right at home at RockNess. Completing the trio of talent is COUNT CLOCKWORK, Khalid Hussain & Louis Buick. This duo are the freshest, young talent to come out of Inverness in recent times with support slots to Dem Slackers and Dillon Francis under their belts plus a forthcoming Fake Blood gig. Having reached the shortlist stage of MTV’s Brand New for 2012 and with a track featured on NME.com, the future is bright.
Speaking about RockNess 2012, Festival Director JIM KING commented, “I'm so happy with the list of acts we're announcing today that I now just can’t wait for the first tent peg in the ground and for the party to start.
It was only a matter of time before we got lucky and were able to welcome Biffy Clyro back to Loch Ness. Since their debut they've gone on to become one of the biggest rock bands in the UK and on home turf you know they're going to produce something extra-spectacular.
Mumford and Sons. Wow. I am over the moon they agreed to play our show. They could have played anywhere but they chose The Highlands. It’s going to be special.
The Mau5 needs no intro. He was close to appearing last year but the good news for us is that the live show has just got bigger and better and he follows in some hallowed steps at RockNess as a true electronic headliner, something you can't experience anywhere else in Scotland. His show is just so good and he’s already got plans to make this one of the best shows we’ve ever seen. I promise you will not have seen a main stage production like this. It’s massive!
Justice is the act everyone has been asking us to book since we started the festival. French house music holds a special place at RockNess and these guys are simply the best.
There’s so much quality across the rest of the bill from Ed Sheeran who’s arguably the biggest rising star of the last twelve months with Wretch 32 on to absolute legend Nile Rodgers who brings his seminal band Chic to the main stage in what will be for me a highlight of the festival. The only question remains is can he out funk and out dance the Cuban Brothers.
This announcement is just the start. We have heaps of great bands and DJs still to be revealed and the comedy headliner this year is an absolute corker!
So, I’ll call it first then…. Mon the Biffy! Mon the ‘Ness!"
TICKETS GO ON SALE 9AM THURSDAY 26TH JANUARY. FOR DETAILS ON TICKET AGENTS GO TO WWW.ROCKNESS.CO.UK
3 day weekend camping – £159
3 day weekend non camping – £149
3 day weekend camping / non camping student ticket – £145
3 day VIP weekend camping ticket – £209
3 day VIP weekend non camping ticket – £199
3 day Disabled weekend camping – £79.50 – please email [email protected]
3 day Disabled weekend non camping – £74.50 – please email [email protected]
The RockNess Express – £225
Additional travel packages available.
London’s most unique festival is compacted into two days this year as Battersea is transformed into an international snow sports venue complete with alpine-style ski village, the centrepiece being the iconic 32m high and 100m jump packed with 200 tonnes of real snow.
Saturday’s slope action sees the best of the British team compete with the world’s finest snowboarders for the London leg of the FIS-sanctioned World Cup and the third event on the Men’s LG World Cup tour, kicking off the UK winter sports season. Slovenian Marko Grilc claimed victory in last year’s event, but British hotshot Jamie Nicholls will be keen to improve further on his fine showing in 2010.
On the Friday, the world’s finest freestyle skiers compete in an international competition during Friday’s action from the slope where rising star Paddy Graham will be amongst the British athletes hoping to upset the much-fancied Swedes, who took all three places on the podium in 2010.
When the sun sets on the slope, the Relentless Energy Drink Freeze Festival will this year welcome headline acts The Streets, and Groove Armada presents Red Light on the main music stage, plus Zane Lowe, Everything Everything, The Joy Formidable, Beardyman and Summer Camp.
Saturday night headliners The Streets, fronted by Mike Skinner, will perform one of their last ever gigs at the event after announcing they will split later this year following the release of their final album back in February. Supporting them on the main stage on Saturday night is alternative rock band Everything Everything, whose scalding post-punk guitars and floor-filling bass lines have seen them nominated for this year’s Mercury Prize Album of the Year. Saturday will also see the highly acclaimed three-piece welsh band The Joy Formidable join the bill alongside Summer Camp, the mysterious boy-girl duo whose music has received widespread critical acclaim.
Groove Armada will be bringing their critically-acclaimed new ‘Red Light’ sound and visuals show to the main stage on the Friday night. The DJs, renowned for floor-fillers such as Paper Romance, Get Down and Superstylin’ will be performing at the Freeze Festival as part of a series of exciting gigs on their current tour. Also taking to the stage on Friday night is DJ Zane Lowe whose enthusiastic and fast-paced DJ set is guaranteed to raise the roof at this year’s Freeze Festival. Award-winning MC, Beardyman will also be joining the bill; his phenomenal beatbox skills, leftfield sense of humor and incredible musicality have made him an act not to be missed.
One of the newest attractions to the Relentless Energy Drink Freeze Festival 2011 will be the TUACA Lodge. The premium vanilla citrus liqueur will be putting on a party with top tunes from some of the UK’s best DJ’s and providing front row views of all the action from the slope. Come and enjoy a TUACA and hot cloudy apple juice whilst soaking up the atmosphere of FREEZE.
Fans wishing to attend the event are advised to visit www.relentlessfreeze.com for further ticket information.
Tickets are priced at £37 for a day pass, £60 for a season pass (2 days) and VIP day tickets for £58. Child day tickets are priced at £17 and a child’s season pass at £28.