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So a short while back I was lucky enough to make my second annual pilgrimage to Farr festival. I say pilgrimage because I’ll quite happily do this festival year in, year out. The whole set up is just so easy and designed for maximum fun. Starting with getting there, the festival itself is around a 10 minute taxi journey from the nearest train station and also really easy to get to by car. We opted to travel by car and arrived after about 45 minute drive from North London. Pretty much as soon as you get through the ticketing queue (which in a stroke of genius you don’t even have to leave the car for) the party starts.

After getting in we found the campsite was a stones throw away from the car park and space was abundant. Anyone who has been to a big festival like Glasto or Bestival will understand how much of a better start to the weekend it is not having to slog with your bags for 10 minutes and then fight for a patch of grass.

Once you’re set up the arena is a 5 minute walk away and you could navigate the whole thing in less than 10 minutes whilst retaining a huge variety of stages. My friends and I went up to start the evening’s proceedings just before sunset; which made for glorious view from the hilltop the mainstage is situated on. We had a quick stroll around the arena which is comprised of the mainstage and four smaller marquees in the middle of a woodland, which has perfect eerie lighting of an evening. We checked out the lineup, which was posted on one of the walls and decided to crack on with some music.

The Friday night line-up was in my opinion slightly more current musically with Maxxi Soundsystem, Eats Everything, Jackmaster and Oneman being some of the bigger names on the bill. We headed to Maxxi Soundsystem first at the Badger Hole; one of the smaller marquee type tents. Being the first night the crowd were bang up for it and he tore the place apart, a particular highlight being  the playing of  “Regrets we have no use for.” Next up was the eagerly anticipated Eats Everything who suitably smashed it and thankfully his set was the only one in which we heard the somewhat overplayed Jack and that it was actually a nice little re-beef that the man himself had made rather than the original. (Note. It’s that I don’t like the original, it’s just been played to death now it’s on mainstream radio playlists.)

We then strolled over to the main stage to see Jackmaster and Oneman and the pairing had decided to combine their two sets into one B2B party bangers marathon; moving through everything from Cyndi Lauper’sGirls just wanna have fun”, to Ms Jackson by Outkast. Whilst this probably sounds like a bit of a cheese fest to some people it was laced with just the right amount of house / techno and coinicided with that time of night where everyone was drunk enough for it to go down a treat. Ending their set on Fleetwood Mac’sThe Chain” was a great shout and crafted perfect festival vibes. Thankfully all was not over for the evening with the Waifs & Strays and Futureboogie DJ’s guiding out the night with some suitable late night house.

The next day was equally as fun. Whilst the weather wasn’t quite as good predicted it still didn’t rain which is always a blessing at UK festivals. We started the day by watching a couple of acoustic bands which were good enough to lift me out of my bad temperament at having one of the Made in Chelsea ‘stars’ pointed out to me by one of my mates. I personally thought Py were particularly good fun as the sun had just started to peek out a little bit.  After this, we went and grabbed something to eat from the limited choices available and then moved on to catch Hannah Holland, Terry Farley and Dan Beaumont back to back. These guys played probably one of my favourite sets of the weekend and they looked like they were having a great laugh at the same time, which is always nice to see.

Moving on we went and saw some of the Troupe lineup in the slightly smaller Foxhole. Waze and Odyssey were playing a blinder but it was a little too packed for our liking and instead we went and had a go on the festival bumper cars which were a great addition. Driving a bumper car is great fun as it is but when you’ve been boozing all day it definitely gives it a little more pizzazz. We ended the evening in the Badger hole that had a stellar bookings of former fabric resident Daniel Avery, Andrew Weatherall and Bicep. Hearing Paul Woolford’s track Untitled played twice in the same evening would normally be a bit of a DJ faux par but it’s such a belter that it was happily overlooked by the crowd, who loved it just as much the second time around as the first.

In summary, Farr is a fantastic little festival. They’ve got some improvements to make for next year certainly, the toilets for one were not up to standard and the food choice was a bit limited. But they’ve definitely improved from 2012 to 2013 and you can tell that production values really matter to the team. I’m sure they’ll come back with an even stronger party next year and I for one will definitely be joining them again to “get lost in the woods.” Don’t miss out, make sure you get yourself down there next year for another right old knees up.

Grahame Farmer

Grahame Farmer’s love affair with electronic music goes back to the mid-90s when he first began to venture into the UK’s beloved rave culture, finding himself interlaced with some of the country’s most seminal club spaces. A trip to dance music’s anointed holy ground of Ibiza in 1997 then cemented his sense of purpose and laid the foundations for what was to come over the next few decades of his marriage to the music industry.

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