When: 27th – 29th July 2018
Where: Week St. Mary, near Bude, Cornwall
Cornwall’s a bit popular, didn’t you know? Whether it’s from the brochures, the daytime TV shows or the sheer weight of traffic giving you grief on the A30, you might just have noticed. Yet when the same clamour is made about music festivals, once you’ve headed westwards and reached Worthy Farm in Pilton, it’s frequently all over bar the shouting in many people’s eyes.
Indeed, Truro’s finest, Alex Parks, stated on the BBC’s Fame Academy back in the halcyon reality TV days of 2003, that “Everyone whispers in Cornwall.” Maybe that’s why some of its best-kept secrets are still slightly under the radar. Yet there’s plenty to make noise about in a Cornish summer beyond getting off your bonce in Newquay. So, not being a local and being quite willing to make a spectacle, it behoves me to make as amplified a noise as possible for Leopallooza.
It all began in 2006, when a bunch of mates wanted the biggest house party they could manage, whilst quickly realising they could have a bigger house party if it wasn’t actually in a house and a much louder party if it was a bit further away from where people were trying to watch Countryfile. So they built a stage on some farmland, got some local bands in and had such a good time that people immediately said, “Same time next year?” Thus a one-off ‘house party in a field’ has scaled up to one of the best small festivals in the country, without losing its sense of friendliness. It’s grown significantly in its twelve years, but it remains a loveable, gentle youth, full of joy and without a hint of weary cynicism.
Nestled in a tree-lined valley, a few miles from the coast, The Wyldes can feel a world away from Cornwall’s gorgeous, yet often crowded coastal towns. If you’ve been to Sennen and barely seen sand for a blanket of sunburnt dad/mum bods or wetsuited vacation adventurers, imagine a different realm, with room to breathe. Rather than the sound of some kiddie freaking out because a seagull the size of Steven Segall stole her chips, imagine the sound of headliners, Public Service Broadcasting, St Paul and the Broken Bones or Kelis drifting through your personal space instead.
Set up well for music lovers of all ages, it has a designated family camping area, as well as a VIP camping area for those picky types with a penchant for running water and showers. The site may be small, but it is fierce. The central arena offers the Main and Second Stages, between which the crowd can divide its attention. No sooner has a band finished on one stage, but the next band can strike up on the other, ensuring that there is no lull in proceedings. Head away from the main arena and you have the Mono Stage, where you’ll get the best in alternative rock, like Manchester’s PINS, London’s Husky Loops and the multinational-but-not-at-all-Scandinavian Swedish Death Candy.
The Mono stage will also bring you a DJ set from Steve Davis and Kavus Torabi, whilst you can throw huge shapes into the wee small hours at The Hong Kong Ping Pong Club or The Treeline with Roni Size, Marshall Jefferson and The Nextmen. Elsewhere, you can take a trip on The Funny Side – comedy with MC Mark Dolan, featuring Russell Kane, Josh Widdicombe, Shappi Khorsandi and Gary Delaney, plus whoever seems to be uploading content onto BBC News site at the moment (surely it’s all satire). Silent disco from The Quiet Riot, your own noise at the Shi Shi Za Karaoke Bar and a trip into Roguewood, the world of Rogue Theatre, will shake up your weekend.
As will Idles, the Bristol punks, giving inhumanity a kicking. Estrons will rattle your cage with post-punk thump, whilst The Go! Team will bring the ‘marching band gone rogue’ spirit of carnival with them. Bryde, Laurel and Gris-De-Lin give you a chance to take things down a notch or two in pace, but not at all in intensity and Oh My God, It’s The Church! are likely to give you an inkling what Songs of Praise would be like if presented in a Sister Act/Blues Brothers style.
By the end of July, football may have come home, or f***all may have come home. We might be lurching towards another general election. Such things bombard us from our telly screens and crowd our Twitter feeds. If we want to tune out of the global white noise this summer, let Cornwall be our firewall for a few blissful days at Leopallooza.
All the information on Leopallooza, including how to buy tickets, can be found HERE