We're delighted to announce returning stars this year, with Sir Tom Jones once again topping the bill and opening the festival on Wednesday 15th July. He will be followed on Thursday by another returning Larmer Tree band, Levellers, dynamic guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela on Friday, Femi Kution Saturday and Jimmy Cliff on Sunday.
Truly something for everyone, this festival is hosted at the idyllic Larmer Tree Gardens on the Wiltshire/Dorset border, replete with roaming peacocks and Victorian pagodas, and showcases music acts that span all genres including rock, folk, World, swing, soul and pop. Hilarious comedy acts are featured, as are live DJs, unique shopping areas, performance art, therapy gardens, comfy camping, art installations, fancy dress, activities for children, award-winning festival food and local brewery suppliers. It being the 25th anniversary, there are a number of surprises planned to make this the best edition yet.
Crowning the Deer Park Stage on Friday night are The Chemical Brothers, a duo who can easily lay claim to the title of dance music royalty. Tracks cited as classics by fans and peers alike such as Hey Boy, Hey Girl, Block Rockin’ Beats and Galvanize are a regular fixture in clubs from the UK to Ibiza and beyond. They have proved their amazing abilities as a live act through many performances at Brixton Academy and festivals worldwide. The Chemical Brothers are bringing their Further Tour to The Big Chill, currently receiving rave reviews for its beats, visuals and light show which are blowing away fans and critics across the globe.
Saturday night’s Deer Park Stage headliner will be the boundary pushing hip-hop superstar Kanye West. The multi-platinum rapper and producer has sold over 15 million albums worldwide and has collaborated with a list of artists that reads like a true “Who’s Who” of popular music over the past decade including Jay-Z, Alicia Keys and Janet Jackson to name but a few. Kanye West’s performance at The Big Chill in 2011 is a UK festival exclusive; fans need look no further for the only place to catch this interstellar set featuring tracks such as Stronger, Gold Digger and Love Lockdown.
From the bars and pubs of Dublin to five consecutive sell out shows at London’s 10,000 capacity venue, Shepherd’s Bush Empire in November, Rodrigo y Gabriela’s rise to success has been meteoric. Despite meeting whilst playing in thrash metal bands the duo are now renowned for their folk and Latin style, played to a virtuoso level on acoustic guitars. The pair have scored number one albums both in Ireland and in the US, topping the American Billboard’s World Music Charts for 10 weeks, consequently they performed for US President Barack Obama at The White House. Rodrigo y Gabriela’s set at The Big Chill is yet another UK festival exclusive continuing the festival’s history of diverse and globe-spanning programming.
Also appearing on the Deer Park Stage on Friday will be Neneh Cherry, the BRIT Award-winning Buffalo Stance star’s performance will be her first UK festival appearance since Glastonbury 1997. Critically acclaimed indie band and Mercury Music Prize nominees Wild Beasts will appear as well as experimental indie from Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. Alt-rock outfit Electrelane will break their three year hiatus in an exciting return to the stage and Mahala Raï Banda complete Friday’s line-up as confirmed so far with gypsy-inspired Balkan sounds.
Saturday welcomes Soulwax side project and duo famed for their bootlegs and visuals, 2manyDJs, to bring the Deer Park Stage to a triumphant close. Armed with an Olympic standard set of vocal chords Jessie J has stormed the charts recently with her slick pop tracks now destined to play out for The Big Chill. Currently receiving rave reviews and gracing magazine covers Metronomy bring their quirky electro-indie-pop to the table while Janelle Monáe offers up an energetic performance of futuristic funk-pop sure to electrify the Deer Park. Electronic influences collide in the form of the Basque-influenced group Crystal Fighters and The Knocks prove their status as one of the ‘20 hottest producers in the world right now’ according to NME.
We are joined by a legend on Sunday as Robert Plant and The Band of Joy take to the Deer Park Stage. Named after Plant’s first band, The Band Of Joy’s blend of folk, blues and rock comes with true musical pedigree. Creating ethereal art-rock at The Big Chill will be taste-maker favourites Warpaint. Of celebrated lineage is Femi Kuti & the Positive Force, eldest son of afrobeat legend Fela Kuti and renowned saxophonist, band leader and world music icon brings with him rich international flavours. MBE and The Big Chill regular Norman Jay makes a welcome return in 2011, also performing are British reggae originals Steel Pulse. The Deer Park’s bounty as confirmed so far is completed by the improvisational About Group featuring Alexis Taylor from Hot Chip.
