Festival Olympics

Following the opening of Tokyo 2020 (only a year late), we’ve compiled a list of everyday festival occurrences that we feel are just as demanding as Olympic events. So if you’re feeling rough and nursing a hangover after Latitude festival? Nonsense, you’re basically an Olympic athlete. 

400m sprint 

That mad dash you do from one stage to another when someone has unhelpfully scheduled both of your favourite acts to overlap. The current world record is 43.3 seconds, held by Wayde van Niekerk, who was desperately trying to catch both Tame Impala and The 1975 at the 2016 Glastonbury festival.
(…just kidding, it was the Rio Olympics). 

Swimming

The exact same journey between stages – but after the rain has hit. Regular Olympians don’t even have the additional hurdles of tent pegs and the odd welly boot, so who’s really putting in the most effort here?

Wrestling

Who would you rather take on: one Olympic medalist, or an entire festival crowd? Always take a second to appreciate your achievements when you manage to wrestle your way through a particularly tight crowd. That takes a lot of determination, willpower, and every muscle in your body – you’re a born wrestler!

Weightlifting

This is really just getting all your stuff to the festival in the first place. You’ve just arrived – now begins the trek to the campsite. You’ve got a four-man tent, plus all of the stuff you’ve packed for the next few days, not to mention the extra things that your friend just couldn’t possibly fit in her own bag. You grab some drinks on the way, precariously balancing bags on your forearms so you can take a sip. Each time you raise that cup to your mouth is equivalent to some record-breaking weightlifting efforts (okay, it’s not, but it feels like it). 

(Crowd)Surfing and (Stage)Diving

Who needs water or a surfboard when you’ve got a crowd of people willing to carry a stranger over their heads? 

Basketball 

This is a fun one, best done with friends, and arguably one of the most important parts of a festival – responsibly slam-dunking your rubbish in the bin instead of ditching it all on the field. You don’t win medals for being lazy and inconsiderate. 

Artistic Gymnastics

Don’t underestimate yourself – you know full well that those dance moves are nothing short of gold medal Artistic Gymnastics! Grab yourself a hula hoop or a pair of batons and you’ve covered Rhythmic Gymnastics too. 

Hurdles 

Trying to find your way to a toilet in the middle of the night, while leaping over tent strings, rubbish, and the occasional person who didn’t quite make it back to their tent before falling asleep (10 points to Gryffindor for outstanding moral fibre if you stop the race to help them out).

Football

Nothing clever here, just actual football. Maybe with an empty beer can or some balled up socks.

Beyond the Woods Meets: ell ivy

Chatting to local artist ell ivy about her dogs, her van conversion – and, of course, her music!

First and foremost: your Instagram stories suggest you have a doggo?! What’s their name?

I have two doggos! Dudley & Suzy, I love them way too much and they are extremely spoilt!

And you’re building a van conversion? Tell us about it!

Yes I am, it’s mad – I never thought I’d pick up a screwdriver in my life but here I am! It’s going well, it is nearly finished! The end goal is to travel and set up gigs all over the UK and Europe and make a small tour out of it without having to spend too much money.

What kind of music-related projects have you got on the go at the moment?

At the moment I am writing all the time, I’ve recently started a 52 songs project where I write one song per week and send it to a group of other writers for feedback! It’s all going towards my EP which is exciting.

What are your plans for the future of your music career? What would be the ultimate dream come true?

There are so many plans and dreams for my future in music! The ultimate goal is to release music that people love and that I can earn enough money to pay the bills through it. It’s hard having a full time job to fund my music career, I just wanna make music all the time!

Describe your music style in three words.

Heartachingly haunted love ?? I don’t know if that makes sense but it feels right.

What’s the last song you listened to?

Taylor Swift’s new song with Big Red Machine – Renegade

Which achievement are you most proud of (so far)?

Radio One’s Big Weekend Introducing set!!! That was a wild week for me. Oh and also building a campervan!

What’s your favourite conspiracy theory?

That the earth is flat, I just love it.

Who’s the best f.r.i.e.n.d.s character?

I cannot choose! That is simply impossible I love them all!

