Sunderland’s Field Music on the bill at this weekend’s DeerShed Festival

Field Music
Field Music

Family-friendly festival Deer Shed returns to North Yorkshire this weekend.

Not only are Goldfrapp, Drenge, Sunderland’s Field Music and Public Service Broadcasting topping the music bill, but the Big Top tent – doubling as the Deer Shed Comedy Club – will host TV favourites such as James Acaster, Rachel Parris, Daliso Chaponda and Justin Moorhouse.

Taking place in Topcliffe from Friday until Sunday, the festival will also showcase emerging bands across its four live music stages.

Big tips for 2018 include The Orielles, Dream Wife, Goat Girl, HMLTD, whenyoung, Blaenavon, Matt Maltese, Mush and Amaroun, among many others.

A new site layout and main stage area represents a realisation of what director Oliver Jones always dreamt the festival would look like, when he and his wife Kate launched Deer Shed as a one-day event nine years ago, in 2010.

“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.”

Both the festival organisers and the performers will be pulling out all the stops, with Eoin Loveless, lead singer and guitarist of Sheffield-based Drenge, promising a special homecoming show after recently returning from a three-year hiatus.

Eoin added: “We’re so excited. We’ve just had this Grand Reopening theme [for the recent tour, where the band snipped an inaugural ribbon before launching into their ferocious set] and we’re definitely going to be inventing something really special for this occasion too.”

Drenge’s new single This Dance seems tailor made for such a festival atmosphere, as Eoin revealed it was written as a call to arms for listeners to lose themselves in the music: “There’s nothing like going to a party and ending up on the dance floor, belting out 80’s chart tunes as if you’re at the barrier at a Slayer concert.

“Your arms and legs colliding with friends, and with complete strangers. Dancing like nobody’s watching and hoping they don’t call the police – it’s all about that freedom.”

Pint-sized festival goers will also be well catered for with a host of entertainment for young audiences.

Spoken-word sensations Harry & Chris will perform their unique mix of comedy, melody and poetry, alongside the likes of Big Howard & Little Howard, The Kagools, Blue Planet III, plus much else from giant sea creature puppets and jugglers via murder mysteries and bedraggled mermaids.

Deer Shed Festival has recently begun to produce its own theatre, and this year Leeds-based Manic Chord Theatre have been commissioned to create a unique, immersive promenade theatre performance for the site’s woodland belt aka The Wilderwild, which also contains a green and traditional craft area.

•Deer Shed Festival takes place at Baldersby Park, Topcliffe, North Yorkshire from July 20-22.

Some tier three tickets are still available for the festival, from the website www.deershedfestival.com/tickets