Beginner’s Guide to El Dorado

· El Dorado Festival

Where: Eastnor Castle Deer Park, Ledbury

When: 1-3 July 2016

Highlights: Basement JAXX, KANO, Craig David’s TS5, Collie Buddz

Price: Weekend Camping Tickets £112.50, Parking £6.50

It’s difficult being a festival goer these days. With so many small festivals scrapping with each other for attention, the larger festivals selling tickets at sky high premiums and only one festival season to do it all in, it can be tough to know where it’s best to put your time and your dollar to meet expectations. However, the best way to exceed your expectations is to walk into a fresh, brand new festival with absolutely none. Because you could easily be going to the very first fest that became the next big thing. Throwing caution to wind and trying something new and being rewarded with something truly special, witnessing the birth of a brand new monster festival superstar that’ll be spoken in the same sentence as the Lollas, Glastos and Readings of our time, is like the experience of discovering a great new author, director or band nobody knows about. Its a special feeling and, with that in mind, we at Licklist have the great pleasure of recommending El Dorado to you fine people this year.

El Dorado? As in the Golden City?

As in the brand new festival hand crafted from party masters Cirque Du Soul. These masters of ceremony have been running nationally acclaimed club nights for some time and this year they have announced their very first El Dorado festival, a fete carnivale cum music fest in a stunning recreation of the mythical golden city. El Dorado sells itself as neither as just a festival nor a circus, but rather a departure to another world. A hidden gem nestled in the beautiful grounds of Eastmoor Castle, away from the banality of modern life, where the world is ‘a little more exotic’. Amazing feats of magic and physical agility will meet the best musical vibrations on offer as Cirque have cherry picked the ultimate party line up to herald the coming of their brand new baby.

Ultimate party Line Up, eh?

Indeed, my friend. It speaks to the quality and influence of Cirque Du Soul that they are capable of mustering such a formidable host of music talent on their very first entry into the scene. Friday sees the remarkable reggae stylings of American/Bermudan artist Collie Buddz, continuing his hot streak of sold out tours all over the world, before the evening is closed out with an illustrious Basement JAXX DJ set to see home El Dorado’s very first birthday. Saturday brings forth from the bowels of East London the undisputed King of British grime, Kano to mainstage though I’d suggest you keep an eye out for Gentlemen’s Dub Club, seeing those guys is like mainlining fun. Don’t over indulge though, as Sunday sees the silky smooth rhythms of Craig David’s TS5 party coming to the golden kingdom. Rising talent Elf Kid is also making waves these days, winning NME’s new music of the day with ‘Golden Boy’ so be sure and mosey on over to his set and be party of the story. The lad may well be a legend.

Well, there’s the Soul. What about the Cirque?

Fear not folks, the lads/ladettes at Cirque du Soul are known for their carnival atnospheres, costumes and wizardry and their El Dorado wouldn’t be the city of myth if magic didn’t pave it’s streets. Cirque celebrates the beauty in the strange and the community in the weird. The Cirque Du Soul stage, ‘where burlesque meets bass’, promises to deliver a weekend of the greatest show on earth. Bursting with colour and life, eclectic costumes, sights and sounds beyond comprehension and The Boudoir, a monument to the transgressive, the gratuitous and the free that transforms the party into something darker and more warped by night. Colour us fascinated, though this one may be for the open minded only.

Anything else we should know, boss?

Pals, this one is gonna be something really special. It’s not often we stick our neck out for a brand new fest but everything about this pitch just screams quality, fun and variety. Cirque never disappoint in their celebration of the weird and the wonderful. Inclusivity and variety is the name of the game, all are welcome here. Just be prepared to leave your expectations at the door. Tickets for the first two batches are already sold out but batch three just opened up. Camping options are impressively plentiful for a brand new festival. Check out how you can book a tipi (an actual tipi) for your squad here as well as the general rules and regs of their camping deal. Shuttle busses will be running to the fest from Ledbury Rail Station all day Friday until 5pm, with returns running 7-11am on Monday. There’s a separate coach deal for travelling from London Vic which you can check out here if you’re based in the Big Smoke. ge/venue. With that, there’s nothing more to say expect grab your robes, your masks (and your tickets) and we shall see you on the glorious golden streets of Cirque Du Soul’s brand new El Dorado!


Kyle Cairns