Beyond the Woods Meets: Ben Simmons

Local singer-songwriter Ben Simmons recently released his second EP… We asked him about his song writing process, his favourite type of cheese, and what it’s like to produce an EP during a global pandemic!

Describe your music style in three words?

Soul infused songwriting.

Who are your main influences?

My all time favourite artist is John Mayer and all time favourite band is KALEO! I tend to discover and listen to artists who aren’t of the mainstream. More bands/artists like The Teskey Brothers, Ady Suleiman, Jacob Banks and Mingo Fishtrap. One of my more recent discoveries is Patrick Droney, a singer/songwriter originating from New York. Out of all the artists running through my playlists, I would say he has inspired me the most, especially during the making of Aligning Fires!

You recently released your second EP – how do you feel?!

I honestly couldn’t be happier that the record is finally out for the world to see. The response so far has been absolutely incredible… I find it so comforting to know that what I’ve written about is seen as a collective experience. I’ve always wanted to inspire others by writing stories that are relatable to people who may be lost, people who may have just found what they’ve been searching for, or are still searching for pieces of themselves. The tracks within this record are some of my most personal writings to date. They bring up the difficult conversations you have with yourself, they address the scenic routes we all take to avoid the grey areas and they all explore who I was, who I am and who I want to become.

How long was this process from start to finish?

The overall process from the first written word to the last recorded note spanned roughly 2 years, although the idea of the record came to me much earlier. I’ve always wanted to write about myself in a reflective light and almost treat it as a series of chapters that I can genuinely be proud of. Furthermore, 20 years of memories, thoughts and reflection lie within the Aligning Fires EP, so it’s been a long time coming for sure!

How different was it to produce this during Covid?

Production was difficult to say the least for not being able to make visits to the studio, but negatives aside, it was almost a blessing in disguise, as the record went through multiple changes during the pandemic. I remember taking a step back during the first lockdown and evaluating 4 songs that I, at the time, was adamant would be in the final product. Something was off. I had a feeling that I could do better. So I removed 3 out of the 4 songs and the only song that remained in the final product today was track 3 – Only Gone and Fallen In Love. The title track ‘Aligning Fires’ was written in late 2019. I wrote a ton over lockdown, including the 2nd track ‘Wait A Minute’ which was written in 45 minutes, the 4th track ‘Foolish’ and I had whisperings of what was eventually the 5th track ‘Amsterdam’. ‘Amsterdam’ went through multiple changes during the writing process, as at one point it was going to be an acapella introductory track titled ‘Let Me In’. It was later changed to the name seen on the record. It was also originally written on the acoustic guitar and during lockdown, I remember having a lot of time to think about the track, and eventually made the decision to learn piano so I could transpose it onto the one in my room. I sent over the piano version to my producer working on the record with me, and that evening, ‘Amsterdam’ was born.

What were the best and most challenging parts of the process?

One of the most challenging parts of the process was to stay true to myself and these writings. I find it so easy to stray and sometimes, it’s easier to imagine a scenario instead of remembering an event and drawing experiences from that. Due to the metaphorical sense of this record, I never wrote A B and C, I would jump in and out of colours and have moments of mindfulness on frequent occasions. So much of this insight is really difficult to put all into one song, knowing full well that a series of tracks together revolving around similar subjects would be better to work towards.
The best parts by far are the moments in the studio, watching these songs become reality. When I was a kid, I had (still do!) a big imagination, and during school it was really hard for me to get what I was thinking down onto paper, I have a feeling this is why I write a lot in metaphors. I’d like to think I’ve achieved that goal with this record.

Do you have a favourite track?

All 5 tracks from the Aligning Fires EP are my favourite in some way! The title track is the most impressive lyrically, with a key change appearing towards the end of the song. ‘Wait A Minute’ was my favourite to write for sure and is the quickest song I have written to date. ‘Only Gone and Fallen In Love’ was the most technical, layering multiple voices within the chorus to capture that gospel soul sound. Also, sharing that experience with some of my friends who came in to help sing with me on the track was a blessing. ‘Foolish’ was my personal favourite to record. The process from start to finish, musically, just screamed ME!! ‘Amsterdam’ was the most personal song to record. Letting a good thing die can be difficult to convey and the song needed the utmost love and care from start to finish.

