Beacons Festival is held on the lovely Funkirk Estate in the stunning Yorkshire Dales. While Mixmag had never really heard of Beacons up until a few months ago it is safe to say that on quick examination, the line-up was enough to get both dance and indie music fans alike excited.
The Greendales stage, located just across the way from the Stool Pigeon main stage offered up some of the hottest names in dance music right now such as underground house queen Maya Jane Coles headlining on Sunday night, Bristolian bass boy Julio Bashmore headlining Friday and the genre-defying Pearson Sound headlining Saturday. The impressive dance line-up did not stop there either, with Disclosure, Andrew Weatherall, Huxley, Factory Floor, Oneman, Koreless, Lunice, Jessie Ware, Star Slinger, XXXY, Daniel Avery, and Jam City all being billed for the weekend.
To say this was only Beacons’ second year, they had managed to attract an interesting collection of artists that made for an exciting yet varied line-up. It seems appropriate to mention that last year Beacons Festival had to be cancelled due to flooding, and of course the organisers were keen to put that behind them. It should also be noted that last year Jamie xx, Tom Vek, Willy Nelson and Frankie & The Heartstrings were all billed to play even though that would have been the first ever Beacons Festival.
While the Greendales stage, which, let’s be honest, was effectively the dance stage, had its attractions the Stool Pigeon main stage also had its charms. Such charms came most prominently in the form of newly-signed Warp duo Mount Kimbie. Their performance, which was a pseudo-live affair (MPC, drum pads, you know the score), kicked off with arguably their biggest track from their 2010 ‘Crooks & Lovers’ Hotflush album, ‘Carbonated’ and then gradually gathered more and more momentum.
Rappers also had a good time of it on the main stage, with Roots Manuva and Ghostpoet both featuring along with their respective live band set-ups. Mr. Manuva made the crowd wait but he came out looking fresh as ever and his performance was on a par. Ghostpoet was equally on top form, and he quickly won over the crowd with renditions of ‘Cash and Carry Me Home’ and ‘Us Against Whatever Ever’ before getting a bit closer to the fans by joining them toward the end of his set.
An act who did not receive such support on the main stage was the band Junior Boys, who The 2 Bears have remixed in the past. There were not many fans there to start with when they began playing but when they did start playing their own brand of synth-pop there were more people leaving than there were entering the tent.
The festival experience was made that bit more interesting by giving car-sharing a go using goCarShare, which turned out to be a great way to make some new friends and also do your bit to save the planet! It definitely looks like Beacons is one to put in your diaries for 2013.