Deershed Festival is the king-pin of the family-friendly festival circuit, at least in Britain, attracting thousands through its unique blend of bands, comics and, most notably, the yearly themed workshops (this year revolving around “making waves”). On the music front, this year was headlined by Drenge, Goldfrapp and Field Music. Also playing were such names as Dream Wife, Gaz Coombes and The Orielles.
Deershed Festival is something of an anomaly in the British festival circuit. Not just simply catering for families but thriving off them. With workshops, cinemas and various independent vendors featured around the site specifically aimed at the family dynamic, it is without doubt that this is one of the most inclusive festivals about today. This is where the true strengths of the festival lies, in the seamless blending together of the vastly different needs of the customers and patrons.
This is not to neglect the main point of the festival, however – the music. And with stellar acts announced for all 3 days it was certainly one of the strongest festival line-ups they’ve had. Seeing indie darlings such as Dream Wife play to a packed-out and sweaty tent was certainly one of the highlights of the weekend, especially their delicate altered version of ‘FUU’ to adhere to the family nature of the festival. Topped only by Gaz Coombes’ blistering set on Saturday night, combining his impeccable solo material, including songs from his latest brilliant release World’s Strongest Man, and a select few Supergrass hits, including a rendition of ‘Caught by The Fuzz’ that nearly blew the roof off the tent.
Not all the great displays were confined to the small stage, however. The main stage providing many of the delights and surprises of the festival. With headline acts such as Drenge and Field Music blowing away crowds with brilliantly thought-out sets that were more than deserving of their headline status. IT must be stated that the Saturday was a spellbinding day of music. With Public Service Broadcasting especially providing a show that was out of this world. Playing crowd-pleasing hit after hit, they were certainly on top form, with songs such as ‘Spitfire’ whipping the crowd into a frenzy, both old and young. With the accompanying light show, one can’t help but wish that they were the headline act, playing in the darkness. Not to take away from Goldfrapp through. They played a strong set with hits that may have surprised many, leaving the crowd in awe of the strong pop voice that cut through both the dark and the heavy guitars.
Overall Deershed Festival is an experience different from any other you are likely to have. The blend of family-friendly activities along with the music may sound oxymoronic to many, but once there it can be assured that they gel harmoniously. The brilliant acts certainly make the festival worth the money. It must be recommended to all.
Tickets for Deershed 2019 (26-29 July) are available from 9 September.