Larmer Tree Gardens | 1 – 4 September
Once summer arrives, we’re not short of festivals to pick from; in this ever-saturated market, with organisers tearing at each other to get the best headliners, there sits a festival that, since it’s humble beginnings in 2006, has stayed true to its original vision – putting the festival-goer first.
Put simply, End of the Road is a music festival with a focus on indie, folk and americana. Past headliners have included The Flaming Lips, Patti Smith, Grandaddy, Grizzly Bear, St. Vincent and last year, Sufjan Stevens’ only UK festival appearance. Whilst the music is undoubtedly hand-picked, it’s much more than your regular music festival.
End of the Road think about everything – whether you’d like to take a stroll amongst a forest dripping in fairy lights after a particularly bad hangover; sit and listen to a reading from one of the year’s best novelists; carve out your own wooden spoon; watch one of the year’s best music documentaries; write a fan-letter to one of the performers; catch a secret session deep in the woods or dance your ass off at the late-night disco. There is something for everyone and unlike a lot of others, you won’t find yourself queuing for hours – it’s a festival that ensures that there’s plenty of room for everyone.
The best thing about it though, is the attention to detail. Stages aren’t miles apart; instead you’ll find yourself able to catch an entire set before walking a few minutes to catch the second half of another. Food and drink is far from extortionate and there’s plenty of choice for the veggies and vegans. Stage times are put upon a giant notice board so there’s no need to buy a programme (if you don’t want to!) and most importantly, the toilets are kept clean. All day.
This year, the festival is welcoming back Joanna Newsome to the main stage, with Animal Collective and Bat for Lashes also headlining. End of the Road have been known to nab to best up-and-coming acts for their smaller stages, so expect to find a new favourite act at the garden stage whilst sipping on a gin cocktail in the sunshine.
Put simply, in a world where Nigel Farage and Bob Geldof shout at each other across the Thames, End of the Road is a glimmer of hope and a world away from your worries.
Check out Bat For Lashes’ ‘Sunday Love’ right here: