BoomTown Fair 2015 Review

Widely known as one of the wildest and most immersive experiences around, BoomTown Fair is one of the UK’s fastest growing music festivals. This year marked BoomTown’s seventh year in Winchester, selling out with a huge 38,000 people ready and rearing to explore the pop-up wonderland.
 

Having not seen many familiar names on the line-up and with this being my first BoomTown, I went into this experience pretty blind.I travelled to the site using public transport and ended up having one of my most valuable experiences of the whole weekend on the shuttle bus there. The atmosphere was intense, people were anxious to see the site appear over the hill, and talk was all about the weekend ahead. Every single person on the bus announced they had barely looked at the line-up, they couldn’t tell me who the ‘headliners’ were and they couldn’t tell me who to look out for. Instead they gave me the best advice I could have asked for: “BoomTown isn’t about the line-up, it isn’t about the headliners. Go in there and immerse yourself in the whole experience, think of the music as the soundtrack to your weekend and go wherever it takes you”. Most of them even favoured the smaller, quirkier areas over the main attractions and insisted I spend some time walking around. Taking my fellow BoomTown citizen’s advice, I did exactly this.

This pop-up city nestled in the rolling hills of Winchester is split into nine districts across three areas of the festival (HillTop, DownTown & Temple Valley). From Wild West to DSTRKT 5, China Town to Mayfair Avenue, everywhere boasts impressive set designs and strong narratives dating back to the festival’s origins in 2009. You find yourself being ushered along by “policemen” in OldTown, only to then stumble into Grandma’s Living Room and play bingo with other festival goers. Needless to say the weekend was laden with these surreal experiences in every district, leaving you feeling a little lost when all is said and done.



Somewhat hidden within these city walls are the stages. Like every district, each stage is themed depending on where it stands; each one an incredible set up. Some particularly impressive stages are the Lion’s Den; a huge temple themed stage that shoots fire when night descends, Bang Hai Palace; what can only be described as an oriental super palace lit from top to bottom with red and yellow neon lights, and Boombox; quite literally a giant boombox that glows as it pumps DNB through monstrous surround sound.

 

The weekend boasted some impressive musical names such as gypsy swing cyberpunks Caravan Palace who had the crowd jiving and jumping from start to finish. The global musical mastery that is Gogol Bordello tore up the Town Centre on Sunday night giving the BoomTown citizens something to remember. A particularly impressive set was Shy FX feat. Stamina MC at the Lion’s Den. Having seen this innovator of dance music before at a much smaller venue, it was incredible to see the transition from a sweaty tent to one of the main stages at BoomTown. Stood at the top of the hill where the Lion’s Den is situated, you could admire a sea of people bouncing, skanking and having the time of their lives. The atmosphere was electric as Shy continued to hit the crowd with classic after classic, Shake Ur Body being a particular highlight; smoke spilled from the mammoth stage and worked hand in hand with the strobes to create the ultimate raving experience. Other amazing acts across the weekend included: reggae master Stephen Marley, Ska-Dub-Punk group Dub Pistols (whom have actually won awards for their exceptional live performances), experimental Drum ‘n’ Bass multi-instrumentalist Squarepusher, with strobe lights to match his obscurity. Soulful blues and roots gang John Butler Trio provided a much needed break from the manic happenings elsewhere, while Mali’s Songhoy Blues stole my heart with their lively desert blues performed with upmost sincerity. More notable names were: The Carny Villains, Rubber Duck Orchestra, Born on Road Showcase and Noisia.

 

 

Some of my fondest memories of the weekend were visiting all of the side attractions that make their way to the festival. Long pathways lined with gypsy caravans and tipis, inside people were receiving palm readings, massages, yoga classes, wood crafting and wicker basket making lessons; the list was endless. Policemen can be seen taking part, staring at a black and white spiral wheel experiencing what can only be described from his facial expression as a sober acid trip. These side attractions keep the drunken masses smiling and add a little something special to the festival; there are vibes of a buzzing community and a sense that most of the vendors know each other from elsewhere. Its places like this that for me, make a real festival.
 

 

 

Boomtown Fair 2015 full lineup announced!

TrenchTown – Reggae, Dub, Dancehall

Unifying a whole spectrum of reggae, dub, dancehall from all over the globe, TrenchTown district is as spiritual as it is bass rumbling! Venues include the 40ft Aztec temple of The Lion's Den, sound system culture of Tangled Roots woodland clearing and the beach party vibes of the Hidden Woods.

District headliners include: Stephen ‘Ragga’ Marley, SOJA, Matisyahu, Alborosie & Shengen Clan, Barrington Levy, Anthony B, Protoje & The Indiggnation, Black Uhuru, Cham feat. O, Cutty Ranks.

