The Most Far Out Festivals 2016: Our Best of the Best
Despite the passing of an abundance of cherished and influential musicians, actors and artists – on the whole it’s been a bloody good year here at the Far Out office, one of the highlights, like most years for us was festival season, when we can spend the summer months touring the country around some of the UK’s best sites and venues.
As is always fitting around this time of year, we’ve compiled a list, in no particular order, of our foremost and favourite, enjoy…
Sounds from the Other City
Multi-venue inner city festivals have always been something of an intrigue to us and the city of Salford’s Sounds from the Other City has kept us coming back for the past few years now.
Set against the backdrop of Salford’s iconic Chapel Street, SFTOC see promoters, labels collectives and club nights take up residency in venues across on the City’s historic corridor, to coordinate their own bespoke day/night of musical and entertainment.
Highlight’s this year came from Heavenly’s dwelling at The First Chop Brewing Arm, where sets from Far Out favourites Hooton Tennis Club and the Parrots set our weekend a blaze.
Green Man Festival
Tucked away in misty mountains in Brecon Beacons, Green Man Festival was truly alive this year with a multitude of musical variation, great food and drink and truly unique décor.
It was the festivals 14th year and all we can say is that this is a festival that simply gets better with age. Not only did the momentous line-up leave nothing to be desired, but the unique setting and multi-sensory pleasures left us never wanting this weekend to end.
Notable highlights for us were Aussie surf-metal outfit King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, who seem to mesmerise every time, their Thursday night set was just the ticket to kick-start the weekend.
Not even the rainy Welsh weather was going to spoil this one, as we got down to the likes of Moonlandingz and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
Belle and Sebastian topped off the proceedings as the onlookers observed the festival tradition of ‘the burning of the Green Man’ a spectacle that must be witnessed.
Y Not Festival
Set in the idyllic Derbyshire countryside far far away from well anything really, Y Not Festival provided us, yet again with the perfect combination of great music and quirky festival settings.
We did feel that Y Not had grown up this year – both in capacity and stature (the line-up definitely reflected that) – the team did a great job however of maintaining that ‘small’ and ‘intimate’ feel that everyone has come to love.
Aside from great music Y Not embodies a fringe festival type set-up, with many trippy and quirky bars, venues and other bit of randomness that kept us intrigued and entertained (we’re sure we saw a UFO on site one year!).
Musical highlights this year came in the form of a raucous and wild late night set from Yak, as well as a literally mind blowing performance from Sheffield new-comers Bang Bang Romeo on the newly acclaimed Jack Rocks stage, curated by This Feeling.
It’s hard to imagine the Far Out summer festival calendar without this little gem now, we’ll look forward to a beer in the Saloon again next year.
Next we reminisce about a truly unique little festival, that we simply could not believe was happening when we first got wind of it.
Set in and around the iconic Jodrell Bank Discovery observatory – once home to one of the largest telescopes in the world – The inaugural Bluedot Festival was a ‘mind-blowing discovery and a glut of undeniably great bands’.
Despite its abundant ‘family’ oriented vibe, this truly special little outing combined a potent blend of music, arts, science and technology, that saw that guy who makes science cool – Prof Brian Cox perform a set of mind-blowingly trippy techno.
Victoria Park in London played host again to one of our favourite parties of the year. East London was banging as festivals revellers descended on Hackney for two days of prime electronic music.
The big draw for this year’s rave-mecca was cult electro-rock icons LCD Soundsystem as they set off to tour round some of Europe’s biggest festivals. A truly triumphant performance reminded us that James Murphy and crew are far from past it.
Liverpool Sound City
It’s always a pleasure to attend Liverpool’s premier music festival, now situated in the iconic setting of the Mersey Docklands, and this year was no exception.
A truly touching tribute to Viola Beach – who were supposed to be playing the festival – saw organiser play out recordings of late band’s final gigs, out of all the Viola Beach homages we saw this past year, this had to be best.
A soaring and most wild set from Sleaford Mods stood out for us, those boys know how to smash it!
This year we also returned to another city centre festival with plenty of musical heritage hosted in a city that boasts even more.
It’s guaranteed every year, that rain or shine, Sheffield’s Tramlines brings about a carnival like atmosphere that sees revellers partying in the streets till the early hours.
And of course this year was no exception, as we look back at this outing fondly, reminiscing on the sheers debauchery bought about from crawling from one late night venue to the next until the sun came up.
Dot to Dot
Few festivals manage to span three separate cities, and even few manage to do it with the grace and precision that Dot to Dot manages each year.
Whether it was the Manchester, Bristol or Nottingham set up you managed to get to this year, we’re sure you weren’t disappointed, we for one were certainly not.
We were lucky enough to experience the Manchester incarnation this year, that has been relocated from Oxford Road, to its new home in the Northern Quarter.
And we’ve got to say this was a smart move. The NQ seems to embody a lot the things that make this festival a great little adventure out, from the vast array of iconic venues to the street party type vibe that’s it’s close nit little streets give off.