Herding the Beats!

by Northern Life

Beat-Herder, the wildest party in the UK festival calendar, returns for 2023, running from Thurs 13th of July to Sun 16th of July.

Described as ‘the best party of the summer’ and ‘One of the best 100 events in the world’, Beat-Herder’s reputation precedes it as a haven of hedonistic joy.

The legendary event boasts 20+ whimsical stages, world-class DJs, live acts and comedians, and surprises aplenty. Continuing its new four-day foray, Beat-Herder will throw open its doors on Thursday, 13th July, for an extra day of unbridled revelry, to those lucky enough to hold limited 4-day tickets. 

Beat-Herder exists as it did when it started as a free DIY party in 1998: uncompromising, unwavering and distinguished by an overwhelming sense of community. Its reputation as one of the friendliest festivals can be attributed to its loyal followers, friends, and families, who create new memories in a bold and barmy atmosphere each summer. It’s no coincidence The Guardian described it as “a fan favourite in the strongest sense.” After a heartbreaking two years away, Beat-Herder returned to welcome back its loyal family in 2022 with one of its best parties to date. The Mirror previously jokingly challenged festival-goers “to go and not have a good time,”. Now in its sixteenth year and continuing to celebrate electronic music in its many forms, Beat-Herder is thrilled to announce who’ll be setting the party alight at its technicolour escapist bolthole in lovely Lancashire.

The Beat-Herder main stage 

Kicking off the weekend, Thursday’s line-up is a mashup of global icons, emerging talent and party starters: Heading up the Toil Trees, Beat-Herder’s spiritual heartland is UK electronic music institution, Eats Everything, and Scottish DJ/production duo LF System. Dundee’s Hannah Laing will bring her high energy, bouncy techno with a hint of trance alongside house music legends K-Klass. Afro-psychedelic future pop DJs, BCUC from Soweto, South Africa, are the live headline act in Trash Manor, whilst Bristol hip-hop artist Dr Syntax leads the charge at Smoky Tentacles. All the venues on the Street will be live and pumping for those seeking DnB and jungle beats, including The Garage, Julie’s Barn, Hotel California, and the famous Parish Church.

“Kicking off the weekend, Thursday’s line-up is a mashup of global icons.”

Into the main weekend, and headlining the Beat-Herder stage this year is one of the most significant electronic outfits of all time, Pendulum; the drum & bass rock band from Perth, Australia, have three platinum albums to their name including renowned debut ‘Hold Your Colour’ and huge singles ‘Immersion’ and ‘In Silico’. Also appearing this year is the iconic Goldfrapp singer, songwriter and producer Alison Goldfrapp, who launched her solo career in 2023 with the new single ‘Digging Deeper’. She is joined by one of the hottest acts on the planet right now, portable party Confidence Man, whose new album TILT was named by MOJO as “the feel-good hit album of 2022”. Bradford trio, Bad Boy Chiller Crew, take influence from the ‘bassline house’ clubbing heritage they grew up around in North England and pair it with emergent UK rap. Bonafide British drum n bass DJ Wilkinson lines up a thrilling set, vibrant drum n bass meets electro-dance-pop DJ Piri, and viral hitmaker leading the British drum ‘n’ bass renaissance Venbee.

Beat-Herder 2022

Beat-Herder family and much-loved electronic band Dub Pistols have been tearing up festival stages for 20-plus years and just released their ninth studio album ‘Frontline’, are confirmed, as well as Bristol MC Gardna, who thrills audiences with his good vibes and ‘big bad sounds’. American hip-hop trio Jungle Brothers bring their pioneering fusion of hip-hop and jazz; and reggae icon Horace Andy – the sweet voice of Massive Attack- plays with his full band, Dub Asante Band. Also announced is the English rock band Peter Hook and The Light, formed by bass guitarist/vocalist Peter Hook, formerly of the influential post-punk band Joy Division and New Order, and high-energy 12-piece jazz hip-hop outfit Renegade Brass Band, amongst many more to be announced.

Confirmed for the Toil Trees stage, Beat-Herder’s birthplace and beating heart set in a majestic woodland is one of the UK’s best-loved selectors, Skream, who brings his decades of dubstep to this magical space. Joining him are Scottish DJ and music producer Ewan McVicar, who came to prominence in 2021 with the release of his debut single, ‘Tell Me Something Good’ and one of house and techno’s finest DJs, and Running Back label head, Gerd Janson, alongside Dublin house duo Obskur. A DJ leading a new generation of high-speed ravers addicted to jungle, drum ‘n’ bass, footwork and juke; is Sherelle, who is also confirmed alongside Shermanology, the Dutch-Caribbean brother & sister duo and stronghold of house music. Also announced is soulful electronic/psychedelic producer, DJ and cosmic energy Cici and BBC Radio 1 broadcaster and DJ, Jaguar, alongside Radio 1’s Future Dance DJ, Sarah Story, who’ll be spinning some of the best emerging, new-wave talents.

