THE title of this year’s Deer Shed Festival is ‘Making Waves’ which is all rather apt given the eclectic mix of music it is about to unleash.
Now in its ninth edition, the event at Topcliffe near Thirsk regularly showcases greats bands and entertainers from Johnny Marr to Beth Orton and Billy Bragg to Richard Hawley with last year’s headliners being Teenage Fanclub, Kate Tempest and The Divine Comedy.
This time around, though, organisers have attracted a real big-hitter in the shape of Goldfrapp, the electronica duo previously nominated for the Mercury Prize and Grammy Awards.
Now nearing their 20th anniversary since formation, the London pair of Alison Goldfrapp, with her stunning vocals and often ethereal stage presence, and Will Gregory have long been on the wish-list of the festival team at Baldersby Park.
Their much-anticipated appearance in North Yorkshire should be a highlight of the family-friendly festival held over the weekend of Friday July 20-Sunday July 22
The other headliners are Sheffield-based Drenge who are back after a three-year hiatus while the always-enjoyable Sunday afternoon slot sees a return of synth rock anthems of Field Music.
This time, however, they are augmented by the Open Here Orchestra which should add a grandiose edge to their set.
Public Service Broadcasting return as very special guests after appearing on the Big Top tent back in 2013, while Gaz Coombes, Joan As Police Woman, This Is The Kit, Nadine Shah, Jane Weaver and Bill Ryder-Jones join them.
Deer Shed, though, has always been a big supporter of emerging talent and there is plenty of that on show, too, with the likes of The Orielles, Dream Wife and Goat Girl promising dotted across its four stages.
Meanwhile, regular fans at the North Yorkshire venue will appreciate a new site layout as director Oliver Jones - who launched Deer Shed as a one-day event with wife Kate in 2010 - finally sees his initial dream realised.
“We always had a perfect image in our head of a tree-lined background to the Main Stage that befitted the beauty of Baldersby Park,” he said.
“Things always got in the way, but we’re delighted that our nine-year-long vision for the site will now finally come to fruition.
“Though audience capacity will remain the same, we’ll have more space and, as is the case each year, we’ve invested more in the music, arts and science programme than ever before.”
For comedy lovers, household names James Acaster, Rachel Parris and Daliso Chaponda headline the Big Top comedy club, with Justin Moorhouse, Spencer Jones, Abandoman and Kiri Pritchard-McLean among many others on a long and hilarious list of acts.
And what of that ‘Making Waves’ theme?
Many aspects of the programme are due to be informed by both water and sound waves.
Art installations like artist-in-residence Johnny White’s ‘Good Vibrations’, Dan Fox’s ‘Sound Garden’ and Pif-Paf Theatre’s ‘Celestial Sound Cloud’ all feature interactive sonic sculptures.
Kids can design fish out of old book pages, make their own deep-sea diving helmet, build a boat or upcycle waste materials such as plastic bottles to make lovely art creations with Sarah Turner in the festival’s arts & craft workshops.
For more details, visit www.deershedfestival.com