August Bank Holiday weekend marks the first The Garden Party festival to date, and it’s set to be a good one. The two-day festival celebrates the 10th birthday of The Faversham Garden Party, an event showcasing some top musical talent, food and culture taking place in Leeds every Bank Holiday Sunday since 2005.
With popular Leeds music venue Canal Mills and Manchester based Warehouse Project among the brands behind the scenes of the festival, as you would expect the lineup is good – exceptionally so. if you’re a fan of house and electronic music. Live acts include Roisin Murphy, Little Dragon, Todd Terje and Mr Scruff alongside DJ sets from John Talabot and the legendary Craig Charles. The high calibre of DJs on the Sunday of the festival comes in the form of Julio Bashmore, Bicep and Kerri Chandler, who are sure to keep you dancing until after hours.
The Garden Party will be held at The Tetley, a converted contemporary arts and exhibition space, which until 2010 was home to Tetley’s Brewery. Once used to produce Tetley’s bitter, it now plays host to street food festivals, art exhibitions and much more. Never before has the intimate arts space hosted such a large-scale festival, and that makes the prospect of what The Garden Party has to offer even more exciting.
But it’s not just the music and the venue that is set to impress, as the festival’s strong and extensive bill is complimented by art installations and a focus on food to discover throughout the weekend. Street food trucks and stalls as well as the on-site restaurant will be serving up culinary delights spanning a range of cuisines and cultures while temporary art exhibitions provide an opportunity to escape from the music for a little while.
The Garden Party could be a great way to spend the bank holiday weekend and the rapid ticket sales suggest so too; 1st and 2nd release weekend tickets have sold out, so if you’re thinking about going, get a ticket before they are all gone.
Our picks for the weekend:
The Norwegian disco king will take to the stage in what promises to be an exciting set, even more so if the sun makes an appearance. Among 2012 releases ‘Inspector Norse’ and ‘Ragysh’, expect remixes of popular indie and electro hits as well as tracks from his 2014 studio album It’s Album Time. This debut album, released ten years after his debut single, is a glitzy mix of piano jazz, synth pop and his ever-prominent disco vibes. Terje has the ability to get you feeling like you’re in an imaginary discotheque whatever the context, and will get the crowd dancing whether they indend to or not. The Norwegian’s main stage Glastonbury performance, complete with on stage disco dancers, was met with rave reviews and got the crowd moving. Catch Terje with his live band The Olsens on the Sunday.
American hip-hop artist Yasiin Bey (AKA Mos Def) returns to Leeds for the first time after his gig at O2 academy Leeds in October 2014. The same year marked the 15th year anniversary of his critically acclaimed debut album Black on Both Sides, making history for his fans as one of the greatest hip hop albums produced. Having converted to Islam, in September 2011 he announced that he had adopted the name Yasiin Bey, preferring to be known by this name than the one attached to his successful studio albums. Although now having forged a successful acting career, Mos Def’s appearance at The Garden Party will be fixed firmly on the hip hop music that he is best known for. Expect an array of tracks from his debut, as well as 2004 album The New Danger, which experimented with rock and rap alongside his hip-hop sound.
Nottingham born Suleiman signed his first major record deal less than a year ago and has slowly started to make his mark on the UK underground scene. Although only at the start of his success, he joins the likes of Jake Bugg and London Grammar as artists emerging from the ever-strengthening Nottingham music scene. Citing Bob Marley as one of his influences, Suleiman’s describes his music as a blend of reggae, soul and hip hop. Expect to hear tracks from his newly released EP This Is My EP as well as new material from his upcoming debut album, set to be released before the end of 2015. ‘So Lost’ is a favourite. Festival performances allow Suleiman to showcase the soulful brilliance that beams in his live sets, and with slots at Lovebox, Latitude and Bestival lined up before The Garden Party, we can expect Suleiman to be one to watch.
If Todd Terje can’t get you grooving then Craig Charles surely can. Fresh from presenting his primetime BBC Radio 6 show The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show, the legendary Craig Charles will be taking to the stage on Sunday. The actor and broadcaster known for his role in Coronation Street, will be swapping the cobbles for the stage and bringing disco, soul and dancefloor beats to The Garden Party. Such a small venue won’t phase “The King of Funk”, a festival veteran and DJ legend with sets at Glastonbury and Bestival in his back catalogue. Catch Charles’ set to add some golden age 60s and 70s vibes to your Garden Party experience.
If you are fed up of dancing to disco beats, Northern Irish duo Bicep will help you wind down to some more traditional house and disco sounds. The school friends have been DJing together since their early teens and fast became household names on the house scene, with residencies at Ibiza Club Space and Manchester-based Warehouse Project. 2015 is Bicep’s biggest year so far. In high-demand on festival scenes this summer, both in the UK and around the world, the duo recently acquired a summer residency at London club XOYO. Bicep’s signature style is aided by their use of ‘found sound’, everyday sounds taken outside of the studio that create subtle looped grooves and bring their tracks together. Take the opportunity to see what promises to be a brilliant set from the Bicep boys, on the rather rare occasion that they will play such an intimate venue.
The Garden Party takes place on Saturday 29th Aug and Sunday 30th Aug 2015 at The Tetley, Hunslet Road, Leeds LS10 1JQ. Tickets and further information are available from thegardenpartyleeds.com.