Barn On The Farm 2017 preview: Cosy doesn’t cut it

- May 10th, 2017

Barn On The Farm by Dan Harris

If you’re a fan of the indie music scene, you may have heard of Barn On The Farm Festival. You may have heard that it’s one of a kind and quite intimate too. You may have heard that the festival’s line-up boasts some of the biggest names of the future; all in the darn cutest barn you’ve ever seen.

Spoiler alert- everything you have heard is spot on. But the truth of the matter is even if you’ve read all about about Barn On The Farm, nothing will prepare you for the wonder that it is in ‘the flesh’. From the moment you drive your car up the old beaten track to their beautifully signposted site, you’re made like you’ve been personally invited to the acoustic party of the year. Stewards greet you like you’re a genuine mate, and even walk you to the best spot to park your car to get your weekend started.

All within arm’s reach

Right from the get-go, tunes spill out of open tent doors and open car boots as tent pitching begins and and while warm booze is decanted for the weekend ahead. The site is so cosy that you can hear the early performers soundcheck as you unpack your car- hell, you can even see the main stage from the car park. Everything is within arm’s reach, making it a real pleasure to explore the site.  And a serious bonus is that there’s no trudging your weekend supplies across muddy length of a marathon, like *ahem*…a weekend at a certain Worthy Farm. Everything you need for the weekend is on your doorstep, or um, tent-step.

Each detail of this festival reeks sophistication, all involving careful curation. Everything from the flowers on the draped around the food stalls, to the hand-painted wellies to make a bar sign, to the line-up itself ooze that personal touch, in a way I had never quite witnessed on this scale before. The whole thing making you feel like you’re at a seriously classy garden party at a friend’s house; all so familiar and easy-going. Absolutely everything is handpicked, from the careful selection of street food trucks dotted around the site, to the festival exclusive cocktails behind the bar.

This is the kind of festival where the bands play their set then jump off stage and join the punters for a pint of Pimms straight afterwards, and where an after party means a camp fire and a couple of acoustic guitars; if a heavy party scene isn’t for you, then this festival hosted in the outskirts of Gloucester may be the one for you.

BOTF stage

Homegrown UK musicians

Set to headline this year are the seriously wonderful Tom Odell and James Vincent McMorrow, two very distinct homegrown UK musicians. Joining likes of Ed Sheeran, Jack Garratt, James Bay and Ben Howard, the bar has been set so high for both of these singer-songwriters. The headliners of this festival are never chosen for their ability to take over the charts, or for their streaming figures, but rather for their dedication to their craft and the humility in which they create their music. Also on the bill this year is a wonderful concoction of fresh new artists all disrupting the scene in their own way; Sundara Karma, The Japanese House, Amber Run and Black Honey to name a few.

Barn On The Farm 2017 lineup poster

BOTF: A festival respected by all

Barn On the Farm has a loyal following, which has led to their ‘Intimate Friday’ event to sell out in a few weeks every year. This is an event which is a more intimate affair than the main festival; in which approximately 100 people fill out their famous barn and get to experience a surprise set of favourites on the independent acoustic artist circuit. This year an additional ‘Intimate Thursday’ has been added.

Not only is Barn On The Farm loved by all who visit it, the brand has become highly respected on the festival circuit too. Despite all this attention it has also managed to hold onto its roots, remaining a small, understated affair each year with a solid line up. In recent years the festival has collected a fair few awards and nominations. Best Independent Festival AIM Award 2014 and the UK Festival Award for Emerging Talent 2015 to name a few.

Unlike so many other festival experiences, you won’t leave this one feeling truly wrecked and dishevelled. A weekend on Over Farm will leave you feeling inspired in that warm fuzzy way. You may even leave with some ostrich selfies too. (You have to go visit for yourself to see what I mean!)

Barn On The Farm takes place 29th June – 2nd July in Gloucester. Tickets are available here.