By Jono Godlee
I’ve always been a big supporter of various charities such as Greenpeace and the WWF, which is why I’ve chosen to write an article about one of my favourite Hertfordshire-based festivals, Wilkestock, which itself is a charity music festival.
I reckon I’m quite a laid-back guy, which is why Wilkestock has and always will be the right festival for me. Based just 30 minutes outside of Kings Cross and nestled in-between the sleepy villages of Benington & Watton-at-Stone, it’s the perfect festival for those who are looking to enjoy a positive and feel-good atmosphere, whilst consuming only the best food from a wide variety of vendors.
The great thing about Wilkestock is the intimacy of the festival and how everyone is there for the same reason: to let loose, enjoy some drinks, and to create lifelong memories. During my time there in 2018, from start to finish, I felt completely at home and really soaked up the free-spirited feel of the whole occasion.
I’ve always viewed the event, which runs for three days at the beginning of September, as the very last chance to really bring the festival season to an end – leaving the best till last if you like! There’s live music throughout the day, and there’s something for everyone. Whether Electronic/D&B is your preference, or if you’re more into independent Rock/Pop then all are catered for on stages both indoor and out, and that’s what makes Wilkestock so very special. It caters for young, old and all in-between!
If you’re big on discovering new and unsigned artists, then Wilkestock is definitely for you. On my last visit, after just a few hours, I’d discovered so many new bands. The two that stuck out most for me from 2017 were Sea Girls & PINS. Both bands are under-the-radar but have gone on to play many other festivals. I saw Sea Girls last year at Standon Calling in a less intimate setting, and their sound was still as refined and just as appealing to the ear as the previous time.
One great memory from last time is my arrival at the festival. There were what I can only describe as incredibly talented spray-paint artists creating their very own murals on one huge graffiti wall. I reckon I stood transfixed far at least half an hour, just watching them do their thing. So if you end up going this year, (and you really SHOULD) make sure to admire their outpouring of creativity! (just be careful not to get gassed up on the fumes from the spray paint!).
One of the most important things about getting the most out of a festival has to be making sure that you’re feeling the spirit while you’re there. At Wilkestock, there are a few shops which can really help with this. If funny wigs are your thing, then you can easily grab a few for you and your mates, and if you want to complete the look with bandanas and sunglasses, then they’re also readily available at a very reasonable price! Just helps to feel part of the scene.
Yes, of all the festivals I’ve been to in recent years, I’ve enjoyed this one the most. If an intimate yet positive vibe is what you’re looking for during those summer months, then look no further, as Wilkestock is definitely for you.
This year, it will be taking place from the 4th – 6th September on Frogmore Hill near Watton-at-Stone and the line-up is yet to be announced, but for more information, head over to Wilkestock’s website and/or social media channels for more information. Hope to see you all there.
Until next time,