Latitude Festival have announced the line up for their 13th Edition, which takes place on Thursday 12th – Sunday 15th July 2018 in the stunning grounds of Henham Park, Suffolk. Recently awarded Best Major Festival by UK Festival Awards, Latitude returns with an all-new look for 2018 – a refreshed programme and emboldened vision retaining everything you loved about the festival, but also moving in an exciting new direction that looks to the future. Tickets are available from here.
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter of A Seat at the Table fame Solange performs her first –ever festival headline slot at Latitude in a UK exclusive. It’s been over a year since she released the critically acclaimed album that she has called “a project on identity, empowerment, independence, grief, and healing”. Since its release she has introduced the work to new audiences as dynamic and daring performance art. Bold, exciting and innovative with a creative energy like no other, Solange crosses and combines artistic genres in a way that most artists wouldn't dare and is the perfect Latitude headliner.
Latitude loves a success story, and is famed for breaking new talent and nurturing artists so it’s truly thrilling to host Alt-J as headliners once more. From performing on the Lake Stage in 2012 as an up and coming act, returning to headline the BBC Music Stage in 2013, and then closing the Friday night of Latitude’s 10th anniversary in 2015, we are delighted to welcome them “home” for what promises to be an exciting show – with the possible premiere of brand new material, this one is going to be unmissable.
Alt-J said, “We are over the moon to be returning to Latitude for a fourth time. It's a festival that's nurtured us beyond any other, taking us from the Lake Stage to the 6music Stage and then to headlining in 2015. To do so again is a huge privilege. See you in Suffolk!”
The Killers, fresh from the success of chart-topping comeback album Wonderful Wonderful, headline Latitude for the first time. Part-rock show, part-art extravaganza, The Killers, led by charismatic frontman Brandon Flowers, are sure to bring something very special to this year’s line up with much loved hits ‘The Man’, ‘When You Were Young, and of course ‘Mr Brightside’.
Latitude has never been just about the music – it’s a culturally enriching experience and this year’s comedy, theatre and arts roster is set to be the festival’s most diverse and forward-thinking yet. Two exciting comedy headliners are both performing at Latitude for the first time, award-winning stand-up and star of BBC Radio 4’s Utopia, Bridget Christie makes a rare festival appearance, while national treasure Harry Hill brings a career’s worth of comedy gold to our stage. Elsewhere on the comedy bill, catch the only comedian co-signed by Drake and Stormzy, Mo Gilligan; Tim Key's new blend of poeticals, talking, spotlights, cables, old school wistfulness, Megadate; viral-video star and news satirist Jonathan Pie; brand new BBC Radio 4 panel show Where’s the F in News; Mock The Week regular James Acaster and rising star Lauren Pattison. There’s much more still to come, so watch this spotlight!
Harry Hill said, “I like latitude, I like longitude, but which is better? There’s only one way to find out – play the comedy arena at Latitude! I can’t wait!"
Latitude has a reputation for having one of the most eclectic line ups in the UK, and 2018 is no exception: Sadler’s Wells return to Henham Park presenting dance companies still to be revealed, whilst the first shows of the theatre bill include a spectacular headline performance by an international sensation: Recirquel Contemporary Circus: Paris de Nuit will transport the audience to the roaring 30s.Other highlights include Bryony Kimmings previewing her first solo show in 10 years, I’m A Phoenix, Bitch,Lyric Hammersmith presenting How To Fail At Being Perfect, their wise and witty look at through the eyes of forever children, with an all youth cast, and Scottish Dance Theatre, who present Fleur Darkin’s Velvet Petal. Among the very first speakers in The Speakeasy, BBC3 investigative journalist Stacey Dooley will talk about her new book, On the Front Line with the Women Who Fight Back.
There’s so much happening at Latitude in 2018, some serious refuelling will be in order, and the festival is upping the grub game. Latitude will become the first major festival to do away with ‘fast food’ with the Arena now catered entirely by Street Food organised by London’s Street Feast. Explore buzzing street food arenas across the site where festivalgoers can re-fuel, wind down and eat the world without leaving Henham Park. Look out for Fundi’s mighty hand-built ovens for melty, wood-fired pizzas, then dig into crispy cornbread Arepas from Venezuelan street food heroes Petare – don’t forget to order a side of their Cassava Chips topped with fiery salsa. For a mighty, meat-free meal, say hello to Club Mexicana – their vegan To-Fish Tacos and BBQ-Pulled Jackfruit Burritos are NOT to be missed. Also new to Latitude is the Theatre of Food, a fully immersive essential for any foodie – or just your average keen eater – with wild cooking sessions, hilarious and inspiring food demos and, of course, the chance to sample the goods yourself. And if there’s a comedy set or a drum solo while it’s all happening, all the better to heighten your taste senses!
Families looking for quality time together need go no further than Latitude’s Enchanted Garden, where they’ll get the chance to make some magic of their own, including VR workshops with top industry creatives, screen printing T-shirts, trapeze and circus skills, and the brilliant Family Socials which pack weekend mornings with family-friendly comedy, live music, dance and theatre. There’s a parent pen for shattered parents who can’t keep up or yoga to unwind! Meanwhile the Kids Area has live shows including AnimAlphabet the Musical, West End Kids, and Comedy4Kids, alongside puppetry, live music, award-winning children’s authors and illustrators on hand to inspire, music tuition, bush-crafts, fun with food and the Wild Science tent. Teens who want to be among their own can head to the Inbetweeners Area with its music, digital, media and fashion workshops, the Access to Music Live Stage including industry Q&A’s, how-tos on gaming, coding and VR. Daredevils can brave the Greenpeace treetop adventures, zip wires and climbing nets. Guaranteed no teenage style will be cramped.
