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Field Report #10: From The Baltics To Blackheath To Back in The Day

Festival season, like an impending wave of low pressure threatening to burst our river banks, is upon us. And to get our taste buds tingling, organisers have been chomping at the bit to let you know of their exclusive headline acts ready to define our summers. These days, the great line-up announcement has become a bit of a furore in itself, with countdowns a-plenty smattering Twitter feeds and Facebook pages alike, battling for your precious £65.95 + booking fee.

For the tenth instalment of your favourite summertime round up, we’re casting our net further than ever to find out what festival news you should be saving to memory this week.

First off let’s take a trip to Latvia who this week adorned us with the news of Postivitus Festival, the largest music festival of the Baltic states. Headliner slot will be taken gracefully by electronic legends Kraftwerk, who will be supported by high chart hitters Bastille and Ellie Goulding. The rest if the line up is a tasty smorgasbord of European indie pop, Baltic folk and your next favourite unknown band. Postivitus promises to be more than just music though, with a beefy line up of theatre, live art and circus to make this Latvian excursion one to remember.

Continuing our Eastern European extravaganza now to Hungary’s Sziget Festival, which this week announced more additions. Outkast, the world’s hardest working hip hop band will be heading things up as well as Wild Beasts and Mount Kimbie. Previous announcements include a huge line up ranging from Queens of The Stoneage to Laidback Luke, although I can’t quite picture Josh Homme losing his marbles to EDM.  Non-musical attractions to Sziget include sports tournaments and live theatre for kids, forget Tenerife, pack the whole family to Sziget this summer!

Looking closer to home now as this week saw the announcement of what might just become my new favourite festival. On Blackheath, taking place in the City of London this September comes at a perfect time to wash away those summertime hangovers. Line up features unique London performances from Massive Attack and Frank Turner as well as soulful hippie types Hiatus Kaiyote as well as Anushka and Zara McFarlane who will be featured on the Gilles Peterson Worldwide stage. On Blackheath isn’t all about the music though, as 8 world famous chefs including Gizzi Erksine will be ‘performing’ and teaching you how to spice up your suppers. And for only £99 for the weekend, your ears and stomachs have no excuse but attend the On Blackheath this September.

Finally now, for my favourite festival pick of the week. Normally I would go for something more akin to On Blackheath (see above), however this week, something very special was announced. This July, in deepest darkest Guildford, at a festival know more commonly as ‘Guilfest’ a very special act will be headlining. The Sugarhill Gang. Yes, the hip hop legends will be taking to the stage to enthral our home counties’ brethren. I’m not sure whether Surrey has quite the right demographic for hip hop, however it will undoubtedly be a highlight of everyone’s summer. When those first piano chords bang out from Rapper’s delight, even the most conservative members amongst us will be grooving.  Altogether now; ‘I said a Hip, Hop, A hippie…’

- Liz Ward



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