Exploring one of the UK's most unique festivals...
Beat-Herder 2016

If you’ve never been to Beat-Herder festival, and you’re currently wondering whether to snatch one of the final few tickets, then you might first be tempted to ask: “So, who’s playing?”

To worry about such trivial matters as the actual bill is to miss the whole point of Beat-Herder festival, which is less a music festival and more a giant playground for adults that also happens to be populated by such wildly varied acts as James, Todd Terje, Donovan and Dub Pistols.

Music aside, here are five things to see at Beat-Herder that are worth your ticket price many times over:

1. Illustrious Society
This is one of at least two new areas at the festival this year. Its exact location is yet to be revealed, but its dress code already has been. Ritzy attire only, please, for this exclusive ladies’ and gentlemen’s dance hall which has arrived at Beat-Herder having been very successfully trialed as an underground party at Beat-Herder HQ between festivals.

2. Beat-Herder and District Working Men’s Club
The antithesis of the Illustrious Society and the other end of the Beat-Herder class divide. ‘Party like it’s 1973’, ‘please do not look at the beermats’, and other such sensible rules help to keep this most traditional Beat-Herder tent in good order. Cabaret acts and covers bands of all kinds play to this dedicated replica of an actual working men’s club, leaving all the cutting edge dance music to other, less retro, stages.

3. Beat-Herder Parish Church
Every year, this tiny wooden church plays host to a raving congregation throughout the festival, but the Sunday Service is the real hit - a chaotic singalong to pop songs through the ages. It’s proved so popular that the choir even run a service on the Saturday, because taking a break from chunky beats to collectively scream through California Dreamin’ is not just for the Sabbath.

4. Swimming Pool
Because, seriously, how many other British festivals have bothered to build an indoor swimming pool in the woods?

5. New Mystery Area
At the time of writing, all we can say about one of the new additions to the Beat-Herder festival landscape is this: Warm up your legwarmers and stretch your dancing muscles, because you’re going to need them.

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Beat-Herder runs between July 15th - 17th.

Words: Kate Wellham

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