If you missed out on going to Glastonbury, or you did go and want more festival action, there are still plenty you can go to later in the Summer. Below are three of our favourites that offer up something a little bit different.
The Playgroup Festival is only in its second year, but it already looks like becoming a regular part of the summer festival landscape. Taking its inspiration from The Secret garden Party and Bestival it aims to offer a unique experience where the overall atmosphere is just as important as who you might be watching on the stage.
One mistake a lot of small festivals make is trying to get recognisable names on a small budget and ending up with a load of formerly famous acts on the bill. That is fine if your idea iof a good time is watching Dodgy headline the main stage and then moving on to watch Miles Hunt from the Wonderstuff DJ in the dance tent. Playgroup take a different tack, picking a load of lesser known but high quality acts from a wide range of genres and creating a really interesting bill. Acts to look out for includes; The Apples, Early Ghost, Gypsy Hill, Kovak, Los Albertos and Quantic y su Combo Barbaro.
They say “Our events are theatrical without being theatre, musical without being just gigs, artistic without being exclusive, accessible without being bland, fun without being shudderingly ‘wacky’, and involve you, without ramming anything down your throat!”
Woodland animals are the theme this year, so be prepared to see people dressed as stags, hares and badgers to roaming the festival fields. The festival is at Eridge Park, halfway between London and Brighton, and buses to the event (complete with magicians on board) can be booked along with the tickets.
Indietracks does exactly what it says on the tin, it is an indie music festival at a vintage railway. It is this simple gimmick that makes this one of the most unique festivals of the year. Sure, if you don’t like indie pop then the addition off steam trains is unlikely to win you over, but if you do it is a great way to spend a few days.
The line-up this year is as strong as ever, bands to look out for includes; Edwyn Collins, Jonny, Chris T-T, Herman Dune, Milky Wimpshake, Hidden Cameras and The Bumblebees.
They say “Indietracks is a unique summer festival which combines heritage trains and indiepop music, and is located in the Derbyshire countryside. Guests are free to enjoy the regular facilities of the Midland Railway Butterley such as the steam train rides, farm and museum, and enjoy a range of new and established indiepop bands.”
The festival takes place at the Swanwick Junction site of the Midland Railway Butterley.
Read our review of the 2010 festival.
End of the Road
End of the Road is the biggest of the festivals previewed here, but even at an increased 10,000 capacity it is still small enough to be able to escape from the crowds. The great strength of this festival is the consistent quality of music on show and the idyllic setting.
A focus of folky acts and Americana works perfectly in the beautiful gardens, but the organisers aren’t scared to through a few noisy rock acts into the mix. Bands to watch out for this year includes; Beirut, Mogwai, The Walkmen, Phosphorescent, tUnE-yArDs, The Leisure Society, Allo Darlin’ and Gordon Gano & The Ryans.
They say ” The idea with the End of the Road Festival was to organise an intimate festival with our favourite artists and to create a festival with a friendly and relaxed feel. The Larmer Tree Gardens (North Dorset/Wiltshire borders, UK) is the perfect venue to create this kind of atmosphere – where music-loving, open minded and chilled out people get together in the beautiful countryside whilst parrots and peacocks wander around!”
Read our review of the 2010 festival.
By Dorian Rogers