Craig Richards takes us back to the woods for another edition of his Houghton Festival. The Waveform Transmitter‘s Léa Ben Saïd reports in with the line-up details and more.
Yesterday, the infamous Houghton Festival announced the lineup of its second edition and all necessary info to attempt to get a ticket. Potential festivalgoers will have to be tenacious however, as we can already tell it is going to be difficult.
Houghton started last year. Very little advertised, it was attractive because of its low prices for tickets and because of a classic line up, consisting mainly of Craig Richard’s mates who we can often see on Fabric line-ups, including Ricardo Villalobos, Margaret Dygas, Ben UFO, Gerd Janson, Midland and Optimo. Produced by the people behind Gottwood Festival, everyone was assured to have a nice time in the woods, thanks to the savoir-faire of the creators of a critically acclaimed festival, voted as one of the best small festivals in the UK.
But truly, the reputation of Houghton exploded when it was over. The handful of people who went were unanimous; it had surpassed any expectations that anyone had and was even considered as the solution to the festival crisis in the UK. The magic recipe for this success was quite simple: great sound systems, extended sets by world-class DJs, a 24-hour license, and secret stages with secret line-ups that can only be accessible by magic trains and other crazy mode of transportation. These unique features – hardly seen in any other UK festivals – were added to a great setting in the woods, and quickly made anyone forget about the very low alcohol allowance you were able to take in with you.
Following the success of the first edition, a panic spread across the scene when there was words that Houghton received so many complaints, especially because of the noise – a problem common to most festivals and clubs in the UK unfortunately. However, the scare was short, with the announcement of the second edition a few weeks back. Everything that made the festival great last year, including the dear 24-hour license across all stages, is back this year according to Resident Advisor. Surely, that must be the best news of January 2018.
The 2018 line up is quite similar to the one of last year’s. Among the artists returning to the woods this year are Ricardo Villalobos, Andrew Weatherall, Seth Troxler, Nicolas Lutz, Ben UFO, Ivan Smagghe, Roman Flügel, Joy Orbison, Magda, Sonja Moonear, Optimo, Margaret Dygas and Midland.
The finest of house and techno is adding on to them with the likes of Zip, Objekt, Prosumer, Call Super, Pearson Sound, Jane Fitz, DJ Fett Berger, The Mole, Luca Lozano, Barac, Intergalactic Gary and Shanti Celeste all playing for the first time there. Furthermore, Mr Scruff, Vladimir Ivkovoic, Jonny Rock and Mixmaster Morris return, Idjut Boys, Ruf Dug and Nick The Record will serve anyone looking for more alternative sounds, while forward-thinking bass music will be provided by Calibre, dBridge and Applebim.
Disco will also be honored with sets by Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy, Felix Dickinson, Psychemagik, Rob Mello, Dave Harvey and Horse Meat Disco. Finally, for more experimental and ambient music, Craig Richards has invited Ivan Smagghe & Cross, Claro Intelecto, Nathan Fake, the electronic wizard Mathew Jonson, the incredible Radioactive Man, but also Emperor Machine, and the legendary DMX Krew. It is fair to say that Houghton has something for everyone, with a number of live sets planned, which will allow full creativity of the artists on this incredible line up.
The pretty full-on musical odyssey across the weekend will soon be joined by an arts and sculpture programme, which will include among other things an exhibition by Damian Hirst who will display some of his most famous sculptures. We assume this programme will be released during the second-wave of announcements promised by the organizers. However, we are also hoping more musical acts will be announced.
Even though it seems like a great line-up, we cannot miss the fact that only eight out of the 80 acts announced are women, with an overwhelming majority made of white males and binary acts. To understand how bad it is, you can see the line up with only women (and Craig Richards) on it above. In this day and age, it is impossible to not be critical of this, but we can only hope that the balance will be rectified with the second wave.
A limited number of advance tickets were made available today for last year attendees, and tickets will go on general sale on Friday February 2nd, at 9am UK time.