For 28 incredible years, Larmer Tree Festival has been throwing the ultimate family-friendly summer party in the heart of the Dorset/Wiltshire countryside – hosting an eclectic lineup of music, comedy, theatre, arts & crafts workshops, and more – and 2019 was no different.
Taking place under the huge skies of the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty from 18-21 July, the 29th edition of Larmer Tree Festival had a great set of acts.
Acclaimed London rapper and poet Kate Tempest topped the bill, performing the polemical hip-hop of her acclaimed albums Everybody Down and Let Them Eat Chaos. And Australia’s exhilarating The Cat Empire captivated audiences with their infectious and uplifting mash-up of alt-rock, jazz and ska.
Southport’s indie-rock veterans Gomez joined the bill with the distinctive, electronica-infused blues that won them the Mercury Music Prize in 1998. Completing the 2019 headliners were the UK’s biggest-selling country music act The Shires and Scottish songstress KT Tunstall – marking a triumphant return to Larmer Tree after her last appearance in 2013.
2019 also saw the welcome addition of Q Album of the Year winners Let’s Eat Grandma, whose otherworldly indie-electronica was much-missed at last year’s Festival when the band were forced to pull out due to ill health.
The UK’s exciting new jazz scene was strongly represented by hypnotic, groove-based jazz-electronica trio GoGo Penguin, classic-jazz-meets-beats adventurers the Ezra Collective, and saxophonist Pete Wareham’s avant-garde and ferociously fun jazz-punk band Melt Yourself Down.
Bringing an out-there blend of pan-global psychedelia to the festival were London/Bahrain’s must-see Flamingods while BC Camplight and The Wave Pictures charmed festival-goers with their witty but introspective garage folk and wiggly indie-pop. Elsewhere Tank and the Bangas brought out everyone’s best dance moves with their joyful mix of New Orleans R&B, funk and hip-hop.
2019 saw the addition of the first ever Festival cinema tent, showing everything from retro comedy classics to quirky indie gems. It was the perfect retreat for young festival-goers, as well as a chilled-out venue for everyone else. Plus, due to popular demand, the much-loved Carnival returned – offering Larmer Tree audiences of all ages an unmissable opportunity to take part in the weekend’s action.
The festival was topped off by Tom Odell. He replaced Jack Savoretti who went down with tonsilitis.
If you want to watch hidden musical gems alongside big names, recharge your batteries with holistic therapies, immerse yourself in classic cinema and nourish your soul with the best in international street food – and all in the most beautiful festival site in the UK – then the Larmer Tree Festival is the one.