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Preview: Beat-Herder Festival 2017

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By Neil Harrison

Described as the best party you’ve never been to, Beat-Herder Festival is back with a bang for 2017. As those in the know will testify, this gem of a shindig, pitching up for its 12th year in the heart of rural Lancashire, promises to be one of the most memorable events of the summer.

Running over the weekend of 14th – 16th July on farmland in Sawley, Lancashire, Beat-Herder is your much needed antidote to the corporate festival scene. The organisers’ original ideals of getting together in a field and having a good time have proved steadfastly resistant to the allure of big money sponsorship deals and exorbitant drinks prices over the years. But you’d be mistaken in thinking that this is a shoestring affair. A glowing reputation has attracted increasingly big names in recent times, and even the most (ahem) awake of ravers would struggle to fit everything the packed festival has to offer into one weekend.

The scope and imagination of Beat-Herder’s 2017 programme is, frankly, bewilderingly. And very, very exciting. With one of the most eclectic line-ups you’ll probably ever see set over a massive twenty one stages and tents, plus an array of installations and walk-about performances, there’s more than enough for the beat herding faithful to revel in.

This year’s promising line-up includes big names Crystal Fighters, Sleaford Mods, Kelis (yep!), Cabbage, The Sugarhill Gang (YEP!) and the legendary Toots and the Maytals, as well as plenty of hidden gems from rave culture past and present. Meanwhile, as Beat-Herder is as much about the atmosphere as it is about the music, there’s plenty to see and do with bunch of themed stages and extra-curricular activities on offer, each centered around the artful, DIY ethic that easily manages to transcend anything a shed-load of corporate sponsorship cash can throw together.

So, dance on cars down Quality Street, throw shapes in the woods, grab a quick half down the Beat-Herder and District Working Men’s Social Club, generally get lost in the haze of creativity and magic that is Beat-Herder. With the sheer amount of imagination and hard work it takes to bring this truly special festival to life it would be a crime not to live it to the fullest.

Beat-Herder Festival takes place at Ribble Valley, Lancashire from the 14th-16th July. For more information and tickets visit beatherder.co.uk

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