Norman Jay MBE, Jaguar Skills, Stanton Warriors, Mistajam, Clean Bandit Kormacís Big Band and loads more confirmed
The Beat-Herder Festival returns to the Ribble Valley in Lancashire this July for another three-day instalment of sheer escapism on a handcrafted site full of surreal surprises, a refreshingly unpretentious Northern ethos and an eclectic program bursting with DJs, live acts, comedians, drag queens and much, much more.
Beat-Herder is staying true to its dance origins with a music line up that brings artists across the electronic, reggae, dub, funk, soul and bass genres. There will also be a carefully programmed selection of live acts with a chance to catch the next big things in an intimate setting.
Confirmed to headline this year is the legendary Jimmy Cliff. Having achieved international success, selling in excess of 25 million records and securing a place in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, his infectiously uplifting hits such as ‘Wonderful World, Beautiful People’ and ‘You Can Get It If You Really Want It’ are sure to provide the perfect soundtrack to the famous Beat-Herder soul train.
Also confirmed is veteran soul, funk and house DJ Norman Jay MBE, a true icon whose career has spanned four decades and who is one of the few DJs to be officially awarded with an MBE for his invaluable contributions to music. Joining him in the woods on Sunday night will be Ninja Tune stalwart Mr Scruff with his typical genre-blending mix of jazz, funk, bass, reggae and everything in between.
One of those rare electronic music acts who have managed to stay true to the spirit and sounds of underground techno whilst bringing it to the mainstream, Booka Shade will be playing a live show of epic proportions alongside Cologne-based electronic pop newcomer Roosevelt. Elsewhere Stanton Warriors, Jaguar Skills and Mistajam will all be providing the Ribble Valley with an abundance of beats, bass and breaks.
Representing the live contingent this year are Krautrock inspired psychedelic indie five-piece TOY who are certain to entertain with their roaring riffs and epic choruses, the inimitable 11-piece hip hop orchestra Kormac’s Big Band, who were recently described by Annie Mac as ‘the most bizarre set-up I’ve ever seen’, Rodigan favourites Gentleman’s Dub Club, with their high octane ska/dub/reggae sound, newcomer George Ezra, who is making a name for himself with his raw authenticity and distinctive gravelly voice, and the hotly tipped Clean Bandit Ė Black Butter’s latest signings and instrumentalists who describe their unique sound as ‘electronic chamber music: bass pop with cello, violin and live electro-acoustic drums.’
Beat-herder is nestled in a beautiful valley in the heart of Lancashire, the site encompasses rolling hills, stone circles, fire pits, a network of secret underground tunnels accessed through telephone boxes, a working men’s club (complete with a troupe of Bette Lynch esque ‘ladies’), 10 feet high wicker foxes, giant lizards made from hollowed out old fighter planes and dozens of stages and soundsystems Ė some where you least expect them.
At the heart of the site lies a copse known as the Toil Trees, inside which all manner of surprises and curiosities await. Winding through the trees is a built-to-scale, fully functioning Victorian Street housing a sweetshop, a record shop, an Irish pub, the Hotel California saloon bar and a 50 X 30 ft solid wood parish church complete with pews and altar, whose regular services are less about prayer and repentance and more about good times, disco and debauchery.
Venture deeper into the woods, past the vintage car converted into a DJ booth where anyone is welcome to come and spin vinyl, and the trees open up into a magical woodland clearing in which an impressive tulip lipped stage sits, and where DJs play day and night.
By building everything from the sign posts to the bars from scratch, incredible care is taken and an unrivalled attention to detail is paid, creating a true alternate reality where ‘beats and barminess’ are the only order of the day, for three blissful days. And with the Beat-Herder team having been plotting and scheming throughout the winter, watch this space for more details on two new areas and many more spectacular surprises to come.
Tickets are £105 with child Tickets (12 and under) at £20, infants under 18 months are free. Car Parking is £8 with Campervans / Live-in Vehicles costing £18.