FEATURE: Behind the Scenes at Lindisfarne Festival | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Dilutey Juice

Lindisfarne Festival is just around the corner, taking place from Thursday 1st–Sunday 4th September at Beal Farm, Northumberland, it’s an event which celebrates the joy of music. The beauty of Lindisfarne Festival lies not only in its breathtaking location, but in its inclusion of artistic and musical diversity. Having interviewed the festival’s organiser Conleth Maenpaa in a recent article, I decided to reach out to a few of the artists who are performing and get a behind-the-scenes insight into some of the preparations and overall expectations they may have prior to the festival.

To emphasise the genre variety within the festival itself, audiences can expect a full weekend featuring over 150 different artists, with performances ranging from traditional folk music by Sheelanagig to high-energy DJ sets from the likes of A.Skillz – there is quite frankly something for everyone. Alongside the event’s world-renowned headlining bands, Madness and Rudimental, among Lindisfarne Festival’s most valued qualities is its priority towards showcasing local bands and musicians, providing performers with a platform for both visibility and immense appreciation.

This opportunity is exactly what arose for County Durham singer-songwriter Lottie Willis. After being contacted by organiser Conleth who was wowed by her intriguing pop-inspired repertoire, it was the festival’s unique, scenic location along the Northumberland coastline that drew her to take part. For Lottie, its idealistic quality is what gives the event an edge of unparalleled uniqueness, setting it apart from its competitors. Inspired by many things, including a range of genres such as musical theatre and country, Lottie often expresses her struggles surrounding mental health through the beautiful music she creates. She explains, “A huge message I like to convey is that it’s okay not to be okay.” Just like you can find peace amongst the serenity of nature, you can find comfort within the connectivity of music, and Lottie’s lyricism epitomises just that. Performing on the Friday, this will be her debut appearance at Lindisfarne Festival, so make sure to catch her pop-inspired set on your musical journey.

From the artist’s point of view, creative preparations for any concert are undoubtedly intricate, yet prepping for an entire festival performance must be elevated to a whole new level. For Dilutey Juice, a brass party band who perform a combination of Afrobeat, jazz and rave (to name just a few), it’s all about maintaining their on-stage energy to provide the best performance possible. Thomas Dixon (saxophone) explains: “It’s really important to warm up properly before the set itself, otherwise you can get 20 minutes into an hour’s show and feel like your body is falling to pieces.” Endurance is seemingly essential for high-intensity festival performances, and for Dilutey Juice, this is what centres their musicality: “We’re all nodes on a net, but it’s not the nodes that are important, it’s the connections. We attempt to use sound and movement to strengthen those connections,” says Thomas. It’s safe to say we can expect a truly dynamic performance from this band!

While Dilutey Juice undertake a more physically demanding preparatory route, multi-genre DJ and producer Amy Wareing, known as Amy Warehouse, relies heavily on creative spontaneity during her performances as a means for musical inspiration. Despite constantly scouting for new music to add to her sets, Amy seamlessly captures the audience’s musical appetite by modifying her collection to create the highest atmosphere possible. “When I play I personally don’t have a set planned, I get the tracks and vibe I want to play and read the crowd. You never know what could happen so every set is different!” Amy notes. As a festival centred around promoting togetherness and friendship through music, Amy’s sound is a true representative of this motto.

As an event with the capacity for a whopping 8,000, it’s inevitable that every single person will be impacted differently by each artist they see. Due to the varied line-up, the advocacy for complete inclusivity is apparent, constructing an atmosphere of acceptance and companionship. Four-piece punk folk pirate band JollyRoger, who were introduced to the festival through the interplays of Facebook, encourage the importance of individuality throughout their upbeat musical performances, with limitless restrictions. Holding a likeness to Mumford And Sons with a punk twist, JollyRoger’s motto perfectly mirrors that sense of jubilance, stating, “All for Jolly, Jolly for all!” For an experience you won’t forget, you can witness their one-of-a-kind performance on the Saturday.

With a passion for music, entertainment and simply a good time, these artists are raring to perform at one of the North’s leading festivals. You won’t want to miss their incredible performances along with many more from an array of outstanding talent as part of the line-up.

Lindisfarne Festival will take place at Beal Farm, Northumberland from Thursday 1st – Sunday 4th September. Tickets are selling out quickly, so make sure you head over to the official website to get yours before they go.


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