The Verse’s Chloe Lawrence attended the fantastic Farr Festival held in Baldock Forest on the 5th July 2018. This is what she has to say.
As we entered what may have been the hundredth consecutive weekend of scorching heat, Farr Festival resurrected the sleeping Baldock forest with its ninth annual edition. Inviting an eclectic crowd eager to dance the weekend away, this year’s line-up was an impressive mix of relatively uncharted electronic, disco and techno beats.
Held less than an hour from London, Farr is an unusual yet unbelievably trendy festival. Perfect for a weekend escape from the sweaty city to a slightly less sweaty four-day party. Farr will take you far away (if you’ll pardon the pun) from the realms of reality.
The festival escorts eager electro enthusiasts to a magical, picturesque destination within the heart of Hertfordshire. Farr has developed and progressed over the years to a sophisticated well-renowned boutique festival. However, the festival is still yet to predict the correct number of showers required for their attendees.
Despite the extreme heat and, as a result, the sheer amount of dust, the size of the festival was an absolute godsend, stretching across a moderately sized forest and a relatively small campsite. I initially had my doubts about attending such a small festival. However, the intimacy, easy accessibility and festival community was one of the most inviting and enjoyable aspects of the festival.
Farr’s crowd were there for the music and only the music. The great tasting line up provided an unbeatable resonance within the forest. Dixon and Job Jobse (pronounced ‘Yob Yobse’ to everyone’s disbelief) delivered sets to the Shack which were particularly memorable. Saturday night was by far one of the most ecstatic festival nights I’ve experienced. People dispersed across the arenas, filling each stage with wacky dance moves and wavy garments.
The Shack that was positioned within a hilled clearing in the forest. It was packed with partygoers suggesting what a ‘naughty’ or ‘sick’ set the DJs had curated. By far one of the most inventive stages, the Shack resembles the electronic festivals’ late 00’s roots held within a caravan in the forest clearing. Thanks to the floor caving in, Farr has developed into the fantastic festival it is today.
Sunday arrived all too soon. The weekend clearly took its toll as Campfire Headphase became a popular napping spot for attendees. Despite Peng Sound’s Wilfy Rootikal and Snoopy’s best efforts to revive the exhausted crowd, nothing could get in the way of the Farr goer and their afternoon nap.
The Factory, Farr’s industrial themed stage, was reminiscent of something you’d stumble upon at Boomtown (but Farr do it better…) It hosted Dan Shake, who delivered a strong disco-esque set, achieving what Peng Sound could not. Despite the sun beating down upon the stage constructed from discarded shipping containers, the avid crowd took to the Factory forming a neat line down one side, sheltering within the stage whilst enjoying Shake’s groovy dance beats. Despite everyone’s best efforts to resist and preserve their low levels of energy for the final evening, Shake’s set was irresistibly funky.
The Factory hosted a number of big names such as Maribou State and George Fitzgerald. Maribou State presented a calm oasis in the middle of the disco-stricken forest. Their gentle melodies were a pleasant escape from the midst of Baldock forest.
Hunee, another DJ whose name no one really knows how to pronounce, provided an upbeat house disco set. The final set of the festival was unusually sparse. I expected The Factory to be absolutely packed. However, I was surprised by the turnout and the space to dance (certainly not complaining about the latter…). With his main goal being to enrich the lives of his listeners, according to Resident Advisor, Hunee’s energetic set was not one to miss.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary next year, Farr has maintained a friendly intimate feel. The isolated environment surrounded by beautiful, rolling green hills was perfect for a curfew-free escape from reality. I can imagine this is slightly frustrating to travel to and from if you’re not travelling by car (as suggested by the lines waiting for taxis at the end of each night). Farr boasted their imaginative qualities. The festival was adorned with fanciful décor, a selection of unique stage names and designs, and the organisers invited some seriously talented DJs to perform. I must admit, I wasn’t so sure about the line-up initially. I had only heard of a handful of DJs performing before. As anticipated the music was spectacular and I am already looking forward to the 10th anniversary next year.
Summer 2019 will be Farr Festival’s 10th anniversary. The dates will be revealed soon! Keep checking www.farrfestival.co.uk for more info.