 

ChinaTown – Ska, Ska-Punk, Punk

‘Behind the opulent frontages of ChinaTown trouble is brewing among the resident punks and ancient anarchists… Their future is uncertain, but one thing is for sure, there will be mosh-pits and flat-out skanking from dawn to dusk!!!’

The pulsating venues filled with the most raucous of trombone flailing musicians include; Devils Kicks Dancehall & ChinaTown Courtyard with headliners Less Than Jake, Streetlight Manifesto, Fishbone, The Beat, Dub Pistols, King Prawn, Snuff, The Interrupters, Ruts DC, Capdown.

 

Mayfair Avenue – Electro-Swing, Swing, Vintage remix

On the face of it husband and wife team Mr and Mrs Fitz-Sloane pledged to uphold the areas exclusivity by keeping out the ‘riff-raff’ and ensuring that only the most well-to-do attend their famed Electro-Swing soirées!!

Glitzy and glamorous Mayfair Avenue is, as the name suggests, top draw and sparkles galore! Venues include The Ballroom and The Bandstand with headliners; Caravan Palace, Deluxe, Scarecrow, Dirty Honkers, Bart & Baker, Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer and a whole load more of the very best Electro-Swing from all over Europe!

 

Wild West – Folk, World, Bluegrass, Hillbilly, Yeehaa, Cow-Punk

The cowboys of the west are back in town with their all-powerful Sheriff leading the way and the Mayor in their pocket! This rambunctious bunch have ambitions set far beyond their designated district having already taken control of the Old Mines. The Wild West is now an almighty powerhouse of thigh slapping, Stetson slinging, cider swigging sounds with the very best in folk, roots, world, hillbilly and a whole lot of Yeehaaaa! Venues include: The Old Mines, Rusty Spurs & Crazy Calamities Saloon

Headliners providing jump up folk and soul soothing sounds include; Flogging Molly, John Butler Trio, Amadou & Mariam, Dreadzone, Transglobal Underground, Peatbog Faeries, Songhoy Blues, Ibibio Sound Machine, Edwards II, Beans on Toast.

 

DSTRKT 5 – Bass, Drum n Bass, Jungle

A timeless place where past and future becomes one, industrial buildings stand tall and dark smoke filled alleyways loom with danger and debauchery. Some call it the red light district, others know it as deeper DownTown, its true name is DSTKRT 5!

The naughty night spot for any discerning BoomTown citizen, DSTRKT 5 venues with the ultimate in bass heavy beats including; Boombox, The Bodyshop and the brand new nine story high Bang-Hai Palace!! (See preview video here)

District headliners include: Squarepusher, Noisia, Spor, 20 Years of Metalheadz, Mr Scruff & Norman Jay (MBE), Deekline, Benny Page, Luke Vibert, PRSPKT Takeover.

 

Barrio Loco – Hip hop, House, Bass, UK Garage

Currently the ruling district of BoomTown, the vibrant community of Barrio Loco love nothing more than to fiesta ‘til dawn!! That was, until The Mayor turned her back on them and channelled all public money into an outrageously ginormous Palace to prove her dominance and power… Unrest is stirring, the people are rising, what does Chapter 7 hold for the streets of Barrio Loco??

Barrio Loco is a beautiful community of party loving, hip-hop beats and garage classics! Venues include; Poco Loco, Circo Baile, The Dance-Off and spontaneous street parties galore!! With headliners across these three stages including: DJ EZ, Swamp 81, Toddla T & DRS, The Bug and Flowdan, Phil Hartnoll (Orbital), Critical Records takeover, Kurupt FM, Sherwood & Pinch.

 

Psychedelic Forest – Tribe of Frog – Hi-Tech Stage: Psy-Trance, Goa-Trance

Forest parties and woodland dwellings are constantly evolving within the city of Boom! 2015 will see the ultimate psychedelic party to date with three different woodland locations pumping out the definitive Psy-trance with acts including: Infected Mushroom (Old School Live set), Astrix, Ace Ventura, Perfect Stranger, Liquid Soul, Sub 6, Dickster, Juno Reactor headlining just the Psychedelic Forest party!

 

FULL LINE-UP: STAGE BY STAGE

Town Centre (Acts representing a variety of districts from across the fair in a central location!)

Flogging Molly / Gogol Bordello / Caravan Palace / Less Than Jake / Streetlight Manifesto / Fishbone / Goldie Lookin Chain / The Beat / Dub Pistols / Slamboree / Deluxe / DJ Yoda presents Breakfast of Champions / Scarecrow / Dubioza Kolektiv / Smerins Anti-Social Club / Babyhead / Los Albertos / Big Red Ass

Jolly Dodger Pirate Ship (OldTown District)

