We have witnessed some of the most bonkers family (and yes also dad dancing) ever known to humankind while enjoying the glorious Footlights music line-up at Just So. This year, yet again, there is more talent than you can shake a stick at ensuring that families too get to take part in incredible live music experiences.
Headliners include Manchester’s finest “folk-hop and barrel-house pop” band Honeyfeet (whose new album Orange Whip was recent album of the day on BBC 6 Music), legendary Leeds –based troubadour Gary Stewart recreating Paul Simon’s landmark Graceland album with his 7-piece band, and famous anarchic hoe-down and Ceilidh squad Cut A Shine.
Our other top picks include progressive brass from Perhaps Contraption, the infectious Voodoo Love Orchestra, folk rock from Holy Moly and the Crackers, moustache-powered troubadours Biscuithead and the Biscuit Badgers and good-time-gang Thingumabob & The Thingumajigs. Let your imaginations soar with award-winning musician David Gibb who will be performing toe-tapping songs from recent new album Climb That Tree. Boogie to diverse sounds from Don Kipper, joyous pop from Alphabet Backwards, British-Americana from A Different Thread, top tunes from Manchester’s vintage band The Retrosettes and more folk from The Shackleton Trio and The Carry Nations.
The live music programme at Just So weaves seamlessly into the whole ethos of surprising new experiences at the festival. We’re intrigued by mini musical circus experience 12-piece The Roustabouts and an interactive concert from clarinettist and composer Arun Ghosh too. Not to mention special guests from this impressive music line up in acoustic sets at the campfire each evening and new alt-folk duo Stables in the Woodland Theatre.
Dancing can continue at the nearby Flamingo Lounge with Swing Circus and Film Dance performances and workshops led by Stephen Salinger and Lana Williams (choreographer for Strictly no less), 80s Anthems Yoga, Remix Reeling – a ceilidh with beats and bass from Cut A Shine. There are both silent and loud discos here too from Our Kids Social and DJs galore ….. phew.
We love that at festivals bedtime rules can be thrown out of the window a little – there’s nothing better than collapsing exhausted to sleep under the stars after a big old boogie together.