I don't know about you, but Festival season hasn't been too cheery thus far, has it? Whilst Hackney Weekend was a star studded success, both Isle of Wight and T in The Park struggled in my eyes - mostly due to the awful weather, but also due to line up's heavy with pop and the same recycled festival acts.
That said, August is set to be a lot more promising, and I'm not just talking about the weather forecasts. It seems that in the world of festivals, the way to go is smaller rather than bigger, focusing on the quality of the acts rather than digging out decrepid crowd pleasers to make money. And this is where Beacons really stands out. With it's art installations, craft classes and bespoke food all set to a backdrop of rolling Yorkshire Hills of Skipton, it is more Latitude than T4 on The Beach. At £84.50 for the full three day weekend, it's a damn sight more reasonable that it's competitors too. And, if you're REALLY hardcore (like me), it's also the perfect warm up to the Reading and Leeds weekend, kicking off the Thursday before.
Naturally, festival atmosphere and surroundings has a lot to answer for, but it is generally the bands that determine whether you are to part with your well earned cash. So what does Beacons have in the way of music that you simply must see? Well, for your listening pleasure, I have put together a list of the bands I'll hopefully be catching at the festivial. Don't say I never give you anything, eh?
An act I've been meaning to see for quite some time now, Ghostpoet will be putting in an appearance on the Saturday as warm up for Wild Beasts, his woozy trip-hop not a million miles away from their dark atmoshperics, despite the differing genres. Survive It should be something rather special in the dark.
If oddly euphoric melancholy is more your thing, Arthur Beatrice may be up your street. Perilously difficult to google, their sound varies song to song, but Midland seems to sum them up best - mysterious 80's flecked indie. If I'm not explaining this very well, maybe you should just try them out for yourself.
I discovered Clock Opera only afrer realising I'd missed them at Dot to Dot Festival, so Beacons is the perfect excuse for me to catch back up with them. If you like Local Natives or Grizzly Bear, they are a must - pretty and slow burning Belongings is likely to be an emotionally charged 'moment' live.
Whatever Los Campesinos recommend, I am sure to like. Such is the case with their much bigged up tour mates Tall Ships. Chemistry is pretty summative of what they do, both in sound and visual aesethetic - gloriously D.I.Y, itchy math rock that twists and turns when you least expect it.
To round off the top ten, here is another guy I'm really backing. Kwes properly impressed me at Dot to Dot, and is a perfect, gentle bridge gapper for anyone who wants to start getting into electronically influenced music, but doesn't know where to start. Considering when I last saw him, there were only about 10 other people in the room, here's Beacons brings him the crowd he deserves.
Beacons Festival takes place on the Funkirk Estate in Skipton between August 17th and 19th. Weekend Tickets are priced at £84.50. For more information, visit http://www.greetingsfrombeacons.com/