Mercury prize winner (2000) and NME’s Best Solo Artist (2001) Badly Drawn Boy headlines The Byline Festival on Friday 24th August. Appearing in the Media Circus tent, the English indie singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist will be performing an intimate set encompassing his eclectic career. His appearance at the festival is part of his highly anticipated comeback tour.
Russian feminist protest punk rock group Pussy Riot will also be appearing. Their strident feminism and anti-Trump/Putin stance, being said to personify the activism and unique attitude of the festival.
The Byline Festival takes place between 24th – 27th August at Pippingford Par. Set in the Halcyon Ashdown Forest, East Sussex, and hour from Central London it features a mix of intellect, spontaneity and diverse bands and acts with the intention of offering festival-goers the opportunity to recapture the spirit of festivals gone by. Akin to the original Woodstock, when people wanted to change the world, this is intended for people who don’t want to take Trump, fake news or alternative truth at face value.
More than 120 music acts are confirmed including The Blow Monkeys, The Vapors, and other acts such as Rhoda Dakar from The Specials and The Body Snatchers, Tom Hingley frontman for Inspiral Carpets and girl band with attitude – The Priscillas.
A range of up and coming artists will be taking to the stage too, plus guest DJs and speakers and performers, as diverse as John Cleese, June Sarpong, Hugh Grant, Bonnie Greer, Alexei Sayle, Kate Mosse, Gary Lineker, A.L. Kennedy, Hardeep Singh Kohli, Joanna Scanlan and Andy Hamilton and the aforementioned Badly Drawn Boy.
All venues are in an intimate setting with the largest tent holding a capacity of 2000. Entertainment includes the opening evening show featuring a circus from New Orleans and the Jam Tarts Indie Choir. The Backline Stage will have bands playing throughout the day and there will be comedy, theatre and music at seven venues during the evenings.
Other off-kilter asides for the young and young at heart are live urban art sessions, a Trumpton Village Fete that recreates a post-Brexit 1950s village, run by the Mayor of Trumpton, alongside sexy vegetable competitions and Morris Dancing!
Leading journalists, politicians, experts and activists from around the world will be present to discuss some of today’s big issues. Over a hundred workshop sessions will offer the chance to learn stand-up comedy, write an e-Book, a protest poem, create a podcast, improve your creative writing skills, make protest banners, or relax via yoga and mindfulness classes. There are also plenty of activities for families.