When you take a look at the sheer calibre and diversity of the acts performing at Standon Calling this year, it’s easy to see why independent festivals have boosted the UK economy by £1bn in the last four years alone. That’s quite a sobering thought to let hang over your head for a minute – especially when you consider that it’s largely born of our love for hanging out of our arses being anything but sober for a weekend.

This is a festival that we’ve not been to before, so we don’t really know what to expect. What we do know is that after beginning life as a Birthday BBQ for founder Alex Trenchard back in 2001, it’s evolved into the weird and wonderful, 5000 capacity spectacle that awaits us.


Standon celebrates its official 10th anniversary this year, and has settled on a Wild West theme they’re calling: ‘The Town of Two Faces’. By day we’re promised dog shows, a Hillbilly Hoe-down, creepy Taxidermy classes, sweaty Rockaoke and the chance to mosaic our own Tombstone thanks to the boundary pushing art collective, The Treatment Rooms.  By night, we hear it will be a very different story in their resident Cowshed nightclub, where we’re hoping to catch sets from The 2 Bears and Bondax.

The line up is a mixed bag, covering everything from the alt-rock of The Dandy Warhols, rap artist Roots Manuva and the scuzzy rock sounds of Kieran Leonard. Witness the fitness, indeed. We’re going to embrace the pick n mix vibe and try to take it all in as it’s such a small festival – but we’re putting a bit of time aside to make sure we’ve got the stage times for Basement Jaxx, The Horrors, Staves and Prides down.

All we can hope is that the Wild West theme doesn’t mean that we’re going to find ourselves standing in a sea of glittery Stetsons, feeling like we’ve accidentally stumbled upon a flash mob of middle aged women on a Hen do in Blackpool – or worse still, like we’re in a 90s Steps video. Which we’re 99% sure it won’t.   

Either way, it’s a good excuse for us to dust off those leather chaps and get reacquainted with the idyllic Hertfordshire countryside and dance away the effects of the Giant Filled Yorkshire Pudding that we’re almost certainly going to be smashing our faces into on a daily basis.

It’s safe to say that we’ll definitely be giving the outdoor pool a miss.