Summercamp Festival launches in Liverpool

Phoebe Hurst

Who says festivals have to be in fields? Summercamp takes over the Baltic Triangle with a mud-free programme of music, food and fun.

Utter the phrase “summer music festival” and even a drizzly Tuesday morning in November will be temporarily transformed by the memory of bucolic nights spent under the stars, beer tent close by, brilliant music closer still. And then reality bites: the inadequate tents, the mud and the ubiquitous festival toilet – those not-so-nice but apparently inescapable elements of the great British summer music festival. Thankfully, the folk behind Liverpool’s Summercamp Festival are on hand to challenge such festival preconceptions. Held during the August Bank Holiday weekend, the two-day Summercamp takes over Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle with live music, food stalls and a kids’ programme curated by Wild Rumpus. It may not offer an idyllic, countryside location but the Baltic Triangle does at least house Liverpool’s most exciting new creative enterprises (Camp and Furnace, we’re looking at you), while Summercamp’s line-up is a feast of cultural innovation that rivals the region’s big-name festivals. All this and you won’t even have to leave the city.

The Woodland Animal Disco offers prizes for “cubs with the best moves”

Established this year as part of Liverpool International Music Festival, Summercamp Festival engulfs Liverpool’s burgeoning cultural quarter with outdoor stages, markets and craft workshops. Several performances are also staged in warehouse-turned-event-space, Camp and Furnace. Musical headliners include post-dubstep duo Mount Kimbie, The Joy Formidable, Martha Wainwright and Manchester dance rock trio Delphic, fresh from their collaboration with an orchestra of world musicians at this year’s Manchester International Festival. Liverpool Biennial is on hand with its Experimental Music School, a programme of music-related children’s workshops that teaches budding rock stars how build their own instruments and record songs onto a CD and there’s a Woodland Animal Disco, complete with light-up dance floor and prizes for “cubs with the best moves.”

Speaking of cubs, Summercamp has set its stall out as one of the summer’s most kid-friendly festivals. Curated by Wild Rumpus, the people behind Just So Festival, a family programme runs throughout the two days and features lantern-making workshops, storytelling and a teddy bears’ picnic. One thing that’s not just for kids is the festival’s food programme which has been specially curated by Sunday Brunch’s Simon Rimmer and Steven Burgess, head chef at Camp and Furnace. Foodie delights include a street food market, a “gothic midnight feast” and a gourmet dinner by Great British Menu winner Glynn Purnell.

With Summercamp Festival’s all-encompassing programme and reasonable ticket prices, it’s possible to stay in the city and have your summer festival fix – without the worry of waking up in a damp tent.

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