A psychedelic Santa’s workshop

Beat-Herder
Beat-Herder

Beat-Herder organiser Nick Chambers explains the ethos of Lancashire’s funkiest festival

Lancashire’s Beat-Herder is back for its ninth year this summer – with the theme In Search of The Last Authentic Festival.

Organiser Nick Chambers said: “Without using an obvious cliché Beat-Herder just grew organically.

“We started out in the 90s organising free parties – basically because there was nowhere for us to go and have a good time with good music – and it grew from there.

“We found an amazing spot and met a like-minded farmer and there you have it.

“Nine years later and we’re still organising the best party you’ve ever been too.

“That’s at the core of everything we do. The party.”

Nick added: “Beat-Herder HQ is an old factory in Keighley – it’s where the magic happens!

“All year round we work on stuff, a bit like Santa’s workshop but more psychedelic.

“Over the years we’ve built a street in the woods with a fully working tattoo parlour, barbershop, Hotel California venue and a musical garage forecourt.

“We’ve even built the Church of Beat-Herder that holds three services a day during the festival.

“It’s pretty out there. Last year we launched The Fortress – a full-size oriental style castle. It went down a treat!

“As did the new music tent, the French themed Maison D’etre.

“We’ve got some more new builds happening this year – all will be revealed!”

Previous line-ups have veered from the sublime to the ridiculous with no genre left untouched providing the acts adhere to the party line.

“Stand out performances…well there’s been loads to be honest,” said Nick.

“Our residents over the years have been amazing, they really reflect the Beat-Herder vibe and are great people too – Mr Scruff, The Dub Pistols, Utah Saints and Krysko. The Woods have always been important to us, it’s where things started, and every year we have had our heroes up there.

“In the early days we had Andrew Weatherall and Justin Robertson, Evil Nine and Layo and Bushwacka progressing to Fake Blood, Etienne de Crecy, Erol Alkan and Riva Starr.

“Last year was probably our best ever with the new field and stages not to mention having the weather on side – the sun shining down on Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, Booka Shade and Groove Armada all on the opening night was perfect.

“Sunday in the Woods was great too with Mr Scruff, Norman Jay MBE, Bondax and MistaJam.

“All said though the stand out show for pure party has to go to Black Lace who played in our very own Working Man’s Club after Orbital closed the main stage at midnight – it was absolutely crazy!”

There will be 15 stages, including the Main Stage, The Fortress, The Woods, Trailer Trash Big Top, The Snug, and The Working Men’s Club.

The line-up will be announced later this month.