Headlining The Revellers’ Stage on Friday will be MOBO award winning rapper, Chipmunk who although only 20 years of age has scored an impressive five top 10 singles and a number two album with his debut I am Chipmunk. Following Chipmunk’s set is one of London’s most prominent DJs in the grime and dubstep scenes; Plastician. The soulful Californian solo artist Aloe Blacc also joins the line-up as well as New York DJ Andy Butler’s glittering disco collective Hercules and Love Affair. Another veteran of The Big Chill joins us in 2011 in the form of reggae and roots legend Horace Andy, not only has Andy performed several times at the festival but also audiences will know his voice well form his several guest appearances on Massive Attack albums. New Zealand’s leading hip-hop soul artist, originally part of all-girl crew Sheelahroc, Ladi6 is making waves now as a solo perfomer and also joins The Big Chill’s line-up. Slicing indie with electro and pop Fenech-Soler take to the Revellers’ Stage, as will Cubic Zirconia completing the line-up so for Friday.
Saturday at The Revellers’ Stage sees chart-topper Calvin Harris headline with a set of his infectious electropop featuring tracks such as number one smash I’m Not Alone. Blending pop with electro and rap Example, otherwise known as Elliot Cleave, has also enjoyed much chart success recently with his breakthrough second album Won’t Go Quietly and is sure to get The Big Chill crowd dancing this year. With over 10 million YouTube views for videos such as their risqué take on Ke$ha’s Tik Tok, comedy/music trio The Midnight Beast appear at The Big Chill alongside fellow Revellers’ Stage performers. Also stepping up to the mic will be Katy B, who has previously tackled vocal duties on tracks by dubstep heavyweights Magnetic Man and since gone on to carve her own path to stardom with the release of her critically acclaimed debut album Katy On A Mission. Completing Saturday’s line-up so far are leading grime MC Devlin and classical/techno cross over trio The Brandt Brauer Frick Ensemble who have assembled an increased ten-piece live band for The Big Chill set.
Bringing some sonic time travel to The Revellers’ Stage on Sunday will be Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings reviving the funk and soul sounds of the 60s and 70s, Quantic and his Combo Bárbaro, the DJ, musician and producer also brings soul and funk sounds to 2011’s line-up. Known as the father of Ethiojazz, Mulatu Astatke and his backing band for this special show The Black Jesus Experience offer up The Big Chill some international flavour. With a BBC Sound of 2011 poll nomination under his belt The Revellers’ Stage welcomes the soulful solo artist and Burial-produced Jamie Woon, and Chase & Status guest vocalist Liam Bailey.
The People’s Ear Stage headliner for Friday will be Californian producer and laptop musician Flying Lotus (Live), similarly electronic will be a set from rising Mancunion DJ xxxy and head of the Hotflush imprint and instrumental dupstep DJ in his own right Scuba. Leeds-based Afrobeat/jazz nine-piece Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra, multi-talented Trumpeter Matthew Halsall Remixed, and psychedelic/soul trio The Stepkids will also appear. Further additions come in the form of Ghostpoet, the MC whose mellow and broody beats are fast becoming a favourite of the taste-makers and New Zealand hip-hop outfit Electric Wire Hustle.
Saturday offers Buraka Som Sistema as a headliner for what will surely be a body-shaking set of their techno beats and African kuduro sounds. Favourite of both funky and grime scenes producer Lil Silva heads to The Big Chill this year as will dubstep band Gentleman’s Dub Club. The People’s Ear Stage also offers the combo performance of jungle producer Congo Natty and Tenor Fly (full live show) and sultry, soulful sounds from Bonobo-produced songstress Andreya Triana. Saturday’s line-up as confirmed so far is completed with bass driven jazz and dub from Leeds-based seven-piece Submotion Orchestra and Afro-futurism courtesy of Spoek Mathambo.
Acclaimed electronic music artist Four Tet tops the bill for Sunday on The People’s Ear Stage joined by rising star of the DJ and remixing world Jamie xx. The Big Chill’s final day also boasts original dub, ska and of course reggae from East Park Reggae Collective and Lily Allen and Graham Coxon producer Prince Fatty presenting Prince Fatty Soundsystem.
Mark Pritchard and Tom Middleton have produced everything from industrial techno to electro-funk under numerous aliases but it is their ambient and house sounds produced under the moniker Global Communication (DJ set) for which they are best known. Along with Luke Vibert, Jimmy Edgar and DJ Food these names are the first confirmations for Friday’s Starburst line-up.