Invisible Circus Pirate Show / Amsterdam Klezmer Band / La Pegatina / Kumpania Algazarra / Soviet Suprem / Antwerp Gipsy-Ska Orkestra / Jabul Gorba / Sheelanagig / The Carny Villains / Gypsy Sound System Orkestra / Giufà / Glitzy Baghags / The Woohoo Revue / The Real Tuesday Weld / Full Attack Band / ED Cox / Balkan Hotsteppers / DJ Sacha Dieu / Gypsy Unit / My Bad Sister / Bare Knuckle Parade / Tantz / Black Friday / Seas Of Mirth /Johnny Kowalski + The Sexy Weirdos / Jackson Scott / Ushti Baba / The Recks / Holy Moly & The Crackers / The Rubber Duck Orchestra

Lion’s Den (TrenchTown)

Stephen ‘Ragga’ Marley / SOJA / Matisyahu / Alborosie & Shengen Clan / Barrington Levy / Anthony B / Black Uhuru /Protoje / Cham feat. O / Cutty Ranks / Turbulence / Ward 21 / Katchafire / Shy FX feat. Stamina MC / David Rodigan / Chopstick Dubplate feat. Jah Mason & Demolition Man / Gentleman's Dub Club / Natty / Mungos Hi-Fi  feat YT & Charlie P / Serial Killaz & General Levy  / Potential Badboy feat. Yush & Junior Dangerous / Mr Benn Live Show feat. Blackout JA & Eva Lazarus / Necessary Mayhem Showcase feat. Curtis Lynch & Mr Williamz / Jacky Murda / Solo Banton / Strikez

The Old Mines (The Wild West)

Flogging Molly / John Butler Trio / Amadou & Mariam / Dreadzone / Transglobal Underground / Peatbog Faeries / Songhoy Blues / Ibibio Sound Machine / Edward II / Moulettes / The Men They Couldn't Hang / Sierra Leone Refugee Allstars / Beans On Toast / Mad Dog Mcrea / Monster Ceilidh Band / RSVP Cocos Lovers / Honeyfeet / 47 Soul / La Complet Mandingue / Firepit Collective / No Go Stop! /John Fairhurst

The Palace (DSTRKT 5)

Squarepusher / Noisia / Spor / Machinedrum / Surgeon Live / 20 years of Metalheadz ft: Goldie b2b Dillinja, Ulterior Motive b2b Dom and Roland, Jubei b2b Ant tc1 Hosted by SP:MC / A Guy Called Gerald (Jungle Set) b2b LTJ Bukem / Truss / Break / Ratpack / Tango & Ratty / Top Buzz / DJ Sy / MC Ribbz

Boombox (DSTRKT 5)

Norman Jay MBE & Mr Scruff present…Keep the Good Times Unreal / Benny Page / Deekline / Stickybuds / Scratch Perverts / J.Pod / Inspected Records Showcase ft: Culprate, Emperor, Asa, Sorrow, ZES, Inspected Dubplate / SP23 – Renegade Street Party

Devil Kicks Dancehall (ChinaTown District)

Capdown / King Prawn / The Mahones / The Rumjacks / The Snuff / The Interrupters / Subhumans / M.D.C / Inner Terrestrials / Demented Scumcats / Random Hand / The Restarts / New Town Kings / Johnny Cage and the Voodoo Groove / P.A.I.N / China Shop Bull / Beat The Red Light / Roughneck Riot / AOS3 / Bar Stool Preachers / The Junk / Victims of Circumstance / The Sporadics / The Defekters / Ducking Punches / The Pisdicables / Last Gang in Town DJ's

ChinaTown Courtyard (ChinaTown District)

The Dualers / 7 Seconds of Love / Maroon Town / R.D.F. / The Simmertones / King Porter Stomp / 1Eye / The Talks / Popes Of Chillitown / Chainska Brassika / The Skarsoles / The Stiff Joints / Counting Coins / Johnny Cage & The Voodoo Groove / Mad Apple Circus / Cut Capers / Cartoon Violence / Will Tun & The Wasters / Crinkle Cuts / Regime / Broken 3 Ways / Dive / Guns of Navarone / The Apocryphalites / The Snare / Rags Rudi / Shoot The Moon / Oscillator /Jr Bill & The Scallies / Melosa / Bigtopp

Hidden Woods (TrenchTown)

The Heatwave / Horseman & the Upper Cut Band / Ras Demo / Earl Gateshead / Symbiz Sound / Dreadsquad / Run Tingz Cru / Laid Blak / Friendly Fire Band / The Hempolics / Shepdog (Nice Up!) / Blend Mishkin / Jamie Bostron / Fogata Sound / Steppa Style / Jaundis-I / The Rhythmites / Toguna / The Majestic / Kibir La Amlak / Souldja / The Floating Bridges / Wicked Squad / The Undercover Hippy / The Future Dub Project / Shanty  / Babilondon / Messiah Dub Club / Daddy Nature (Rompa's Reggae Shack) / Uprooted / Titan Sounds / Shanti Squire & MC Little Tree / Jeremiah Ferrari / Ben Russell & The Charmers / Robert Lee / Dubmatix

