IF you were walking your dog through the Lincolnshire countryside at the end of May, you may well have come across the solitary figure of an old man digging graves in the distance, or a weeping girl stumbling through the woods in a discoloured wedding dress.
You’d be forgiven for thinking you had stumbled upon some sort of ritualistic cult, or wandered onto the set of the Blair Witch project. But you’d actually have discovered one of the best small festivals in the country – Lost Village.
Doing festivals right is hard. Doing festivals right first time is incredibly difficult. Ticket sales, booking artists, staffing and even a lack of portaloos can prove to be problematic for organisers trying to get their festival up and running. We saw Edinburgh’s ‘X Music Festival’ cancelled at the last minute when it was revealed their application for a license had been submitted too late. This makes it all the more impressive that everything went smoothly for Lost Village’s first year.
There was an exciting line-up that saw artists like Annie Mac, DJ Koze, Huxley, Kölsch, Ben Pearce and Jamie Jones grace the stage. Built on the back of a successful club night in Bristol, and the well-established name that record label ‘Moda Black’ has made for itself over the last few years, they had plenty of reach in the industry to pull in the artists they wanted.
The thing that sets the festival apart however, is undoubtedly its theme. With just 4500 people capacity, Lost Village is an intimate festival, one that’s made all the more special by the effort that went in to make it a memorial experience. Stages are split into 3 different ‘abandoned buildings’; the ruins of an old castle, a rundown ‘forgotten cabin’ and an abandoned chapel. The paths through the forest are beautifully lit overhead by orange lanterns, handmade pentagrams and other ominous symbols hang from the trees. As you wander through the forest you’ll bump into any number of… performers, some too strange to describe. Victorian style explorers, grave diggers, woodland creatures and creepy circus entertainers hanging from giant swings. None of them will break their act, forcing you to question whether you’re losing your grip on reality or not.
All of this combines to make a great atmosphere. The campsite is chilled out, staff were friendly and I didn’t see any trouble break out over the whole weekend. The only grievance was paying £5 for a glass of orange juice at the basecamp, but at £90 for a 3 day ticket you can’t really feel too hard done by.
Lost Village will return next year on the 27th of May and is well worth checking out.