Beat-Herder music festival marks 10th birthday

This year Ribble Valley music festival Beat-Herder is celebrating its 10th birthday.

Friday, 10th April 2015, 3:43 pm
The Fortress at last year's Beat-Herder festival. (s)

A landmark anniversary, it marks Beat-Herder’s journey from humble free party origins to an annual three-day 12,000 capacity bonanza with a legion of devout fans.

Described by The Guardian as “wonderfully barmy and typically northern”, The Beat-Herder Festival is a rare find in today’s climate: a staunchly independent festival that stays true to its roots, completely shunning all corporate sponsorship or branding.

Over the last decade, Beat-Herder has come to be known for its unrivalled attention to detail when building the site. Built entirely from scratch by hand, the festival houses all manner of surprises at every twist and turn.

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Each year unexpected new areas magically appear for festival-goers to stumble upon. Last year’s new additions included a swimming pool in the woods, housed in a Scandinavian style wooden cabin, complete with changing rooms and lifeguards and The Ring, a huge earth mound with a Stonehenge-esque entrance.

This year Beat-Herder was crowned winner of the Extra Festival Activity Award at the UK Festival Awards, an award that recognises events that paid that extra bit of attention to detail that creates a magical and unforgettable festival experience.

And the first names for the special 10th anniversary edition of the festival have just been announced with Basement Jaxx headlining the festival on Friday. The dance floor conquering duo’s prolific output over the last 10 years is responsible for shaping UK dance music as we know it today. Considered by many to be national treasures, their back catalogue contains hit after hit and they were among the first to bring dance music to the mainstream with their progressive yet accessible sound.

Joining them are Saturday headliners, electro swing kings the Parov Stelar Band. Beat-Herder was the very first UK festival to debut the beloved Austrian pioneer of the electro swing movement, Parov Stelar, back in 2012 and the crowds have been crying out for his infectious and incendiary show with full live band ever since. Also confirmed are true Motown legends Martha and the Vandellas, who are playing a rare UK date following a worldwide tour last year in honour of the 50th anniversary of their signature track Dancing in the Street.

The street at last year's Beat-Herder festival. (s)

The traditionally dance-focussed Toil Trees stage will play host to the likes of legendary DJs like Andrew Weatherall and Paul Woolford, Krysko and Dirtybird stalwarts Catz ‘n Dogz and emerging star Shiba San.

Old friends and original headliners of the very first Beat-Herder Festival, dub legends Dreadzone are also confirmed to return a decade later for the tenth anniversary.

The 2015 line up so far includes: Basement Jaxx, Parov Stelar Band, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Catz ‘n Dogz, Shiba San, Paul Woolford, Andrew Weatherall, Plump DJs, Vanilla Ace, Dreadzone, Utah Saints, The Lancashire Hotpots, Krysko, Greg Lord, Mooqee, Jeramiah Ferrari, Moose Funk Squad, Horse Party, Captain Hotknives, Good Foxy, Eddie Earthquake and the Tremors, Ed Stones and the BD3s.

l A second wave of names has just been announced, including founding fathers of hip hop, Sugarhill Gang & The Furious Five ft Melle Mel and Scorpio. Famed for “Rappers Delight” the pioneering trio were responsible for introducing the genre to a generation. They are joined on the main stage by Beat-Herder favourites Dub Pistols, electronic group K-Klass, and the Freestylers who will bring their original dose of bass and breakbeats. Also appearing is long term Warp Records producer Nightmares on Wax, who helped define the early days of Warp with his experimental techno sound. Joining the lineup are old Beat-Herder friends Mr Scruff & MC Kwasi, who’ll be performing in The Woods, alongside PBR Streetgang, and Paul Hartnoll, one half of the legendary Orbital, who will appear as new outfit 8:58.

The swimming pool at last year's Beat-Herder festival. (s)

Sam & The Womp will headline the much loved WMC (Working Men’s Club), Richard Norris of The Grid headlines The Perfumed Garden, The Mouse Outfit will take to the main stage, as well as headlining the Smoky Tentacles.

Eat Static, winner of two International Breakspoll Awards Marten Hørger and Orbital’s Phil Hartnoll will play The Fortress.

Radio 1 and 1Xtra favourite MistaJam will play in The Ring alongside Zion Train, Dutty Moonshine, Featurecast, and Loo & Placido.

Since its inception a couple of years back, The Maison D’Etre has been playing host to some of the most hotly tipped emerging artists and this year will prove to continue that tradition. Channelling a rural French peasant chic, with quaint shutters and washing lines, the Maison D’Etre will provide an intimate setting to see the next big things including Ghost Culture, Blaenavon, Port Isla, Boxed In, Telegraph, Miaoux Miaoux and more.

The woods at last year's Beat-Herder festival. (s)