Tangled Roots (TrenchTown)

Aba Shanti-I / RSD & Joe Peng / Gorgon Sound / OBF & Shanti D / Orange Hill Productions feat Ras Kwame & Junior Tubby / Riddim Tuffa / Serocee / Aries / Born On Road Showcase ft Skibadee, Dirty Dike, Jam Baxter & Dabbla / Krak in Dub / Dub Smugglers / Danny T & Tradesman feat. Parly B / Adam Prescott / King Yoof / Tuffist & J Man / Unit 137 / Trinity Music London / Ghost Writerz / Sleepy Time Ghost / Lionpulse / Hylu  / Jago / Ed West / Zico / Galak Spiritual / Stivs / G.O.L.D / Rubberdub Soundsystem / Escape Roots Sound feat. Tom Spirals / Kelvin 373 / Jam Jah & Lion Art / DJ Snuff & Amy True / Gardna / Disorda / DJ Feva / Papa B / The Sea / Sasha Steppa / Samson Sounds / Escape Roots Sound feat. Tom Spirals

The Ballroom (MayFair Avenue District)

Dirty Honkers / Bart & Baker feat. Elle & The Pocket Belles / Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer / Swingrowers /The Gaslight Troubadours feat. Professor Elemental / Odjbox / Brass Band Remix: Dutty Moonshine Big Band / DJ Tofu Vs Brass Funkeys, The Fontanas, Trans-Siberian March Band / Grant Lazlo / The Real Tuesday Weld / Big Swing Soundsystem Feat. Hypeman Sage / Too Many Ts  / Phil Mac / [email protected] In The [email protected] /James Copeland / Don Mescal / Don Johnston / DJ Pony (Montana) / Kiwistar / The After Hours Quintet /The Underscore Orkestra / The Woohoo Revue / Formidable Vegetable Sound System / The Chicken Brothers / Jenova Collective / Rumba De Bodas / The World's Tallest Dj / Jitterbug / Madame Electrifie / Mad Apple Circus / Mr Tea & The Minions / Captain Flatcap / Rumpsteppers /  The Rin Tins  / Freakeasy Cabaret/ Swing Patrol / Symphonica feat. Mr Switch

Rusty Spurs (The Wild West)

Kim Churchill / Curtis Ellers American Circus / Pronghorn / The Boot Hill All Stars / Cody Jasper / Skimmity Hitchers / Leonard & Bubba's Delicious Goo-Goo Cluster / Louis Barabbas & The Bedlam Six / The Goat Roper Rodeo Band / Hightown Crows / Gentlemen Of Few / Dead Plants / Cash Converted / Railroad Bill / Crazy Arm / Poor Old Dogs / Black Hearted Riders / Screamin’ Miss Jackson & The Slap Ya Mama Big Band / Funke & The Two Tone Baby / Slapface & The Hoagies / Lady Winwoods Maggot / Quinns Quinney / The White City Shakers / United Stoats of America / Johnny Boxcars / Jack Ratts / The Maddison Tar Heels / Ben Gunn and the Junk Yard Angels /Dog House Boatboys

Crazy Calamities (The Wild West)

Manushka / The Inexplicable / The Slytones / Conway / Dub The Earth / Captain Accident / Treehouse Fire / King Zepha / Lion Star / NewRising / Feel Good Culture / Bare Jams / The Piratones / Euphony / Fingertrap / Offbeat Offensive / The Slytones / Conway / Key Lime Pi / AlbaRoma / Manushka / Town Of Cats / Fat Sandwich / Backyard Rhythm Orchestra / Dantanna / The Tribe / Hornman / The Vegetable Collective / Bison Theory / Kingz Of Vocals

Floating Lotus (Whistlers Green)

Lucy Ward / Will Varley / Harp & A Monkey / Whiskey Moon Face / The Eskies / Gypsy Rebel Rabble / Rioghnach Connoly / Flight Brigade / Tadhg Daly / Worry Dolls / Kit Hawes & Aaron Catlow / Tim Holehouse / Deferred Success / KOG & The Zongo Brigade / Hoopy Frood / Bear & The Woods / Hedge Gods / Dexter Selboy / Kezia /Jordan O'Shea / My Crooked Teeth / Kimberley Newell / Ned Dylan / Efa Supertramp / Davy Watson

Bandstand (MayFair Avenue District)

Professor Elemental / The Underscore Orkestra, / Elle & The Pocket Belles / The After Hours Quintet /  Louis Barabbas & The Bedlam Six / The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing / Dr Schwamp / Deferred Sucess / Alex Blood & The Diggers / Great Scott / The Rin Tins / Lounge Cat Ideals / Mother Ukers /Shambolique / Papa Shango /

Bodyshop (DSTRKT 5)