What was the last song you listened to?

State of the Heart – Patrick Droney

What are your hopes for the future?

I try my hardest every day to take my music to new heights, to continue chasing and beating my expectations. My dream one day is to have a team of managers, a backing band and others that I can call my family and tour the world, playing my music live to as many people as I possibly can. Playing the main stages at festivals and living my life to the fullest, knowing full well that this is who I want to be.

What’s the best season of the year?

Autumn!! I’m a bit of a winter baby and there’s nothing quite like the colour pallet that autumn brings!

Favourite type of cheese?

Halloumi, halloumi, and halloumi.

If you had access to a tardis, where/when would you go?

I’ve always been a fan of space and the incomprehensible size of the universe. I would have to take a trip out to the Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall, the largest known structure in the universe, weighing in at 10 billion lightyears across. I would open the doors and sit a while, or maybe forever, knowing me definitely forever!

Statement on the cancellation of Beyond The Woods 2021

Dear Friends,

It is with very heavy hearts that we have to inform you that, following the postponement of the 21st June easing of lockdown restrictions, Beyond The Woods Festival will no longer be taking place this year.

To say that we are gutted is a huge understatement. Over the last seven years our organising committee have poured their hearts and souls into Beyond The Woods. People have given up hundreds of hours of their time to get the event to where it is, and for them not to be able to enjoy seeing their hard work come to fruition is an enormous disappointment.

After the disappointment of having to postpone the festival in previous years, our team were desperate to put on a show for you in August. However, after recent events it has become apparent that this will no longer be possible.

The uncertainty around lockdown being lifted, the lack of availability of insurance cover for Covid-related festival cancellations, and a lack of clear guidance on which measures might be required of mass gatherings such as ours means we’ve been left with no option other than to call off this year’s event.

The situation with Covid has been anything but predictable. Without any certainty, either in the form of insurance, or a cast-iron guarantee that the festival would be able to take place restriction-free, we’re not going to be able to proceed as we’d so dearly wanted to. 

Over the coming weeks, we’d have to pay tens of thousands of pounds in upfront costs to ensure that Beyond The Woods would be able to take place, covering everything from marketing to marquee hire, but with no guarantee that the festival would be able to go ahead in August – without any additional restrictions.

Beyond The Woods began life as a birthday party in our back garden in Lincoln. While the bands have got bigger in recent years, and the organisation more detailed, it’s still the same small group of friends and volunteers putting on the event. We’re not multi-millionaires, and there’s no big corporation backing the festival. We do this purely for the love of it.

We understand that many people will be as disappointed as we are, but we sincerely hope you can understand why we do not feel it’s possible to go ahead with this year’s event. The situation has now changed, and the risk for us as an organisation has just become too great.

We are working hard to secure a new date for 2022 and all tickets purchased for this or previous years will remain valid. You are of course welcome to a refund, and if your tickets were purchased from an official Beyond The Woods supplier, we will be in touch in the next couple of weeks to advise you of the refund process.

We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone for your support during this extraordinarily difficult period and we hope to see you all in 2022.

Love

The Beyond The Woods Team

Full line up announced!

The day we’ve been waiting for is here – we’re so excited to be able to finally reveal the full Beyond the Woods line up! We have so many incredible artists for you, from our headliners to some wonderfully talented local acts. Definitely not one to miss!

You can buy your tickets here – we look forward to seeing you soon!

The Staves

The Staves are an English indie folk trio of sisters Emily, Jessica and Camilla Staveley-Taylor, from Watford, Hertfordshire. The Staves began performing together at open-mic nights in Watford hosted by a local pub, The Horns. Originally performing as The Staveley-Taylors, the trio later changed their name to The Staves.

The Staves’ ‘Good Woman’ was written and recorded in a time of severe turmoil for the band, seeing the ending of relationships, the death of their beloved mother and the birth of Emily’s first child. Produced by John Congleton, the album stands as a testament to their strength and that of other women, to sisters, mothers and daughters. To love, loss and change. To trying to be a good woman.

