Standon Calling: festival review
We spent a weekend grooving to Laura Mvula, skanking to Mike Skinner, and eating gourmet street food at Standon Calling, a festival just outside North London
- By Lydia Winter -
There are two sides to Standon: family-friendly by day and one helluva party at night – and that's exactly why we love it. In ten years, it's gone from being just 2,000 people to hitting somewhere in the region of 14,000 festival-goers, and a very large proportion of that are people who keep coming back and bringing more friends with them. You'll find everything from swing-dancing workshops to a 'rockaoke' competition and a dog show, plus heaps of activities around the year's theme. This time around, it was Tales of the Enchanted Valley, so we spent the weekend dancing dressed up as wood nymphs – escapism (not us) at its finest.
There are two line-ups to pay attention to here: music and food, because in our eyes they're pretty much on even billing. Headliners Grace Jones, Laura Mvula and Clean Bandit drew the crowds each evening, but there were plenty of other acts to catch, too, from Kate Tempest to KT Tunstall, British Sea Power and a DJ set by Idris Elba. Skanking to Mike Skinner at 4pm in a cowshed-come-gingerbread house was one of the most surreal and memorable moments of the weekend, as was a set by Akala on the fairytale-pink Cinderella's Motel stage. And that all-important festival sustenance? We hit up a full-blown diner from burger kings Le Bun to hoover up truffles'n'waffles topped with crispy fried chicken, and vegan comfort food joint Club Mexicana for incredibly zesty and colourful to-fish tacos.
There are two line-ups to pay attention to here: music and food, because in our eyes they're pretty much on even billing.
Just a 25-minute train from Tottenham Hale, Standon Calling is one for you if you like festivals but don't fancy the hungover slog home. It's only a ten-minute taxi journey from Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, so getting there really is a doddle. The festival site itself is small and well thought-out – no walking for miles to see the music here. Instead, a five-minute jaunt and you're in the heart of the action, whether that's splashing around in the swimming pool (it's the only UK festival to have one), trying to hold onto your beer while doing aerobics with Mr Motivator, or dancing to DJ Yoda. Standon, we'll see you next year.