You might not have heard of the Hertfordshire town, Ware … Hold all the ‘Where?’ jokes but this summer, this old British town will firmly secure its place on the list of areas you have to visit. Ware, is home to the festival – Standon Calling, and after two sell out years, this is one not to miss.
As it’s the 10 year anniversary, big things are expected and Grammy nominated, Basement Jaxx have been confirmed as the festival’s headliner and will be closing the event on Sunday. And there was us thrilled with a Bratz doll on our big 1-0 birthday… They’re also mega excited and announced, “It's great to end the year with a Grammy nomination and our tour finale at the O2 in London. Looking forward to 2015, we're excited to announce a headline slot at the brilliant Standon Calling festival on Sunday August 2nd". Aw what nice guys. Taking place on the 31st July until the 2nd August, you’d be mad not to attend this day-to-night festival extravaganza. You’ll meet the weird and wonderful, the brilliant and bizarre, the superb and the silly (okay that’s enough alliteration) but you have to go to this flipping fantastic festival. Okay we’re done.
The festival originally began as a birthday BBQ with DJs and a bunch of friends but has now become a perfect summer escape for festival goers. Note: you will never be as cool as this, your birthday BBQ will probably only have 9 people at the most and 4 of those will be your siblings. Situated in stunning country manor grounds (and no we don’t mean the 6th series of Downton Abbey) this festival has gained a coveted spot in the festival programme with previous artists like Clean Bandit, Grandmaster Flash and Charlie XCX. Anyone who is anyone goes, and we reckon it won’t be long until Queen Liz is twerking with a bottle of Cider. Plastic of course.
Every festival has a silent disco but does every festival have a converted cowshed as a dancing venue? Standon does. Standon goes that extra mile. Outdoor heated swimming pools, dog shows, interactive theatre installations and a fancy dress carnival will all be ones to tell the grandchildren. This year the festival is hosting a new day-to-night programme, embracing its dual persona. A fun day packed with activities and then a more mischievous side during the evening… Oooo it might be as exciting as that sleepover you had in year 6 when you stayed up past midnight and told spooky stories, even though Mum told you not too. This festival is more like an overgrown house party and you’ll be talking about it for years.
There are different types of camping at Standon, so you’ll be spoilt for choice. For you avid festival goers, bring your own Tesco Value 3 man tent, try and get 8 of you in it and pray it doesn’t rain. For the less experienced campers, do not worry. Glamp it up in one of the canvas, tie-top tents and relish in being able to say you’re in the VIP camping area.
Described by The Guardian as a, “Fun, uncrowded festival that’s a breath of fresh air after other sometimes stifling events of the summer”, you’d be mad not to go. It’s even one for the whole family and the Metro said, “mega themes, family-orientated fun which never hampers adult playtime and a compulsion for finding music’s freshest faces.” I’m sure Nan would enjoy it too and soon you and her will be fist pumping in BCM. If this doesn’t make your tummy feel fluttery and palms feel sweaty with excitement then read some more reviews here.
So if this sounds better than a weekend watching Big Brother and flicking through everyone’s holiday pictures on Facebook, then buy your tickets. Early bird tickets are limited and available at £97. The first set of tickets are on sale at standon-calling.com for just £117 with discounts available for group bookings.
After you’ve booked your tickets and pencilled it into your diary, made a few social media statuses and persuaded a few people to go, take a look at Licklist and see who else is going. Once there, festivals can be overwhelming. Where should we pitch our tent? Shall we say hello to our neighbours first? Is it too early to crack open a tin? But there’s a few things that are secure at Standon:
Bars never seem to close. Late night licences combined with people that don’t wanna stop the party means the night never seems to end.
You’ll discover a bunch of artists about to breakthrough. Think Florence and the Machine before she went a bit crazy and danced like a maniac in the rain at Reading Festival 2012.`
There is always a different fancy dress theme every year with previous themes including Latin America. Spacious camping, none of this Reading and Leeds malarkey where your tent situation is worse than a battery chicken shed. No, here you have space to be free. It’s practically 5 star. Parking costs £15 a day so your car will be safe and it even gives you an excuse to load the boot with copious amounts of alcohol and return to it every day to fill up your supplies.
You won’t get ripped off. The festival have paired up with minicabit.com to ensure you can get to Standon from just about anywhere in the country via taxi. Depending on where you are in London, it’s about £60 to the Standon site, which works out as £15 per person if you fill the taxi up with four people. If you live in say Manchester it’s probably going to be a bit pricier, but still possible to do. This pairing is better than the Beckhams so take a look at the website to get more info http://www.standon-calling.com /information/getting-there
Your breath won’t smell. There is a general store on site that sells all of the essentials.
Sounds like a perfect weekend doesn’t it? So grab your tickets and head to Standon, firmly placing Ware on the map.
By Lucy Acton