[FESTIVAL PREVIEW] Beacons Festival: 4 Reasons Why in 4 Weeks Time We’ll Be Having the Time of Our Lives
Beacons Festival is a mere four weeks away. And my excitement for this gorgeously curated festival is building. Although, a relatively new edition to the UK’s festival scene, Beacons has impressed many not only with its eclectic and experimental line-up, but also with the feast of art, culture and food it provides. After a hugely successful 2013 edition, which featured Django Django, Local Natives and many more, Beacons returns to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales over the weekend of the 7th August to 10th August, with Darkside, Daughter and Jon Hopkins headlining the festival. But as I look through the programme, it is not only these three exceptional artists that catch my attention; and with extreme difficulty I have picked four elements of Beacons, which excite me the most about the upcoming 2014 edition:
Just look at it – its glorious. Experimental, daring and remarkably focused on quality. The quality of music on offer permeates throughout the entire programme and not just with the aforementioned headliners. One of the headliners I would like to discuss in this article is Darkside. Darkside have been wowing audiences worldwide in 2014 with their live-show and realization of their incredible debut record Psychic. With a central rotating prism/mirror, smoke and intense lighting, the blues-techno hybrid that Darkside create comes alive and not only aims for the hips but also the brain with full sensory overload. The headline booking of Darkside by Beacons may be one of the coups of the UK festival scene this summer.
Darkside aside, Jon Hopkins will bring the astonishing Mercury Music Prize nominated Immunity to Beacons, while Daughter will allure festivalgoers with their expansive soundscapes and gorgeous vocals. Of course the line-up does not just stop at the headliners, and not only is there a plethora of live-acts but also excellent DJs that will keep Beacons festivalgoers dancing throughout the day and late into the night. Here at The Sight and Sounds we are especially excited about the likes of Girl Band, Action Bronson, East India Youth, Hookworms, Daniel Avery, Daphni, Neneh Cherry with Rocketnumbernine and Pawws. There is however a world of new music at Beacons, which is waiting to be explored.
Keep it locked into The Sights and Sounds for artist profiles and festival playlists in the coming weeks!
Festival food has come a long way since I started going to festivals in 2007 – Ostrich burgers, Roast dinners in Yorkshire Puddings and Lebanese lamb wraps have become commonplace. But after looking at the Beacons website and exploring their food options, I can see why Beacons has grown a reputation for providing festivalgoers of all ages with an extensive selection of award-winning street food. Beacons are taking festival food to whole new places and making me salivate like never before when thinking about festival food. With the likes of London fried-chicken kings Mother Clucker, the incredible Patty Smith’s Burgers serving their gorgeous burgers and Dough Boys pizza delivering cheese and tomato based dreaminess to hungry/hungover/drunk festivalgoers, I feel that I already know where a lot of my cash will be going. Long live incredible food at musical festivals!
Beacons Festival is more than just a music festival. It aims to satisfy all cultural needs and perusing the catalogue of films and cinematic events on offer at Beacons, it may prove hard to juggle between all the music, the films and everything else Beacons has to offer. Hopefully the Sights and Sounds will be getting to: The National documentary Mistaken for Strangers; The Punk Singer: A film About Kathleen Hanna; Pulp: A Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets; and The Selfish Giant – Q+A with Clio Barnard.
The host of activities available
This is a slight kop out because there is so much more than four things I want to talk about – but I thought the 4 for 4 idea was snappier for a headline. But genuinely the number of activities on offer at Beacons is remarkable and is one of the reasons why I’m getting extremely excited about the 2014 edition. Part of the ethos of Beacons is that it’s a platform for ideas, art and creativity and allows emerging talents to realize their work, alongside exhibits from established artists – so there will be plenty of installation art on offer to peruse throughout the days spent at Beacons. Furthermore, at Beacons there is the Into The Woods Stage and the Space Between, which will host everything from talks (one with Andrew Weatherhall!) to regular early morning yoga classes.
For those who love theatre, Beacons boasts The Impossible Lecture theatre tent. It is said to have ‘a reputation for the unexpected, the anarchic and the sublime’. The programme is packed with cabaret, dance and workshops, which are family friendly throughout the day and 18+ once the sun goes down.
And if all these small picks of excitement isn’t enough then you can get involved as Beacons invites all festivalgoers to indulge in a spot of fancy dress on the Friday of the festival! With the theme this year being ‘Empires’, I expect to see everyone from Julius Caesar to Darth Vader. I love fancy dress at festivals, especially when it is festival-wide and not the odd stag do or hipster taking fashion one step too far. Those in the best fancy dress are also due to win prizes!
I cannot wait for Beacons – keep it locked to Sights and Sounds for more pre-festival coverage, playlists and then of course coverage of the festival itself. August 7th cannot come sooner.