Clark performing Death Peak Live
Gang of Youths
Hannah Peel with Tubular Brass
Jon Hopkins Live
Trudy And The Romance
Chortle Student Comedy Awards Finalists
Lost Voice Guy
Tim Key: Megadate
Where's The F In News
Bryony Kimmings: I'm A Phoenix, Bitch (preview)
David Rosenberg & Glenn Neath: Flight
Dom Coyote: We Can Time Travel
Lyric Hammersmith presents How To Fail At Being Perfect
Lyric Hammersmith presents The Lost Disc
Mark And Marichka Marczyk: Balaklava Blues
Middle Child: One Life Stand
Nabokov presents Benin City: Last Night
Nele Needs A Holiday: The Musical
Push Things Forward Collective: Nabokov, Middle Child and Not Too Tame
It’s that time of year again, where the rest of the UK has basically resigned itself to Autumn but Bestival-goers know that there is one last high summer fling to be had. Cars crammed with people and gear are flooding the ferry docks, horns are blaring, people are already on the drinks at 9am… off we go to the Isle.
Upon arriving at Robin Hill, it’s clear something has gone awry. For some unknown reason they’ve decided to trickle-open the carparks, meaning those wanting to camp in yellow can’t actually park in yellow because it’s currently closed. For those not au fait with Bestival’s layout – the giant hill/massive walk through three campsites to get from Red parking (which is the only one open right now) to yellow camping, is utterly soul destroying when you’re carrying 4 days’ worth of binge-drinking materials. The second fail of the day (related) is that by not opening multiple car-parks and therefore access gates, EVERYONE IN THE WORLD is queuing for red entry. Two hours to get in is beyond mental, hopefully this will be rectified for next year because it was truly the worst entry system we’ve encountered at a festival this year, and Bestival have done it so right the last five years or so before.
After finally trudging over and setting up camp (in a field where toilets haven’t been delivered yet… what is going on?!), it’s time to head over to the arena to see what’s what. Next big shock of the day… where on earth is the main stage? The stage that sits in its’ place is about a quarter of the size of last years’ behemoth and is low-down, downhill. There are a lot of short people who are going to be seeing absolutely nothing this weekend that’s for sure.
Luckily, The Magic Meadow is up and running with the true Bestival vibe to make us feel better about everything. Happily The Feast Collective has only been moved here, not banished because everyone is starving and the food is just incredible. Where else can you side by side order a grilled-shrimp-and-samphire burger, raclette draped chips and a spicy beef rendang? With a pint of Bestivale in hand it’s off to scout out some early bands.
Asylums on the Invaders of the Future stage are punky and lively, you can’t really argue with a band who love to perform. ‘Joy in a Small Wage’ is perfect rock band fayre, easy to sing along, great to dance to, and the band themselves are leaping around the stage as they play in front of the Day of the Dead bar.
The highlight of Thursday is Besti-faves, Hot Chip in the Big Top. Weird and wonderful as always they play to a busy tent despite starting at nearly one am, and their electronic melodies can be heard far and wide across the still-filling campsites.
Friday sees ferries delayed by the discovery of a World War II torpedo in Portsmouth harbour which is later disposed of by controlled explosion, but with everything soon back on schedule it’s becoming apparent that not enough camping has been opened by the festival this year. Having sold only 40,000 tickets compared to years’ 50,000+ it seems that a decision was made to condense campsites. However, they clearly went a field too far and people are scrabbling for space today.
Anyway, on to the first proper arena day and we find ourselves drawn in by the presence of The World’s Biggest Bouncy Castle over on top of The Grassy Hill. At a price of £5 for ten minutes of bouncing, it’s pretty damn steep, but hey we’re drunk and ready to throw some shapes. After knackering ourselves out, getting told off by the flip police, and avoiding serious damage it’s time to explore Caravanserai over in the Stardust Field.
What can I say about Caravanserai except, it’s magical. Surrounded by half-caravan seating booths, a carousel stage and Wurlitzer carts, it almost feels as if you’ve stepped into an American Horror Story set, without the inherent creepiness I guess. An area is being roped off by toothless yokels who are swigging something foul from an xxxx bottle and people are being called up to ‘dance off’ against each other, choosing ‘beats’ or ‘junk’ as backing tracks. As people crowd in we see a wookiee face off against a cheerleader who is throwing flips on a perilously downhill slant, a pole-dancer takes on a guy with a bizarre rope-tied tiny tears doll, and an extraordinarily drunk flying squirrel twerks at an Adidas clad musician. It’s bizarre and brilliant.
Heading out to the main stage for something a little less frenzied we catch Kitty Daisy & Lewis on the main stage as they whip out the harmonica for some bluesy riffs.
Next up are Bestival legends and all-round disgracefully wonderful pervs, The Cuban Brothers. No Bestival could be complete without them and their crazy array of stunts, tricks, the tightest jumpsuits ever seen outside of Olympic gymnastics and old school hip-hop vibes. Starting off in traditional carpet-print suits, Archerio and Kengo hit the stage with their dance duo which we as always attempt to emulate badly. Miguelito rocks ‘Mike For President’ in his gold wrasslin’ belt, and guest BAM from hip hop crew The Jungle Brothers comes out just in time to be accused of #sexyfavours. As they sing “I’m a Jungle Brother, and he’s a Cuban Brother” we see Juan Erection and Kengo bust out the big moves with huge flares, head spins and tucks. Mike pops into the crowd for a bit of fondling and then busts out the swan pants with absolutely zero shame. The Cuban Brothers are party central and the huge crowd is laughing and dancing along with them. The only sad bit? Kengo brings out his skates but the stage appears to be a bit wet to see him do any tricks. Damn!
Next up, Norwegian waif Aurora is elfin and adorable. Wearing a ton of knitwear in the high summer heat, she has a touch of Tilda Swinton about her, but oh that voice. She soars with ‘Winter Bird’ and instantly endears herself to us when by breaking her ethereal spell to say “I really had to pee before I came on stage, but when I started to sing… it went away. I didn’t pee myself on stage though!!”.
