Last updated: 2nd Apr 2015.
Originally published: 3rd Jun 2013
Photograph: Beat-Herder's Toil Trees 2012
The word magical is perhaps bandied around a bit too much when it comes to describing some of the summer’s quirkier festivals. However nowhere quite embodies the sentiment nearly as much as Lancashire’s very own Beat-Herder.
As you approach the festival which lies on top of a hill deep in the Ribble Valley, you are greeted by a festival site adorned with flags, art, sculptures, installations, all housed in a beautiful woodland surrounding that goes some way to giving Beat-Herder its unique atmosphere.
Listen: Beat-Herder's Toil Trees Artists Playlist
Crammed with small and intimate venues hidden around the venue like gems waiting to be unearthed, Beat-Herder conceals plenty of watering holes around the site including a working man's bar, cocktails bars aplenty and stalls selling everything from smoothies to milkshakes.
Last year saw the inauguration of The Parish Church service featuring DJ sets and a dance area, which despite its small size, became one of the festival highlights. Of course the incredible Toil Trees area will once again be the main focus, which by night it turns into the most trippy and exciting rave venue you’ve ever experienced, complete with the monster Toil Sound System that this year will play host to the likes of Norman Jay, Stanton Warriors, Bondax, Feed Me and Jaguar Skills.
The Main Beat-Herder Stage has previously hosted the likes of Orbital and Lee Scratch Perry with legendary receptions. This year is looking like being equally as impressive as we can look forward to the arrivals of reggae legend Jimmy Cliff, Groove Armada, Chic and Nile Rodgers, Booka Shade and The Other Tribe. Other areas of note (there are far too many to mention them all) include the Stumblefunk Sound System, which provides outdoor bass heavy bliss like no other. Roni Size is lined up for 2013, as is Rennie Pilgrem, Freefall Collective and Mixmag’s ‘saviour of dubstep’ Compa.
Running throughout the weekend is the ever popular fancy dress theme which is a great opportunity for you to put your creative skills to good use, as the unbridled artistic licence leads to some impressive looking costumes, all adding to the enticing oddball aura that permeates the festival.
In the big top known lovingly as Trailer Trash, expect to see none other than abstract dub maestro Shackleton adding his own touch of bizarre ambience and esoteric textures to proceedings, as the electronic music producer puts on a deceptively dancefloor friendly slab of weirdness that has to be witnessed to be understood. Idjut Boys will also be in the big top, as will Sean P the Supreme Disco Digging Godfather.
One of the new venues for Beat-Herder 2013 is the as yet to be named venue no.1, which is set to feature techno legend Justin Robertson, Mumbai Science, and Bentley Rhythm Ace as well as Elite Force, Dub Pistols and Jon Carter. No real details are known about this area, you’re just going to have to be there to find out for yourself!
We could really go on about the stages and the seriously impressive lineup, but its the friendly, welcoming, anything goes attitude that Beat-Herder has become well known for. All housed in an otherworldly well thought out location that is full of surprises means you won’t help but be constantly enthralled.
The true magic of the festival will be alive and well at Beat-Herder 2013.
Get your Beat-Herder tickets through Skiddle.
To find your perfect festival use our unique Festival Finder, where you can search by date, location, or even what artists you want to see.
Tickets are no longer available for this event