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

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Lindisfarne Festival returns for its fifth instalment from Thursday 29th August-Sunday 1st September, and once again brings an eclectic line-up of over 200 acts spanning every genre, mood and style that any festival-goer could possibly desire.

Proclaiming a ‘genre-hopping mish-mash’ of acts, there’s far too much going on for us to go into detail on here, but highlights include much-anticipated indie headliners Ocean Colour Scene and Pete Doherty, who will be joined by his third and most recent band, the Puta Madres. Fans of something a little more rhythm-based will be interested in the inclusion of Gentleman’s Dub Club and the Ragga Twins, whilst drum ‘n’ bass and electronic lovers will be treated to two legends of the genre in Goldie and DJ Yoda. The variety continues with performances from techno band Dream Frequency, the North East’s favourite folk rockers Lindisfarne, soulful funk from Smoove & Turrell and rock ‘n’ roll funsters Tankus The Henge.

The acts are spread over a whopping nine stages, with spoken word, dance anthems, dub, world and folk all making an appearance. Pipped to be one of the hottest new stages joining the ranks is Delta City; an area solely focused on taking dancers back to the golden age of raving and acid house, complete with ‘hidden trance’ area for those adventurous enough to find it.

Another to look out for is the BBC Introducing stage, which brings a typically eclectic range of musicians from the local area, including glistening South Shields pop act NIXE, energetic indie outfit FEVA, indie rock newcomers Club Paradise, the sax-driven funk of Sunderland’s Picnic and Newcastle grime experts NE Dons. There’s also the Billy Bootleggers stage, which specialises in Americana and blues, and will feature performances from perennial favourites Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra, troubadour Dave Arcari, modern blues group Hambone, the supremely talented Michael Littlefield and Scott Taylor from King Bees, charming rhythm and blues performer Sister Suzie and many more.

The LF identity is based on diversification, fun and friendship and we aim for our programme to reflect that

The Born Lippy stage welcomes poetry, comedy, hip-hop and spoken word fronted music, with highlights including Captain Hotknives, The Unsung and local favourites Rowan McCabe and John Scott among others.

It’s clear from the extent of the line-up that Lindisfarne Festival is quite an undertaking for organiser Conleth Maenpaa and his team. “The LF identity is based on diversification, fun and friendship and we aim for our programme to reflect that.” The logistics of an outdoor multi-staged event, which not only provides music but also holistic therapies, workshops and a huge range of food and drink, means year on year it’s becoming more of a challenge. “Our costs have quadrupled in the last five years so it’s always a stress to make sure we cover our costs, whilst putting on a festival that would match any in the UK. Our aim is to offer the full festival experience in a wonderful setting so we do everything we can to provide the best bands, entertainers, therapists, comedians, poets, rappers, DJs, stalls and shows  we possibly can. We definitely are unique in the North East and we will always strive to be.”

Touching on the potential saturation of major musical events in the region, particularly over the last year, Conleth’s keen to point out that Lindisfarne is set apart from many. “My fear is that people don’t see the difference between the festivals. We have nine stages, music until 4am and camping, yet we are often categorised under the same umbrella [as smaller events]. On top of that there seems to be a new festival popping up every month which will affect others and who will probably struggle to get the numbers they need unless they are prepared to flood the market with cheap tickets, which in turn distorts the market, puts people out of business and lessens the consumer’s choice.”

Local support of festivals like Lindisfarne is key to their success, and with such diversity and breadth of choice available, it’s certain there’s something for all to enjoy.

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