I have heard many a music fan say the European festival scene is oversaturated. It’s not.
There may be endless choice and lineups that seem to be more or less identical, but at least we have the luxury of that choice. As for the artists that seem to frequent the festival circuit, well, wouldn’t you revel at the opportunity to travel to all manner of special places and give people a damn good time, all whilst earning a living? They’re on the bill because they always deliver.
It’s a roundabout way to start an article, but it got me thinking about what sets some festivals apart in an increasingly competitive market. Then I thought of Lost Village.
Does what it says on the tin
Tucked away in an idyllic Lincolnshire forest, the location even boasts a lake aptly named ‘The Lake of Tranquility’. This provides revellers a perfect place to relax during the daytime and hosts an incredible fireworks display on the final evening.
Yet the festival is so much more than a great location. What sets Lost Village apart and incidentally, won it 2017’s ‘Best Small Festival’ title in the UK Festival Awards, is everything it encompasses, everything it stands for.
Lost Village promises an ‘immersive festival experience’. I know, we’ve heard it all before. Boutique is perhaps the choice word at the minute, banded around with carelessness in an effort to pull in ticket sales. On this front, Lost is as genuine as they come. It’s a festival that goes above and beyond to making it something you’ll remember forever, achieving what all great festivals should, well and truly detaching you from society and throwing you into a cornucopia of hedonism.
The devil is in the detail
Watching everyone’s favourite Robot Wars presenter delivering a masterful set of soul and funk to a euphoric sun-drenched crowd whilst sat in a disused sports car in the middle of a forest. A long sentence yes, but the breathlessness is fitting for such an occasion.
You see it’s the small things that build up Lost Village’s absorbing nature. Abandoned cars, ’80s arcade games, bathtubs, lakeside hot tubs, yoga, tree swings, sofas, a tent dedicated to classic anthems, the list continues to roll on. But the attention to detail is epitomised with a charming storyline that is told throughout the festival by professional actors, who run, interact, scare and storm around the festival site for its entirety, for they are the village’s ‘native inhabitants’.
Some may scoff at such seemingly bombastic irrelevancies, yet encountering a midnight fairy dance in the woodland when you’ve had a few too many shandies is something quite magical. Lost Village have gone one step further than most and engineered their festival to have a presence of its own.
Quite the experience
Besides the incredible lineup that boasts both bands and electronic artists – take Friendly Fires and Four Tet as shining examples – Lost Village provides a plethora of live interviews and talks from artists and promoters across the music industry. This insightful touch is matched by its lineup of comedians, who ramble away throughout the day whilst some take the hedonism further with creative workshops and archery.
And it wouldn’t be a festival without food. Aside from the numerous street food vendors dotted throughout, one of Lost’s great triumphs is their ‘Tribal Banquet’. Held on a huge banqueting table, the UK’s youngest Michelin-starred chef and owner of 2017’s best restaurant in the world, Tommy Banks will serve up another feast to remember. Add to the bill Hawksmoor and Dishoom and you have a somewhat unbeatable culinary lineup.
Be it music, food, staging, storylines or whatever else gets you going, Lost Village have poured every ounce of effort into providing your every festival want and need. Hyperbolic no, honest yes.
5 Artists You Can’t Miss
Ahead of the bank holiday weekend frivolities, give some time to the lineup because picking just five from an outrageous bill was downright painful. Here are this year’s five sets to catch.
1. Honey Dijon
The Chicago native has become a name synonymous with dancefloor revelry. Perhaps it’s what you’d expect from someone born and raised in the city of house, yet her style and taste reaches much further. Not afraid of shaking things up, Honey can be relentless in her delivery and it is that very spontaneity that can enchant. Her vivacious aura behind the decks and cunning mixing skills all point to one thing at this year’s Lost Village, you’re in for a damn good ride.
2. Friendly Fires
Ahh yes, the good old indie days of the noughties where the UK Top 40 actually had some half decent sounds, what a time to be alive. Friendly Fires were well and truly a part of it all. From ‘Paris’ to their newest single ‘Love Like Waves’, they have retained their identity as merrymaking entertainers. Lead singer Ed Macfarlane’s recognisably clean and emotionful vocals are only going to deliver at Lost. It will be a sweet, sweet slice of indie nostalgia, but don’t rule out sampling some promising new material.
If ever there was a DJ built for the summer, it’s Folamour. Besides his gloriously frivolous disco productions befitting of a sun-drenched forest, his passion at the helm of a party is captivating. The Frenchman is fast becoming a disco favourite and don’t be surprised to see him much higher on the bills next summer. If you want a woodland frolic to a catalogue of dancefloor whoppers, Folamour’s your man.
4. Jordan Rakei
Flippin’ek. This guy is a talent. The Kiwi already has two exceptional albums behind him, as well as a couple of ongoing side projects that explore his experimentations with electronica (including his Rhythm Section-signed moniker, Dan Kye). He’ll be performing as himself at Lost and his blend of melancholia, jazz and sublime vocals will enamour. You really can’t not like Rakei.
5. Helena Hauff
Rough. Uncompromising. Intense. There you have it, the breakbeat Queen, Helena Hauff. Albeit three adjectives don’t do her justice, yet it is hard to capture the fervent energy the German manages to conjure with her techno and dark wave cuts. Her sound is certainly unique, and there are few others capable of rallying a crowd into a rabid frenzy quite like Hauff. If you’re looking for Lost Village’s dark side, this girl is Vader.
Lost Village takes place on August 23-26.
More info and tickets here.
Words: Samuel Asquith
Featured Images: Fabian Hammer, Cutler and Gross, Fanatic