We speak to festival organiser Matt Long about the revamp:
The festival signifies a celebration of 10 years of The Faversham garden party. How has the festival morphed into The Garden Party? What's new, what's different?
We felt Leeds was missing a good summer inner city festival and developing what we’ve created over at The Faversham with the Garden Party it seemed perfect to turn this into a two day festival as part of the 10 year celebration for the August Bank holiday. We’ve broadened the musical spectrum and added live elements; funk, disco, garage and bass artists across five stages. We’ve worked alongside Leeds Indie to curate the food offering and the art and installations on site are being taken care of by Mad Ferret, &/or Emporium, Medium and the Assembly House guys.
The festival is obviously city based, and this year sees the launch of Beacons Metro. How do you think the idea of a festival is changing?
Not everyone wants to camp in a boggy field given our typical British summer so the inner city festival is really relevant and Leeds has been missing something on this scale. With so much wide choice of festivals taking place every weekend I think the festival market has become a lot stronger, pushing organisers to create that unique and bespoke festival for the clients whether that be a in field, a city or on a beach.
There obviously won’t be any crappy burger vans since Leeds Indie Food is in charge of the grub this year. How important is that element of the festival?
Working with Leeds Indie Food has been great and all the traders we’ve invited are local, which was an important factor for us when we were selecting them. We wanted to create a good overall package for The Garden Party goers to enjoy good food, music, drink and art on site.
Music-wise, The Garden Party takes its cue from The Faversham’s house, disco, dance DJ sets etc. Will the festival be more about live music as well as this, or will it still focus largely on DJ sets?
There’s a strong mix of live and DJ lead acts. Each day we’ll have 5 stages of music to enjoy across the site with two of them being live music, the main stage and The Skinny stage which we worked with Now Wave (Manchester) and Eat Your Own Ears (London) to programme both days which will feature new live acts across them.
Finally, there is a bit more artistic interest with the various involvements from Mad Ferret, &/Or Emporium etc. What do you want to achieve from this additional element?
We’ve always had a large element of installations and production decor at our Garden Parties at The Faversham over the years and we want to develop and expand for the festival. We’re working with Mad Ferret who have been involved with some of our previous projects (Canal Mills and Unknown in Croatia) and they are managing the overall production on site. We’ve invited some of our favourite local art crews, &/or Emporium, Medium and Assembly House who will be doing live art and installations throughout the weekend.
As a part of Saturday’s line up you get to experience the electro-pop trio Haelos from Bow in East London who will perform their 2014 head-turner ‘Dust’ whilst Manchester’s Dutch Uncles perform tracks from their much-admired fourth new album ‘O Shudder’ along with performances from the post-electro band Errors who are signed to Mogwai’s Rock Action Records label. Joining them are the unique sounds of Whilk & Misky, a provoking infusion of techno, folk, electronica and blues among other acclaimed bands.
On Sunday the stage will open for the Galaxians with their soulful, exciting mix of proto-house, post-disco and boogie funk, the unique and brilliant Lonelady from Manchester and the vintage disco sounds of duo, Formation. Joining them are Bernard & Edith, one half of Egyptian Hip Hop and whose slow and haunting vocals over lingering synths have drawn comparisons to Swedish band The Knife. Honne, a lo-fi, syth-heavy soul duo will also be injecting some feel-good vibes into The Garden Party. Other performers to feature over the weekend include Little Dragon, Todd Terje, Joy Orbison, Roisin Murphy and many more of your favourites.
The Garden Party will also host a very special line-up of Northern street food pioneers courtesy of this year’s hot ticket, Leeds Indie Food Festival, featuring traders Boozy Q, Sela, The Cocktail Shack plus Northern Bloc, Banh Mi Booth, Pizza Fella, Rola Wala, the Craft Beer Bar and many more favourites, ensuring you don’t go hungry! Installations, whacky décor and fun and games will be ensured by Mad Ferret along with &/Or Emporium and Medium Arts.
Bigger, better and more exciting than ever before, Garden Party is set to be the highlight of this summer, coming alive at the historic Tetley Brewery located in the heart of Leeds, a mere 6-minute walk from Trinity Shopping Centre and 7 minutes from both Leeds central train and bus stations and is certainly not to be missed.
For tickets and more details about the event visit: http://www.thegardenpartyleeds.com/