Review: Lindisfarne Festival 2017

Lindisfarne Festival 2017 saw the picturesque Holy Island of Lindisfarne transformed for the third year, into a four-day celebration of music, entertainment and wellbeing.

More than 3000 people made the pilgrimage to this unique upcoming festival that relies solely on crowdfunding to keep itself going. What Lindisfarne lacks in scale in comparison to mammoth festivals like Glasto, Leeds and Reading it makes up for in variety.

To label Lindisfarne a ‘music festival’ along with the rest of them would be tremendously inaccurate. Despite boasting over 100+ incredible musical acts over the long weekend, including Indie giants The View and The Fratellis, Lindisfarne also had a wealth of other exciting things going on. From comedy shows to laughter yoga and meditation, Lindisfarne 2017 was a festival like no other.

Friday saw the first of the two weekend headliners, The View, take to the main tent. The Dundonian Indie rockers brought the expectant crowd way back to 2007, playing through their vast back catalogue, getting the crowd jumping to ‘Tragic Magic’ and the classic ‘Same Jeans’.

Friday felt like the warm up day for what was a much busier, jam packed Saturday. However, Lindisfarne in general, being a smaller festival, was refreshingly roomy. You could make your way through crowds with ease regardless of who was playing and get served at the bar within minutes, whatever the time of day.

Clever word play, inspirational anecdotes and a dash of comedy; Saturday kicked off with some intriguing spoken word poetry in the ‘Dingle Dell’ tent. Whether or not you knew about or had heard spoken word poetry before, it was hard not to be enthralled and inspired by it all.

Whilst this was going on, the ‘high tide’ dance tent played host to poetry of another kind. The best rappers and hip-hop artists from across the North East brought the fire as The Bridge UK hip-hop takeover went off for a whole 5 hours, Saturday was truly a rapper’s delight.

Showcases were the order of the day on Saturday, with the hip-hop showcase popping off, a crop of hilarious comedians were next on the bill. The Punch Drunk Comedy takeover saw Sunderland’s Matt Reed host what was genuinely one of the best elements of Lindisfarne 2017.

Many quirky bands and musicians from around the world played over the long weekend, inspiring care free dancing and the opportunity to truly let loose. However, it was the North East that stole the show on Saturday with ‘BBC Introducing’ showcasing a bevy of the best upcoming musicians from the region. Standout performances came from Durham based rapper and drum and bass aficionado, Absorb, and Geordie indie rockers, The Pale White.

Glaswegian three-piece, The Fratellis, topped off what was an Incredible Saturday and an Incredible Festival. Playing hits from their breakout 2006 album, Costello Music, the lads had the ‘Shorefields’ tent rocking. The anticipation was palpable for the anthemic single Chelsea Dagger. As the first chord was struck the energy inside the tent peaked, with the crowd roaring out the lyrics like an indie church choir.

Overall, Lindisfarne Festival 2017 was all that a small festival should be. It had a unique selling point in the sheer variety of things going on over the long weekend. Not only was there an amazing amount of fresh musical talent from the North East but also a stirringly laid-back atmosphere you’re unlikely to find at any other festival. Here’s hoping the crowdfunding efforts are a success for 2018.

Words by Johnathan Ramsay