When Jaymo and Andy George invited us to their weird pagan forest rave, we weren't quite sure what to expect
It's about 3PM on the last Friday in May and I'm on the outskirts of a forest in Lincolnshire. As I'm getting my bearings, a figure moving through the trees comes to an abrupt halt. He's spotted me and he begins stalking through the bush in my direction. As he emerges from the trees he stops dead and locks me in an icy stare.
He's about 6'4, dressed like a victorian undertaker, with a painted face, a top hat and a muddy shovel slung over his shoulder. Needless to say he's a menacing mother fucker. Just as the staring competition starts to get Larry David awkward, he lets out a high pitched cackle and plunges back into the trees.
It was definitely a unique way to kick off the first festival of the summer.
Lost Village Festival is the brainchild of Moda Black lads, Jaymo and Andy George. Taking place over the 2nd May bank holiday weekend in leafy Lincolnshire, it's got an otherworldly vibe with a no-nonsense booking policy.
The festival takes aesthetics very seriously with an array of characters, art installations and bizarre rituals happening throughout the weekend. The vibe is Blair Witch meets The Wickerman meets Glastonbury and the organisers have done a good job of making the site creepy, but still tranquil enough to avoid mass freak-outs come nightfall.
An intimate vibe persists at the 5,000 capacity event, but the wide array of stages and activities ensures you're never left looking for something to do. The music is split across four theme-friendly stages including the voodoo themed Burial Grounds, the creepy Abandoned Cabin, the even creepier Abandoned Chapel, and the fort-themed Look Out.
During the day the weak summer sun shone through dream catchers to the sound of prince-heavy disco sets from Artwork, Doorly and Horse Meat Disco, and while it wasn't quite warm enough to justify most people's outfits, it was a perfect primer for the summer to come.
As fun as Lost Village was in the daytime, the festival really shone when the sun set and the forest took on an eerier vibe to match the darkening music. Big performances came in from DJ Koze, Roman Flugel and Ben Klock who had the forrest floor bouncing like a Berlin warehouse.
But for me, the musical highlights came from a series of party-orientated sunset sets from Eats Everything, Maribou State and Heidi - who for my money put in the performance of the weekend. Other musical highlights came from a new material heavy set from Bicep and a crowd-drawing set from Mr Robot Wars himself, Craig Charles.
One of the only musical miss-steps of an otherwise on-point weekend came from Fatboy Slim, who disappointingly mistook Lincolnshire for Las Vegas with an EDM heavy drop-a-thon. It was a peculiar misjudgement from such an accomplished selector.
Aside from Mr Cook's slip up, pretty much everything else from Lost Village came as a pleasant surprise. A lot of festivals talk up their production and aesthetics, but Lost Village was one of the few places I've been to that managed to deliver without seeming gimmicky. The crowd were friendly, up for it, and just on the right side of crazy. While the music was a blissful of daytime disco and midnight madness.
For such a dance-heavy lineup the 2AM curfew seemed like it would be a bit of downer, but there was so much to see during the day, and temperatures dropped so much at night, that the last track coincided with my final ounce of energy on all three nights.
All in all it was a spooky, fun-filled weekend in a great setting with even better music. The only thing I'd suggest for next year is, please God, set up a general convenience store. I know we're meant to be in a lost village and everything, but if you're at a camping festival you shouldn't have to run around bribing bar staff for a bottle of mixer.
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We're Throwing A Festival!
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