Gilcombe Farm, Somerset
Farmfest draws a great balance between international names and homegrown support, while also towing the alternate axis of electronic music around folk and indie, offering a prime opportunity to expand one’s musical horizons. As well as being dedicated to offering a spectrum of diverse, carefully curated music, the festival is set on keeping their event as accessibly priced and community-minded as possible. Located in a scenic Somerset vista, a consistently eclectic audio offering has delighted indie fans, families and ravers alike over the past decade.
We started our Farmfest in high spirits, visiting the popular regular stage The Kitchen where the Soulworks & SF DJs loosened the crowd into the right mood. We then settled in at the Den, another stage staple, to watch Glowing Palms & Friends whose set grooved along smoothly. Showing off the festival’s dedication to eclecticism, Lone’s hardcore influenced sounds injected a high-energy boost prior to Pearson Sound b2b Kowton next. The duo didn’t disappoint, switching between a variety of dancefloor tracks and hints of UK funky, which sent the crowd into a frenzy. Before we knew it, and far too soon, it was time to unwind ready for the Saturday.
A brief encounter with the Soul Train (a huge train with a bouncy dancefloor) soon woke us up on Saturday morning, and to energise us further, we caught the sounds of Admin and Harri Pepper, two local Bristol DJs who played a combination of synth-infused cuts which soundtracked the surroundings nicely.
As Saturday night closed in and a gorgeous sunset descended over Somerset, we headed straight over to check out Banoffee Pies. They played a remarkably smooth, chugging, minimal set using a great combination of DJ tools and party tracks to woo the crowd into Auntie Flo, who eventually forced the crescendo to its highest point with Joris Voorn’s secret mix of St Germain’s Rose Rouge.
Continuing the gorgeous Saturday night vibes, Gilles Peterson cycled through genres seamlessly, mixing tracks such as Marvin Gaye’s Got to Give It Up into Ata Kak’s Daa Nyinaa all the way through to Josh Wink’s Higher State of Consciousness, which captivated the crowd for the home-straight.
It’s testament to the programming of the festival that it covers a broad range of genres with top quality bookings that are enough to keep folk, indie and dance music fans happy without compromise. It’s also one of the only festivals that seems to successfully place an interest in upcoming South West talent as well as established international acts (even if we struggled to drag ourselves away from the beats). Glorious sun and an equivalent atmosphere – a genuine treasure in an overflowing calendar.