Years & Years hit the stage with a light-show based on the lines of their album cover and some pretty fabulous futuristic outfits. Frontman Olly Alexander is dressed in metallic geometric 8-bit armour which kind of looks like a Minecraft/Moschino collaboration and with huge ticker tape explosions they race through hit after hit. ‘Take Shelter’ and ‘Ties’ have everyone mesmerised and as snappy modern dancers flood the stage it’s clear the band have upped their production value in the last two years. Finishing up with everyone singing along to ‘King’, Olly yelling “I love this festival” and a massive rainbow streamer explosion from the top of the stage, they have been a perfect Bestival band.
Over in Bollywood there’s a sweaty crowd dancing their hearts out whilst cocktails are flowing at the cocktail bus next door. A tiny rave is happening in Sunday Best and there are people spread out all over sampling the culinary delights on offer here. Anna Mae’s Mac & Cheese deserves a mention for being the stodge that saved our souls after two bags of wine. Yes, bags. Praise cheesus!
Heading into the Ambient Forest for a bit of a calm-down, we take a stroll into the revamped Amphitheatre (amazing new design) but we are a little sad that the late-night movies have been axed this year, along with Scroobius Pip’s much loved Satin Lizard Lounge. The forest itself is full of new seating nooks and artistic installations like the Tron-esque musical pipes, and the tinkling of ivories can be heard through the secret entrance to the Gatsby-esque Blind Tiger.
Back to the main stage and Skepta has drawn a massive crowd for ‘It Ain’t Safe’ but it’s Major Lazer who really take it up a notch with thousands pouring into the arena for the likes of ‘Lean On’ and ‘Light It Up’.
Over at the Spaceport, set in a giant fuse box underneath a massive rocket, Carl Cox is lighting up the night with some solid beats, followed by Diplo straight off the back of his main stage performance. The ribbon-wrapped area, flanked by two huge astronaut installations is awesome, but the layout does make access quite difficult with thousands of bodies piled in.
Alas, predictions were true and the rain has put a stop to many of the wild and wonderful costumes we’re used to on a Bestival Saturday, not to mention the main parade has been cancelled due to ground conditions. Such a shame! However, spirits are never dampened at Besti when Mr Motivator is on hand for an early shakedown. There’s something weirdly comforting about a man espousing health in the midst of our foul hungover scurvy-wracked state. No I haven’t had any fruit for three days except in a cocktail, but I’m pretty sure I can keep up with these aerobics… probably…
The Chuckle Brothers are obviously both terrible and nostalgically hilarious but it’s Wolf Alice who deserve a much bigger, less soggy crowd for their soft, rock style. ‘Bros’ and ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’ are brilliant and should have been sun-drenched. Hopefully we can catch them again at a less damp future Bestival. Lady Leshurr is a powerhouse performer with hit 'Brush Your Teeth' and clearly everyone is loving the return of Craig David, no matter how many times he says his own name.
Over at Invaders, Pretty Vicious’ ‘Cave Song’ has a huge crowd up and jumping including a rowdy bunch of people dressed as their older selves with inflatable zimmer frames – The Future, I geddit, very clever. Followed up by rowdy bijou band Hinds who rock so much pocket-power they practically eclipse the main stage sound, we are loving their energy. Yelling “What’s up Bestival! Bestival is the first festival we did as a band… we were so excited because it was the first time we ever had like an artists wristband!” they echo the sentiments of quite a lot of new bands who were given their first chances at this festival. Rob Da Bank and co. have always been right on the cutting edge of booking up-and-comers, allowing new acts to flow into the festival mainstream.
Onto tonight’s main stage headliner – The Cure. With probably half the crowd never having heard of them, it’s a pretty great turnout. Hits ‘Friday I’m In Love’ and ‘Just Like Heaven’ are absolutely amazing, but the three encores and an almost three hour set they perhaps go a step too far.
Next door on the Invaders stage, PC Music Allstars followed by Danny L Harle bring a small slice of electronic rave, then euphoria to the side of the Magic Meadow and the glowsticks are out in force (ermegherrrd right?) and as we head back to the campsites later on, the STA Travel garden is inexplicably packed with people winding to… Peter Andre’s Mysterious Girl. Yep, that’s the last song in my head before sleep. Thanks guys.
Waking up to thankfully clearer skies it’s a chance to break out all the sparkly shit we couldn’t wear yesterday and walking through the tent graveyard, uh, campsite – it’s clear some people have gone full feral now. Broken poles poke holes in the sky as wellies (with feet still in them) protrude from tents, their owners flat out in oblivion.
The arena mud has dried enough to provide safe passage and it’s soon time for a bit of Electro-Swing with French movers and shakers Caravan Palace. At first a fairly small crowd has gathered but as they begin to blast out their strange mix of high tempo beats and jazz-swing riffs the arena suddenly becomes a bouncing, writhing mass of bodies throwing down together. It’s a big statement but I think CP are ‘the’ band of the entire weekend, the sun is out and the set is just incredible. Bow-ties and braces are the look, and cute and firey vocalist Zoé Colotis Charleston’s across the stage like she was born in the wrong decade. Hopping into the crowd to pull on a fans’ Union Jack tshirt, Zoé yells “We don’t care about Brexit, we love the UK!”. It’s a stellar performance and a great book for Bestival.
Over in the Big Top, a very different type of electro-swing-come-dubstep is going on with an incredible array of circus type acts to boot. Slamboree are fiercely Burning-Man in style, there’s a hint of cabaret mixed with Mad Max and freakshow vibes. Their sound is new, fresh and the fire-performers, skeletal dancers, fabric-winged fairies and kabuki masked creeps are amazing.
Taking a little time out up at Slow Motion, we laze in Solace with tea and cake, marvel at the Owl and Falconry display and laugh at Llama’s butts before attempting drunken hoop twirling and some hefty/danger fraught poi. The yoga tent looks great, but we are way beyond balance at this point.
