Written by Danielle Young
Aside from a spanking new lineup with a whopping 50% more acts than previous years, we’ve got a boat load of fresh features and exciting new things going on at Lindisfarne Festival this year.
Whilst we don’t want to reveal all our aces just yet (we’ve gotta keep a few surprises up our sleeves of course), here’s a little glimpse at some of the new things you can expect to stumble upon at Beal Farm next weekend...
The ‘Almost’ Full Moon Party
The Full Moon may not be appearing in the skies until the week following the festival but that won’t stop us from transforming the High Tide Dance Tent info a full blown Full Moon Party on Saturday night. Expect a Thai-inspired party with a Northumberland twist, complete with neon paint, UV lights, drinks by the colourful bucket. And of course no full moon party would be complete without a banging DJ lineup and some sizzling hot fire shows.
Formerly the Beal Sands Beer Tent, this year we’re transforming our main bar into a ye’ old Viking Brewhouse! Come fill yer tankard with the finest Northumbrian ales and down some of that tasty old Lindisfarne Mead, whilst romping and stomping to some of the best local pub bands. With some top class entertainment lined up from The Skapones to The Happy Cats and Hip Hop Hooray - it’s gonna be a raucous riot!
Vikings & Punks Fancy Dress
You can’t have a festival without a bit of fancy dress and last year’s Vikings & Monks theme went down an absolute treat! So, in keeping with the local (and our own) history, we’re welcoming those horny helmutted Vikings back to Beal Farm, but this year we figured we’d mix it up and put them up against some folk that are a little less… well, Holy! Will you be joining the viking invaders or wreaking havoc with the punk raiders? It’s time to choose your side...
His spidey-senses tipped him off about an impending viking invasion and so Newcastle’s infamous street-beatboxing superhero is weaving his web up to Beal Farm to spit his venomous beats at anyone who steps in his path.
I hope you’re not afraid of spiders… Geordie Spiderman might be the coolest spider on site at this year's festival, but he’s certainly not the only one! Crafted from a scrapped Porsche engine, this flame-throwing spider will have you crying out in awe. WARNING: Don’t get too close to these 8 legged monsters, they don’t just spit beats - they spit fire! And it's HOT HOT HOT!
Want to gain full on social media bragging rights - this is the place to be! Set aside from the action in an exclusive backstage area, no filters required to make this elegant little hideaway Instagram worthy! From twinkling fairy lights to shimmering fire embers to sparkling champagne, there's glitz in every corner of this beautifully furnished tipi. Complete with a private bar and a maximum capacity of 100, Pilgrim's Utopia is festival luxury at it's finest.
Last year our portaloos were so impeccable that they landed us a nomination for the UK’s best festival toilets! (Yeah, we’re pretty proud of that). I’ve been to many festivals in my time, but never EVER have I stepped foot in a portaloo on the final day of a festival to be greeted by not only toilet roll, but also a pleasant fragrance & paper towels in abundance! Guess there’s a first for everything but I’m sure it won’t be the last, as Lindisfarne Festival believes in continual improvement of ALL things. So the only way to improve on last years ‘facilities’ is to bring in even posher toilets! Think running water, scented soap and mirrors you can see your whole face in at least. Upgrade to a Pilgrim’s Utopia Super Indulgent Package for access to these luxurious ‘thrones'.
The Dingle Dell
Prepare for a magical world of smile inducing delights. One of several new venues for 2017, The Dingle Dell is a dream-like land where Northumberland folklore meets festival fairytale! Amongst many wonders, you will find the Smokin' Coconuts with their cocktail of reggae, klezmer, calypso and latin rhthyms. O.P.E.N. will bring their own brand of funky acid rock while The Whippet Beans add their mushroom merriness to the bill. And after their amazing show last year in the Beer Tent, Monkey Puzzle return to blow us all away with a psychedelic experience combining electric rhythms with soaring vocals and violins to make a sound like a forest in concert.
Another new addition to our list of stages and venues - the Inspiredome marquee will be hosting a range of fun filled workshops and performances to leave you feeling... well... INSPIRED! On Thursday evening, this is where you can find some of the country's best tribute DJ's - including Dafter Punk and FatBoy Slima. Then over the weekend, there'll be plenty of activities to immerse yourself in. Join our drumming circle, or try your hand (and your hips) at some hula hooping or contact juggling. Or if sun salutations are more your thing, then you can take part in a variety of yoga, mindfulness & meditation sessions here too.
In our healing Sanctuary, you will find Shanti Bee & Holy Island Holistics' experienced therapists offering Complementary Health Therapies such as Deep tissue massage, Relaxation massage, Reflexology, Indian Head Massage, Reiki, Acupuncture, Cupping, Kore therapy, Crystal healing and Mizan therapy. There will also be Tarot and Rune readings, Bach Flower remedies and a chillout Tipi serving up a soothing dose of Chai.
Set amidst the multiple marquee venues, the festival’s renowned outdoor centre-point, the ‘Circle of Inclusion’ will possibly be the biggest surprise to those who have ventured to the festival in previous years. Conical Bass will be transforming the area with an immersive audio and visual installation, featuring a DJ booth crafted from an ageing old oak tree. Hand-crafted by local tree-surgeon and Glastonbury-veteran ‘Dr Green’ (Richie Elliot), the installation will feature an array of weird and wonderful features and creatures, including chainsaw-carved wooden snake sculptures, smoke effects and screen projections.
