Farmfest is a charmingly dinky DIY delight. Even apocalyptic winds and relentless rain couldn’t dampen the party vibes and the festival, crew and site held their own in the face of the seemingly endless drizzle.
With the entire festival spread generously over one field, you are able to drift from stage to stage with ease. This helps soak up much more of what’s on offer and easily change course if you catch something shiny happening in another direction.
It’s a festival where you don’t need to worry about FOMO- [Fear Of Missing Out] fuelled arguments about the five-way clash to negotiate with your buddies/skwod/clan.
Dancing to Goan Dogs’ blissed out cover of Club Tropicana whilst standing in a grey drizzly Somerset field on Friday night brings an irony that even Alanis wouldn’t have missed. That said, it was undeniably lush.
The magic peaked during This Is The Kit’s glorious Saturday afternoon set that fit seamlessly with the wild rolling hills surrounding us. Then, watching the Bodywork DJs holding court over the handsomely homemade Soul Train and Gap from their parallel platform on Saturday afternoon was just what I needed to ease into a second night of merriment.
Both headliners absolutely smashed it but with distinctly different flavours. Shobaleader One brought jazz and almost prog vibes to Squarepusher classics, while Roots Manuva dished out his refreshing brand of alt hip-hop to mix things up. He played career-spanning tunes with tracks from his 1999 debut Brand New Second Hand sounding as fresh as ever alongside tracks from his latest offering, Bleeds.
My personal highlights came from Cousin Kula’s blissed out psych-pop goodness from the Main Stage, and the stumbled-upon Lady Garden who served up beautiful close-harmony bluegrass and Americana folk vibes in the Acoustic Sett.
Alongside the music, there comedy and beautiful happenings cropped up all over the site. We unwittingly stumbled into The Dan Swank Foundation Interpretive Dance Competition in The Palladium; I think the title says it all.
Farmfest no doubt has a very family friendly sensibility but without losing any edge. Even the late-night spots like The Big Blue and Shapes takeover felt inclusive and fun, and not just the preserve of the hyper-wavy. Security were chill and reasonable whilst still doing a sterling job.
Farmfest are going to be taking a well-deserved break in 2018 but if you are looking for a smashingly bijou do in 2019, you won’t go far wrong with this little beaut.
Read more festival reviews: WOMAD 2017