In the Ambient Forest we stumble into becoming performers ourselves with the Uke band by The Gypsy caravans. With a song book filled with unlikely and brilliant options, we stay for renditions of Don’t Stop Believing, Friday I’m In Love, and go all out at the top of our voiced for The Final Countdown. This is the kind of unexpected happening that sets Bestival apart from other festivals, unplanned weirdness is always memorable.
The Out of Africa Bar & Disco Shed provide a little downtime as we listen to Michael Jackson jams and drink enormous cocktails whilst ducking to avoid the frenzied games of swirly tennis (swingball?) going on behind us. Grabbing some free fabric wristbands from the merch tent (if these were made up, why did we all get crap plastic wristbands for entry this year?) we stomp our way back to the main stage for Bastille.
Returning triumphantly to Bestival, Bastille are this time dressed in white jumpsuits with ww.com on the back, depicting their brand new album ‘Wild World’. Kicking off with old favourite ‘Bad Blood’ we know it’s going to be a good one, and the crowd is absolutely sardine-rammed into the arena. ‘Things We Lost In The Fire’ and ‘These Streets’ are brilliant, and new track ‘Good Grief’ gets a great reception. Despite it not really being a surprise any more, we all get down with their cover/re-working of No Scrubs ‘No Angels’ and ‘Of The Night’ a mashup of ‘Rhythm of the Night’ and ‘Rhythm is a Dancer’.
Dual headliners Sean Paul and Wiz Khalifa make their mark on Bestival, with everyone getting their groove on, reliving their noughties youth. Though ticket sales say that this years’ headline choices perhaps weren’t up to Bestival’s usual standard, it’s clear those who are here are having a rowdy good time.
Now, hugging your mates and telling them you intensely love them is pretty standard practice at Bestival, it’s just that kind of place that makes you love the world, but the closing fireworks is where you can hold each other tight and reminisce on the great/hazy memories you’ve made this weekend. Soon you’ll be trawling through blurry pictures of yourself looking an absolute state and missing every single moment of this magical festival, but for now – we’re oohing and aahing at this amazing Prince Tribute. Complete with screened video, purple smoke and confetti, we are truly sad that Prince never made it to Bestival, the kind of place that would truly have revered him and his music. The solar system rings of fire glow below as massive rockets flower in the sky and it is beautiful.
The night is still young for those squeezing every last ounce of Bestival into their souls, and The Human League are playing to a huge crowd in The Big Top. ‘Together In Electric Dreams’ and ‘Don’t You Want Me’ go way beyond karaoke and into the you-can’t-hear-the-band-because-everyone-is-singing territory.
Caravanserai is also full of life, with fire performers, aerialists and tightrope walkers walking high above cosy groups of people laughing in waltzer cars, whilst bursts of fire flame into the night from The Spaceport in the distance. Grabbing some gourmet grilled cheese we make the last trek back to the tents, watched by the shining eyes of the Lovebot.
There have been many harsh reviews floating about for Bestival this year which I think are largely unfounded. Yes things were very different which definitely came as a shock after the sheer grandiosity of the last few years, but the atmosphere was as ever, oh so Bestival. The creativity, beauty and balance was still there – all the things Bestival is renowned for. For every mad moment where something truly serendipitous has caught you off guard, where something held you in the kind of wonderment you thought you’d lost after childhood, and for every second you forgot your problems and just let loose, Bestival is the engineer. The thought that drives this festival is apparent in every corner, no matter the budget. I will be there next year with bells on. Or whatever stuff the new theme requires really.
Predicting something very special as we charge inexorably towards The Future, the Bestival crew are set to whet your appetite with a hearty helping of amazing bands and DJs that will be joining The Cure Major Lazer, Diplo, Carl Cox, Fatboy Slim, Bastille, Skepta, Wolf Alice and many more at Robin Hill this coming September.
Rob da Bank says: “I love booking Bestival. It’s proper ‘kid in a sweetshop’ time when I look at all the acts out there and try to curate a line-up that makes sense across many genres… which is how I think Bestivalites like it. It’s not just booked for you, it’s for me too, so I cannot wait for a weekend encompassing Kano, Goldie, Mura Masa, Evian Christ and Reggie and Bollie. If you fancy it too, I’ll see you on the ferry!”
Upping the grime ante, renaissance man Kano will be joining us to showcase his skills with some super-sick bars. His recent Fire in the Booth for Charlie Sloth was a total masterclass that set the standard for the young pretenders, making his appearance at Bestival truly unmissable.
We’ll also have future perfect live performances from much vaunted Seattle duo Odesza, the lush and sultry Snakehips, wunderkind producer Mura Masa, London collective WSTRN, superfly freestyler Lady Leshurr, BBC Sound of 2016 nominee Billie Marten, Brits Critics' Choice nominee Frances, soul-funk-jazz-pop fusionist Izzy Bizu. and X Factor’s real superstars Reggie & Bollie.
Also taking to the stage will be the inimitable Los Hermanos Cubanos, The Cuban Brothers, the sublimely intimate This Is The Kit, South African folkster Jeremy Loops and our old mates the Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band.
Stepping up to the platters that matter to keep you dancing all night long expect DJ sets from beat juggling behemoth DJ Yoda, Metalheadz legend Goldie, Southampton’s finest deck destroyer James Zabiela, sonic adventurers Mount Kimbie, and Ellesmere Port’s boldest export Evian Christ.
There will also be sets from Radio 1’s Heidi, bass marauders Oneman b2b My Nu Leng, on the fly edit merchants Melé & Monki’s NRG Flash, architect of grime and recent Bestival FM guest Artwork, and Honey Soundsystem, Applescal, Poté and Venum Sound.
