Farr Festival 2018
With the addition of an extra day, Farr Festival hooked its claws into the festival season with its return this year. The boutique festival boasts a beautiful site with views of rolling countryside hills and a meandering forest to wander and party in throughout the night. This year the festival gods answered all our prayers and delivered a beautiful weekend of sun and heat to amplify the festival’s unique vibe. With previous lineups boasting huge names such as Helena Hauff, Jasper James and Giles Peterson, the lineup for 2018 really set a precedent for the best Farr yet.
Arriving at the site on Thursday was a sweaty affair, to say the least, but with anticipation rising for the weekend ahead we set up camp and explored the site. The festival’s newest stage, The Factory – a space constructed of sealed shipping containers – opened on the first night and played host to Bristol-based Shanti Celeste, who smashed the weekend into action with a set full of classic house tunes which, as it should do, got people moving and got them into the festival vibe. While the main stage was getting things started, the ‘Adventures of Success’ stage had already been thumping for hours, delivering hard-hitting techno and house from Berlin and London based DJs Tamo Sumo and Antepop. With the first night well and truly under our belts, along with a tonne of dust and sweat, we were very excited for the next three days of Farr Festival.
Waking up in a puddle of my own sweat as soon as the sun hit my tent meant I was immediately aware of how hot the day was going to be. Spending a lot of time roaming the forest in an attempt to keep cool allowed us to discover some of the amazing boutique stalls on offer and also find the bars and stages that were now open. Stumbling upon Mr. G on the self-produced forest stage, ‘Ma-Dahu’ was a huge highlight, and a great way to lead into a stellar live performance from Tom Misch. He delivered a wonderfully laid-back performance with his modern twist on jazz music. Much later on in the night, DVS1 blew many brains (including mine) at Ma-Dahu with their hard-hitting techno set from heaven.
Looking around at the campsite that was becoming dryer by the minute, it was very clear that the Saturday morning brought many sore heads. This didn’t stop spirits staying strong as this was the day that England was due to make another step towards bringing football home. Stage organisers at The Factory managed to switch things up and show the World Cup game, which had more than a few punters elated. With all the patriotism mixed with sunburn starting to get to me, I fled to the forest again to see a three-hour set from the legend of dub and Zulu warrior himself, Jah Shaka. And, it was just what the doctor ordered. As the evening pressed on, and with a smashing win from England, Dixon wowed the packed out crowd with what was my favourite set of the weekend at forest-based stage ‘The Shack’. Wandering the deep forest after many hours of dancing allowed us to find the weird and wonderful installations and chillout spots (and the bars) created by a wonderful team for Sunday’s wind down.
Adding the extra day on Sunday for the first time was exactly what Farr regulars wanted, and it definitely didn’t go unappreciated. Interstellar Funk played a more relaxed set that was the perfect remedy for the hangover and exhaustion that had well and truly set in. Their performance warmed all of us up with their calming synths and psyched everyone up for the final night of the weekend. Hunee was the talk of the site for the whole day, as anticipation for his funky disco stylings escalated. As expected, his energy and selections didn’t disappoint as he filled The Factory to the brim and gave one of the best sets of the weekend.
It’s safe to say that Farr Festival had easily one of the most carefully curated lineups of this year’s festival season that was intent on delivering some of the world’s best underground dance music to a beautiful site that was coordinated by a team of incredible creatives. From the artisanal food available to the boutique clothing stalls, even to the dust that clogged every pore, the weekend was truly fulfilling and enriching. We can’t wait to return in 2019!