Praise for Good Woman…
“their three-part blood harmonies form the shimmering centre of an elaborate, album-long soundscape” 8/10 – Uncut
“elegantly nuanced” **** – Mojo
“an album with attitude” – Sunday Times Culture
“pop-rock sophistication” – **** – The Times
“melodic sweetness is bolstered by a sense of urgency and stylistic cool” – **** – The Guardian
“a sophisticated return” – **** – NME

Alfie Templeman

Headlining our Friday night Good Karma Club Takeover, Alfie Templeman has been hotly tipped by just about everyone with a history of backing the next big thing!

Alfie Templeman

Alfie Templeman knows music. At just 17, this boy wunderkind already has four EPs to his name, and an encyclopaedic knowledge of music history that some veteran artists would envy. He’s been called a “bedroom producer”, and that’s true – all of his songs were crafted at home in the small village of Carlton, Bedfordshire. “It’s kind of boring,” Templeman says cheerfully. “I live in a nice place and everyone’s friendly and supportive, so I’m lucky. But there’s not a lot to do, so that’s one of the reasons I got into songwriting.” But where many young artists create tracks from pre-made samples, Templeman is more likely to pick up one of the 10 instruments he taught himself.

Follow Alfie on Instagram

It started with his father. A builder by trade but a passionate guitarist by nature, Templeman’s dad would fill the house with the sounds of classic rock, while his son banged away to the rhythm on pots and pans. Then one day, his dad brought him along to do some work at a friend’s house. That friend wasn’t sure how to entertain a child, so he put a video of a live Rush concert on the TV. “I was blown away,” Templeman recalls. “I can vividly remember watching Neil Peart play. He became my first musical hero.” He began saving his pocket money to buy “all of the Rush albums”, then set out converting a mate so they could form a band together. Aged eight, using his sister’s toy microphone and an old laptop, Templeman recorded his first demo.

At school, he always felt like the odd one out. “All the boys were playing football, and I hated that,” he says. “I felt like the weird kid because I didn’t want to do sports.” He began going to cello lessons, which he credits for his perfect pitch. Then he fell in love with the drums around the same time he was teaching himself to play one of his dad’s left-handed guitars (right-handed). After that it was the keyboard, mandolin, “a bit of violin”, bass, sitar, harmonica, synths… “One of the reasons I learnt all that was so I could play and produce everything myself,” he explains. “I had to have full control over my first EP. I just wanted to see if I could put everything together so it sounded good.”

It definitely worked. Like An Animal, released by Chess Club Records in 2018, is an astonishing, self-produced collection redolent of Kevin Parker and Mac De Marco. There are hazy, sun-drenched twangs of guitar; swooning, Eighties-style synths; moody, wandering basslines and warm percussion. Unlike many other artists, who might try to compensate for their youth by tackling the “big” subjects, Templeman makes no attempt to hide his age. These songs are about feeling like an outsider, exam stress, and those all-consuming first crushes.

Like An Animal was followed by two EPs in 2019, Sunday Morning Cereal and Don’t Go Wasting Time. The former was infused with heavy funk influences, from the squelchy bass and vocal fuzz of “Stop Thinking (About Me)” to the dreamy psychedelia of “Busy”. The seven-track Don’t Go Wasting Time was an ambitious leap that shone a brighter spotlight on Templeman’s extraordinary range, encompassing pop, indie, rock, Latin and prog influences. It’s all the more impressive upon learning that, around this time, Templeman ended up in hospital, where he was diagnosed with childhood lung disease.

“It doesn’t really bother me, but I’m one of those ‘vulnerable to Covid-19’ people, so I’ve been shielding since March,” he reveals. “It’s been a long summer!” Until the diagnosis, Templeman and his family thought he had bad asthma. You wouldn’t think he had any sort of condition to hear him – or, indeed, see him onstage. “It can get messy,” he laughs. His gigs, including a sold-out London show at COLOURS in Hoxton, are raucous affairs, filled by screaming fans only too happy to catch him whenever he hurls himself offstage. After a string of UK performances last year, including his triumphant Radio 1 Introducing Set at Reading and Leeds festival, he’s eager to get back to it.

