Dates: 23rd - 26th July 2020
Location: Standon, Hertfordshire
An immensely charismatic festival, this event has progressed from a birthday barbecue to a 10,000 strong affair, pioneering madcap notions with such innovative ideas as fairies hidden in the crowds and underwater discos. Set in the Hertfordshire countryside, in the valley of the River Rib, this event draws people from all walks and ages of life to enjoy fantastic music with a wonderfully imaginative themed backdrop.
With such intimate beginnings, and no pre-ordained development plan, a festival like this can keep its feet solidly in the fundamental basics of having fun, even as it grows. Listening to music and dancing with your friends, ensconcing yourself in extreme theme fancy dress and wild ideas, and letting yourself relax in an amazing location are all elemental parts of this concept. Standon Calling prides itself on its innovation and dedication to storytelling and imagination, a pleasure reciprocated immeasurably by attendees, who throw themselves in wholeheartedly.
Undoubtedly one of its most unique features is the scene it sets as a backdrop every year – some they have had in the past include Murder on the Standon Express, Gods and Monsters and Running Away from the Circus. The festival becomes based around these subjects – “a themed world that comes to life.”
Although there are varied performances every year, the overall sound might be described as popular Indie classic and leftfield Dance. A few of England’s biggest names have had an early start here – such as Florence and the Machine, Mumford and Sons, London Grammar, and more. Their (SC) aim is to move with the moment; keep abreast of new talent and ensure that guests can count on them to provide awesome sounds and keep them captivated.
Aside from the music, one might expect anything from flamenco dancing and voodoo, to acting classes, a dog show and perhaps a little sculpture… There’s even a pool to relax by and enjoy the hot summer sun. And for the kids, this year they’ll be teaming up with Elissa Gold Events to make sure they’ll be entertained – throughout the site, so you don’t need to tuck yourself away from all the rest of the action. It’s a fun and safe environment that everyone can enjoy. There are also masses of food concessions and culinary treats to keep your sustenance and energy levels up – as well as a number of inspired and well-stocked bars around the site.
Positioned in the valley of the River Rib, the atmosphere of the festival is enhanced by the factor of being surrounded by natural beauty. Although the main attraction is of course the event itself, there’s a lot to be said for the accompanying bonus experience of sleeping under the stars every night. There are a few ways of doing this, but unquestionably, the ultimate is luxury camping. Tents are put up in the Boutique Campsite, where one can luxuriate in all the glamping mod cons – hot showers, flush loos, space, privacy, proper linens on your bed and carefully considered décor. After a wild few days expanding your mind and exhausting your body with dance and fun, you deserve to be able to come home to a lovely comfortable canvas room and have a proper break.