Combining a lineup you’d expect from a big name festival and that we’re-all-in-this-together vibe of something much more communal, Farr festival finds that perfect balance to make for a festival that’s far out of this world.
Set in the scenic countryside of Hertfordshire; all rolling hills of green and yellow, you’re immediately transported into a magical fairytale expanse of good people and great music, an ideal recipe for good times. It’s instant appeal for everyone involved is it’s welcome shielding from mass media coverage and considering this is only its third year running, it attracts a variety of people near and far all across the UK. All here for the same thing; to have a damn good time. Upon arriving in Baldock, a nearby town in Hertforshire, we found there was a quite a wait to get a taxi, but low and behold, fate was on our side. Seemingly out of nowhere, a car pulls up and a rather jolly and eccentric man offers us a ride, which we accepted despite our initial dubiousness.
Our doubts about getting into a total strangers car soon evaporated into the stratosphere as we launched into conversation with perhaps the most genuine and generous person I’ve ever met and regardless of there being somewhat of an age gap, we all got on like a house on fire. En route we stopped off at his house, where a pre-party of young and old alike was taking place, where we were plied with alcohol and introduced to some truly colourful characters. It was here where we learned the true identity of our mystery rescuer. He was none other than Tim Farr himself, owner of the lands of the festival and uncle to Dom, the organiser. It was then that me and my partner in crime knew we were in for something truly special, for surely the character of those behind the scenes of the festival must give some indication of the character of the festival itself.
With so many great names performing, there were far too many impossible choices due to clashes of absolute doom, but I’ll be damned if we didn’t see some immense sets. The Future Boogie crew absolutely smashed it with their usual blend of retro party jams and soulful disco sounds, igniting the tent into a jamming frenzy. Yet the highlight came later in the rather well rounded shape of Bristol’s Eats Everything. Bringing that signature sound of whomping beats that encapsulate a variety of genres of what’s hot in the electronic music scene right now. Taking the tempo up a notch, Skeptical dropped some seriously heavy sounds. Kicking off with some future jungle to really get the crowd shacking out he kept the pace pumping with some dark and heavy drum and bass bangers; it literally left us breathless. With a host of other leaders in their scenes, including the likes of Alix Perez, Spectrasoul, Waifs & Strays, South London Ordnance, Ben Pearce and Oneman to name but a few.
The main stage was set in a large tent in an open expanse of field, making it stand out upon arrival. However this was not the highlight of the venue itself. Remember when I said magical fairytale? Well, the rest of the arenas were all housed within a ring of trees, filled with ambient lighting to give a truly dreamlike experience. Of course, being a smaller festival there were a couple of minor details some people may have found wanting. This was mainly due to an absence of the huge variety of food stands and stalls selling all the usual whacky festival gear. However, this is not to say there was none at all. Besides, this is to be expected of more intimate festivals; and the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
So all in all, a fantastic festival, that leaves little to be desired and with early bird weekend passes going for a minuscule £55, definitely more than worth it. If you were to ask us whether you should you go next year, we at AbouttoBlow would say you’d be mad not to. (Special shouts also to Tim Farr and friends for giving us such an amazing start to an amazing festival, we look forward to seeing you all again next year.)