From Manchester to: Lost Village

Getting lost in the woods can be pretty terrifying if you’ve been mentally scarred from The Blair Witch Project as a kid, right?

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 4 September 2018

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Be prepared to have all your fears quickly ushered away as you enter the forest in Norton Disney, Lincolnshire and are transformed to another world entirely.

This was myself and my friend’s second year at the festival and as last year ticked every box and left us hungry for more for the following 11 months, it was a wonder whether they could top it for us. I can safely say the festival once again did not disappoint.

One thing that’s abundantly clear with Lost Village Festival upon arrival is that they leave no stone unturned. Once you’ve left the car park and enter the trees through the gates, you are no longer in Kansas anymore, Toto.

There are four main stages / areas that make up the festival. The Burial Ground, the main stage if you like, Junkyard where old abandoned Mustangs and bath tubs lie strewn about and everything from records to Barbie dolls are strung across from tree to tree. You don’t know fun quite like jumping on a car or in a bath tub to your favourite songs – that’s happiness if I ever knew it. There’s even an old arcade with free-play games.

Go deeper into the woods and you come across the Abandoned Chapel, where revellers pray in our own way at an altar of house and techno – there’s solely dancing in this church.

Keep trudging into the trees and look up above you, where you will find an abandoned library, aerial dancers on silks that look like they’re flying and lights as far as the eye can see. These lead you to the Forgotten Cabin, an old wooden shack that brings the volume and the rave into the early hours.

The best thing about Lost Village besides all the unbelievable sets at each stage is the little hidden gems. This year, Watchers Holt stage became the hub of all secret sets, highlights particularly coming from Peggy Gou and The Black Madonna, which was unfortunate as her main performance at the Burial Ground on Thursday night had left us all feeling a bit lack lustre, when she had blown our minds the previous year when she closed the festival at the Abandoned Chapel.

If you want to experience even more of the secrecy at Lost Village, the original ‘villagers’ will take you on an adventure. If you come across any of the ‘former residents’, ask them a question and be taken on a journey. Two friends of mine did exactly that and ended up crawling through to a secret speakeasy and were plied with vodka and fantastic stories.

If it all gets a bit too much or you just want a nice Margarita and chill between DJs, head down to the Lake of Tranquillity. It’s also where you can watch the quite extravagant fireworks that mark the end of the festival on Sunday night.

When we first arrived, we were quite surprised to find out that Honey Dijon and Black Madonna were both playing at the Burial Ground on the Thursday night, as well as Artwork at Junkyard. Nevertheless, Honey Dijon true to form set the festival off in her usual soulful and versatile way, blending all genres and making sure we all just had a good old party.

Other personal highlights of the weekend included Friendly Fires, who were a surprising breath of fresh air with their brilliant pop tunes that have managed to stand the test of 10 years and the ‘nu rave’ scene (they were always better than that anyway). Craig Charles, as per usual, got everyone practically swing dancing with his funk and soul show, to the point where strangers became best friends by the end of it.

Four Tet played his remix of Opal – Bicep and it was one of those moments where absolutely everyone lost their minds. Peggy Gou, Hunnee, Gerd Janson, Ben UFO, Dixon and George Fitzgerald to name a few stole their stages respectively.

The one that I’ll be talking about for quite some time is Leftfield, who managed to exceed my expectations despite the fact I couldn’t have been any more excited to witness the sounds that shaped my childhood and music taste.

Lost Village is by far one of the most enjoyable small festivals there is and well worth a visit!