the attention to detail at Lounge On The Farm made the festival

Lounge On The Farm 2012 review

published: Mon 9th Jul 2012

around the festival site (2)

Friday 6th to Sunday 8th July 2012
Merton Farm, Nackington Lane, Canterbury, CT4 7BA, England MAP
£115 for the weekend
daily capacity: 9999
last updated: Mon 9th Jul 2012

around the festival site (2)
Having a festival during Wimbledon fortnight is always a risky move as it always seems to rain. Couple that with The British Grand Prix and you might as well throw a bucket of water over yourself before you even set foot out of your tent.

True to form, Lounge of the Farm (LOTF) 2012 was wet. Thankfully however, not as wet as was forecast and actually was predominantly dry despite intermittent showers. Most importantly, it was dry when the main acts were playing on the open-air stages and the lack of sun was not noticed due to the great acts on stage.

This was the seventh annual LOTF. It first arrived at Merton Farm, Canterbury in 2006 and was aimed predominantly for Kent locals, hosting 1000 revelers. Since then, the festival has grown from strength to strength, and in 2012 hosted close to ten thousand festival goers, proving Merton Farm has plenty to offer music lovers from all over.

around the festival site (1)
The theme of the festival was farmer bohemian with a strong emphasis on good food. From burgers to burritos, hot dogs to hog roasts, pies to popcorn... Tea lovers would not be disappointed with more tea than Twinings. The Tea Teepee Tent was perfect for relaxing with a hot beverage offering a specialist collection of chais, which could be sipped on cushions and rugs in a teepee. There was a multitude of home cooked culinary delights to tantalise the festy taste buds. It had a rep to protect as LOTF had won the best food festival in 2010, and it wouldn't be surprising if it retained its crown in 2012.

Lounge on the Farm literally had something for everyone. A real family affair, the farm provided bespoke entertainment for even the littlest of festival goers. The Little Lounge was a treasure trove for kids, featuring messy experiments, mysterious magic, cupcakes, sleepy story telling and much more. The Baby Lounge offered a relaxing space and refreshments for parents, babies, and bumps. It's no wonder LOTF featured as one of the Guardian's top 10 festivals for families this year.

The farm presented a whole array of creativity and enticing experiences to see something or try something new. At the Playhouse, comedians, poets, cabaret acts and a talk from the legendary Dr of the illegal Drug, Howard Marks, took to the stage performing to a crowd lounging on haystacks. The Solar Cinema was a quirky escape from the outdoors, open till 3am long after the stages had retired for the night, showcasing a cocktail of films full of imagination. For those with energy left after all the jumping and dancing, they could try their moves in the Roller Disco. Although small, a unique activity great for those young'uns and Big Kids.

The Fabulous Baker Brothers
Following the festival's love of good food, this year saw the introduction of a Kitchen Theatre. Channel 4's the Fabulous Baker Brothers charmed viewers with a cooking demonstration, and local providers held evening taster sessions. A Kitchen Academy for children took place in the mornings, training them to be culinary chefs.

The attention to detail made the festival. With bails of hay dotted around and giant cows adorning the walkway walls, you could tell a lot of love went into organising the event. However, the attention to detail that was most prominent was the eclectic line up of artists on the variety of stages, that had been carefully chosen to bring diversity and talent to the revellers.

Man Like Me
The festival had a leaning towards emerging talent during the day, with the likes of Jake Bugg, The Milk, Bastille, Man Like Me (live), and the enigmatic Jamie N Commons all playing amazing sets and no doubt gaining new fans in the process.

The evenings belonged to more established artists. Emeli Sande's flawless voice reverberated around the farm on Friday, while the Mystery Jets played to a packed Meadows Stage. Saturday saw Spector, Sway and the energetic The Wombats wowing the crowd on the main stage, with GGhostpoet, and Roots Manuva making the crowd beg for more on the Meadows Stage. Whilst in the dance tent, Goldie showed his golden smile and got the crowd jumping.

The Good Natured
Sunday was a more chilled out affair. Graham Coxon's favourite band, Brilliant Corners played to a tired but sunny crowd over on Meadows, and Niki & The Dove soothed the festival head with her mellow Electro beats on the main stage.

If chilling out was not on your agenda, then a quick Dosey Doe down to the Hoe Down dance tent raised the beats per minute and the adrenalin levels. David Rodigan took the crowd on a Reggae/dub step/Ska/Drum and Base journey that had everyone going nuts. Roni Size had the crowd at his mercy but it was the resident performer, Example, making his 4th straight appearance at LOTF, that had the dance tent packed to capacity. This was despite huge headliners on the main stage, and the headliners were huge.

Chic featuring Nile Rodgers
Newly reformed 80's party favourites Dexys, played the meadows stage to a jumpy crowd, but it was at the main stage that really put the M into Music. The crowd freaked out to 'le Chic', who put on a tight, glitzy show, dressed all in white in contrast to the grey clouds and mud. We were taken back in time to the 70's and 80's, with the finest dance and disco hits, all surprisingly penned by dreadlocked front man Nile Rodgers. 'We are Family', 'Like a Vigin' and 'Lets Dance' were just a few of the hits played to crowd ready to party.

To follow Chic had to be a big name, and you couldn't get much bigger than Mancunian indie veterans The Charlatans. Tim Burgess with his blonde mop top and grey baggy jumper resembling a beatnick Kurt Cobain, performed with a confident style that has been copied by the likes of Liam Gallagher and other British rock front men over the years. Playing all their hits, the farm rocked out and it was a fitting end to a great weekend of music.

Lounge on the Farm is definitely not to be missed with it's excellently eclectic forward thinking music program, it's chillaxed cool farm style and all round fun atmosphere. We look forward to what next year will bring to Merton Farm.

around the festival site (2)
review by: Sarah Serota

photos by: Rob Koster

Friday 6th to Sunday 8th July 2012
Merton Farm, Nackington Lane, Canterbury, CT4 7BA, England MAP
£115 for the weekend
daily capacity: 9999
last updated: Mon 9th Jul 2012

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