Leftfield put on an incredible show that rounds off a great weekend at Beat Herder

The Beatherder Festival 2011 review

published: Thu 14th Jul 2011

around the festival site

Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd July 2011
Gisburn, Lancashire, BB7 4NR, England MAP
£85 for the three days incl camping
last updated: Tue 7th Jun 2011

Despite being in eager anticipation of Beat Herder festival for months, I hadn't quite prepared myself for what had been constructed in the Gisburn countryside. Eleven contrasting stages played host to an array of musicians, including heavyweights like Leftfield, Simian Mobile Disco, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Dreadzone, and Horace Andy, as well as a selection of local talent. After a brief stroll around the relatively intimate event, I was instantly struck by the festival's main ethos. The lack of commercialisation is evident, meaning alcohol was reasonably priced and there wasn't a sponsorship deal in sight. Furthermore, the attention to detail that makes the festival so unique is most commendable, every inch had been taken into deep consideration.

around the festival site
Whether you're slurping ale in The Workingmen's Club, smoking Shisha in the Smoky Tentacles, relaxing in The Lazy Way or visiting the Barber Shop, you're guaranteed to have a uniquely inspirational experience. The fully functioning Victorian Street, that's located in a wood, provided punters with hours of entertainment. Throughout the festival, folk are dancing in every corner and seem more than content. The atmosphere within the Toiltrees is electric; it's a unique experience being deep in a wood, listening to the sweet sounds of Mylo, Mr Scruff, and Utah Saints, to name a few.

Friday’s headliners, Simian Mobile Disco, provided thousands with an intense, high energy set. The main stage was absolutely rocking, sending the crowd into a chaotic frenzy. However, a 2am set by Krafty Kuts seemed to be the night’s main talking point.

around the festival site
As well as glorious sunshine, Saturday brought some outstanding fancy dress outfits. Being followed by an army of twelve Egyptian women was relatively surreal, not to mention the amount of elves I saw running around. Music wise, Pete And The Pirates offered a welcomed hour of indie rock, whilst Joe Driscoll, Luke Pompey, and Sound Of Rum were extremely well received by the thousands of sun kissed music fans. I'm unable to write this without mentioning quite possibly the best thing I've ever eaten at a festival, look out for Mango Rays if you like your curry, it's sublime.

around the festival site
Playing to possibly the biggest crowd of the weekend, Leftfield put on an incredible show to thousands of delighted faces. A flare was lighted during 'Afro Left' and I was struck by how fresh their extensive back catalogue still sounds today, they're undeniably brilliant. I later found myself in Beat Herder's very own Working Man's Club, which was gearing up to host Craig Charles and his funk/soul DJ set. Dressed in a long paisley shirt and a leather jacket, he ensured that every man, woman and child were moving to the beat. You have to hand it to him, he's one hell of an entertainer. Bumping into an extremely merry Janice Battersby was slightly surreal, but then again, there's a surprise lurking around literally every corner at Beat Herder.

Regrettably, I had to wave good bye to the festival on Sunday, staying just long enough to catch festival favourites - The Lancashire Hotpots. In no uncertain terms, they’re hilarious and proved exactly why they’ve built up such a good reputation throughout the North of England. Sing a long classics like 'Chippy Tea', 'Shop Mobility Scooter' and 'He's Turned Emo' had many Northern, sun burnt punters spitting their beer out in fits of laugter, which is very fitting to such a band.

Beat Herder's an absolute gem of a festival, I can only hope that it remains the same for many years to come.
review by: Joe Martin

photos by: Joe Martin

Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd July 2011
Gisburn, Lancashire, BB7 4NR, England MAP
£85 for the three days incl camping
last updated: Tue 7th Jun 2011


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