Beatherder's Fortress stage is an eco-friendly rave refuge for some of the world's biggest DJs

The Fortress is made with rescued and re-cycled scrap metal.
The Fortress is made with rescued and re-cycled scrap metal.

It towers sixty feet into the Ribble Valley sky, has corrugated steel for walls and four ferocious fire-toting ramparts.

The Fortress Stage, with bass bins loud enough to drown out the roar of a Jumbo Jet, is the rave refuge of Beat-Herder’s dance revellers.

Since 2013, the monstrous construction, operating day and night during the award-winning Ribble Valley festival, has hosted some of the biggest DJs on the planet.

But most of The Fortress is made with rescued and re-cycled scrap metal.

“We were driving to the Beat-Herder site on the A59 and a scrap lorry was coming the other way, so we thought this was too good an opportunity to miss,” said Beat-Herder co- founder Ian Foxon.

“So, we followed him to the scrapyard and got the lot for £200, so one of Beat-Herder’s busiest stages is built on wrinkly tin.

“Some of it was used for lambing pens, and the wood is old marquee flooring and timber.

“We just chopped it up and made it look nice.”

House legends Terry Farley, Burnley’s Paul Taylor and ex Hacienda DJ Tom Wainwright provide three of the top DJ acts this year.

“When we discussed building it, we knew it had to be a big construction and the Fortress is like the throb of an engine,” said Ian’s brother Jamie, also a co-founder of the festival.

“I remember it opening, stood at the top of the hill when the gates opened, and hundreds of ravers poured into the Fortress.

“There was a big countdown, using the Death Star track from Star Wars.

“ and as soon as the music started the place erupted.

“It was quite emotional to see because you never know how a new stage will go down with the audience, but it was full until mid-night on Sunday.”

Read-based Ian Bland conquered the world with Dream Frequency’s floor filler, Feel So Real, and the master mixer returns with a box full of tunes on the Factory stage.

And with dance anthem kings Shades of Rhythm headlining the same venue on the closing day, Sunday, July 14, it promises to be a journey back in time to the old school.

“I don’t know what it is, but Sunday at Beat-Herder seems to have a secret recipe – I call it goose-bumps day,” said co- founder Nick Chambers.

“The sun always seems to shine, and everybody is a proper Beat-Herder resident by Sunday.

“It is the opposite of the sadness of going home.

“It will definitely be a hands-in-the-air day, some head down raving.”