27th-29th July | The Wyldes, Cornwall

Leopallooza refers to itself as “A house party in a field,” partly because that’s how it began, but also because that’s the spirit it has retained through more than a decade of growth. It’s now the equivalent of one of those house parties that a few mates invite a few mates to, then they invite a few more mates, then it’s all over social media and then you can barely get through the front door for revellers. While the front door is still on its hinges, that is.

Last year’s Leopallooza was more like a pool party, battling Old Testament-style precipitation. But on the weekend where various UK gatherings had to disperse before they floated away, ran the gauntlet of electrocution or simply sank, Leopallooza put on the finest of dirty weekends without the slightest hint of a moist hitch.

Leopallooza
Leopallooza Main Stage (photo by Adam Short)

Some festivals scream, “Give us your money.” Leopallooza beckons, “Make yourself at home.” All tastes in music and all ages are catered for. The clientele may show a distinct mixture of ages, but the ambience is youthful. This year you can add in the youth-preserving benefits of the inaugural comedy tent, with plenty of opportunity to exercise your chuckle muscles.

But what really makes a music festival is somewhat alluded to within the phrase ‘music festival’ itself. Leopallooza will worm its way into your ears with this year’s line-up, sending you home with plenty of new favourite music for summer listening.

Ten acts to look forward to at Leopallooza:

Public Service Broadcasting
From the intensifying Cold War race for space to the declining post-war role of coal, Public Service Broadcasting trawl the archives for found sounds that turn social history into sonic swathes of documentary goodness. Headlining the Main Stage on Friday, a rich seam of emotion will be mined and the festival will have genuine lift-off.

Idles
If joy is genuinely an act of resistance, as suggested by the title of Idles’ soon-to-be-released second album, then a miniature happiness revolution is guaranteed on Saturday night from Bristol’s finest urbane punks.

Kelis
Leopallooza have gone for musical diversity in this year’s headliners. The Leo love-in concludes on Sunday night with Kelis, undoubtedly testing out how much rhythm we have left and driving away the end-of-weekend blues.

Keir
Returning to Leopallooza for the second successive year, Bristol’s own raffish rock & soul lionheart, Keir, is like the Cheshire Cat mixed with the Mad Hatter channelling The Rocky Horror show. At some point he will invite you to squeeze him; you just might be persuaded to oblige.

PINS
PINS are the sort of band who have a skin-full of wine and decide that they want to get Iggy Pop to sing on their EP, followed by actually achieving said pissed intention. They have an album called Wild Nights. It’s definitely not false advertising.

Bryde
Bryde charmed the Exchange crowd back in April. Just to prove that crowd pleasers aren’t just the ones who blow the bloody doors off, her indie-folk will give you a chance to shake off your wellies, kick back and drink in the good life.

Laurel
Festival sets are buffets of bite-sized aural delights, so if you want an appetiser for Laurel’s forthcoming show at The Lanes on 29th September, catch her at The Wyldes. Her wild-flower named album, Dogviolet is due out in late August.

Estrons
“Gimme gimme gimme more…” begins the refrain of ‘Lilac’ by Estrons. The lyrics turn a bit grim after that, but the opening captures the band’s more-ish nature. They sound like something that Doctor Who would wrangle with, except I suspect said timelord would probably lose.

Park Hotel
If the punter in the gold, spangly budgie-smugglers and fur coat combo is back at Leopallooza this year, he’ll be suitably free and easy to let Park Hotel’s post-electronic frisky disco beat remove any further inhibitions.

Gris-De-Lin
Greedy what? Freda who? DIY Dorset singer-songwriter, Gris-De-Lin takes her name from a mythical speaking wise bird (not the one from Bagpuss). Her debut album, Sprung is awash with incantations inspired by the Dorset coast and it’s so killer, it’s positively Broadchurch.

You’ve still got time to snap up the last few tickets. See here for details.

See you by the burning car?

Leopallooza
Leopallooza’s trademark burning car (photo by Adam Short)