Announced for Saturday’s Starburst are performers Kissy Sell Out Symphony of Light, Moda club promoters and up and coming radio DJs Jaymo & Andy George and a set by Craig Charles’ Funk and Soul Show following on from 2010’s popular live broadcast on BBC 6 Music from the site. Also featuring on the line-up will be Starz In Their Eyes singer/MC Just Jack (DJ Set) and Future Boogie DJs.
Sunday, aboard Starburst loses no steam with a headliner set from Mr. Scruff, a regular face at The Big Chill, famed for his marathon length sets and love of tea. Starburst also welcomes Parisian drum ‘n’ bass five-piece Dirtyphonics, the icon of rocksteady DJ Derek and the eclectic Fantastic Mr Fox.
Big Chill Radio is back, bigger and better than ever before! Big Chill Radio has been the beating heart of The Big Chill for over 10 years now, broadcasting great music, interviews, rocking DJs, live sessions, festival information and even the odd weather report, as well as covertly operating as a secret spot for late-night parties. In a massive step forward, this year Big Chill Radio will break out of its humble studio into its own fully-developed stage with live sessions during the day and DJs by night. Come down to the new Big Chill Radio Stage and feel the raw power of FM stereo! You can tune into all the wireless fun 24 hours a day on 87.7FM from the all-new, even earlier starting time of Wednesday, all the way through to the emotional goodbyes on Monday, and whatever you do – don’t forget your radio! More information can be found on Twitter, Facebook and Mixcloud, as well as on www.bigchill.net//festival Twitter: @bigchillradio // Mixcloud: www.mixcloud.com/bigchillradio. Full details of The Big Chill Radio Stage will be announced soon.
New for 2011 Tom Middleton will programme his own stage, as a performer who has graced the decks at each and every year of The Big Chill so far and booked debut festival performances from Mylo and Hot Chip, there is no man better for this job. New for 2011 will be a stage produced in collaboration with the American Glenn Max whose past work has included Meltdown Director and Ether, The White Rabbit Lounge will be an exploration of the sights and sounds known as ‘psychedelic’. Combining live band and DJ sets with projections and talks from expert speakers, The White Rabbit Lounge will be as much a place for reclining amongst the cushions and bean bags as it is a place to freak out to mind expanding performances. The lineup for The White Rabbit Lounge is TBA so stay tuned for further updates.
The Big Chill has always involved much more than music, and 2011 will see entertainment such as cabaret, comedy, film and the celebrated Big Chill Arts Trail return. As a destination for those who like to ‘kick back’ the Body & Soul area will increase this year offering more chance than ever before to truly ‘Chill’ through holistic and therapeutic pursuits and a new ambient stage. 2011 will be more family friendly than ever as the first festival-within-a-festival appears in the form of The Little Chill, with many activities on offer from local groups such as Colwall Primary School’s Friends of Colwall and Ledbury Scout Group. Combining the kids’ area, midnight movies programmed especially for children to wind down and a little something for the parents too, The Little Chill ensures festival goers of all ages will be catered for, open to family ticket holders exclusively and linked directly to family camping for ease and enjoyment. With many original audience members and performers from The Big Chill’s past now attending with their own families Tom Middleton will be hosting DJ Dads, special sessions taking place in The Little Chill for friends and family young and old. The parental disc jockeys performing will be announced shortly.
“I am very pleased to unveil the first announcement for The Big Chill, ushering in the festival’s impressive 17th year. Having been at the forefront as a ‘boutique’ event we have put together a programme that reflects The Big Chill’s heritage whilst offering up new and exciting developments for our audiences old and new alike. To be able to offer such well respected and diverse performances, from our headliners to our international artists and breakthrough names is a true pleasure and we are thrilled to be able to evolve the musical content of the festival. What’s more, we are very lucky this summer as two of our headline acts are UK festival exclusives which is brilliant. In turn, The Big Chill 2011 will welcome the return of some key elements that have defined the festival over its 17 years including a much enhanced The Big Chill Radio, which will see it having its own stage, and Tom Middleton who, having played at every Big Chill since the very beginning is more involved in the festival than ever this year curating his own stage. Of course The Big Chill extends to much more than our musical line-up and festival goers will once again be able to enjoy the Art Trail in full and we are extremely pleased to be working with the local community to radically expand aspects such as our family and children’s entertainment through the creation of The Little Chill; a festival within in its own right. 2011 is a celebration of all that The Big Chill has been throughout its history and a bold step forward to what will be a very bright future. We look forward to seeing you there.” Melvin Benn, Festival Republic