And, adding a soupçon of off the wall behaviour, we will have Bestival antics from spandex-clad force of nature Mr Motivator, crack of dawn ravers Morning Gloryville, and Circus Raj.
This weekend took me to Beekse Bergen, a safari park in Hilvarenbeek in the Netherlands for the third installment of Best Kept Secret Festival. As far as festivals go, it’s still a baby, but with what it has to offer it seems the Dutch have it down. From gourmet food and wooden floors, to wristbands that double as wallets and a keep it green recycling policy, there’s not much more you could want from a three day event. Not to mention its stages hosted acts such as the Libertines, Balthazar, A$AP Rocky, Earl Sweatshirt, Royal Blood, Noel Gallagher and Alt-J, with well thought out schedules which means hardly any clashes.
But that’s not all, for example, the whole festival is cashless. Some UK and other European festivals have started operating a token system when it comes to drinks, but BKS tooks things even further. On your wristband there’s a little plastic chip, which you top up (up to 150 euros a time) and anything you buy whilst inside is done via the balance on your chip. No more scrambling for change, so more losing tokens or paper tickets, your wallet has relocated to your wrist. Which is an even better thing when you realise that the food lineup is almost as good as the music one. Wood fired pizza, smokers that boast delicious pulled pork, vegan friendly cheesecake and stuffed meatballs, it really doesn’t get much better. There’s also a massive tent run by ethically sound TOMS, where for every cup of coffee sold they donate to wateraid, complete with a lounging area that where you can sit, relax, and look out over the huge lake that sits just right of the main stage.
With such entertainment and tents as this, it’s relatively easy to forget why i’ve made it all the way to Holland in the first place, but remembering the line up quickly bring me back.
MUSIC // FRIDAY
Friday saw the likes of two-piece rockers Drenge and the scouse Circa Waves take to the main stage, entertaining crowds with their own version of indie rock, with Stage Two boasting Earl Sweatshirt, who although rocked his set, would probably have been better suited to a later show, but all in good time, as The Jesus and Mary Chain worked the second stage when it came to their set. The evening brought with it stylised folk in the shape of The Tallest Man on Earth, but The Libertines, the ones it seemed everyone was waiting for eventually took to the stage at 10:30pm.
Pete and Carl rocked up, hats and all, and as per usual they did not disappoint. If anyone was wondering what ever did become of the likely lads, I can tell you that they are back and definitely not going anywhere soon. Though last year saw them play a few shows throughout the UK and Europe, their first show of 2015 has meant that they have firmly rooted themselves as rock gods once again. Even standing in the crowd you could feel the energy radiating. With a set list as strong as it could be, including new track Gunga Gin, it was an exciting time for anyone who dare call themselves a fan of the boys in the band.
MUSIC // SATURDAY
Friday came and went and Saturday rolled on through, and with it a tiny bit of sunshine. Vibing up Stage Five were spanish rock quartet Hinds, not yet well known, but ones to watch who kept the energy high and created plenty of fun for the crowd. Belgian blues rockers Balthazar tore up the main stage, lulling us all with melodic riffs, followed shortly by The Vaccines, who are set to cement themselves in the music hall of fame with the *impending release of English Graffiti, and the legend himself Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds ending the day on Stage One with his own brand of British indie charm, not to mention a couple of Oasis tracks thrown in for good measure. But Saturday for me was all about Stage two and A$AP Rocky. Not knowing what to expect, I crammed myself into the packed tent ready and waiting for what he had to offer, and though he seemed to not pay much attention to the scheduled stage time (fifteen minutes late) he definitely put on a show, using the backdrop to play self curated clips and images that was set to the music and the whole performance. Something a little different from a hip hop show that was much appreciated.
SUNDAY // MUSIC
By the time sunday came around, the hope for sunshine had definitely evaporated as we seemed to start the day with a heavy downfall, but a bit of torrential rain never stopped me at a festival before and I wasn’t going to let it this time either. With plenty to see, the day kicked off with Wolf Alice, a london group reeling in the excitement of releasing their debut album My Love Is Cool on that day tore up the stage, swiftly followed by Gengahr and then back to the mainstage for some melodic tunes by First Aid Kit. One of the highlights of the day for me however were Royal Blood, who came on complete with extra speakers and stadium lights, just in case anyone had any doubts about the ability of the two piece to put on a show. After getting the crowd a little riled up (must say there’s been a few mixed reviews on their attitude) they ended up putting on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen, and the moshers in the middle seemed to agree. But coming to a Dutch festival, especially one with the vibe of Best Kept Secret, it’s clear the winners of the weekend were Sunday Headliners Alt-J. Paying back to their Dutch fans – they were bigger in Holland than they were in the UK at the beginning of their indie rock reign – the bond became apparent as they ended the festival on a massive high.
Overall, Best Kept Secret has a lot to offer. I must admit the vibe is incredibly different to anything I’ve ever been to before. A bit politer, and a lot more ‘high-end’ its perfect for anyone who likes to listen to some good bands, eat some yummy food surrounded by scenic views and a stunning lake, and lets face it, who doesn’t?
Calling Festival unleashes its inner beast as Modest Mouse and Wolf Alice are announced to join Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Ryan Adams and the Shining, The Hives and Echo and the Bunnymen on the 2015 bill. Calling Festival takes place on Saturday 4 July in London’s Clapham Common. Tickets are on sale now available at www.livenation.co.uk.
Modest Mouse will make a debut performance at this year’s Calling Festival. The US rockers have packed venues on both sides of the Atlantic, showcasing their incredible live performances which feature a cacophony of guitars, violins, horns, keyboards and drum kits, creating an unforgettable, electrifying live set. A new album, Strangers To Ourselveswill be released later this month.
Wolf Alice, led by the stunning Ellie Rowsell, are also confirmed. Get ready for thunderous riffs and sweat-drenched moshing to tracks like ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’, plus moments of utter bliss and velvety tones on the tune ‘Blush’.
