British Summer Time. Previously best known for gracing us with an extra hour of wind and rain throughout our beloved little island’s supposedly warmer months, now has another more current purpose: marking the start of the UK’s ever lengthening festival season. Kick starting this year’s proceedings - for this music lover at least – was Lost Village.
The brainchild of Moda Black bosses Jaymo and Andy George, the Lincolnshire festival bills itself as an ‘immersive experience taking place in a long forgotten forest filled with otherworldly beings; a surreal realm ready to engulf all who dare enter’, and despite it being more of a wood than a forest, we’d say that’s an apt description of what’s on offer. Clearly taking influence from M Night Shyamalan’s love-it-or-hate it horror flick The Village (duh) Lost Village scores high on the design front. Small enough to quickly get your bearings, while big enough to still occasionally get lost in, each stage had clearly been very carefully thought out with the Forgotten Cabin, Abandoned Chapel and Burial Ground serving as particularly strong environments in which to see your favourite artists.
With the weather holding out – thank you, Mother Nature – our biggest concern became deciding who we would see over the course of the weekend. With the likes of DJ Koze, Mano Le Tough, Joy Orbison, Ben UFO, Bicep, Jackmaster, Floating Points, Midland, Mind Against, Leon Vynehall, and Ben Klock amongst the slew of top drawer talents landing in the village, scheduling was always going to be a problem. Thus, we decided to embrace the spirit of the festival and see where the wind blew us.
After stumbling past an eccentrically clad gravedigger, which believe it or not was one of the more normal experiences we had when engaging with the festival’s extensive cast, we found the inimitable Erol Alkan serving up the most acidic of house sets in The Forgotten Cabin, mixing the classic with the contemporary to stiffen sinews and quicken pulses.
Bicep did what Bicep do best and brought their pop up party vibes to the village, amassing a fervent crowd intent on electronic fuelled debauchery. Quickly finding their groove and in the mood to break hips, their mix of funky basslines and string laden numbers will live long in the memory of anyone fortunate enough to have been there.
Ben Klock brought the noise in a way that few can but seemed hampered by his earlier than usual set time and appeared to be cut off just as he was starting to really get going. This brings us to the festival’s only real problem. Everything shuts far too early. Finishing at 1am seems premature and rather odd given that the festival site seems pretty secluded. There's a llama farm nearby but we’d like to think they wouldn’t have minded too much if things went on for another couple of hours.
An administrative error meant we were unable to sample the culinary delights offered up by Michelin starred maverick Michael O’Hare for his heavily hyped Tribal Banquet - reports from those who did attend say it was glorious – but the food on site was tasty, varied and in our view reasonably priced, with Smokestak particularly standing out as providing something considerably nicer more than the traditional grub you usually find on offer at such events.
Lost Village is a festival that is as quirky and welcoming as it is fun. And it is very fun. So if you’re looking to start your summer with a bang, we’d recommend dusting off your dancing shoes and joining the tribe for yourself next year. We’ll see you there.
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Words: Reiss de Bruin