Festival season is firmly on the horizon and Getintothis’ Lucy McLachlan brings us a sneak preview into one of the UK’s best.
Crowned 2017’s Best Small Festival at the NME Awards for the second year running, the independently run End of the Road festival is back for it’s thirteenth edition at Larmer Tree Gardens in Dorset.
The beautiful site in Tollard Royal was created in 1880 as a pleasure grounds for ‘public enlightenment and entertainment’, which seems fitting for this small independent gem of a festival.
The festival organisers aim to provide a line up of equal male and female fronted acts, and this year sees Vampire Weekend go up against St Vincent, Feist and Yo La Tengo alongside This Is The Kit, Sunflower Bean and Ariel Pink.
The acts are picked as having valued great songwriting and for devoting themselves to folk, rock and artistic creation. But it’s not just about the music! There is also a Comedy Stage and a literature line up where authors will read and discuss their work over coffee at the Library Stage.
Being an Eco-Friendly festival, End of the Road supports organisations such as Festival Wood, where instead of a being charged a ‘transaction fee’ when booking your ticket you can instead buy a tree which goes towards replanting Ancient Woodlands in Scotland. A novel idea.
They also look to reduce the amount of discarded rubbish on site at the end of the festival where any belongings left over after are donated to refugee aid charities, plus any food waste is turned into compost and unused food gets sent straight to a local homeless shelter. The way it should be!
Already announced acts in what looks to be an incredible line up include Ezra Furman, John Cale, Fat White Family, Oh Sees and Gruff Rhys, with Protomartyr, IDLES, Shame, The Orielles, Boy Azooga and Hookworms.
Here are our 8 picks from this year’s line up:
Annie Clark comes equipped with newest album, her ‘deepest and boldest work’, Masseducation. Her recent tour created a huge buzz with some striking visuals and outrageous costumes, so we’re hoping this set is going to be one not to miss out on.
The John Dwyer fronted garage rock giants are back with another name change and by the time the festival comes round, a new album. We’ll get to hear Smote Reverser just after it’s mid August release on Castle Face.
Their set at 2016’s End of the Road festival was known for being pretty wild and frenzied, we’re hoping for more of the same please.
London political punks Shame are still riding high off the back of their first release Songs of Praise, which has recently seen them touring the world.
They bring along the high powered, rowdy, electric live show they’ve become known for to some lovely peaceful gardens in Wiltshire…
Shannon & The Clams
Garage punk quartet Shannon and the Clams hail from California with a fifties doo wop meets sixties pop sound and an energetic, vibrant live show to match.
Their fifth album Onion, released earlier this year is said to be a tribute to the Ghost Ship warehouse fire that shook the Oakland underground arts and music scene last year.
The beloved Liverpool based trio bring their Suffragette Tribute to Dorset, first debuted at Sound City and in partnership with Brighter Sound and Edge Hill University, they’re bringing together a parade of female percussionists and dancers for a performance celebrating women and inspired by the suffragette movement.
The buzz surrounding New Yorkers Sunflower Bean this year had been incredible, from the recent release Twenty-two in Blue to near full capacity UK shows, if you haven’t heard of these guys yet, where have you been?!
We expect this set to be packed out and full of that New York swagger.
Michelle Zauner’s lo fi solo project brought quite the interest at their show in EBGBs at the end of last year.
With the second album Soft Sounds From Another Planet which apparently started life as a sci-fi musical brought together with her onstage charm and warmth for uniting the crowd this could be a little gem of a set.
This solo project centred around sobriety came about when songwriter and musician Saul Adamczewski got kicked out of Fat White Family (also on the bill this weekend) for long standing drug issues.
Collaborating with other well known artists such as the Black Lips and Sean Lennon, you get gritty pop combined with a tinny drum machine and some wonderfully imaginative lyrics.