We are extatic to inform you that the infamous Libertines will reform at this years British Summer Time Hyde Park. Pete, Carl, John and Gary make a long awaited return to the stage, playing their first full live shows since 2010. Joined by the cream of UK talent, this is the Best of British Summer Time.
Forming at the turn of the century, The Libertines have become one of the most influential and important bands of their generation. Leading the charge with Pete Doherty and Carl Barat as song writing partners, their on stage chemistry and intense live performances have enthralled fans and critics alike since their debut album ‘Up The Bracket’ in 2002. Following this with their second LP in 2004, ‘The Libertines’ shot straight to #1, catapulting them into the mainstream. Disbanding soon after that release, they went their separate ways for six years, cementing their almost mythical status.
Preceding them on The Great Oak Stage, The Pogues are London’s Irish punk folk heroes. Formed in the heart of the English capital in Kings Cross, they mixed punk sensibility with traditional Irish instruments and poetic, often funny lyrics scoring seminal hits ‘Dirty Old Town’ and the alternative Christmas fable ‘Fairytale of New York.’ With frontman Shane MacGowan rejoining with his bandmates in 2001, their influence on the likes of The Libertines is writ large.
Spiritualized are one of the most enigmatic British bands of the past 20 years, formed after the breakup of frontman Jason Pierce's groundbreaking former group Spacemen 3. With minimalist music building into hypnotic, orchestrated masterpieces, Hyde Park will enjoy a rare chance to bathe in their waves of sound in an outdoor setting.
Signing to renowned electronic dance label Warp Records in 2004, Maximo Park have been producing exciting indie guitar music for the past decade and show no signs of slowing down. Fronted by enigmatic Paul Smith, they’re blazed a trail with their debut ‘A Certain Trigger’ which was nominated for a Mercury Prize in 2005. Now signed to V2 Records, Maximo Park will be showcasing their latest album ‘Too Much Information,’ released in February.
The next generation of British talent is well represented on the bill. Voted NME’s Best New Band, 2014 has been an incredible year for London’s Wolf Alice. Joining us at Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park, this lovechild of folk and grunge are leading the way for an indie revival in British music.
And Birmingham-based Swim Deep have welcomed ‘shoe gaze’ back to British pop music. Another championed by the NME on this year’s Awards Tour, dates at Brixton Academy especially established them as welcome leaders for a new decade of guitar bands.
At Hyde Park in the glow of an Albion summer, The Libertines will play their largest ever headline show at Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park on 5th July, with further Best of British support from: The Enemy,Reverend and The Makers, I Am Kloot, The View, Darlia, The Rifles, Cuckoolander, Brownbear, Raglans, The Twang…..
Booming Derbyshire duo Drenge are the big act of the second Dot-to-Dot Festival announcement.
The Loveless brothers have built up a wild fanbase through their titular debut album and supporting slots, including one with Dot to Dot headliners Peace before their own headlining tour in Spring 2014.
Former child actor Macaulay Culkin brings his 'The Velvet Underground' tribute act, The Pizza Underground to the UK, with hits like 'I'm Waiting For Delivery Man' and 'Cheese Days' under the belt.
Rising star Luke Sital-Singh will also showcase his talents, alongside The Heartbreaks.
The inner-city festival takes place on consecutive days in Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham on Friday May 23, Saturday May 24 and Sunday May 25, respectively.
Further new additions Saint Raymond and Catfish and the Bottlemen are playing certain legs of the festival, with Nottingham and Manchester for the former and just Manchester for the latter.
These new names come secondary to the initial announcement, which saw Peace, The Midnight Beast, Courtney Barnett and Wolf Alice, amongst others, playing the festival, which costs just £20.
Full Line-Up So Far: Peace // The Midnight Beast Drenge // Saint Raymond* // Catfish & The Bottlemen** // Real Estate // Lauren Aquiliana Luke Sital-Singh // Courtney Barnett // Darlia // Kyla La Grange // Wolf Alice The Pizza Underground // Hudson Taylor // Josh Record Amber Run // Barbarossa // Betty Who // Big Sixes // Caveman // Champs // Charlotte OC EZRA FURMAN // Frank Hamilton // Fred Page // Freddie Dickson // Fyfe // Gallery Circus Gavin James // Gengahr // George Barnett // God Damn // Horse Thief // JAWS // Joel Baker La Femme // Lapland // Laura Welsh // Life // Life In Film // LSA // Marika Hackman MT Royal // No Sinner // Noah Gundersen // Norma Jean Martine // Port Isla // Pup // Sean McGowan Sivu // Slaves // Southern // St Paul & The Broken Bones // Sundara Karma // The 45s The Heartbreaks // The Jacques // The Trouble With Templeton // We The Wild // We Were Evergreen Wonder Villains // Young Kato // Young Romance *Nottingham and Manchester Only ** Manchester Only
The Summer Festival Guide is excited to bring you the latest lineup news for Scotland's T in the Park. A bucklet load of artist have been added that will join headliners Biffy Clyro, Calvin Harris and Arctic Monkeys.
The Charlatans, DJ Fresh & Messy MC, Reverend & The Makers, The Magic Numbers, Twenty One Pilots, Foxes, Wolf Alice, Drenge, Circa Waves, Josh Record, Royal Blood, Chloe Howl and Red Hot Chilli Pipers. Plus a host of cutting edge EDM and drum ‘n’ bass acts will bring the big club atmosphere straight to the heart of the Scottish countryside when they perform in the Slam Tent, including Joris Voorn, Robert Hood, Duke Dumont, Pretty Lights, Skream, Kerri Chandler, Tale of Us, Guy Gerber, Jackmaster, Alex Smoke, Factory Floor, Mark Henning and Clouds.
