Bearded Theory Sunday 2015 – pirates, beards and bands

Sun­day is unabashed­ly fun day at Beard­ed The­o­ry. Pro­ceed­ings kick off with Mr Moti­va­tor and a mass exer­cise ses­sion at the Wood­land stage at the unearth­ly hour of 12 noon, and the place is packed out – Mr Moti­va­tor’s appeal is clear­ly undimmed. There’s so much to cel­e­brate today. First­ly those threat­en­ing rain­clouds are beat­ing a retreat. It’s also Pirate…

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Summer in the city: festivals with urban appeal

Fes­ti­vals are going through big changes and the new­er breed of events are more often tak­ing place in the very cities we’re usu­al­ly so keen to escape from.The for­mu­la we’ve tra­di­tion­al­ly enjoyed, three days or so camped out in the fields of an oblig­ing farmer with enough bands and DJs to keep you hap­py, has shift­ed to encom­pass a new…

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Review: SHHH quiet music festival in Hampstead

As far as fes­ti­vals are con­cerned, win­ter is the new sum­mer.  Take SHHH Qui­et music fes­ti­val organ­ised by The Local.TV and visu­al artist Luke Drozd – a musi­cal feast last­ing from noon to near­ly mid­night, in a cosy church in north Lon­don. SHHH is now in it’s 8th year, with much involve­ment from music pro­mot­er and…

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Review: Festival No 6 2014 at Portmeirion

Port­meiri­on is awe-inspir­ing on even the gloomi­est, most driz­zly day in Jan­u­ary. So last week­end’s vision of the Ital­ianate vil­lage set against a blue sky, fizzing with all the music, ener­gy and colour of Fes­ti­val No 6 2014, made it even more spec­tac­u­lar. The com­bi­na­tion of Port­meiri­on’s ridicu­lous­ly seduc­tive charms com­bined with the glow of the Indi­an summer…

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Review: Towersey Folk Festival Saturday 2014

Guid­ed into my park­ing space by a con­voy of friend­ly, and most­ly old­er, stew­ards, I’m struck by how well organ­ised Tow­ersey Fes­ti­val is. Although to be fair, they’ve had plen­ty of prac­tice, as this year marks Tow­ersey’s 50th Birth­day cel­e­bra­tion. Tow­ersey Fes­ti­val is an insti­tu­tion on the local cal­en­dar, with a ded­i­cat­ed and enthu­si­as­tic fan base, many of whom arrive ear­ly on the first…

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Ealing Jazz Festival 2014

Eal­ing and its jazz and blues fes­ti­vals have been a sum­mer­time fix­ture over the years at beau­ti­ful Wal­pole Park. I’ve attend­ed the last two Blues fes­ti­vals (read Eal­ing Blues 2013) but this time round we rolled up for the final Jazz day. I won­der if the organ­is­ers have a pact with the weath­er gods? Each time I’ve been to…

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Review: BST Hyde Park Barclaycard, Arcade Fire

The hottest day of the year turned into a beau­ti­ful evening, and at Hyde Park, Arcade Fire gave a tru­ly inspired per­for­mance. No doubt the band were mak­ing sure that this, their last night of the suc­cess­ful Reflek­tor tour, would be one for us, and them, to remem­ber. Win But­ler was more engag­ing, and more humor­ous, than…

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King of the Mountains: a music festival for the Tour de France

York­shire has nev­er been shy of blow­ing its own trum­pet. “God’s own coun­ty” (coun­try?) and all that, as its cit­i­zens nev­er tire of remind­ing us. So it was fair­ly inevitable that the first stage of the Tour de France hap­pen­ing on God’s own doorstep – Leeds to be more pre­cise – would her­ald an extravaganza…

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