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Preview: Beacons Festival 2013

Naomi Rainey


Beacons Festival is back two years after its launch at Heslaker Farm in Skipton with a beefed-up roster in an attempt to seal its place as a premier boutique arts and music festival.

This year’s music promises a heady mix of garage rock, DIY, psych rock, acoustic, electro pop, house and techno, stretched across more stages than previously seen. Loud and Quiet hosts headliners, with plenty of names for people looking for familiar sounds: Bonobo, Django Django, Mercury Prize nominee Ghostpoet, Local Natives, SBTRKT, Hookworms, Gold Panda and the much-hyped Lulu James perform across the weekend.

A Residents Advisor stage, hosting Machinedrum, Ben UFO, Bicep, John Talabot and Theo Parrish & Andres among others, is supplemented by the return of The Social, giving a dedicated two-stage platform for dance. Dance music is well represented in the line-up, with European audiovisual showcase the RFID Dome offering electro fused with projection art.

The addition of an outdoor Red Bull Music Academy stage should boost the arena’s atmosphere, while names of note at the You’ve Got To Hear This tent include punk-spirited Savages and Fucked Up.

Some of the biggest changes appear to be planned away from the music, with dedicated family camping and kids’ attractions – punningly dubbed Diddy Rascals – added for the first time. There’s a return of the Into The Woods film tent, with locally-set black comedy Sightseers complete with Q&A with writers / actors Alice Lowe & Steve Oram a particular highlight.

Screenprinting courtesy of Urban Outfitters, roaming performance and spoken word tent Arts and Minds proving a haven for those taking time out from dancing in the (expected) mud. And for anyone seeking a chance to “look ridiculous in idyllic northern surroundings”, Fancy Dress Friday takes on a futuristic space disco theme.

After last year’s festival, some weren’t convinced Beacons could compete with its well-established rival, Kendal Calling. This third-year line-up might just have nailed it.

Beacons Festival takes place at Heslaker Farm, Funkirk Estate, Skipton from August 16th-18th