Pete Wise simultaneously dons his YorkMix and Galtres Festival PR hats to bring you six best bits to look forward to at Galtres Parklands Festival 2014
Last year’s Galtres Festival was a real blast. I got to watch The Stranglers’ bassist Jean-Jacques Burnel lurching around the festival’s main stage to the brilliant Peaches.
I camped in a beautiful riverside setting with some of my best pals, had musical encounters ranging from a delta-blues hoedown to an out-of-the-blue knees-up complete with trained dancers, and I even bumped into what once was the world’s tallest ash tree in Duncombe Park’s sprawling gardens.
It was a fantastic and immensely varied weekend, and this year’s could be every inch as good, if not a little better! Here are six things that’ll make it special…
1. The headliners
Let’s start somewhere unashamedly obvious. With Levellers, Morcheeba, Tricky and The Human League all headlining, there’ll surely be big festival moments galore here, from re-living Levellers’ epoch-defining Glasto ’94 set to the inevitable Don’t You Want Me Baby? sing-along that’ll cap off the event on the Sunday night.
2. The family activities
Galtres has a national reputation as a ‘family’ festival. This doesn’t just come down to the atmosphere and the audience, it’s due to the programming too. A large area of the festival arena with the ship-shaped Galleon Stage at its heart offers continual family activities throughout the festival, including theatre, dance and crafts. To take a young child to Leeds Festival is an act of madness. To take a young child to Galtres Parklands Festival is a stroke of genius.
3. The late night entertainment
Of course there’s plenty for revellers to enjoy at Galtres too. Entertainment goes on till two in the morning in the Little Top silent disco and around many of the arena’s smaller stages, in the form of DJ sets and live performances. Sozzled campfire sing-alongs generally go on far later still.
4. The venue
The new setting of Duncombe Park was a revelation when the festival upped sticks and moved there last summer. Boasting rolling fields offering expansive views, wooded areas and a spectacularly beautiful riverside camping area, it’s a fantastic festival site. Amidst all this natural grandeur, the Duncombe Park Mansion House doesn’t look too shabby either.
5. The beer
Galtres started life as a beer and cider festival, and drinks have remained at the heart of the event’s appeal. Well over 100 beers and ciders – predominantly locally made – will be available across a range of bars on the festival site.
6. The local performers
York’s music scene is incredibly vibrant considering the size of the city, and many of its finest performers will be entertaining the crowds at Galtres, from solo artists to rock bands.