And why wouldn’t he be? 2020 has already seen the release of his best EP to date, the irrepressible Happiness in Liquid Form, which has achieved millions of streams – not to mention praise from the likes of The Guardian and NME. Templeman refers to the title track as “colourful sugary disco pop”, but there’s plenty more to love besides that. Writing with Justin Young of The Vaccines fame has instilled a new confidence in Templeman’s songwriting. You can hear it in the cheeky bounce of “My Best Friend” – which will remind listeners of Billie Eilish’s insouciant charm – and the infectious Caribbean sound on “Things I Thought Were Mine”.  

“I listen to everything!” Templeman says, explaining how he came to have such a broad range of references. This is a teenager who will just as happily discuss John McLaughlin and Miles Davis as he would The Weeknd and Harry Styles. “I think some people might consider me as ‘just’ an indie artist, but my music is a broad mix,” he continues. “There are modern influences, but also a lot of prog, classic jazz, funk… I like to play things that people don’t expect, that hit you right in the feels.”

He praises his label, Chess Club Records, for helping him to “come out of my shell a bit” and be the charming, exuberant and driven young man he is today. “I’ve definitely become more open,” he nods. “I didn’t always know how to talk to people before, and I could get pretty anxious. I’d get scared, but everyone’s really nice!” He’s eager to become one of the voices of a generation determined to change the world: “Everyone at my school was so intelligent and well-informed. Young people have more of a voice now than ever.”

Templeman now has his eye on 2021, with a brand-new collection of songs on the way – the superb Forever Isn’t Long Enough – that he describes as “the best representation of what I’m about”. “Each song is different but linked,” he says. The mini-album opens on the thrilling rhythms of “Shady” – produced by Tom McFarland from the Mercury Prize-shortlisted collective Jungle. From there, you’ll be hooked, whether to the strut of “Wait, I Lied” (with nods to Gnarls Barkley and Justin Timberlake), or the gleaming “To You”, which recalls the sound of The Weeknd’s chart-dominating 2019 album, After Hours.

“My mum kept wanting to hear what I was working on, but I can’t show anyone until a song’s finished,” Templeman laughs, thinking of the reaction his fans will have when they hear this new material. He wants to do as many shows as possible when he gets back on the road, performing to a fanbase that now stretches around the world. “I want those new experiences,” he says. “2021 is going to be massive.”

Keeping up with the Beyond the Woods acts!

As the weather brightens (and then darkens again), and covid restrictions are lifted, what have the Beyond the Woods acts been getting up to?

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks for Alfie Templeman, with the release of his new mini album ‘Forever Isn’t Long Enough’ on May 7th, already on course for the Top 40 on the Official Albums Chart (fingers crossed!). He also announced dates for a US tour, supporting Chloe Moriondo, and has a socially-distanced show coming up on May 20th.

Master Peace has been keeping busy with an NME Home Sessions video! Alongside his guitarist, Ricki, he performed PNE, Overdrive and PDA against a pastel sky. Watch here:

Baby Queen has been all over BBC Radio 1 lately – Greg James is a big fan! Dover Beach was the Tune of the Week back at the end of April, and more recently has been added to the Radio 1 Playlist, alongside the likes of Wolf Alice, Little Simz, Coldplay and Billie Eilish.
Listen to the playlist on BBC Sounds: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p09gvbnn

Much to the excitement of his local fans, Joesef announced a gig in his hometown of Glasgow. The Barrowland show sold out just one day after general release… and, of course, you can see him live at Beyond the Woods in August!

Luz released a beautiful acoustic version of her latest song, Counting Houses. Give it a listen!

Friday Night Main Stage Announced!

Our Friday Night Main Stage line-up is here! We’re very excited to announce that we have released our first round of artists playing Beyond the Woods Festival 2021, curated by the wonderful Abbie McCarthy (BBC Radio 1, BBC Music Introducing, 4 Music).

Click Here to Buy Tickets

Alfie Templeman

Described as ‘colourful sugary disco pop’, Alfie Templeman is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the indie-pop scene. At just 18 years old, he has released 4 EPs, receiving high praise from the likes of NME, the Guardian and tastemaker Annie Mac. 2021 started off big for Alfie, as he was shortlisted for the BBC Sound Of Poll and it continues with his mini album ‘Forever Isn’t Long Enough, which will be out on the 7th May via Chess Club Records. Check out his latest chilled single, ‘One More Day’ featuring April.