The Charlatans have been an inspirational force in British rock for more than two decades now. They remain as exciting and relevant now as when they first broke through to the immortal strains of The Only One I Know in 1990. The Manchester legends played the 2ndT in the Park back in 1995 and have been firm favourites with festival fans throughout the festival’s history. They’re sure to receive a warm welcome back when they take to the T in the Park stage for the first time since 2008.
Rising from London’s underground electronic scene in the mid-1990s, DJ Fresh is one of the most influential figures on the UK drum 'n' bass scene today, with 2 million record sales, two no.1 singles and a further two top 5 singles to his name. His single Louder became the first dubstep single to reach the top of the UK singles chart, before he returned to the no.1 spot with 2012’s Hot Right Nowfeaturing Rita Ora. His third record Nextlevelism featured collaborations with Dizzee Rascal and Juliette Lewis, with a fourth studio album set for release this year. His T in the Park performance will see him team up with the legendary Messy MC.
Reverend & The Makers were at the forefront of the resurgent Sheffield indie-rock scene in 2005/2006, smashing into the top ten with their debut single Heavyweight Champion of the World. The band’s appearances as part of the bill for Oasis’ now legendary final shows at Wembley Stadium bolstered their growing fanbase. They returned early this year with the release of their fourth albumThirtyTwo, much to the excitement of their loyal fans.
The Magic Numbers, known for their unique harmonies, melodic hooks, song writing craftsmanship and timeless sound, return to T in the Park having last played the festival 8 years ago. To date, the band have released three successful albums, including their Mercury Prize nominated 2005 self-titled debut, with many of their singles gracing the top 20 charts, resulting in over a million album sales worldwide.
Having self-released two albums in 2009 and 2011, Twenty One Pilots quickly attracted serious label attention. Known for their irrepressible on-stage energy, the duo have built an avid international following, with their debut studio album Vessel showcasing their distinctive fusion of piano-driven indie-rocktronica. They’ll make their T in the Park debut this summer.
Foxes’ soaring pop melodies are anchored by an edgy melancholia, as showcased on hit single Youthand on her Grammy-winning collaboration with Zedd, Clarity, which was the soundtrack of the summer in America last year, reaching the Billboard Top Ten.
Some of the most hotly tipped breakthrough acts of the year are also gearing up to play T in the Park for the first time this summer. Wolf Alice have won plaudits from the likes of BBC Radio 1, NMEand The Guardian after they released their debut EP Blush at the end of 2013. Drenge – aka brothers Rory and Eoin Loveless – will bring their raw grunge-inspired blues pop sound to the festival for the first time. Also appearing are Liverpool indie-pop four-piece Circa Waves who recently went down a storm at the NME Awards Tour 2014 –and Brighton blues rock duo Royal Blood, who were championed on the BBC’s Sound of 2014 list, and who have been invited to open for T in the Park headliners’ Arctic Monkeys when they play their Finsbury Park shows this year.
Since they walked away with the top prize on UK primetime TV talent show, When Will I Be Famous in 2007, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers have fast become a global phenomenon, with their cover of Avicii’sWake Me Up surpassing 1 million YouTube views, and taking their signature 'Bagrock' sound to the masses. The band said: “In 2004 we performed one song at T in the Park as special guests of The Darkness. For the past 10 years we have been working towards our ultimate ambition of coming back to T in our own right. There are just not enough words to describe how thrilled and honoured we are at being asked to play the Main Stage in 2014. Bringing our special brand of 'Bagrock' to this world famous festival with a home crowd – it just doesn't get any better!”
Founding member of the legendary group Underground Resistance with ‘Mad’ Mike Banks & Jeff Mills,Robert Hood’s seminal works on Jeff Mill's Axis and his very own M-Plant imprint paved the way for a wave of stripped-down dance floor minimalism. He brings his influential minimal Detroit techno to the Slam line-up.
2014 looks set to be huge for the unstoppable Duke Dumont, who is currently sitting at the top of the charts with his irrepressible summer anthem I Got U feat Jax Jones. The British DJ and producer’s breakthrough hit, 2013’s Need U (100%) feat. A*M*E also reached no.1 and received a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording.
Pretty Lights will bring his sample-based electro hip hop soul to the Slam Tent. His epic soundscapes have a vintage vibe – instead of sampling existing recordings, he has worked with everyone from the Harlem Gospel Choir to members of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the Treme Brass Band to create a unique sound. Already confirmed to headline Chicago’s Spring Awakening Festival and play at Sonar in Barcelona, Pretty Lights will bring the party atmosphere to Balado this July.
Kerri 'Kaoz' Chandler is a house legend – his fusions of heady bass-lines, synthesizers, and catchy choruses are sure to go down a storm at T in the Park. Also joining the Slam bill is Glasgow’s Alex Smoke, who blurs the boundaries between electronica, techno, classical and hip hop, melding European minimalism, pop structures and emotional strings to create a moody blend of melancholic electronica.
T in the Park 2014 – artists announced so far
FRIDAY 11th JULY: Biffy Clyro, Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, Imagine Dragons, Pixies, Steve Angello, Alesso, Haim, You Me At Six, Manic Street Preachers, Chvrches, DJ Fresh & Messy MC, The Magic Numbers, Maximo Park, Foxes, The Rifles, Len Faki, Pan-Pot, Drenge, Pretty Lights, Jackmaster, Josh Record, Wolf Alice, Clouds, Factory Floors, Alex Smoke.
SATURDAY 12th JULY: Calvin Harris, Paolo Nutini, Pharrell Williams, Elbow, Rudimental, Ben Howard, James, Bombay Bicycle Club, Twin Atlantic, The 1975,The Charlatans,John Newman, Embrace, Katy B, The Human League, Nina Nesbitt, The Stranglers, Joris Voorn, Dave Clarke, Duke Dumont, Robert Hood, Carl Craig, Clean Bandit, We Are Scientists, Ella Eyre, George Ezra, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Twenty One Pilots, Circa Waves, Skream, Chloe Howl, Guy Gerber, Magda.
