PREVIEW: BEACONS FESTIVAL 2014

This weekend, Far Out will once again be heading for the Yorkshire Dales to sample the unique delights of Beacons Festival, an event that – despite its short life – must be considered one of the best small festivals in the UK.

They’re predicting showers, but with a bill that is a typically vibrant combination of old and new, there is little chance that any of the 5,000-strong daily crowd will allow their spirits to be dampened.

Organisers have gained a reputation for putting together lineups that are bold and daring, showing confidence in their headline acts way before most others would have the balls to place them at the top of the bill.

This time around, the Main Stage will be topped by one of last year’s biggest success stories Daughter on Friday.

Saturday will be a more danceable affair, with Brian Eno’s favourite producer Jon Hopkins closing the show with his enthralling live set. Expect an electronic trip that peaks and troughs in the most organic way possible, embracing the ambient and the beat-heavy in equal measure.

The final night will play host to a curtain closer from a collaboration that has been pulling in enormous crowds this year. When Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington teamed up to form Darkside, the result was an immersive live experience that is anchored by the pair’s background in club music, but also tentatively explores the worlds of krautrock, disco and house.

If that’s not your cup of tea, fear not as Darkside will be preceded by two bona fide legends in the shape of R&B pop queen Neneh Cherry, and (at the complete other end of the scale) Mancunian post-punk gods The Fall.

Elsewhere, the bill is bursting with some of Far Out’s favourite acts from this year and last, including the likes of Eagulls, The Wytches, Traams, Hookworms and British Sea Power – who will be performing the soundtrack to ‘From the Sea to the Land Beyond’ against a screening of the feature film.

The beauty of Beacons extends so far beyond the music though. There’s arts and crafts, thought provoking lectures and a roaming performance team, which attendees can expect to see popping up around any given corner over the weekend.

Add to that an envious selection of Yorkshire’s finest craft ale, a comprehensive menu of street food from some of the north’s most popular restaurateurs, and a wealth of family-friendly entertainment in the kids area and its not hard to see how Beacons is fast becoming one of the most anticipated events on the UK’s summer festival calendar.

Keep your eyes peeled this week for Far Out’s top ten acts not to be missed at this year’s Beacons Festival. See you in the Dales!

Patrick Davies

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