End Of The Road Preview


Written by Betty Wood
Photos and illustrations by End of the Road
24 Sunday 24th July 2011

The intimacy of the festival is paramount to its success; bands play on personalised stages and perform longer sets; impromptu performances are encouraged and EoTR is one of the few remaining festivals where artists can interact directly with fans, walking around onsite and participating in workshops. As the love-child of a music obsessive – Taffe’s personal collection boasts over 7,000 records – Taffe’s mark is stamped on every element of the festival. He chooses every band on the roster, insists on local produce being sold within the site and helps design all of the sets from the stage to the props and banners that are found around the garden site. The mix of good taste and ‘small-feel’ is what makes this boutique festival such a raging success.

2011’s line-up promises to be a strong one with Beirut, Joanna Newsom and Mogwai all headlining. But look beneath the surface and the calibre of artists beats a strong pulse with Laura Marling, CYHSY, Best Coast, Caitlin Rose, Austra, Kurt Vile and the Black Angels all featuring on a solid billing supported by smaller indie and folk-influenced bands including upcoming artists to watch out for Lanterns on the Lake and Dry The River. 2011 also sees the expansion of the comedy stages, with a host of top international comedians (Simon Munnery, Robin Ince, Phil Kay, Tony Law) being billed to perform in the woods and Little White Lies curating the film tent.

The festival is now into its sixth year having started back in 2005. A throw-away remark for 90% of the population, when Taffe said he’d like to start his own festival after a disappointing Green Man experience, he immediately started turning his fantasy into reality. The two merge seamlessly at in the Garden settings with its other-worldly feel, teepee stage and surreal forest lighting. A labour of love, End of the Road took Taffe to the brink of financial ruin as he staked his mortgage and business as collateral for the festival, plunging him into a financial abyss for the first few years. But good taste wins out in the end and since 2008 the festival has been selling out every year and pulling in some of the biggest names in Americana, folk and indie including Ryan Adams, Yo La Tengo, Fleet Foxes and British Sea Power.

As in previous years, the festival has completely sold-out, but if you’re lucky enough to be attending this year’s event then 2 September is the time to gloat; as with so many other things the best has been saved till last.

For more information on End of the Road Festival, click here.

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