A slightly more curveball structure for this review…
The reason being, when I’m trying to decide which festival to attend, I often can’t be bothered reading a cohesive, eloquent essay that someone has put together quite beautifully. I mean no disrespect, I love the nostalgia a piece of post-festival prose evokes. But this review is intended to lay bare the festival simply and honestly, in a format that can provide clarity to those deciding whether to attend next year.
When I’m deciding whether to attend a festival, I want to know the basics. I want to know if the sound was roaring, I want to know if the setting lent itself to the music, I want to know how the crowd felt, and crucially, I want to know if I am going to have to bring my own toilet roll.
So, Lost Village 2018…
Overall rating: 9/10
Lost Village achieves everything it sets out to be. From sound to staging to food to theatrics, Lost Village throws it all your way. A storyline played out by professional actors that runs throughout the festival may sound like an unnecessary (and somewhat cringeworthy) aspect, but Lost Village makes it work. Festivals are supposed to detach you from reality, and in this case, it wholly works. Music, food, comedy, insight and drink all combine to provide a perfect cornucopia of hedonism.
The basics: 9/10
One fret many people have about attending festivals is the hygiene of the toilets. No matter, every day at Lost Village would see a portaloo cleaned and replenished, squeaky bums in the best possible sense. As for the food, exceptional. Drinks, I realise it’s a logistical issue, but at least give us a few more choices on the beer front. Regardless, the lager was marvellous and it was always cold.
Pricing: 7/10 (Festivals are what festivals are…)
For what Lost Village sets out to achieve, it achieves it. There are no avant-garde artistic intentions aside from the charming storyline, just fun, theatrics and fireworks. Industry insight came from the likes of Peggy Gou, who spoke of her desire to establish a label exporting Korean talent and Dixon of his unexpected role in GTA. Staging? Impeccable. Intertwined in grasping woodland and decked with disused cars, Lost Village provides the stage for whatever you want the festival to become.
Attention to detail: 10/10
Talks & Insight: 8/10
From indie nostalgia in the shape of Friendly Fires and Everything Everything, to techno masterclasses from Helena Hauff and Daniel Avery. There was also the small matter of a spectrum of the finest and most promising disco and house artists. Plus, the charismatic and extraordinary talent that is Kojey Radical.
Dan Shake delved into the recesses of funk; Jordan Rakei soothed souls; Krystal Klear evoked ecstasy; Kiasmos wooed; and inevitably, Hunee scorched us with brilliance. Yet it was the French marvel that gained raptures, Folamour.
The music was incredible, the artists were on form and the crowds reciprocated. Every artist seemed to embrace Lost Village to its fullest, and that is testament enough in itself. Exceptional.
Diversity of sound: 8/10
Chance of discovering a new gem: 9/10
Oh, how we danced! Mud, sweat and tears. From young to old, it was all on show at this year’s edition. And no complaints, just a communal sense of genuine enjoyment. Well played Lost Village, well played.
Crowd satisfaction: 9/10
All in all…
It is no fluke that it won ‘Small Festival of the Year’ at last year’s UK Festival Awards. Lost Village is a place where the outside world bares no relevance. It is an environment where people feel habitually entitled to have fun. It is a special place that doesn’t try too hard to be something it can’t achieve. I tell you what, it’s a bloody good festival, that’s what it is.
Artist you’ll see a lot more of: Folamour
Moment of the weekend: You all had your own (But Helena Hauff dancing in the crowd with a Gandalf staff also stands out)
Set of the weekend: Helena Hauff
Words: Samuel Asquith
Featured Images: Andrew Whitton, Samantha Milligan, Gilles Smith