Standon Calling has gained a reputation for being extremely accommodating to pundits of all ages, and this year it didn’t disappoint. Setting itself apart from other festivals, Standon prides itself on being the most “dog friendly festival in the UK”. Festival goers flocked to see an eclectic mix of artists, including headliners Paloma Faith, George Ezra and Bryan Ferry. With a diverse range of delicious food stalls to try, craft activities, vintage stores, vinyl shops, costume parades and dog shows – there really was something for everyone.
The Independent continued its partnership with Standon Calling this year by sponsoring the Laundry Meadows stage, which showcased some of the best up and coming musical talent around, culminating with 1990s trip-hop pioneers Morcheeba, whose smooth melodies created the perfect chilled out atmosphere. Over on the main stage, pop chart topper Paloma Faith displayed her retro sounding soulful vocals, whilst also bringing the party with latest hits “Lullaby” and “Make Your Own Kind of Music”. Late night dwellers then enjoyed DJ Greg Wilson on the Starbase stage or continued the party in the Groove Garden.
Saturday’s highlights included funk-dance band Park Hotel, whose infectious disco-inspired anthems ensured an enthusiastic crowd grooved along in the afternoon sun. This was followed by psychedelic rock band Gengahr, whose dreamy guitar riffs served as the perfect soundtrack to this summer’s heatwave. Topping off the evening, Hertfordshire‘s own electronic duo Maribou State smashed their headline set with a chilled downtempo dance vibe. Aside from the music, the costume parade and competition in line with this year’s theme: The Future, encouraged entire families to dress up, with the winner bagging free festival tickets for next year.
Back on the Laundry Meadows stage, south London natives Shame brought infectious and gritty energy to their set which fired up a rain-soaked crowd. Another unmissable set was by rising star Little Simz, whose impressive and critically acclaimed talent captivated the audience. On the main stage, the evening was rounded off in style with Hertford’s very own George Ezra, whose setlist was full of folk rock festival anthems for the whole family to sing along to.
The Laundry Meadows stage had another stellar lineup on Sunday, including Dream Wife, Pip Blom, Her’s and headliner’s The Horrors. Dream Wife’s infectious punk-pop energy and messages of inclusivity and empowerment ensure they’re paving the way for all-female bands in the music industry.
Another highlight was Amsterdam’s Pip Blom, who have already established an enthusiastic fanbase in the UK. After their set, we caught up with the friendly bunch who said they thoroughly enjoyed the intimate nature of the Laundry Meadow’s stage and the “passion” that UK fans bring to their shows. To top the evening off, experimental rock band The Horrors graced the stage with a setlist full of indie nostalgia and a performance which was truly theatrical.
Lastly, Roxy Music pioneer Bryan Ferry rounded off the festival by delivering a performance which was sure to make the parents reminisce. Though small in size, Standon Calling has so much to offer with its unique and intimate charm, whilst also containing the buzz of larger festivals. The friendly and inclusive atmosphere serves as the perfect introduction for those new to the festival experience.
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