Echo and the Bunnymen, Paul Weller, Editors - Festival Preview: Hop Farm Festival

Paul Cook 16/06/2009

Here's the basics; It's called Hop Farm, it's in Kent and it's on the 4th and 5th of July. More importantly it could quite easily be the best festival you don't yet know about. For 125 including camping the lineup is full of diverse, exciting new talent, established icons of British music and is one of the few festivals offering a commercial-free atmosphere.

Bev Burton, Hop Farm's lineup organiser lists the festival's unique advantages: “We're independent. We have no sponsorship, no branding and no VIP area's. The 2 most important things at a festival are the punters and the bands and we aim to keep both of them very happy. Obviously having sponsorship has some advantages, but our main focus is bringing good music to the folks that are paying to see it without having brands plastered everywhere and being limited to whichever sponsors products are on site.”

Paul Weller

Main stage headliners at Hop Farm include former The Jam frontman Paul Weller, Doves, Editors, The Fratellis, The Pigeon Detectives, Welsh rockers Super Furry Animals and the fantastic Echo and the Bunnymen.

Bev Burton says “We have a cracking line up this year with major acts like Paul Weller, The Fratellis, Editors, Doves etc, but our dance tent has one of the best line ups. It doesn't get much better than 2manydjs and Etienne De Crecy. What I'm particularly excited about is our 3rd stage. It has some of the best talent around at the moment, check out The Twilight Sad, The Chapman Family, The Good The Bad (amazing), Fight Like Apes and White Denim.


Furthermore, Hop Farm is one of only a handful of UK festivals where you can catch the brilliant British Sea Power with their soaring, layered instrumentals and epic, atmospheric tone. Considering you won't be catching Arcade Fire anywhere soon, these are more than a fitting consolation. Editors are also stopping off at only a handful of UK festivals and after a powerfully memorable performance at Reading are a band best experienced live.

Many of BBC Radio1's most highly recommended artists are at this years Hop Farm and you won't be fighting your way through 50,000+ spectators to see them either. The inimitable vocals of Florence and the Machine as well as the “seductive melodies” of GIITTV favourites The Joy Formidable will be gracing the stage at the festival alongside several up-and-comers like the catchy indie pop outfit Let's Wrestle, the rapid, rock sounds of Dananananaykroyd and the indie-dance fusion of The Sunshine Underground.

The full line-up is as follows:

MAIN STAGE SATURDAY - The Fratellis, Pigeon Detectives, The View, Ash, Echo And The Bunnymen, Florence And The Machine, Noah And The Whale, Howling Bells.

MAIN STAGE SUNDAY - Paul Weller, Editors, Doves, Super Furry Animals, The Twang, Mystery Jets, Ladyhawke, The Rifles, That Petrol Emotion.

Etienne De Crecy, Ajaxdr. Lektroluv, D.I.M, Dada Life, Datarock, Whitey (Dj Set), Jape, Fc20

The Sunshine Underground, White Denim, Bell X 1, The Joy Formidable, The Twilight Sad, Johnny Foreigner, Let's Wrestle, The Good The Bad.

GIITTV asked Bev Burton a few more questions about the festival:

“From a festival-goer point of view, why is alcohol not allowed to be brought into the arena and does this mean that on-site bars will be charging reasonable?

We have some great bars offering a range of drinks from local real ales to cocktails. It is important to give the our guests choice...and yes it will be priced reasonably. I think people get a bit of sick of only being offered one type of lager and not being allowed to go into certain areas of a festival site. After all it is the people that actually pay for their tickets that make festivals possible. Also, we don't have any VIP areas so the ticket paying punters won't be wondering why they can't get into certain areas of the site...we welcome celebs to Hop Farm, but they have to be in the same arena as everyone else. This is a festival for the fans.

What are you most looking forward to over the festival weekend?

I'm most looking forward to knowing that everyone is having a good time, that all the work and long hours have paid off and people are happy and have had the best time with us. I want Hop Farm to be a great festival memory for those that attend....and hopefully they will then come back in 2010. We have put together a great line up, there's not one band that won't be just perfect to be watching on a nice sunny afternoon.

Hop Farm Festival is on 4th and 5th July 2009 in Tonbridge, Kent. Tickets are still available at 125 (including parking and camping) from www.hopfarmfestival.co.uk