News Column

The very best of the fests ; FESTIVAL GUIDE [Birmingham Mail (UK)]

May 24, 2013

YellowBrix

AND here are some festival highlights from a little further afield...

For those flying the B-Town flag... Reading Festival, Little Johns Farm, Reading/ Leeds Festival, Bramham Park, Leeds August 23- 25.

Brum natives Swim Deep and Peace will star amongst many a bigger boy at Reading Festival, which is twinned with the Leeds Festival taking place over the same weekend, with the same line-up.

Greenday, Eminem and Biffy Clyro will exclusively headline the respective three nights with their only UK festival appearances.

For those whose don't fancy the notoriously grubby camping experience, Podpads (www.podpads.

com) come in six varieties and will see you housed in colourful, luxury set-ups, with the added benefit of 24 hour security and separate toilets and showers. Reading's sheer volume of acts and stages gives it a vast appeal, but the appearance of 'The Real Slim Shady' remains this year's must see moment.

Performers include: Deftones, Brand New, Fall Out Boy, Alt-J Tickets priced Pounds 202.50 for the weekend (Day tickets Pounds 90). Details: www.readingfestival.com For those who definitely didn't want to go anyway, honest... Glastonbury, Somerset. June 26- 30. Put simply, it's the festival goers' Holy Grail.

Lucky if you've got a ticket, mind, as even after two rounds of online registering, picture acceptance and other tomfoolery most folks still ended up empty handed.

Brummies Goodnight Lenin have secured their slot on the bill, and singer John Fell's reasoning is clear.

He says: "We didn't want to have to spend eight hours on the phone getting tickets! But no, to be honest, it's Glastonbury. We go every year, we want to play every year. It's our Mecca. The fact that we can actually play it is an honour. We'd never turn down Glastonbury."

Throughout the campsite, the usual hedonistic abandonment will of course be available on tap, with eye openings tents, parks, theatres and fields filled with new experiences to be had.

Never mind, it'll probably be on the telly.

Performers include: Arctic Monkeys, The Rolling Stones, Mumford and Sons.

Tickets sold out.

For something a little bit different... Farm Festival, Gilcombe Farm, Bruton, Somerset. July 26-27. When a festival pipes up and announces itself with taglines such as, "two sleeps of beats and bleats" and "get on my land", it's guaranteed to be worth a look.

Six years ago, a small group of friends hand built a stage and set up an event to quite simply allow their friends to listen to their other friends play some songs, and to stand up to festival bigwigs.

A charity influence is apparent at the still sponsor free festival, with donations made to the Dorset Air Ambulance, Physical Action and the British Stammering Association all weekend. The organizers aim to raise more money than ever this year, and provide as much fun as possible whilst the crowds pay, 'no more than is absolutely necessary to be a part of it.' GLASTO: The Stones. ' Which means, best of all, the two day festival including camping is priced at a measly Pounds 50. Take that, Eavis! Attractions include: Ghost Poet, Art Brut, Best Hat competition, farmer themed wrestling Tickets: Pounds 50, (Pounds 40 for Saturday.) For your choice of scenery... Dot To Dot Festival, Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham. July 24-26.

Now in its eighth year, the Manchester/Bristol/Nottingham based music spectacular is still growing from strength to strength, attracting musicians from around the world to play across three cities at over 15 venues.

The same line-up will feature on all three days, with the respective parties starting as early as 1pm, and continuing through till as late as 5am. Nottingham on the Sunday is a good bet, with hangovers allowed to bleed into the safety and comfort of bank holiday Monday.

In previous years the festival has helped to put then headliners Florence and The Machine, Mumfords and Sons and The XX on the musical map, thanks to gigs at iconic venues such as Thekla, Rock City and The Ritz.

This year, Tom Odell, Dry The River, and The 1975 will be amongst those hoping for the same exposure, with Odell in particular coming of the back of a Critic's Choice Brit Award, which seemed to do okay for Emelie Sande, Jessie J, and that Adele girl.

Performers include: Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Chapel Club, Lucy Rose Tickets cost Pounds 20 per day.

For a bit (a lot) of culture... Hay Festival, Hay-On-Wye, Wales. May 23-June 2. This 10-day extravaganza places a heavy emphasis on debate and storytelling, with speakers as varied as John Le Carre, Melvin Bragg and Miranda Hart.

Joy Division's Peter Hook and Catatonia's Cerys Matthews will even stop by to offer some band laden musings.

And finally, once Hans Blix's lecture on Joseph Rotblat has finished, there will be a mass of LOL's in the form of comedy from Dara O Briain, Ed Byrne and Jo Brand, amongst others.

Entrance to the site is free, but all events are subsequently priced individually, as if there wasn't already enough to think about. Attractions include: KT Tunstall, Noah and The Whale, Andy McNab, Will Self Events priced Pounds 5 - Pounds 19, some free. Visit www.hayfestival.com for more details, and for camping info, which is sold separately.

For creative types who like adventure... Just So Festival, Rode Hall Parkland, Cheshire. August 16-18.

A "magical weekend of creative adventures" is up for grabs at Rode Hall Parkland in Cheshire, with family based activities ranging from art, dance and music to nature, theatre and 'general larks', which sound just lovely.

The entire Just So website looks like a picturesque Instagram look book, with food stalls and elaborate costumes and performances popping up on every perfectly pruned corner.

Arriving rested and ready for said 'larks' is essential, and a comfortable night's sleep can be had inside a variety of tipis, yurts and bell tents. The luxury four and five metre tents are provided by a young, family company called Karma Canvas, will sleep as many as six, and can be booked in advance via the festival website.

Fred's Yurts come with a lockable wooden door and are equipped with futons, mirrors and even a wood burning stove. Again, book in advance, as both prices depend on the application. Attractions include: Cowboy training, fire juggling, levitation. Yes, that's right, levitation.

Tickets cost: Pounds 95 for adults, Pounds 40 for children, including basic camping. (Day tickets Pounds 30 & Pounds 15).

For a one day summer fling... Splendour Festival, Wollaton Park, Nottingham. July 20.

Gates open at midday for the Nottingham based one dayer, where quality not quantity is evident in a focused line-up.

Notts natives and Splendour regulars Jake Bugg and Dog Is Dead will headline the main stage alongside KT Tunstall and Squeeze, with Maximo Park headlining the Jaegermeister stage. Local pride is really at the forefront, with performers Indiana, Kagoule, Rob Green and Saint Raymond all hailing from the Nottingham area.

Alcohol and glass bottles are strictly prohibited, but booze will be served on site alongside fresh grub from food vendors. Passes out of the park are also available for those wishing to come and go. For children, entertainment will be provided in the form of fairground rides, live shows and a kids zone with toys and games. And under 10's go free with adults. Perfomers include: Jake Bugg, KT Tunstall, Squeeze.

Tickets cost Pounds 37.50 (Pounds 27.50 if you are a Nottingham City resident).

A service of YellowBrix, Inc.


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