The sun is shining, the weather is sweet. For many, this signals a search for last minute Spanish holidays or backpacking escapades around the globe. For others, the summer solstice is the cue to dust off the tent and hit the road for a weekend of camping, music and booty shaking.
If you fall into the latter, then cast your eyes at Standon Calling, a festival set to offer you a weekend of unrivalled pleasure, without the planetary pain. Set on the spacious grounds of a 16th century manor house just 40 minutes north of London, the Standon Calling festival is a sight to behold. This year, the festivities are set to take place on the weekend of Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd August 2014. The Line Up Always offering a great mash up of various musical styles, Standon Calling has once again outdone itself, with a whole host of hotly tipped acts packed into this intimate festival setting. Headliner acts on the main-stage include Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, Public Enemy and Maximo Park, whilst other confirmed artists are Grandmaster Flash and The Cuban Brothers (entertainment personified). The festival have also confirmed DJ Yoda, DJ Format, Gilles Peterson, and Norman Jay, who are bound to keep the Big Top (yes, there is a giant circus style Big Top tent) and the Cowshed (the onsite nightclub where you can party until 5am, naturally) rocking until the early hours. Click here for a full line up. But Standon is much more than just a music festival. For starters they are the only UK festival with a swimming pool. And for those dog lovers, not only are dogs allowed into the festival, but they also host an annual Dog Show. And speaking of shows, for the first time, Standon Calling will be operating an actual carnival on site for 2014. The Standon Carnivale will beat its way through the festival encouraging festival goers to be part of it – even offering you the opportunity to arrive on site early and take part in flamenco dancing, float building, piñata making and voodoo ritual workshops. And as always, the little ones are catered for too, with regular actvities including face painting, a craft area (replete with badge making), storytelling, yoga classes, drama workshops, interactive theatre, Maurice’s reggae nursery rhymes and the ever-popular Punch and Judy show.
Okay, so you want to be part of the festival, you want to get dressed up in your finest clobber and get down to the beat of the Standon fleet. Each year, Standon makes it possible for festival goers to play a part in the proceedings, rather than passively watching bands, by incorporating theatrical set-pieces and a fancy dress theme into the festival. Well you’ll be thrilled to learn that the theme for Standon 2014 is…wait for it…Lost in Latin America! Think colour! Think heat! Think salsa! Standon Calling is hoping to get you dancing to the Standon samba beat, with Latin American inspired food (everything from churros to chillis), a llama ride, tequila fuelled beverages (of course), and even a Mexican wrestling competition. The possibilities are endless. And when the sun goes down, the ancient rainforest will come alive with jungle life, beating drums, and warming fires.
Not to be outdone by the impressive line up and entertainment on offer, the eco credentials of this festival hold their own, with a number of green initiatives being employed by the festival. In 2010 we caught up with the festival organiser Alex Trenchard, who gave us a little insider info into the green policies of Standon. Everything from recyclable cups with a 50p deposit, to employing the use of eco loos. “We’re really pleased with the eco loos, as they use absolutely no water,” said Trenchard. The festival also has a very strong relationship with Greener Festival who help them get greener. Other initiatives that you’ll see in place at Standon are car sharing schemes, and Standon also ensure that they are only working with caterers that care about their refuse. They also employ an on-site environmental army to recycle as much as possible and ensure that nothing stays on site that shouldn’t after the event. And if all that wasn’t enough the proceeds of the festival go to one local and one national charity each year. This year, Standon Calling is proud to announce that its official charity partner will be CoppaFeel! The charity and its ‘Boob Team’ sporting giant boob costumes will be arranging some rather special surprises over the weekend. The festival will also be collaborating with the breast cancer awareness charity in the run up to the festival, including giving ticket buyers the opportunity to make a contribution to CoppaFeel! at the ticket checkout.
No doubt you want to know how much this magical weekend of Latin American inspired shenanigans will cost? This is another area where Standon Calling comes up trumps. Part of the 2014 new format sees the new arrival of day tickets! So for those of you who can’t spare the whole weekend but still wish to get involved, day tickets can be purchased at a very reasonable price of £50 for the Friday and Sunday and £60 for the Saturday. Weekend tickets are fast selling out and are currently at £119. Click here for more information on pricing and to buy tickets. Andale Andale, Arriba, Arriba! Check out the highlights from Standon Calling 2013 HERE…