Since 2006, Lounge On The Farm at Canterburys Merton Farm has grown in reputation andstature, from being just another music fest to becoming a genuinecontender in grabbing the all important headliner.
Ellie Goulding, a farewell-bidding The Streets andveterans Echo And The Bunnymen all grace a stage as headlineacts this year. Below is a sack-full of breaking bands, all seeminglyon the brink of either Sound of 20xx status or big record sales inthe not so distant future. Combining this with a wealth of food stalls showcasing local Kent produce the festival tends to draw a variedcrowd. Some of us will stick to the traditional routine of guzzlingwarm beer and seeing as many bands as possible, others will rent a TeePee for 500 before grabbing a pheasant burger.
Since our prime focus is on music, well attempt not to droolover the prospect of high-standard, utterly delicious food, and welllook down the bill to see the likes of Jamie Woon,D/R/U/G/S and Fixers playing earlier on in the day. Theaverage person drawn in by the bill varies like the music on offer: Onthe one hand weve chart-topper Example, on the other weve thesharp, ragged sound of The Joy Formidable.
Expect a laid back feel – one which the stripped-back, dulcetacoustic tones of Daughter will accommodate to but an atmospherevery much prone to steering into party territory. A younger crowd thanever will be drawn in by Goulding, Example and Katy B soexpect a family-friendly sense of safety, with the more rowdy puntersflocking towards a Dance Arena made entirely from a renovated cowshed.
Other stages range from The Sheep Dip – which showcases new talent(Moshi Moshi curate one of the days) – to Farm Folk; an areacompletely provided for sitting in the calm heat, watching folk musicand taking stock of the festival as a whole.
But to pull in the aforementioned headliners, the organisers havealso had to raise an entirely new stage, much larger than those beforeit. Judging the calibre of this years leading acts, 2011 will be thefirst of many years where well see Lounge On The Farm raising itselfto a similar level to that of Green Man or Bestival. A work no longerin progress, this might well be the first year to date where we seethe festival reach its genuine potential.