Beat herder 2014 Lancashire’s own Glastenbury
Gisburn, Lancashire, from Friday 18th until Sunday 20th July 2014.
The party started Friday afternoon at a rural site between Clitheroe, Bolton by Bowland and Gisburn in the Ribble Vally of Lancashire just a few miles before the Yorkshire border.
As the largest sofas and furniture store in the area we decided to send our party delegate to report on the action.
Colourful flags and a sea of Vw and other Camper vans tents of all sizes, Hippy busses and caravans let one know that you had arrived at the right place. To treat our man on the ground we gave him a stretched limousine to camp in, once camp was set up a cold beer and contemplate the weekends Revelling.
Time to party and a trek round to the entrance, first stop a stroll into the woods. Once in there is a Wild West style high street complete with its own shops, tattoo clothes a bar and a church that was pumping out funky house music. Omg three shots in and our man is dancing on the pews. The DJ is the reverend choir boy percussion transvestite nuns in fishnets and a monk with a blow up doll. Sounds freaky but it was mental absolutely banging tunes back to back.
Next stop the woods which was this year a huge arena with some top line acts and DJ s, projections and moon lighting on the trees make this one of the most unique dance venues.
A great hour of Retro dance tuned in courtesy of DJ Paul Taylor bass resinated through the woodlands engaged the senses.
Smaller side venues also bang out the tunes like the classic car garage with a DJ inside a ford pop and ravers dancing on a selection of wacky motors. Next to this is a phone box with a difference, it’s an entrance to a tunnel leading to a different area of the woods. A short walk down a slope leads you to a Reggae tent banging out the best Caribbean musical imports with a super smell of the green green grass of home.
You don’t need a packed lunch at Beat Herder the range of foods on offer is fantastic. From jerk chicken to chilli gourmet burgers and schnitzel to curry and treats like Rum chai and cakes of the world to mention just a few.
Now the main stage most of the huge headline acts appear here. A huge white helmet like stage situated at the bottom of a slope makes for a natural theatre for performers.
Acts included ”Happy Mondays, Eats Everything, Badly Drawn Boy, Jagwar Ma, The Orb, James Lavelle, Howard Marks, Boney M., Vitalic, The Bloody Beetroots, Hot Since 82, The 2 Bears, The Sunshine Underground, Justin Robertson, Mr. Scruff, Dub Pistols, Klangkarussell, Nucleus Roots, Greg Wilson, Bipolar Sunshine, DJ Format, The Utah Saints, Riva Starr, Wolf Alice, Ibibio Sound System and Goldie Looking Chain, and more.”
Heading across Into the next area gives you several smaller venues, food and clothes stalls surrounding a large open area with a castle like huge dance venue at the bottom, Fortress.
We arrived just in time to catch a headline DJ start her set namely Lisa Lashes. The Fortress was packed both on the ground and balconies with highly charged dancers warming up for a mad weekend, some fuelled with more than Red Bull. Huge sub base and concerto speaker stacks pumped out an amazing clear and full sound without a crackle as the superstar DJ started her set. Tune after tune of big base ups and downs, Lisa Lashes provided for us the best set of the weekend and an experience not forgotten in an amazing venue like Fortress.
As well as big names and venues Beat Herder should be noted for smaller venues supporting unsigned and breakthrough live music and artists. A great contrast and chilled down situation was Maison D Etre a black tent with live acts.
A stroll back past the main stage takes you to The Working Men’s Club. Doing what it says on the sign this fairly large tent has a busy bar plenty of seating and oldies and commercial music both live and DJ.
2014 saw a brand new open air arena ” The Ring ” championing mainly Hip Hop and alternative house genres. Circular and surrounded by huge grass mounds this area was constantly popular, we enjoyed stomping away to DJ A Skills.
The Ring is curated and hosted by Bombstrikes Records, Utah Saints and Sugarbeat and features B.Traits with Juma, A Skillz, Adam F, Utah Saints, Drumsound & Bassline Smith featuring Youngman, Stereo Express, Grum, Brett Domino Trio, Jamie Berry, Dutty Moonshine, Mooqee, and Toni Jarvis.
Next up and for a bit of a breather a large area surrounded by stalls shi sha cafe and featuring a mini Stone Henge and giant wicker sculptures.
Beyond this is the Trailer Trash tent. To greet you is the most amazing Robot like something from apocalyptic Armageddon. Based on a motorbike this walking monster breathes fire and moves its head around looking perhaps it’s next victim.
DJ s keep this venue bouncing while dancers bop away and chillers chill out on hey bales.
Sunday evening saw the Happy Mondays perform on the main stage a trip back to the days of Madchester topping off a blinding weekend.
The rest of my friends is a blur just to leave with one thought we will be back next year.