Luke Vibert / PRSPKT Takeover – Hellfish vs Producer, Bryan Fury, Thrasher, Switch Technique / Simon Underground / Vandal /Nicky Blackmarket / Bizzy B / Randall (92-94) / Jerome Hill / Crystal Distortion / Renegade Hardware 20th Anniversary -Takeover ft Maztek, Loxy, Ink / FFF / Stivs

Circo Baile (Barrio Loco District)

DJ EZ / Toddla T & Drs / Swamp 81 Presents  Loefah, Paleman, Benton ft. Chunky / The Bug & Flowdan / Phil Hartnoll (Orbital) DJ Set / Critical Soundsystem (Kasra x Enei x Foreign Concept) / Kurupt Fm / Sherwood & Pinch / Cause & Affect / Monki / Preditah / DJ Q / Woz / Matt Jam Lamont / DR Meaker / Amy Becker / Hybrid Theory / Durkle Disco feat. Lamont, OH91, Lojik & Koast / Wonka-Vision

Poco Loco (Barrio Loco District)

Kate Tempest / Jungle Brothers / Goldie Lookin Chain / High Focus Takeover The Four Owls / Fliptrix & Verb T / Leaf Dog & BVA / Dead Players / Dirty Dike Jam Baxter / Ed Scissortongue / Mr Key / Onoe Caponoe / Ocean Wisdom / Molotov / DJ Sammy B-Side / DJ Madnice / DJ Yoda AV set / Akala /  The Mouse Outfit feat. Sparkz & Dr/ Dr Syntax & Pete Cannon / Cheeba Av Set / First Degree Burns / Subculture Sage / Slowly Rolling Camera / The Anomalies / Alice In Wasteland / Lea Lea / Moose Funk Squad / DJ Jaffa / Sounds Of Harlowe / Ewan Hoozami

Boomtown Fair 2015 DSTRKT 5 first lineup announcement

BoomTown Fair have kick started six weeks of intensive line up announcements with the bass heavy playground of DSTRKT 5. As the festival is made up of eight very different ‘districts’ which celebrate a variety of individual music genres and cultures from Ska to Jungle, Reggae to Folk and a whole load more in between and beyond, the line ups are released district by district. First out is the bass mecca of DSTRKT 5, which true to form will be hosting some of the most innovative trailblazers in the genre including; Squarepusher, Noisia, Spor, Machinedrum, Metalheadz takeover and Surgeon to name a few, resulting in a powerhouse of a bass line-up and the perfect soundtrack for BoomTown’s unveiling of a the brand new colossus of a centre-stage for DownTown, The Palace, which is all set to be the UKs largest fully immersive festival dance arena.

Taking place over 13th – 16th August in Matterley Estate – Hampshire, BoomTown have now released the final part of the ‘Chapter 7: The Introduction’ trilogy that, like any expertly crafted drum and bass track, has slowly built up over Part One and Part Two to the ultimate drop with the new monstrous dance stage and its phenomenal line-up unleashed on the eagerly waiting viewers in Part Three! The brand new nine-story 360surround arena set, that promises to be exceptionally loud, will be dominated by a finely crafted selection of heavy weight bass warriors!!

Ready to storm the new Palace stage with a brand new live show, is boundary pushing maverick Squarepusher. Renowned for mixing up apocalyptic dystopian sounds and electronic beats so obscure they border on extra-terrestrial with jaw-dropping live bass guitar solos to the backdrop of mesmerizing visuals: BoomTown bass lovers are in for one genuinely mind-blowing experience this summer with the combination of Squarepusher and one of the most insane festival stages the UK will have ever witnessed!!

Keeping Squarepusher good company on The Palace stage will be the dark, solid drum and bass of Spor, unchallenged trio of drum and bass mastery Noisia, tough techno and murky industrial beats of Surgeon live set, an almighty showcase of 20 years of Metalheadz with Goldie b2b Dillinja, Ulterior Motive b2b Dom and Roland, Jubei b2b Ant tc1, hosted by SP:MC and no stranger to fictional cities, Machinedrum will be introducing his Vapour City and all its surging bass to the good citizens of Boom City!

Next up in DSTRKT 5 is the iconic BoomBox stage, towering an impressive 40ft, this giant ghetto blaster emits some of the most legendary sounds in the entire of DownTown. Chapter 7 will be no different with an unbelievably exciting 10hr takeover from two ultimate legends: Norman Jay MBE and Mr Scruff present…Keep the Good Times Unreal!! Other acts to be found on the BoomBox include: seminal producerDeekline, Canadian glitch-hop maestro Stickybuds, the ultimate dancefloor demolition men Scratch Perverts and an Inspected Recordsshowcase ft: Culprate, Emperor, Asa, Sorrow, ZES, Inspector Dubplate, plus loads more…

Whilst over in the fully expanded, upgraded and sound proofed BodyShop, gabba, mashup and hardcore techno reign supreme with the prolificLuke VibertPRSPKT Takeover (with Hellfish vs Producer, Bryan Fury, Thrasher, Switch TechniqueSimon Underground; Vandal; Bizzy B, Randall (92-94); Jerome Hill; Crystal Distortion; Renegade Hardware 20th Anniversary Takeover plus more…

On top of these main stages in DSTRKT 5 there will also be a Renegade Street Party hosted by none other than underground soundsytem and pioneers of social justice through coming together of communities, SP23. Forged at the heart of the Spiral Tribe sound system, SP23 will be back in the UK this summer for the first time in 20 years and bringing a true piece of historic party culture back to where it all began.

