The Big Chill, Eastnor Castle, Deer Park, Malvern

Grown-up ravers feel the sunshine in Malvern Hills

Well, you have put up your collapsible yurt, your six-year-old is happily spinning his poi down by the open-air stage and the sun is almost shining (these are Herefordshire's Malvern Hills after all).

Welcome to The Big Chill, the festival now known as the destination of choice for clubbers who have grown up, locked away those saucer-eyed incriminating pictures, then spawned mini-versions of themselves. And what could be a better spot for such wholesome, fun-loving families to relax for the weekend than in Eastnor Castle's Deer Park. For one weekend a year, this tree-lined bucolic jewel plays host to yoga, poetry events and comedy, all against the soundtrack of dance-oriented music of any ilk you like.

Friday kicked off slowly, as the scant few who could wangle the time off work filtered slowly into the grounds ("I've got a great new pear cider which you will simply love"), before taking in the tunes, which kicked off with the post-punk five-piece The Mules in The Club Tent. Taking to the stage half-an-hour late after two of the band failed to show up on time, they began with a roar. The charismatic lead singer and drummer Ed Seed hammered through a fast-paced array of tracks that tended to hug a tried and tested formula. Step one: begin with feral drumming ("Jenny make the easy choice, screw the boys"), preferably inspired by The White Stripes. Step two: finish with crowd-pleasing bombast, throwing in a few Gypsy violins for good measure. Next a no-show forced one-man band and saviour of good times Son of Dave into the equivalent of an upgrade on a flight. He took to the open air stage, entertaining a significant and appropriately chilled audience with his brand of 21st-century blues.

Other early highlights were the sublime harmonies of Angus and Julia Stone, a brother/sister folk act. Their origins lay in performances as solo artists, principally at open mic nights, with each using the other as a backing partner. But more recent collaborations with the likes of the Travis frontman Fran Healy, along with support slots for Newton Faulkner and David Gray, are clearly paying off. Going down like a brief spell of sunshine here, you should watch this space: they have a subtle, ethereal touch – especially in the exquisite ballad "When I Was a Boy" with which they finished – that may sail them into the mainstream.

The crescendo to the day's events was suitably awe-inspiring. Amid the rain there was the mesmerising stage presence of Roisin Murphy, following the one-time Tricky vocalist Martina Topley Bird, enjoying a welcome renaissance. Brixton's Alabama 3 and Roots Manuva, a veteran of UK hip-hop, were on later, along with Martha Wainwright, who displayed the penchant for on-stage banter for which her family is renowned. The highlight of her set was a collaboration with the beatbox artist Shlomo. It is enough to keep you hungry, no matter how much falafel you bung down your gullet. Still to come: Leonard Cohen, the Mighty Boosh, Lykke Li and Beth Orton. Growing up has never looked so appealing.

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'

Arts and Entertainment
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book

Arts and Entertainment
Panic! In The Disco's Brendon Urie performs on stage

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Radio 4's Today programme host Evan Davis has been announced as the new face of Newsnight

Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams performing on the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London

Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

Arts and Entertainment
MusicFans were left disappointed after technical issues
Arts and Entertainment
'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1665
artWhat is it about the period that so enthrals novelists?
Arts and Entertainment
Into the woods: The Merry Wives of Windsor at Petersfield
theatreOpen-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    10 best reed diffusers

    Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

    Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

    Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

    There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
    Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

    Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

    It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform