If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know that I have a soft spot for the Larmer Tree Festival and this year I suspect it is going to be the best ever Larmer Tree. As the festival celebrates its Silver Anniversary you can be sure that there will be surprises a-plenty to keep you entertained.
I think it is generally accepted that the real delights of a festival happen away from the main stage and this years Larmer Tree will be no exception. For many years the Larmer Tree festival has delighted audiences with a late-night comedy club on the ARC stage. This years comedy club welcomes a host of internationally acclaimed comedians with Ed Byrne, Russell Kane, Sara Pascoe and Seann Walsh topping the bill, ably supported by the eclectic talents of Kerry Godliman, James Acaster, David Trent, Alex Edelman, Gareth Richards, Rhys James, Carl Hutchinson, Stephen Bailey, Damian Clarke, Fin Taylor, Yve Blake and Mark Simmons.
The 2015 late-night comedy programme kicks off on Thursday 16th July with Irish comedian Ed Byrne, a regular on Mock the Week, Have I Got News For You and 8 out of 10 Cats, Ed comes to the festival following dates in New Zealand and ahead of a UK tour later this year.
On Sunday, Larmer Tree welcome back multi-award winning comedian, presenter, actor and scriptwriter Russell Kane. A familiar face from Live at the Apollo, Live at the Electric and Unzipped, Kane is returning to the festival for the third time due to overwhelming audience demand. If that wasn’t enough the weird and wacky Bill Bailey brings his unique brand of music and comedy to the main stage on Sunday evening.
Renowned for supporting emerging talent, on Friday Larmer Tree will headline returning comedy star Sara Pascoe who has rocketed through the comedy ranks since her last visit in 2011. Sara will join emerging music acts The Villanovas and The Drystones who won slots at the festival through the festivals music breakthrough awards competition.
Joining Sara at the top of the comedy bill is charismatic Saturday headliner Seann Walsh, known for his self-deprecating silliness and hilarious observational comedy, Seann has appeared on Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow and Mock The Week.
The stellar 2015 comedy bill also includes London comedienne Kerry Godliman, returning to her stand-up roots after a major role in Ricky Gervais’ recent series Derek. Spearheading a new 21st century brand of comedy, tech-happy David Trent will wow the crowds with his multi-media show, and he’s been nominated for Foster’s Best Newcomer Award. Another comedian for the digital age is sparky Sydney-born Yve Blake who will perform her high-energy act with comic songs inspired by story submissions from Twitter, including a song specially written for Larmer Tree’s 25th year based on audience anecdotes.
Other highlights are Festival Director Julia Safe’s discoveries from the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe. These include winner of the festival’s 2014 Foster’s Best Newcomer Award Alex Edelman who recounts hilarious anecdotes with a sharp eye for the absurd, Rhys James who combines comedy and performance poetry to spellbinding effect, and rising star Fin Taylor, now fresh from supporting Russell Howard.
Part of the late-night revelry, these comedy stars will perform in the infamous ARC tent every evening from 10.45pm onwards.
Completing the music line-up for 2015 the Larmer Tree Festival have announced the final acts on the programme. Adding to huge variety already on offer are the talents of dynamic violin and guitar duo Aaron Catlow & Kit Hawes, Irish alternative trio All The Luck In The World, talented cellist Beth Porter and The Availables and 6-piece ska group Boy Le Monti. Also appearing are Senegalese kora virtuoso Diabel Cissokho, 6-piece spectacle Django Spears, explosive Bristol-based phenomenon First World Pros and dark swing band Gaslight Troubadours with Professor Elemental.
Festival-goers will enjoy original storytelling songs from Noah’s House Band, high-energy banjo and fiddle from Pronghorn, melodious ‘math pop’ from 4- piece Signals and an exceptional performance from The Ben Waters Band whose eponymous pianist has worked with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry and PJ Harvey.
Whether refreshed from therapies in the Secret Garden, inspired by arts and craft workshops or eager for more music, festival-goers looking to stretch their dancing legs after the Main Stage finishes at 11pm can make their way to the brand new after-hours DJ venue tucked away in Lostwood. Set among the trees in a clearing in the woods, The Hide is the perfect place to dance the night away.
If you have the energy to keep going until 4am, The Social is home to acoustic music and chilled out chatting by day, and by night late-night live acts and resident DJs will have the audience dancing till dawn.
Add to this all the previously announced acts, great food, a relaxed atmosphere, an incomparable range of children activities and a range of secret surprises to celebrate the festivals big anniversary and you will have the best Larmer Tree Festival to date. Don’t miss this one.
I know I can’t wait.
Tickets for this years Larmer Tree Festival are available here: