Devon’s Beautiful Days, which is scheduled to take place from the 20th – 22nd August 2021 in the grounds of Escot Park, has announced over 50 artists for the 2021 event including headliners Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls, James and Levellers. Beautiful Days has never just been about the music though – the festival has a seated Theatre Tent, walkabout performances, site art installations, an array of food & crafts stalls and real ale bars run by local brewers Otter Brewery. The 2021 theme is still to be announced!
Organisers are working hard planning to go ahead at full capacity following Step 4 of the Government’s roadmap which hopes to allow large events to take place without restrictions. Beautiful Days is the Levellers’ festival organised and programmed, since its inception in 2003, by Devon-based DMF Music. 95% of tickets have already been sold for the 18th edition of the festival with the last few tickets available here: www.beautifuldays.org/tickets
Beautiful Days Organiser and Licencee David Farrow from DMF Music comments, “Our industry was one the first to close and is one of the last on the path to re-opening safely but we are getting there and it’s so important – the arts are needed now more than ever. We can’t wait to open the gates to Beautiful Days 2021. Our festival-goers are ready to come back to the fields and so are we.”
The festival welcomes back Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls to headline the Main Stage on Friday night. Over the course of an astonishing career now spanning 20 years plus and counting, Frank has to date sold in excess 1 million records and played to over 2 million people. He is arguably one of Britain’s hardest working musicians.
Topping the bill on Saturday night are James who return after headlining Beautiful Days in 2016. Since their breakthrough single in 1991, ‘Sit Down’, James have released 15 studio albums, selling over 25 million copies in the process. They’ve also announced the release their new studio album All The Colours Of You on 4th June with new single ‘Recover’ out now.
Festival founders Levellers will close the festival on the Sunday night. The band released their new studio album Peace last Summer, which entered the UK Official Album Charts at #8 – the band’s highest charting entry since 1997’s Mouth to Mouth. Levellers will also open the festival weekend with their traditional acoustic set in The Big Top.
Also announced for the Main Stage is icon and pioneer of electronic music Gary Numan, plus New Model Army who celebrated their 40th anniversary last year, Irish singer-songwriter Imelda May, one of the UK’s most formidable live acts Skindred, the Balkan ska punk extravaganza that is Dubioza Kolektiv, punk-rock, blues and country band Alabama 3 and From The Jam led by bassist/singer and original Jam member Bruce Foxton.
Plus festival favourites Dreadzone, high energy dub outfit Gentleman’s Dub Club, Mexican ska-rock band Los De Abajo, British reggae band The Skints, Irish powerhouse Damien Dempsey, cosmic four-piece Henge, Leeds alt-rock band Pulled Apart By Horses, garage-punk band Avalanche Party, breakthrough Hebridean sensation Peat & Diesel, indie-pop foursome Lottery Winners and Wild Front.
Topping the bill on the festival’s second stage – The Big Top – on Friday night are the legendary and pioneering Hawkwind. With founder Dave Brock still at the helm, the band recently celebrated their 50th anniversary.
Saturday night welcomes The Lakeman Family Gathering – an exclusive performance featuring musician dad Geoff Lakeman with sons Sean, Sam and Seth plus Cara Dillon and Kathryn Roberts performing all together for the first time ever.
Sunday night headliners are Van der Graaf Generator featuring Peter Hammill, Hugh Banton & Guy Evans – the three surviving members of the original group formed in 1968. Darker and wilder than most of their contemporaries VdGG were known for sprawling, dense and complex songs on six albums recorded for the Charisma label between ’69 and ’76.
Also announced for The Big Top are London punk-pop four-piece The Big Moon, folk stalwarts Show Of Hands, folk-punk band Ferocious Dog who release their new album Hope this Autumn, infectious folk-gypsy outfit Mad Dog Mcrea, Bristol’s The Longest Johns – the men behind the viral sea shanty trend with their track Wellerman, plus Rock meets Americana with Ginger Wildheart & The Sinners, Welsh harpist Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita and bluegrass collaborative Watkins Family Hour featuring Nickel Creek founder member Sara Watkins.
Rev Hammer & Nick Harper will play a special acoustic set, 3 Daft Monkeys return to continue their 20th anniversary celebrations, folk-punk band Sons Of Clogger, Irish singer-songwriter Amy Montgomery, singer-songwriter Katherine Priddy, punk band Headsticks and festival friends The Bar-Steward Sons Of Val Doonican’s Sunday Service with special guests.
The first acts announced for The Little Big Top are The Orb, Mungo’s Hi Fi, Youth, Adrian Sherwood, Eva Lazarus, Altern-8, Shades Of Rhythm (Live), Slipmatt, 2 Bad Mice, Mark XTC, The Moody Boys and family rave Big Fish Little Fish. The seated Theatre Tent will play host to theatre, comedy and dance with shows including the circus that is like no other – Circus Of Horrors, plus the super talented quadruple that is 4 Poofs & A Piano (known for being the house band BBC One chat show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross) and performances from The Rubbish Shakespeare Company, Morgan & West, The Black Eagles, John Udry, Dan The Hat, Jack Dean Company and Entertainingly Different.
More is still to be announced for all stages plus The Bimble Inn and The Rebel Tent. Back by popular demand are the pop-up folk/roots sessions in The Fiddler’s Arms next to The Big Top curated by Seth Lakeman’s musician dad Geoff Lakeman. A hardcore of session players will be on hand plus guest musicians from the stages and festival-goers are invited to join in too. There are family campsites, campervan fields, caravan pitches and some bell tent, yurt & tipi hire options still available. For information about accessibility, go to the festival website.
Festival address: Escot Park, Devon, EX11 1LU
Festival website: www.beautifuldays.org