SUNDAY 13th JULY: Arctic Monkeys, Jake Bugg, Disclosure, Bastille, Example, Tinie Tempah, Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs, London Grammar, Tame Impala, Kodaline, Above & Beyond, Sam Smith, Passenger, Sven Vath, Metronomy, Newton Faulkner, Chance the Rapper, Slam, Reverend & The Makers, The Twilight Sad, Inspiral Carpets, Julio Bashmore, Kerri Chandler, Royal Blood, Levon Vincent, Tale Of Us, George Fitzgerald, Mark Henning, Red Hot Chilli Pipers and many, many more acts to be announced (line-up subject to change).
Having announced the first wave of artists for this year’s festival including the likes of chart toppers Clean Bandit, indie legend Albert Hammond Jr and breakthrough band Wolf Alice as well as the special Leeds Town Hall show featuring a reformed ¡Forward Russia!, Live At Leeds Festival now announce a further 50 bands to the 2014 lineup!
The additions to the lineup once again promise to showcase everything from the best in up coming UK songwriting talent to hotly tipped groups from both sides of the pond!
With an emphasis on the up and coming, the festival will see Manchester-based star in the making Bipolar Sunshine bring his sublime, upbeat and original pop to the festival. 2013 saw him collaborate with the likes of Rudimental and FTSE and this is bound to be a year of even further breakthrough for the young musician. Also joining the lineup and in a similar camp of luscious, soulful pop are the hotly tipped recent Kitsuné signees Years & Years, the electro-pop trio’s recent Hype Machine topping single ‘Real’ caused waves and points to what will surely be a successful year. The elegant, fragile sounds of London via Kendal four-piece Woman’s Hour will also be bringing the painful longing of their upcoming Secretly Canadian debut album to the festival and are not to be missed whilst The Bug’s noise loving dancehall and hip-hop influenced electronica is sure to get people moving. Having been longlisted for the prestigious BBC Sound Of 2014 poll, Bristol singer songwriter George Ezra will also be bringing the tender sounds of his single ‘Budapest’ to the fest whilst fellow act to watch out for in 2014, Fat White Family will be peddling their intense brand of sleazy and visceral rock n roll.
Festival attendees with a penchant for the heavier side of things will also certainly have their tastes catered for. The Finnish apocalyptic post-punk quartet Beastmilk favour huge riffs and equal sizeable with a gothic and metallic twinge that is sure to appeal to fans of Savages and Queens Of The Stone Age alike as showcased on last years Kurt Ballou produced full length ‘Climax’. New York’s Big Ups will also be on hand to bring their frantic, abrasive 90s influenced punk to the festival. Echoes of the Jesus Lizard, Fugazi and Quicksand peppered this year’s debut full length ‘Eighteen Hours of Static’ and with a live show even more energetic than their recorded output, they are sure to be a highlight of the weekend.
Blurring the boundary between solo artist and band, Nottingham’s 18 year old Saint Raymond has a knack for layering his distinctly pop sensibilities with gritty, honest lyrics and a wisdom well beyond his years that has seen him gain a level of attention that is sure to grow. With a similar ear for a pop melody but with their feet more solidly in the indie/rock camp, Californians The Neighbourhood last year revealed their debut album ‘I Love You’ to much praise and having recently supported seemingly unstoppable group The 1975 on their sold out tour are sure to make their presence known in the UK this year. Joining these will be Leeds very own The Sunshine Underground who with a new album due will be bringing their fusion of punk, indie and electronic music to the festival!
The first wave of announcements for citywide music extravaganza Dot to Dot Festival have been made, and include inde-rock headliners Peace, parody group The Midnight Beast and Aussie singer/songwriter Courtney Barnett.
In addition are surf rockers Real Estate, Paris' very own We Were Evergreen, along with another exciting Brit group Wolf Alice. Grunge rockers Darlia will be another highlight, as will the soulful singing of Kyla La Grange,who adds yet another festival appearance to her schedule. Fyfe, Norma Jean Martine and Young Kato make up the best of the rest.
Peace's return to the festival will be of particular interest to Dot to Dot veterans, as their 2012 performance set them on the way to the stardom they're currently acheiving. Last year's debut release 'In Love', saw them garnered with praise from the likes of the NME, and they used summer festival appearances and a winter UK tour to further showcase their abilities. Now in 2014, they're back, with album number two being recorded as we speak!
With a couple of TV series' and over 64 million YouTube views under their belts, Midnight Beast will also be taking to the Dot to Dot stage, adding a bit of humour to proceedings. Look out for Courtney Barnett too, a frank and honest songwriter who isn't afraid to sing what she feels, the Australian is gaining a lot of attention.
Dot to Dot 2014 takes place over three consecutive days in Manchester on Friday, May 23, Bristol, Saturday May 24, before ending in Nottingham on Sunday, May 25, at various venues scattered throughout the city, with over 14 hours of music to keep punters entertained.
The likes of the XX, Mumford & Sons, Florence + the Machine and Foals have all featured at past festivals, which aim to showcase the talent of the future in initimate venues for bargain prices.
With tickets set at a bargain £20 (plus £2 booking fees), the Best Metropolitan Festival of 2013, as handed out by the UK Festival Awards, looks to be yet another success in its ninth year of running.
Peace will headline, plus The Midnight Beast, Real Estate, We Were Evergreen, Wolf Alice, Courtney Barnett, Fyfe, Darlia, Kyla La Grange, Barbarossa, Betty Who, Caveman, Frank Hamilton, Norma Jean Martine, Gavin James, George Barnett, Horse Thief, Lapland, Laura Welsh, LSA, Marika Hackman, Mt Royal, Sean McGowan, Sivu, St Paul and The Broken Bones, Sundara Karma, We The Wild, Wonder Villains, and Young Kato, with more to be announced.