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Music Editorial

lindcrowd19.jpg Lindisfarne Festival returns!

If the north-east’s biggest party has somehow passed you by over the past four years then you need to take immediate action. The Lindisfarne Festival makes its triumphant return in August and with more workshops, more comedy and its biggest lineup yet, it promises to be some 5th birthday celebration.

Before we delve into some of the performers set to hit the Lindisfarne stages, let’s discuss an essential but often forgotten aspect of any great weekend: atmosphere. Lineups are obviously important, but atmosphere can take any festival from bleak to banging, and Lindisfarne has good vibes in excess. Returning to Beal Farm on the coast of Northumberland, it’d be a challenge to find a festival ground that’s quite as beautiful. Looking over at Holy Island is, as the name suggests, a heavenly experience that only adds to the feeling of celebration. But it’s not all about location, location, location; the crowd that Lindisfarne attracts, with their bohemian outfits and lively energy, become a part of the scenery, taking you away to a world where dancing the night away is your only responsibility. 

And at this year’s Lindisfarne, boogying will be no challenge. With a sweet blend of big names and local legends, the festival is set to deliver its tastiest lineup yet. Top of the bill on Friday will be the one and only Peter Doherty and The Puta Madres. With a name that translates into ‘Fucking Mothers’, Doherty’s latest band is living proof that his punk rock foundation is still sturdy twenty-years into his career. Armed with a discography of poetic, indie-folk tunes, The Puta Madres deliver both beauty and rebellion to the stage when they perform, and they do so with plenty of aplomb. 

Headliners for round two will be Birmingham-bred legends Ocean Colour Scene. With 2019 marking their thirtieth anniversary, there will be no shortage of nostalgia for those who want to luxuriate in some of the biggest anthems to come out of Britpop. But it won’t all be dreamy recollections of rock ‘n’ roll days past: their latest four-track EP has shown that there are far more good times to come. Frequently praised for their instrumental skill and impressive stage presence, Ocean Colour Scene are set to deliver what their die-hard fans have come to expect, and maybe pick-up some new believers along the way.

If I were to compile a list of things that are satisfying, Geordie-legends Lindisfarne finally playing the Lindisfarne festival would be up there with popping bubble wrap and getting the perfect photo of a fidgeting pet. If you live in the Toon, it’s near impossible to avoid this legendary band’s impact (their iconic tune ‘Fog on the Tyne’ even inspired the name of the local cat café ‘Mog on the Tyne’. How many bands can say that?). The folk-rock pioneers are also no strangers to a party, so bring your dancing shoes. 

While we’re swept up in the excitement of new faces on the lineup, let’s not forget the acts who have proven their loyalty to Lindisfarne down through the years. Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5 will be hitting the stage for a fourth visit and with their blend of dance, comedy and rock, they’re sure to make you fall in love all over again. Ferocious Dog, a beloved summer fling last August, will be concluding their festival season at Beal Farm once again with their wonderfully weird hybrid of Celtic-punk and ska that’s sure to get you moving. And speaking of weird, we just have to give Elvana a mention, the Elvis-fronted Nirvana tribute act with no shortage of spirit (teen or otherwise).  It wouldn’t be the Lindisfarne Festival if they weren’t showcasing the very best up-and-coming talent. Fables 100 are a group of young musicians on a mission to capture the spirit of the 80s with their rebellious electro-indie sound. Joining them on the main stage will be Hands Off Gretel, an ambitious alternative band from South Yorkshire that have been described as the love-child of Gwen Stefani and Nirvana (count me in). Another couple of acts I’d particularly like to flag up are Gentleman’s Dub Club (an incredible festival band with a dub/reggae/dance vibe who make any party go with swing) and Louise Distras (flying the flag for contemporary punk with a social consciousness).

Fans of techno, jungle and rave have not been forgotten either and High Tide Dance Takeover will be home to all things dance. Hosting acts such as the legendary pioneer Goldie, as well as Ragga TwinsDream Frequency and many more, this stage is set to deliver a diverse range of electronic music for all you crazy party animals. As well as great music, the weekend will be jam-packed with activities that will cleanse your mind, body and soul which, let’s be honest, is all very welcome after a summer of excess. Lindisfarne have paired up with Shanti Bee’s Healing Sanctuary to provide a range of holistic treatments, yoga and wellness workshops.  

This is only a taste of what this glorious weekend has in store. With 200+ acts set to perform across 10 unique stages, Lindisfarne 2019 is gonna be all kinds of mega. Check out their website for the full lineup as well as tickets and camping options. See you down the front.

Lindisfarne Festival, 29 August-1 September, Beal Farm, Northumberland. There are a range of ticket and camping options. Check website for details: lindisfarnefestival.com