Music in the Moors: Beacons Festival

Phoebe Hurst

The festival returns to Heslaker Farm next month for another weekend of music, food and film.

It’s hard to argue with Beacon Festival‘s status as top dog in the North’s festival circuit. With big name bands and local favourites, gourmet burgers and Indian eatables and a lively yet intimate capacity of 2500, the North Yorkshire weekend manages to cover all the summer festival bases with equal panache. Still only in its second year after replacing the Moor Music Festival, Beacons is not one to rest on its laurels and this year’s programme has enough to tempt foodies, families and music fans alike.

Taking over Heslaker Farm near Skipton, the festival’s musical line up easily matches its idyllic surroundings. Leeds DJ, Bonobo headlines Friday’s Loud and Quiet stage alongside Ghostpoet and electro pop crafters, Vondelpark whilst Saturday’s programme features Local Natives and Manchester stalwarts, Dutch Uncles. Beacons Festival saves the best ‘til last though and Sunday sees performances from Mercury Music Prize nominees Django Django, Detroit rapper Danny Brown and a DJ set from SBTRKT. It’s a cornucopia of musical goodness to please even the most discerning muso.

This year’s programme has enough to tempt foodies, families and music fans alike

As well as tending to the ears, Beacons is keen to keep festival-goers’ hands busy too. The Things to Make and Do tent runs ‘zine making workshops and yoga sessions and, if you’re feeling inspired by the pastoral surrounds, artist Kyle Bean demonstrates how to create carved portraits from reclaimed pieces of wood. Ben Wheatley’s already cult-status black comedy Sightseers will be showing, followed by a Q&A session with actors Alice Lowe and Steve Oram, meanwhile the Beacons Boutique houses screen-printing stalls and a vintage clothing fair.

And the food? A host of handpicked vendors including El Kantina and Dough Boys deliver innovative street food and Whitelocks Real Ale, who boast the impressive accolade of being “the oldest and most established real ale house in Leeds,” serve local ale and craft beers from their spacious tipi. Unsurprisingly, tickets for this music, food and arts extravaganza are selling fast. Beacons really does make this summer festival thing look easy.

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