Introducing ground-breaking festival Orchestival

Set against the stunning lakeside backdrop of Bath and West Showground, Orchestival 2014 will embark on a musical journey that will change the perception of classical music forever. Across a weekend of remarkable collaborations, some of the world's leading musicians, including Squarepusher, The Unthanks, Will Gregory (Goldfrapp) and the UK's leading orchestra, The Philharmonia Orchestra, will blur the lines between genres to spectacular effect. As well as a host of other mind expanding events including a bulging Talk Tent programme, Creative Workshops plus the best of Somerset dining. 

Charles Hazlewood's vision of making great symphonic music accessible to all is coming to life in 2014, Orchestival will defy conceptions of classical music with an unforgettable two days that will expand and evolve all expectations of the genre. Following the success of Orchestra In A Field, an event run to great success by Hazlewood in 2012, Orchestival is set to evolve this initial idea even further. Helping to make this possible will be one of the world's most revered and respected orchestras, The Philharmonia, who set the standard for performances across the weekend as the festival's resident orchestra.

Highlights include Mercury-nominated folk duo The Unthanks. Used to playing across genres, Becky and Rachel Unthank have written a slew of critically acclaimed albums that have earned them fans amongst the likes of Radiohead, Robert Wyatt and Portishead. On Saturday however, the sisters tread unexplored territory as they sing with a full orchestra for the first time. Later, as the sun sets over the lake and rolling hills of Somerset, the euphoric sounds of acid house are taken to new symphonic highs for The Third Summer Of Love: Acid House goes symphonic. Iconic anthems that captured a generation at the peak of the late 80s are revived and reimagined by cellist Matthew Barley and the Philharmonia for an incredible euphoric performance.

Continuing to re-imagine the iconic sounds of the past, Orchestival will play host to a vibrant theatre production of Benjamin Britten’s 1957 opera, Noye’s Fludde. Award-winning international theatre company Kneehigh are inviting members of the local community and festival-goers to take part in the opening performance of Orchestival which is set kick-off the two day extravaganza on a high. Given the recent devastation caused by severe weather in Somerset, Festival organisers have decided to support Flag, the Somerset Levels flood relief fund through the production.

The phenomenal British Paraorchestra, the world's first ever orchestra entirely consisting of virtuoso musicians with disability, will perform pieces from their brand new project ‘Other’ for the very first time, joined by several very special guests. For the classical lovers amongst the audience, The Philharmonia will take to the stage with high-octane performances of breathtakingly beautiful music by Mozart, Haydn, Wagner and Richard Strauss, including the latter's iconic Four Last Songs.

Already responsible for recording Hollywood blockbuster music for films such as Thor 2Iron Man 3 and Elysium, the Philharmonia will bring the world of video games to life in Score! on Sunday, as they fill stunning Somerset with nostalgic soundtracks from gaming classics. Charting earlier generations of retro gaming like Commodore 64 and Sonic the Hedgehog right through to modern day titles such as HaloFinal Fantasy and Call Of Duty, Score! will be a rare and unique opportunity to hear music normally confined to the console played live by a full symphony orchestra. Later Goldfrapp producer and keyboardist Will Gregory is set to blow minds, as he brings his ensemble of virtuousos armed with a cornucopia of retro Moog synthesisers to Orchestival; together they take on music by JS Bach live, in front of thousands of revellers. 

Orchestival culminates on Sunday evening with a meeting of minds as Squarepusher and Charles Hazlewood join forces for Squarepusher's Orchestral Ufabulum. As Warp celebrates its 25th anniversary, one of the labels most successful and revered artists will take part in a collision of genres that will take both electronic and classical music to unfathomable new heights. Renowned for his incredible live shows and slew of ground breaking releases, Squarepusher's performance with the Philharmonia will be unmissable. 

Some very special guests are still to be announced for Orchestival, which was founded by Charles Hazlewood, one of the most prominent figures in the classical world or as the Guardian would put it – 'what Heston Blumenthal is to food, Charles Hazlewood is to music'. A true pioneer, Charles has made it his goal to bring the genre to a wider audience and Orchestival will take him one step closer.

