I’m not long back from Lindisfarne Festival, a brilliant 3-day end of summer blow out party on Beal Farm in Northumberland. It felt great to squeeze in a last HURRAH of the year in our old VW campervan, which was stranded down in Bristol for most of the summer after Glastonbury Festival… that’s a story for another day. However, with the campervan back in our possession we couldn’t wait to go festivalling again, and what an amazing festival it was!
Lindisfarne was soooooo amazing I couldn’t wait to jump on here and share why I had such an incredible time, and why I will definitely be returning next year.
Is there any better location in Britain than the Northumbrian coast? Being a Northumbrian myself I’m probably a bit biased, but it is a beautiful part of the country. Lindisfarne Festival is held on Beal Farm, right next to the causeway to Holy Island. Every morning we would sit in our camp admiring the view while we got ready for another day of fun. You could even venture over to the Island if you wanted to, but not wanting to miss out on any of the action at the festival we didn’t this time.
The best People
You couldn’t wish for a nicer crowd than the Lindisfarne Festival crowd. No poseurs or huge gangs of schoolies (it’s over 18s only). Just chilled, fun, friendly music fans who are equally as hyped to see the big headline act as the local band with a small following. I felt like I bumped in to almost everyone I know from the gig/clubbing scene in the north east, but also chatted to people from all over the country and from a far afield as Australia!
You know when you go to lots of festivals and you dash in as soon as you’re in the gates to get a decent spot that’s not right next to the toilets? And then still end up with someone camped right in front of your porch, so you trip over them every time you go in and out? Yeah, there’s none of that at Lindisfarne Festival. We were in our little VW campervan again and there was oodles of space to spread out and relax. We had friends in both regular camping and VIP camping (yurts & bell tents etc.) and there was plenty of space in both. So, none of the stress where you have to get there as soon as the gates open. However, why wouldn’t you want to arrive as early as possible to such an awesome party?!
Tasty local Food & Drinks
Lindisfarne festival takes its booze offering seriously with a huge selection of lagers, beers, ciders. The festival also prides its self on using as many local suppliers as possible, and why the hell not, when there are so many brilliant artisan producers in the area. Local products included: a range of beers from Alnwick Brewery and Viking Brew House as well as Lindisfarne Mead and Whiskey, and a gin and fizz bar. I also had a few delicious cocktails from the cocktail van, Espresso martini is the perfect day 2 pick-me-up btw!
Plenty of great food options too: including Geordie Bangers Co, Streetzzeria Pizza, Spud Gun loaded fries, Mivisi Indian, Beet Root Café and Nom Nam Street Food to name just a few, so there is definitely something to suit everyone.
With a capacity of just 5000 people, Lindisfarne Festival definitely falls under the “boutique festival” category. Small festivals like this are just so …easy. No humongous queues, I literally walked in/out every day and never waited more than a couple of minutes for the bar. If I needed to go back to camp for warmer clothes at night it was so quick and simple and it also meant my legs were saved for dancing all night, rather than walking miles in between stages and camp etc. Also, people I’d met on the first night I bumped into again and again, which is brilliant for building a community feel at a festival. As much as I love Glastonbury Festival, the crowds can feel overwhelming at times and if you lose your mates you may never see them again all weekend…not so at Lindisfarne Festival. If you’ve never been to a festival before, but would like to try it out this one is the perfect place to start.
Huge variety of Entertainment
For such a small festival Lindisfarne manages to cram in so much entertainment, there are over 200 acts spanning loads of genres: techno, trance, Jazz, Indie, Funk, folk, blues, ska, Reggae, dub and more. Headlining this year was: Ocean Color Scene, DJ Yoda, Pete Doherty and Goldie. Although I think my faves were Smoove & Turrell, Elvana and Lindisfarne. You’ve gotta have Lindisfarne AT Lindisfarne, haven’t you? Loved belting out a bit of Fog on the Tyne with a few hundred other revelers. But Lindisfarne Festival isn’t just about music, there’s plenty of other acts to choose from over the weekend. I also spent a lot of time in the “Dingle Dell” tent which featured some amazing comedians (Shout out to Captain Hot knives) and brilliant spoken word artists. Shanti Bee also run a wellness tent where you can try out various yoga practices, meditation or dance classes, or even just grab a coffee and a snack and chill on their very comfy cushions and rugs. I tended to gravitate towards this tent late afternoon/early evening for a bit of a chill and chat, before dancing and singing away till the wee hours. Which brings me on to…..
At so many festivals the main stage is finished by 10.30/11 and then late-night entertainment is maybe a dance tent or some cabaret until 2am. Not at Lindisfarne Festival! The headline acts start near midnight or later and there is so much going on all the way up to 4am. Considering acts start around midday, that is A LOT of bang for your buck. You can sleep when you get home…right?!
Amazingly low Cost
Considering the amount of entertainment crammed into three days Lindisfarne Festival is an absolute bargain! They have a dynamic pricing system, so the earlier you buy your ticket the cheaper it will be. If you buy your ticket for Lindisfarne Festival 2020 as soon as they are released on October 1st you could pay as little as little as £59.
Brilliantly apt fancy dress theme
You can’t have an event overlooking Lindisfarne without referencing Vikings, can you? For those not in the know, Lindisfarne (or Holy Island as it’s also known) was where the Vikings first landed in Britain and basically chinned all the monks and had a ruddy good time. That’s the abridged version btw, look it up! So basically, there’s a lot of Viking blood in the region, and it seemed pretty fitting to have loads of Vikings dancing and swigging ale in sight of the island.
Lots of lush Doggos
You can bring your dog to Lindisfarne Festival! I’m not sure I’ve ever been to a music festival that allows doggos, but what a brilliant idea. I don’t have a dog, but it was lush to get doggy cuddles and pets around the festival site, including a super cute puppy that we were camped next to. If you do take a dog they need their own ticket which costs £10, and agree to a few rules. However, they’re all pretty sensible rules like “pick up after your dog” etc and the £10 fee is donated to a local dog charity too. Amazing!
As you can see I bloody loved Lindisfarne Festival, it rounded up a crazy summer for me perfectly. One last hurrah before packing away the camping gear and retiring the glitter and bum bag for another year. I loved it so much I think I’d even go as far to say it was my favourite small festival EVER.
So, see you all at Lindisfarne Festival next year, yeah?
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