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.
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).
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?
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!
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?
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.
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.
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).
Nothing clever here, just actual football. Maybe with an empty beer can or some balled up socks.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
“They’re finding really Interesting ways to do these pop songs that I love” – Declan McKenna
“Alt-rock fans will love the mellow tones of Americana grunge mixed with nineties pop.” –Gigwise
“The four-piece are working towards ‘big things’ with their easy-breezy take on lo-fi retro pop.” – Dork
“That’s really good, I really like that” – Elton John
York’s alt rock songsmiths, Bull have today announced their debut album ‘Discover Effortless Living’ which will be released on the 26th March by EMI Records, in conjunction with Young Thugs.
To celebrate, the band have today released ‘Eugene’, a mini-symphony of self-flagellation which trips through the various stages of feeling down on yourself (lethargy, frustration, anger etc) using tempo changes to paint an audio picture. It manages to be both melancholy and spritely at the same time, another example of the band’s idiosyncratic song writing.
“I wrote the song Eugene when I was feeling dissatisfied with what I was doing” Tom (guitar/vocals) explains. “It’s kind of a self-hate song, you know when people talk about self-love? It’s not that. I’m slating myself; it moves through the key changes and different moods, and ends in a way that mocks the sadness, another form of self-deprecation!”
The video for the track is again a collaboration with artist friends of the band that reflects the different moods of the song. Dan and Kai from the band kick things off with some DIY Claymation before handing over to artists Jack Iredale, Rory Welbrock, Roxy Linklater and Holly Beer who each tackled a different animation style.
The band’s debut album, ‘Discover Effortless Living’ is a cornucopia of alt rocks sounds, the band having refined their song writing style into 13 indie bangers. The album includes previous singles such as ‘Disco Living’ (actually an abbreviation of the album title) ‘Green’, ‘Bonzo Please’ and ‘Love Goo’.
“Its songs written and rocked on between the years 2012 and 2020” Tom elaborates. “The title is taken from the opening lyric to the final track ‘Disco Living’. We wanted to use a lyric from the album and felt like this was a good one. I first saw the words in London written on the side of a mansion being built and thought it was funny, it also ties in with ideas around class, new beginnings, a golden era of prosperity, and hoping to have life ‘in the bag’.”
At radio the band are already being championed by the likes of Chris Hawkins and Steve Lamacq at 6Music, Huw Stephens at BBC Introducing Clara Amfo, as well as being acclaimed by fellow musicians like Elton John on his Beats 1 show and Declan McKenna.
Formed in 2011 by vocalist and songwriter Tom Beer and guitarist Dan Lucas, Bull’s mission is simply to make the music they wanted to listen to, inspired by their 90’s heroes such Pavement, Yo La Tengo and the Pixies. The rest of the band came together through a mix of friendships and happenstance. Drummer Tom Gabbatiss joined after he and Tom jammed together in bars while they were back-packing round Thailand, and Kai West had previously used to jump up on stage with the band and “Bez” (verb meaning to dance badly while intoxicated) before they eventually let him play bass.
They’ve played support shows for the likes of Squid, The Orielles, Pip Blom and even one of their long-time heroes in the form of Spiral Stairs (AKA Scott Kannberg of Pavement), and their constant gigging has seen them build up a dedicated local following. Not to be restricted to God’s own county, the band have plied their wares in mainland Europe, playing a series of unforgettable shows in Germany and the Netherlands. The band will be back on the road in 2021 with a full UK tour starting in September, tickets go on sale March 12th 2021.
We recently interviewed Lincolnshire musician Jaz Beeson about her new single ‘Wanna Know’ (head to our Instagram if you haven’t seen it yet). When we asked her to describe her sound she said it was Sunflower Pop. But what exactly is that?
Well we asked her to put together a playlist to add a bit of context and we’re soo glad she agreed, there are some top tunes on there to make you smile!
On her sound, Jaz said it was: “tunes for golden hour road trips and twirling through daisy-dappled fields.” Sounds good to us!
In the latest in our series of interviews with some fantastic local artists we caught up with self declared ‘Sunflower Pop’ artist Jaz Beeson. As an artist she’s taken some time away working on a new sound alongside local producer Joey Walker and this latest offering ‘Wanna Know’ sees her music rise to a new level!
Following the release of the new single Stardog, we caught up with Mitch from the band to discuss their new video, what they’ve been up to during lockdown and some of their favourite things about festivals.