The festival Gods were certainly shining down on the Ribble Valley as the ever-colourful Beat-Herder once again burst into life.
Bathed in blazing sunshine, 10,000 revelers flocked to Forest for three days of music, mayhem and memories. Gisburn
Smaller festivals have been popping up quicker than two-second tents in recent years, looking to offer a less commercial and more economically viable option compared to the Glastonbury’s and Isle of Wight’s of this world.
Beat-Herder is the first ‘small’ festival of its kind I’ve ever been to and it won’t be the last.
It may not feature the heavy-hitting headliners or boast the multi-million pound corporate sponsors its more illustrious counterparts do but therein lies Beat-Herder’s charm. ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ reads one of the bullet points on the programme, a feeling embraced by all in attendance. This is a festival for the people.
Three days of glorious sunshine of course helps. But while spirits did soar alongside the subtropical temperatures, I doubt even torrential downpours could have dampened an atmosphere coursing with electricity.
Now in its seventh year, the festival featured music from the likes Chic feat. Nile Rodgers (fresh from headlining the West Holts stage at Glastonbury), Booka Shade, Jaguar Skills and Groove Armada. I’ll be the first to admit that dance music doesn’t exactly find itself near to the top of my most played lists often but that hardly matters.
Crowds were treated to a diverse range of entertainment across the festival’s 11 stages. Highlights undoubtedly included Retro legend Paul Taylor’s afternoon set in the newly-erected Fortress and Kissy Sell Out in the wondrous Toil Trees woods.
Both Toys and Temples had the Maison D’etre stage dripping with psychedelia while The Lancashire Hotpots were as mouth-watering as a full English, proving the perfect Saturday night hangover cure on a blistering Sunday afternoon.
Comedians, workshops, tattooists, shops and even a church. For not one minute could anybody complain about being bored at Beat-Herder.
Its loved up atmosphere and unparalleled quirkiness saw it short-listed for Best Small Festival at last year’s UK Festival Awards.
This year saw that bar raised even higher.
Still one of the UK’s best kept secrets, Beat-Herder’s reputation continues to flourish.