Joesef

Hailing from the East End of Glasgow, multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Joesef produces stunning soulful beats, masterfully intertwining elements of jazz, Motown and hip-hop. Since selling out his first ever show at King Tuts in Glasgow in 2019, Joesef has gone on to make appearances on Later…With Jools Holland, and BBC Radio 1 and 2. A self-proclaimed ‘emotional sad boy’, Joesef’s relaxing music will ease you in to the start of Beyond the Woods Festival, as heard below in his collaboration with COLOURS.

Baby Queen

Baby Queen instantly made her mark with her debut single ‘Internet Religion’ in 2020, and since has released an incredible discography of alternative-pop which explores issues surrounding Generation Z. Born in South Africa, the London based multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter is inspired by the likes of Taylor Swift and The 1975, embracing synths, guitars and gritty social commentary. She is quickly gaining momentum, after recently featuring as Greg James’ ‘Tune of the Week’ on Radio 1 and will be touring with the mighty Sea Girls later this year. Listen to her single ‘Dover Beach’ to get you in the mood. 

Luz

2020 was an incredible year for Irish-Argentinian musician Luz, releasing three singles during lockdown, receiving a mammoth 30 million streams across digital platforms. The 20 year-old artist caught the attention of Dua Lipa after posting a cover of ‘Don’t Stop Now’ on TikTok, and has since received praise from an array of outstanding artists including Ed Sheeran, Singrid, Julia Michaels, Lewis Capaldi, Dermot Kennedy and Niall Horan. Her soulful melodies and euphoric charm will make the perfect backdrop to outdoors at Beyond the Woods Festival. Soak in her latest release ‘Counting Houses’. 

Master Peace

Fusing indie, British rap and punk genres, Master Peace is an explosion of refreshing new sounds. Born and raised in South London, he was influenced by bands such as The Smiths, The Cure and Simply Red, and has masterfully combined the music of rock and indie with his love of rap. The result is nothing short of intoxicating. Later this year he’ll be joining Kawala on tour across the UK, showcasing that he is one of the most exciting young artists in the making. 

Listen to all our artists via our Spotify Playlist for Beyond the Woods Festival 2021!

Covid-19: What Are We Doing?

This year’s Beyond The Woods Festival will be taking place on 6th & 7th August.

We know that you might have questions about Covid-19, and what it means for this year’s event, so we’ve put together this page to give you the answers.

Will the festival be going ahead?

We’re currently going full-steam-ahead for Beyond The Woods to take place this August.

According to the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, all restrictions will be lifted on 21st June. This mean’s we’ll be in a strong position to put on a safe event two months later.

What will you be doing to make the event Covid-safe?

We’ve drawn up plans to cover all eventualities to help make Beyond The Woods as safe as possible.

Of course, the situation with the coronavirus is constantly changing. The safety measures we’d need to put on a festival now could be very different to the safety measures we might need in August.

We’re constantly reviewing our plans, and changing them according to infection levels, and the government’s lockdown roadmap.

As the festival gets nearer, and we have a better idea of the sorts of measures we are likely to need to introduce, we’ll be able to give you some more concrete information.

What if the festival is cancelled?

Of course, we’ve got to be completely honest and say that there is still a chance that Beyond The Woods might not be able to take place. The situation with Covid has changed so dramatically over the last year, and we can’t rule out that it might do so again.

What we can guarantee is what will happen if we do have to call the festival off.

If the festival is cancelled, everyone will be entitled to a full refund of the face value price of their ticket, including any camping upgrades etc.

Or, instead, you can roll your ticket over to 2022’s event free of charge.

Whatever happens, we promise that you’ll get what you paid for or get your money back.

What if I get for Covid before the festival?

If you can’t attend the festival because of a positive Covid test, you’ll be able to request a refund.

If you have Covid between Friday 30th June and Friday 27th August you’ll be able to apply for a refund.

Obviously, to be eligible for a refund your ticket must be unused.

We’ll provide more information on requesting a refund in July.

Any other questions?

If you’ve got any other questions, or there’s anything you think we’ve missed, please feel free to contact us.

We look forward to seeing you at Stourton Woods in August.

© Beyond The Woods Festival 2021