Cloudspotting Music & Arts Festival 2017

14 March 2017

Cloudspotting Music and Arts Festival – which takes place in the picturesque location of Gisburn Forest across the last week of July – includes artists of international standing among its first line-up announcement.

Headlining Saturday night is Congolese poet, composer-lyricist, scriptwriter and performer BALOJI for his only northern UK festival performance of the summer.  Baloji is an incredible live performer. His music stands at the crossroads of African music, incorporating traditional with soul, jazz and funk influences, discovered through sampling and electronic music which has its roots in the region of Belgium where he has spent much of his upbringing.  His recent EP '64 Bits & Malachite' – from which single ‘Spoiler’ was something of a signature party tune – reflects upon his Congolese roots and the political struggles of his people, while also being a joyous celebration of black dance music culture.  

Another artist laying claim to an international audience is Lancashire based DMC World Champion turntablist DJ Woody. The Burnley-born artist expanded on his phenomenal DJ technique – which has won awards the world over – by producing his debut album ‘The Point of Contact’ this year, with ex Earlies keyboard wizard Christian Madden.  The album united flavours of hip-hop, soul, and jazz-rock into an explosive blend.  DJ Woody will be appearing on Friday prior to main stage headline act HENGE.

Henge won the hearts of the Cloudspotting audience last year when they played on the Festival’s Lawn Stage.  Currently recording their debut album after building up a huge following for their fun filled, surreal live shows, Henge are the perfect pick for the opening night family-friendly festival headliner.

Singer of the cosmic concept band who hail from the fictitious planet of ‘Xylanthia’ Zpor, said:  “The human beings at Cloudspotting Festival were some of the most enlightened beings we have encountered on our Earth mission so far.  We danced together, we sang and clapped our hands, all ages united in one song.”

Cloudspotting Sundays are gloriously chilled days reflected by a more acoustic edge to the music programme. With that in mind, three leading female artists on top of their game have been confirmed to star on Sunday.

THIS IS THE KIT (the recording name of Kate Stables) built something of a cult following since her 2008 debut, but 2015's 'Bashed Out', produced by The National's Aaron Dressner, saw the band reach out to a new audience.  This record earned heaps of acclaim, not least from Elbow's Guy Garvey, who made it his 'Record of the Year' on BBC 6Music.  This is the Kit performed at Cloudspotting a couple of months after the release of Bashed Out and this year they return soon after their eagerly awaited follow-up album, set for the spring.

Californian singer Jesca Hoop’s new album Memories Are Now has just been released on the legendary Sub Pop record label.  Jesca played the first year Cloudspotting took place at Gisburn Forest in 2013 and will return with her band for the first time since.

Singer, composer and all round hugely talented artist Hannah Peel is also confirmed to perform on Sunday night.  Her incredible 2016 album 'Awake, But Always Dreaming' was awarded the No.1 Album of the Year by The Electronic Sound Magazine.  The Breath – the brainchild of ex-Cinematic Orchestra guitarist Stuart McCallum and fronted by Honeyfeet’s tremendous vocal talent Rioghnach Connolly are also confirmed for Sunday.

Other confirmed acts on Saturday include Gulp, the wonderful Welsh garage space-pop band fronted by Guto Pryce (Super Furry Animals) and Lindsey Leven; The Wave Pictures, popular and prolific London-based trio who are fast becoming alternate year residents, and Manchester's excellent Horsebeach, who release their 3rd LP 'Beauty and Sadness', next month.

Other acts making their first appearances at the Gisburn Forest festival – include The Big Eyes Family Players, All Hail Hyena, Cairobi, and a solo slot from Matthew Whitaker, following the release of his brilliant album 'The Main with the Anvil Hat'.  On the Main Stage, Clitheroe singer Hannah Spurgeon’s new project, Indigo Rose, will open the festival. 

Artistic Director Matt Evans said: “We’re really excited by the spread of great artists booked so far.  Each year we strive to ensure the majority of the line-up is new to the Festival – attracting really high quality music to this idyllic location.”

“We’re particularly chuffed to have Baloji for Saturday night.  He’s been making great music for many years but really gaining exposure off the back of his recent record.  We’ve worked hard to bring him and his band from Belgium and being able to introduce international music to our line-up shows how far the event has progressed in recent years.”

Production Director Helen Ficorilli added: “As ever the Festival will be promoting quality across all artistic platforms with families particularly well catered for.  We are excited to be closing in on the final stages of our family arts and activity programmes connecting our audience with our beautiful forest location.  Announcement in the coming month.” 

The Guardian, selected it as one of the top 8 Boutique festivals for families:  “A classic combination of music, lovely food and drink, family and arts activities in a stunning location.  It’s good value and regulars applaud its non-commercial feel.”

Gig Junkies: “There are people saying that there are too many music festivals these days. However, why should there only be a few major regional events, with the accompanying big crowds, travel chaos and heavy commercialisation? Why not have smaller events that we can all easily get to, which are more comfortable all round, can give more exposure to local bands and which still attract big names? The Cloudspotting Music and Arts Festival seems to fulfil this role admirably”

Cloudspotting camp opens from 12 noon on Friday, July 28th – 12 noon on Monday, July 31st.

Tier 1 Adult weekend ticket  £109
Teen Ticket  £55
2 yrs-12   £30
Live-In Vehicle  £30
Car Parking Pass £10

For full line-up please see our website:

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