Live Hip Hop
Hot off the back of The Bridge UK Hip Hop festival earlier this summer, Sage Gateshead's CoMusica will be taking over our Dance tent on Saturday from 2pm til 7pm. Get ready to be wowed, as they present some of the hottest hip hop, grime & rap talent coming through the CoMusic Arches urban training and development course.
Punch Drunk Comedy Takeover
As a south Northumberland local, I've been privy to a Punch Drunk Comedy gig (or ten) over the last few years and there's not been a single time when I haven't walked out of the room with tear streaks down my cheeks and an aching jaw from laughing so hard. As far as quality lineups go - these guys have it sussed! So it was an absolute no-brainer to get the Punch Drunk crew to step up to the task of curating our 2017 festival comedy lineup. With names such as Lauren Pattinson (who's been wracking up awards nominations left, right & centre this last week or so following her Edinburgh Fringe debut) as well as former Scottish Comedian of the Year Mark Nelson, you just know there's gonna be roaring laughter bursting out of the Dingle Dell when this lot hit the stage next Saturday afternoon.
Musicians Against Homelessness
This year Lindisfarne Festival is proud to be helping Musicians Against Homelessness raise money for Crisis UK. Our unsigned band competition helped raise great awareness for the #MAH2017 campaign and provided the winning band The Winachi Tribe with an opportunity to represent MAH on our Shorefields mainstage on Friday evening. There'll also be some buskers rocking out around the festival site next weekend, to help raise funds to support homeless people in Britain. Please help us to help them, by showing some love and support to our performers and popping a few quid in the donation buckets. Together we really can make a big difference to those in need.
Mantra, Sketchy Beats & Northern Soul Kitchen
Mantra have teamed up with Sketchy Beats Cafe and Northern Soul Kitchen to bring a brand new, interactive welfare area to the festival this year. Providing a truly safe space for anyone in need, Mantra welfare is open throughout the festival and is staffed by an experienced and supportive welfare team. On hand to give out confidential advice about drugs, alcohol, legal highs and sexual health, if you need someone to talk to for any reason, there'll be someone there to lend a supportive ear. Also offering a monitored rest & recovery area for those who may have overdone it, rest assured you'll never be short of a safe place to sleep. And if you're skint & hungry, don't think you have to party on an empty stomach! Northern Soul Kitchen will be dishing up nourishing soup to those who are low on funds at the festival.
The Beatroot Cafe
A wonderful place to hangout and eat, the Beatroot Cafe provides home cooked, nutritious and delicious food at realistic prices. Wholly vegetarian, the menu ranges from authentic Indian spiced chai to “beatroot” burgers, tasty Tiffin and even a full veggie Sunday dinner. Mmm mmm mmm! A small, family-run collective, the strong sense of love and care exudes throughout the café and provides a warm and inviting space for festivalgoers wanting to eat, drink or chill throughout the days. At night, watch the beat take over the root, as Newcastle's longest established Dub/Reggae and Bass Music Collective - Pangea Sound System fills the beatroot stage with it's laid back daily dub shack.
As you can see, we’ve got loads of wonderful new things lined up to take Lindisfarne Festival to the NEXT LEVEL this year. But let's not forget about the good old things that have become part of the fabric of the festival and have delighted us all in years gone by.
Here’s just a few of my fave things that deserve a special mention...
There’s nothing better than watching the next big thing do their ‘thing’ in an intimate venue before they hit the big time. I’ve been lucky enough to discover the likes of Imagine Dragons, Mumford & Sons and Nothing But Thieves whilst watching them grace the BBC introducing stages at other UK festivals and I believe The Pale White are going to be the next ones to add to the list... These are the big headliners of the future, and there’s something extra special about seeing them first and supporting them on their journey.
You can't come to Lindisfarne Festival and not get tipsy on a little Lindisfarne Mead! Regarded by many as the 'nectar of the gods' (I may not be religious but 'Amen' to that!), this unique fortified wine is manufactured right across the way at St Aiden's Winery on Holy Island. A vatted blend of honey, locally drawn water, fermented grape juice and neutral spirits, there's a reason this local Northumbrian delight is world famous! Let me tell you now, it's truly divine!!
Mmm the thought of a PB&J burger & those cajon spiced fries has got me drooling already! Is it lunch time yet?? I’m working up an appetite just thinking about how good Fat Hippo is.
There’s no better way to end a night at the festival than chilling out under the stars whilst tucking into a delicious flame-cooked Streezzeria pizza. Nobody likes to go to bed hungry (and let’s face it, we’ll probably be needing a little something to soak up all that Lindisfarne Mead). After all the calories you’re sure to have burned on the floor of the High Tide Dance Tent, you thoroughly deserve to drift away into a delightfully gooey, cheesy pizza coma.
Hekla? Who the hell is Hekla? If you’ve not been to Lindisfarne Festival before, you’ll be forgiven for not knowing about the fiery little gem that is Hekla - our late night bonfire where tribes gather to bask in the flames of merriment. If you happen to be lured over at night by Hekla’s warm orangey glow, expect a truly laid back party vibe where you can dance or kick back chill and revel in a little impromptu music until the early hours. #bongosbythefire
Views of Holy Island
And finally... it goes without saying that the stunning views of the Northumberland coast and countryside are one of the absolute highlights of the event each year. Whilst the festival may continually evolve and feature new and different things year-on-year, one thing we won't be looking to change any time soon is our stunning Beal Farm location in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
We really can't wait to welcome you all back to here next weekend for what is going to be a truly unforgettable event that will surely go down in history as one of Northumberland's greatest festivals.
See you there x