Music in the Moors: Beacons Festival

Phoebe Hurst
Beacons Festival, Heslaker Farm Skipton, music festivals

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.

Culture Guides

Theatre in Manchester and the North


Queer Contact Festival, stunning physical theatre and intimate in-the-round performance top our eclectic list of drama, comedy and dance this month.

Classical Music

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Food and Drink

Start 2023 as you mean to go on, with the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North.


Black and white classics and a Tarantino-scripted pop-thriller are amongst our Valentine’s themed picks for February.


The world of art and exhibitions never quite stops, so we have lots of new shows to look forward to at the start of 2023.

Cardboard Carnival at The Edge


New year, new start, and what better way to welcome in 2023 than by planning and experiencing all sorts of exciting family events in Manchester and the North?

Gwendoline Riley. Photo by Adrian Lourie


Live literature land welcomes in 2023 with lots lined up in Manchester and beyond, from book launches and bookshop openings to prize-winning poets and award-laden authors sharing their secrets and stories.


More brilliant gigs appear on the horizon as we inch further into 2023.

Tours and Activities

New years are for new experiences, and we have a whole lot of ideas to inspire you as 2023 gets underway.

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
The Nature of Forgetting at The Lowry
Theatre Until 31 January 2023, from £16.00

The Nature of Forgetting at The Lowry

Activity Until 3 February 2023, from £30.00

Baumka Conscious Clubbing at Victoria Warehouse

Activity Until 8 February 2023, from £170.00

Drawing course with Nina Hunter

Music Until 16 February 2023, from £9.50

Donna Candy at SOUP

vegan super club
Activity Until 17 February 2023, from £50

Supper Club at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School

Exhibitions Until 18 February 2023, FREE

The Confessional at HOME

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME
Festivals Until 18 February 2023,

PUSH Festival 2023 at HOME

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside
Families Until 19 February 2023, from £14.00

The Singing Mermaid at Waterside CANCELLED

Activity Until 23 February 2023, from £59.99

Write Like A Grrrl: Ignite

Activity Until 25 February 2023, from £13

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House Tour