Speaking about the festival Charles says: 
"Music is the most universal language we have, it lifts us up and it unites us. Given the horrendous experiences of so many in the Somerset community with the recent flooding, I see Orchestival as a wonderful piece of good news, a weekend of jaw-dropping music to bind us all together. I'm thrilled to welcome the Philharmonia Orchestra along with Squarepusher, The Unthanks, Kneehigh, the Paraorchestra, all the workshops and talks plus the amazing food! In my mind there is no other festival with this breadth of music, bring on July!

The Playground Festival makes Resident Advisors top 10 festivals

"With Leftfield, Booka Shade, UNKLE and James Zabiela joining Detroit luminaries Kevin Saunderson, Derrick May and Juan Atkins and underground treasures like No Artificial Colours, Krystal Klear and Boddika, Playground Festival will reach new heights of hysteria when it sets up shop in June. Borrowing as much from Sonar as Bloc Festival to inform its booking policy, headline slots from Gary Numan and Squarepusher will touch similar ground to the spectacle committed by Amon Tobin and his ISAM Live series recently, with 3D mapping visuals and an LED construction set, in a venue more than equipped to handle it… Adding to that, there'll be nobody knocking on The Academy door asking for noise to be kept down, ensuring the event is one London festival where the volume hits all the necessary levels. This playground is for adults only." DJ Mag

This year’s Playground Festival brings together many of the godfathers/ innovators of house, techno and electro music alongside those making a significant rise on current underground scene to create a truly retrospective festival experience. Headliners LEFTFIELD, SQUAREPUSHER, GARY NUMAN, DIGITALISM, VITALIC and UNKLE’s JAMES LAVELLE, will be joined by a whole host of upcoming and respected talent as they all play under one roof at Brixton Academy on the 7th – 8th June. 

LeftFieldUnparalleled in their status as one of the UK’s biggest electronic acts of all time, LEFTFIELD, join the Friday leg of the festival with a rare electronic dj performance. Their seminal debut album ‘Leftism’ went platinum within a number of months of its 1995 release and earned a Mercury Music prize nomination later that year. The album is looked upon as a classic is regularly mentioned in music polls including Q Magazine that placed it 8th in their list of ‘The Greatest Albums Of All Time’.

While the Saturday, will be topped by contemporary experimental producer SQUAREPUSHER. This producer has redefined the spectacle of live performances. Using a giant screen, stage board and head-mask comprised of nothing but choreographed LEDs, Squarepusher’s live show now mirrors the incredible attention to detail he brings to his music, as well as highlighting the incredible technology it takes to be one of the world’s best producers.

Joining the list on the Saturday night will be legendary songwriter and innovator to electronic music GARY NUMAN. Since his groundbreaking work and named as one of the figureheads of the electronic movement in the late 70s and early 80s, Gary Numan has been a pioneer of forward-thinking electronic music and a living legend to the UK’s musical history. Since the release of his breakthrough track ‘Cars’ in 1979, Numan has gone on to have a glittering career that still holds strong today. With every passing year, Gary Numan has kept true to himself by breaking barriers and creating diverse and interesting electronic music that wins him new fans every day.

Topping Friday’s bill will be the electronic duo DIGITALISM, making a very rare LIVE performance at Brixton Academy. Known for their breakthrough single ‘Pogo’, Digitalism have been a huge driving force in underground electronic music and their critically acclaimed live show is all part of why we wanted them at the top of the bill.

Joining Digitalism on the Friday will one of the founding members of alternative electronic duo UNKLEJAMES LAVELLE is a true staple of the UK’s music scene. Forming the group, alongside DJ Shadow, in 1996, UNKLE are regarded as one of the most groundbreaking electronic groups the world has ever seen with their debut album ‘Psyence Fiction’ regularly brought up as one of the greatest albums of all time.

French techno will also get its representation at this year’s festival with an incredible live performance from one of the country’s most formidable producers VITALIC. Since the release of his debut album ‘OK Cowboy’, Vitalic has proven to be one of the world’s leading beatmakers on the techno scene. From his early debut work with ‘La Rock 01’ to his current heavyweight album ‘Rave Age’, Vitalic has never failed to bring the party atmosphere everywhere he goes and earned his place on this year’s bill.

As well as all the seminal talent joining us at this year’s Playground Festival, we will also be graced with the presence of groundbreaking electronic duo THE ORB with a full LIVE set. Since the release of their incredible debut album ‘Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld’ more than twenty years ago, The Orb have been one of the most innovative and awe-inspiring electronic outfit in recent times. The pair are currently working on a second collaborative album with dub legend Lee Scratch Perry and rumours have began to fly over a new tag-team with electronic hero and fellow Playground Festival performer John Foxx. Needless to say, The Orb’s performance will definitely come with surprises.

Joining Vitalic and Gary on the Saturday will be two of the founding fathers of the Detroit house and techno scene, DERRICK MAY and KEVIN SAUNDERSON who together reinvented the house sound in the 80s and have gone on to be two of the most respected tastemakers on the scene today.

