PREVIEW – Deer Shed: Base Camp Plus

PREVIEW – Deer Shed: Base Camp Plus

When: July 30th to August 1st, 2021
Where: Baldersby Park, Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, England

Given the ongoing impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and the uncertainties surrounding it, back in April, the annual edition of the Deer Shed Festival had to be postponed for the second year running. Deer Shed Festival 12 will now not take place until the end of July next year. But Base Camp – first introduced last July – is not only back again, but this time with a huge Plus.

Deer Shed: Base Camp Plus will take place next weekend on the original festival dates and at the event’s regular location in the grounds of Baldersby Park. Base Camp Plus is an intimate, socially distanced festival that promises Deer Shed’s customary community spirit and an amazing line-up of live music, comedy, shows, plus a programme of arts and sports workshops, albeit on a much smaller scale than would ordinarily be the case.

Safety is key at Base Camp Plus and even though these restrictions were further lifted on the 19th of July, the event has been planned to fit in with the government’s Step 3 out of lockdown. This more cautious approach is the right and proper way forward given the more recent increase in the number of daily reported Covid cases. It is also a strategy that has seen a marked reduction in the event’s capacity – down from its regular 14,000 paying guests to a figure nearer 3,000 – but this has not been reflected in any lessening of the quality of entertainment that Base Camp Plus has to offer.

Music remains one of the main ingredients of Deer Shed. Brighton’s Porridge Radio, one of the country’s most exciting and upcoming bands, headline the main stage on Friday night, with the London-based trio and equally dynamic Dream Wife topping the bill the following evening. The fiercely independent and supremely innovative English singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jane Weaver concludes the music on the main stage on Sunday night. Her latest album Flock already seems destined to be one of the records of the year.

Dream Wife at Deer Shed Festival in 2018

An exceptionally strong and musically diverse undercard includes the bluegrass influence of The Often Herd; the Balkan-inspired melodies of The Baghdaddies; the Black feminist punk trio Big Joanie; W. H. Lung’s shimmering synth-pop; folk and country singer-songwriter and old friend of the festival, Serious Sam Barrett; the New York Brass Band who are North Yorkshire’s only contemporary New Orleans inspired brass band; and celebrated West Country musician Katy J. Pearson.

In firm keeping with Deer Shed’s gone-by, Comedy remains another staple diet of Base Camp Plus. This part of the programme is represented by, amongst many others besides, the English comedy actor and musician Graham Fellows’ magnificent creation John Shuttleworth; comedian, author and sports pundit Mark Watson; award-winning comedian Katie Pritchard; stand-up comic Rosie Jones; and the fictional character and burger van owner Angelos Epithemiou.

John Shuttleworth at Deer Shed Festival in 2017

And that is all before we have even begun to talk about the myriad of Shows, DJ Sets (including none other than one from the Happy Monday’s resident percussionist and dancer, Bez), a wide range of Workshops and Activities, Sports and Well-being events that the organisers have planned for next weekend.

Not surprisingly Base Camp Plus sold out weeks ago. But full information about the event, including details about a waiting list, should any last-minute places become available, can be found HERE

Photos: Simon Godley

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