INTERVIEW: LINDISFARNE FESTIVAL | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Groove Armada

Our values revolve around friendship, escapism, art and fun – that’s what we have always been about; if we ever needed a festival, it’s now.” Never has a truer word been spoken, and Lindisfarne Festival founder Conleth Maenpaa is understandably excited about the return of the Northumberland event.

Along with so many others, they postponed their 2020 event in favour of a series of online performances. With 2021’s festival confirmed to take place on Thursday 2nd-Sunday 5th September, the longed-for return of the end of summer celebration is on target to be their biggest and best yet.

It is vital that we got to go ahead on so many different fronts. The cultural world has been hit hard by the pandemic, and we were so determined to give artists a platform to show the world their talent, a lot of these guys have only been playing in their living rooms for the last year or so. We also want to bring people together; that’s what we are about, uniting people in a fun and beautiful setting. I think we all want this and are ready for this!” Enthuses Conleth.

As for the line-up, it’s shaping up to be pretty special indeed. “We have gone big in every way,” says Conleth.It’s a massive line-up for a boutique festival. We also have pulled out all the stops on entertainers, comedians, poets; you name it. We have new stages and we spent 18 months planning on making the site as beautiful as possible.”

Our values revolve around friendship, escapism, art and fun – that’s what we have always been about; if we ever needed a festival, it’s now

As with previous years’ events, Lindisfarne 2021 features world-class talent in unique settings, and festival-goers can expect an eclectic weekend of performances which include big names like Craig Charles’ Funk & Soul Club, the Godfathers of drum and bass Fabio & Grooverider, punky electro fusion from Alabama 3, grime pioneer Dizzee Rascal and electronic duo Groove Armada. Elsewhere on the line-up top tips include Glaswegian psych-soul grungers The Girobabies; multi-genre racket makers The Whippet Beans; ‘architects of counter-culture’ Stanley Odd; technicolour genre-hoppers Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5; the MC-fronted jazz band Dutty Moonshine Big Band and hotly tipped Brighton punks The Piranhas.

Local talent is well represented too with highlights including Teesside’s noir pop siblings ZELA; some of the region’s hottest hip-hop talent including Shakk, Abi Nyxx, Max Gavins and Scrannabis; epic rockers Hector Gannet; Backyard Rhythm Orchestra bring their glorious mix of funk, blues and disco and there’s eclectic sounds and raucous performance from Holy Moly & The Crackers; plus hotly tipped songwriter Andrew Cushin and Berwick rockers Not Now Norman among many more.

Our line-up is diverse and covers all genres, so we book them if we see a great act!” Conleth says of their booking policy. “We know we have an excellent reputation nationally, so we can now attract big names that would typically headline festivals ten times our size!”

Lindisfarne Festival takes place at Beal Farm, Northumberland from Thursday 2nd-Sunday 5th September

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