We are also serving up German house duo BOOKA SHADE, who have been a staple of the world’s clubbing consciousness for more than a decade. Since the early 2000s, Booka Shade have been creating and pushing their sound through their self-conceived label Get Physical, resulting in four critically acclaimed albums with numerous singles and remixes to boot.  After a 3 year absence, we welcome BOOKA SHADE back onto the UK live seen with open arms.

KAVINSKY will also be bringing his unique brand of 80s infused electro to the festival on the Friday night. After all the hype Kavinsky received from his contribution to the ‘Drive’ soundtrack, the producer finally released his debut album ‘Outrun’ this year. A retrospective look at what the producer has managed to achieve since his career began. While his fellow countrymen CASSIUS will join the French producer in what can only become a great union in the sounds of old and new French productions. Known for their anthems ‘Cassius 1999’ and ‘Feeling For You’, Cassius’ inclusion on this bill will bring a cool dose of electro nostalgia to this year’s festivities. 

JAMES ZABIELA also takes the reigns on the Friday night and has been one of the UK’s most praised DJs over the last decade. As a longstanding resident to the Renaissance label, Zabiela’s mixes and DJ sets are regarded amongst the highest and have seen this DJ progress to one of the highest names on today’s underground electronic music scene.

MODEL 500 has been the most successful pseudonym of American producer and originator of the Detroit techno scene, JUAN ATKINS. Atkins first began working as Model 500 in the mid 80s and went on to create the now legendary Metroplex label, home to the likes of Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson, who will of course be joining us on the Saturday.

We complete the top of Saturday’s line up billing with some of the most inspiring and influential artists in the world. Including German-born PANTHA DU PRINCE, a staple of Europe’s ambient techno scene whose new collaborative album with The Bell Laboratory ‘Elements Of Light’ is looking to be one of this year’s most anticipated new releases. JOHN FOXX & THE MATHS, the new project from original ULTRAVOX vocalist, John Foxx, joins him on the second day. This new project has seen a reinvention of John Foxx as he looks to continue the ground he covered with Ultravox, and bring it hurtling into the new millennium.

Also added to Saturday’s bill will be on of the founding members of electronic pioneers KraftwerkWOLFGANG FLUR. Flur left in the group in the mid 80s to pursue other projects that have seen the producer create a number of unique and diverse productions right up to the present day. 

The Playground Festival will also host a huge array of talent across both nights including dance music royalty X-PRESS 2, talented DJ and producer BODDIKA, championed producer of the Numbers label DEADBOY, nostalgic RnB reinventor KRYSTAL KLEAR, ethereal beat producer LAPALUX and North American beatmaker TOKIMONSTA.

With NATHAN FAKE, LUKE VIBERT, CRAIG RICHARDS, LUKE SOLOMON, OM UNIT, NO ARTIFICIAL COLOURS, OLUGBENGA, WILDKATS, WHYT NOYZ, MOLO, SEVERINO, DAN BEAUMONT, LUKE UNABOMBER, FANTASTIC MR. FOX, RYAN HEMSWORTH, DAKTYL, CHARLIE TRAPLIN, MAXX BAER and TEMPLA opening the festival for us across both days, the event promises to kick start the summer off with a bang (or beat?).

THE PLAYGROUND FESTIVAL 2013

FRIDAY 7TH JUNE:

MAIN STAGE:

► LEFTFIELD-dj

► James Lavelle [UNKLE]

► DIGITALISM- LIVE

► BOOKA SHADE- LIVE

► JAMES ZABIELA

► KAVINSKY

► CASSIUS

► JUAN ATKINS presents MODEL 500- LIVE

STAGE 2:

CLASSIC MUSIC COMPANY

► CRAIG RICHARDS

► LUKE SOLOMON

► SEVERINO

► DAN BEAUMONT

► LUKE UNABOMBER

STAGE 3:

► X-PRESS 2

► BODDIKA

► KRYSTAL KLEAR

► DEADBOY

► NO ARTIFICIAL COLOURS

► WILDKATS

► WHYT NOYZ

SATURDAY 8TH JUNE

MAIN STAGE:

► SQUAREPUSHER- (Full AV live show)

► GARY NUMAN- (Full band LIVE)

► VITALIC- LIVE

► THE ORB – LIVE

► DERRICK MAY

► KEVIN SAUNDERSON

► PANTHA DU PRINCE- LIVE

► JOHN FOXX & THE MATHS

► WOLFGANG FLUR [ex Kraftwerk]

STAGE 2:

► TOKIMONSTA

► NATHAN FAKE

► LUKE VIBERT

► FANTASTIC MR. FOX

► OM UNIT

► RYAN HEMSWORTH

► OLUGBENGA

STAGE 3: BIRTH RECORDS

► MOLO

► DAKTYL

► CHARLIE TRAPLIN

► MAXX BAER

► TEMPLA