PREVIEW: Deer Shed Festival - 19th to 21st July 2013 1

PREVIEW: Deer Shed Festival – 19th to 21st July 2013

43 days and counting until the Deer Shed Festival once more opens its gates and welcomes 7,000 guests to what will be its fourth annual outing. Set in the beautiful undulating pastures of Baldersby Park near Thirsk in North Yorkshire, this year’s event promises to be even bigger and better than before as it again realises the organisers’ dream of creating a “live music/child-friendly utopia”.

Built around the theme of Machines, a myriad cast of thousands of pieces of Meccano; sundry music boxes, Nano Quadcopters, electronic gadgets 247aand gizmos; not to mention countless rockets, radios and robots, will all play host to this magical event which runs from 1pm on Friday the 19th until the site closes at 7pm on Sunday the 21st of July. In addition to this massive celebration of all things mechanical, this year’s Deer Shed Festival offers an expanded Arts Programme and a huge variety of first class entertainment, including cabaret, comedy, cinema, theatre, and artists at work, workshops and a full programme for kids, not forgetting those perennial festival staples of food, drink and music. In the words of Sly Stone, the Deer Shed Festival is most truly a family affair.

This year’s Arts Programme includes a Friday night appearance in the Big Top by the riotous comedy cabaret of Slightly Fat Features as they stop en route to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Comedy also features heavily across the rest of the weekend from the cartoonist and cartoon characters of CBBC’s Big Howard Little Howard to the more PG-rated comedy of Mrs Barbara Nice, Duncan Oakley, Steve Best and veritable stand-up star of stage and screen, Justin Moorhouse. Whilst laughter will also be key with Ivan Brackenbury’s Hospital Radio Roadshow and the comedy magic of Steve Price, there will still be ample time and space for a whole variety of storytelling and spoken word events, including The Guardian’s music critic Dave Simpson speaking to Tom Hingley of the Inspiral Carpets.

Children, and their enjoyment, are central to Deer Shed’s appeal and success and kids’ events are both an integral and essential part of the weekend. If you are aged fifteen years and under (and even if you are not) finding yourself at the Deer Shed Festival you would probably think you were in heaven so well have you been catered for. The mechanical theme percolates through the wide range of workshops that will be on offer, including the making of robot 370aamasks, pups and cardboard heads, the construction of plastic super structures out of plumbing waste pipes, the design and decoration of water bottle rockets, balloon powered cars, cotton reel tanks and machine junk modelling. The more traditional clay modelling, bracelet making and drumming and circus workshops may seem relatively tame by comparison. And as if that wasn’t enough for those with the child in their eyes, eight tons of play sand will be transported onto the site and this wonderful seaside in the countryside will nestle ever so nicely alongside the festival’s established soft play area, Rounders England, sports field and cardboard city facilities.

But whilst the kids will undoubtedly be alright at Deer Shed, there will also be much to captivate and entertain the grown-ups at the festival. York Brewery returns to the site this year with their very own beer festival and then, of course, there is the music. Good as it has been, in previous years music has sometimes felt rather incidental to the event as a whole but 2013 bears witness to what is a wholesale upping of Deer Shed’s musical line-up game. The headliners may well come courtesy of Darwin Deez, the respective former frontmen of Supergrass and Orange Juice, Gaz Coombes and Edwyn Collins (pictured below), a re-emerged and re-energised The House of Love, The Unthanks performing Songs from the Shipyards and a valedictory set on Sunday afternoon by the mighty King Creosote, but the undercard equally offers countless reasons to be cheerful. It will surely be an absolute thrill to once more experience Public Service Broadcasting with their altogether new dimension of sound playing out against an impressive backdrop of a huge 1950’s Bakelite TV, banked by stacks of smaller television sets through which archive images are beamed. And Merseyside’s contemporary Three Graces, Stealing Sheep, who all conjoin at a point where the psychedelic popular song meets ancient folk, are another act not to be missed.


The full music line-up can be found here:

Whether you are young or old, the Deer Shed Festival really has got something for everyone. But if you haven’t already got yourself a ticket, and with the majority of them having already been sold, you had better get in there pretty fast. A further incentive to get one of the last remaining tickets quickly is the fact that there are now only four days left in which to buy Tier 2 Deer Shed Festival 4 tickets – they are priced at a perfectly reasonable £89 for an Adult Full Weekend (which includes free camping in what is a rather spacious and beautiful location) – before the last few are released in Tier 3. After midnight on Monday June 10th the price of an adult weekend ticket rises by £10.

Tickets can be bought here:

Alternatively you can still go to Deer Shed Festival for free. If you would like to volunteer, please contact:

[email protected]

And all of the festival information can be accessed here:


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.