Festival-goers enjoy a DJ set

A Toil Trees institution, this is a genre-spinning set not to be missed: Mr Scruff invites MC Kwasi to a 4-hour session of hip hop, funk, disco, deep house, reggae, afrobeat, and everything in between. Also joining them is Melbourne-born, London-based producer DJ Boring, who will showcase a variety of inspirations from Chicago house, and Detroit techno through to trance and funk. Glasgow’s finest, La La, cited by Mixmag as ‘one of the most exciting up-and-comers’, joins stylist, presenter, and DJ Gok Wan, who’ll bring uplifting club beats alongside the much-loved Airwolf Paradise, whose ‘Don’t Hurt Me Baby’ was one of the biggest tracks of 2022.

The packed ‘Toil Trees’ stage at Beat-Herder

The Fortress, a looming corrugated iron construction, is the refuge of Beat-Herder’s most hardcore revellers. Featuring fire-spewing turrets, the venue will host a true disciple of high-energy, fast-paced dance music, I.JORDAN, alongside the mighty Benny Page, who has played a definitive role in shaping the UK’s underground movement. Joining them is one of the stalwarts of the UK music scene, rocking dancefloors across the globe for over 30 years, Tall Paul, alongside electronic bass duo Phibes. Also announced is the Godfather of oldskool, Slipmatt; and Scottish DJ and producer TAAHLIA, who effortlessly blends hard dance with electronic pop, and recently made history as the first black trans artist to be nominated at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards.


Fancy dress at ‘The Fortress’

Reflecting the Ribble Valley’s mystic heritage, The Ring is a sacred arena where all genres converge in a melting pot of past, present and future. A 100-foot diameter earth mound accessed via a giant Stonehenge-style entrance is the perfect venue to capture the original stadium house innovators and stage curators, Utah Saints, whose sampling of everything from Eurythmics to Kate Bush made them one of the genre’s earliest crossover sensations. The inimitable My Nu Leng and Dread MC celebrate 10 years of UK underground dance music with a special set and influential hit-maker, Cloonee also headlines.

“The Ring is a sacred arena where all genres converge in a melting pot of past, present and future.”

Multi-award-winning Friction is one of the most revered and respected electronic music artists in the world today; he joins forces with MC Linguistics for a ferocious headline set. Joining them is the dynamic A.Skillz, blending hip-hop, soul, funk and rock with dubstep, drum, bass, and electro. The innovative Capital FM DJ Harriet Jaxxon and DJ, broadcaster, presenter, and the first female host of the BBC Radio 1 Drum & Bass show, Charlie Tee, are also confirmed, amongst many more.

Franky Wah performs at Beat-Herder 2022

At Trash Manor, expect an eclectic, eccentric courtyard of chaos, where you’ll find festival favourites Stanton Warriors, whose irresistible and inimitable sound has consistently remained the soundtrack to some of the world’s biggest and best parties; Dutty Moonshine will fuse heavy UK bass, jazz and more with a special DJ set; alongside the 2022 winner of the DJ Mag Top 100 Lifetime Achievement Award, the much-loved DJ Paulette; and a true champion of electronic soul, quickly cementing a reputation as one of the UK’s most exciting young DJs, Tarzsa.

The Greek-inspired ‘Trash Manor’

Over at the quirky Smoky Tentacles stage in the Stone Circle field, you’ll find An Danssa Dub; this 6-piece live band fuses the mystical energy and instruments of traditional Scottish music and Gaelic song with the heavy, meditative, driving basslines. At the bass-heavy Stumblefunk, you’ll find Bristol’s Toby Ross with a headline set of heavy hitters and jungle-infused rollers.

Beat-Herder kites fly over the beautiful Lancashire landscape

Music is just part of the experience at Beat-Herder. Entirely handmade from scratch, the stages stand out as something truly bespoke in the increasingly cookie-cutter festival landscape. That attention to detail creates an immersive world full of beguiling and intriguing creative concepts, winning ‘Unique Festival Arena’ at the 2019 AIF Festival Awards and the ‘Extra Festival Award’ at the UK Festival Awards for ‘attention to detail & creating unforgettable festival experiences’. Where else would challenge you to find the hidden, heated swimming pool (which won the ‘Unique Festival Feature’ award at the 2019 Skiddle Awards) or invite you to dance to drum and bass in a chapel? Unsurprisingly, The Guardian also named it one of the Best Festivals for its Lively Atmosphere in 2022, with Louder Than praising “how much the festival appreciates its audience”.

Beat-Herder’s official website can be found by following this link: The Beat-Herder Festival | 13th-16th July 2023 (

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