As festivals continue to evolve and diversify, the idea that every one of them should be about getting off your face, dancing to rock ‘n’ roll, rolling around in a sea of cow shit infested mud and having sex with a dirty unkempt hippy whilst tripping on illicit substances is becoming ever more an outdated view of the world. These days you can go surfing and kayaking before catching Bombay Bicycle Club and Laura Marling at Somersault, take your kids to a huge wonderland of fairytale delights and activities by a castle at Camp Bestival, or enjoy a banquet prepared by Raymond Blanc OBE and then go and see Bjork at Wilderness. Those that argue that these events are ‘not in the true spirit of festivals’ and that they are too ‘middle class’ are the sort of one dimensional characters that probably also argue that unless music is played with guitar, bass and drums it’s not ‘real music’.
For those who like their festivals with a little more convenience than the beer and dirt dinosaurs, Bushstock is pretty much perfect. After all, this is such as civilised event that, if you so wish, you can watch music all day, sat down, in the dry, in a church. Getting off your face probably isn’t high on the agenda here, although we highly recommend getting off your arse and exploring some of the other venues that this 1 day multi-venue wristband access festival in Shepherd’s Bush London provides, if only for the fact that sitting in the pews all day on relatively hard wooden seats can actually become pretty uncomfortable on the backside. We recommend bringing your own comfy cushion if you’re staying there all day.
Now in its fifth year, Bushstock has become a regular feature on the Breaking More Waves festival calendar. Why? First, because of its well curated line up, which has a strong folk / acoustic leaning, (its brought to you by the people behind Communion Records) fleshed out by lots of potential ‘next big thing’ acts. At past events we’ve caught the likes of George Ezra playing low on the bill in St Stephen’s church whilst most punters were still on their way to collect their access wristbands, a fledgling Rae Morris playing a solo set, and Bastille rocking out with a tiny crowd in a small pub, before they broke through to radio and chart domination.
Second, because of its cheap price – get in early and a Bushstock ticket can set you back as little as £15, the price of a regular gig ticket. This is a very affordable festival.
Finally, we love Bushstock because of its convenience. This really is a festival for people who don’t want to be trudging miles through the mud or having sex with the dirty hippy. All this year’s venues (which include, new for 2015, the Courtyard and Common Room at the University of the Arts, London – the larger of these two stages being outdoors) are within just a few minutes walk of each other, and once you’ve finished for the day, if that sex-thing is what you want, you can still do that, but with someone clean and fragrant back at home.
If you’ve never tried it before (the festival, not the sex – that doesn’t come with a ticket) and fancy Bushstock, it all takes place on Saturday 13th June. Tickets are available here . The full timetable is here.
Here are 5 acts we recommend you see at Bushstock 2015, all neatly programmed with no clashes, so you can watch the lot. There'll be a review of Bushstock on Breaking More Waves shortly after it finishes.
Frances 14.00-14.30 – St Stephen’s Church
Get to Bushstock early for Frances. Hailing from Newbury in Berkshire this young singer songwriter is already being touted as One to Watch, her beautiful ballad Grow being a big hit on the Hype Machine Charts and blogs, taking off from where Rae Morris left off.
Samm Henshaw 16.30-17.00 The Courtyard
Already featured a number of times on Breaking More Waves, Samm brings classic soul and gospel vibes to the Courtyard Stage. A singer who we’ve already compared to Bill Withers and Marvin Gaye, Henshaw is the real deal.
Lisa Mitchell 18.00-18.30 St Stephen’s Church
Australian singer Lisa Mitchell makes a rare visit to UK shores to entertain with her melodic and hooky acoustic pop tunes. With a growing back catalogue of adorable songs such as Wah Ha, Neopolitan Dreams and Spiritus, Lisa will no doubt be the perfect tea time ear pleaser for the church audience.
Honeyblood 20.00-20.30 Bush Hall
Honeyblood made our third favourite album of 2014. It spat bitterness and fuzzy guitars all over the shop and made for a visceral and thrilling experience. They’ve already got some new songs ready to go and early reports are that they’re just as good, if not better than the first batch. There’s also the small matter of the band supporting the Foo Fighters at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh on the 23rd June.
Lucy Rose 22.00 – 23.00 Bush Hall
When it comes to headliners there are some tough choices to be made. Villagers play the church, Michael Kiwanuka wraps up The Courtyard’s first year, and Beans On Toast will no doubt be providing some laughs as well as tunes in the Defector’s Weld. However, we’re plumping for Lucy Rose, who has added a fuller modern indie pop sound to some of her new songs following her sweetly acoustic debut LP. Expect general loveliness and more from her as she airs new songs from her forthcoming second LP amongst Bush Hall’s chandeliers and mirrors.