Local BBC Sites

Page last updated at 16:27 GMT, Thursday, 13 August 2009 17:27 UK
Review: Moor Music Festival

Blast reporter, Joel James
By Joel James
BBC Blast Reporter, BBC York & North Yorkshire

Festivalgoers in fancy dress
There were pirates, bunnies, geishas and spacemen - not to mention the robots!

The festival with a new home in North Yorkshire is big hit with locals and leaves people wanting 'moor'!

When I set off to go to the festival described as 'the mini Glastonbury of the north' I had no idea what to expect: I've never been to Glastonbury! But I did know I was in for a treat as the Moor Music festival's reputation has grown rapidly in recent years and even made it into NME's top festival list.

My plan was simple, enjoy the festival from a punter's point of view, and see how it compared with bigger, more established festivals such as Leeds.


I arrived at the festival safely after a long and bendy farm drive that I'm sure would have been lethal if any oncoming traffic were present. I donned the wellies, picked up my ticket and made my way to the main arena. I was greeted by a winter's worth of sheep wool hanging by the entrance spelling out 'Moor Fest'. From here on in I knew this was going to be nothing like Leeds festival.

Festival sign
A winter's worth of sheep wool by the entrance spelling out 'Moor Fest'

I took myself on a little tour of the field and came across many sight and sounds, including a whole field full of VW campers and Beetles and a cycle-powered stage, complete with cyclists. I also found lots of little shops selling shiny, funky, glow-in-the-dark things as well as offering services such as 'pimp my clothes' and a robot fest.


I had heard along the grapevine that it was dress-up Friday and, as people emerged from their tents, I wasn't disappointed: I met pirates, prisoners, bunnies, geishas, spacemen, not to mention the robots.

As the afternoon turned to night the music became the main priority and there was a lot to choose from. It seemed like as soon as one great act finished another one started, in every tent! It was difficult not to miss out on anything. Among the main highlights were Bongo Chilli, High Pressure Sound System, Glissando and Paul Walker. The really outstanding acts were Utah Saints, Jamie Finlay, Freakin and King Creosote.

Unfortunately there was a curfew on the music at midnight which left everyone wanting 'moor'. They had an answer for everything though and for £3 you could hire a set of headphones and enjoy their silent disco until early in the morning.


I got the feeling that the festival was much less about making money and much more about the music, atmosphere and general feel of everything. It was almost hippy-ish the way everyone was so friendly to each other, except not in a 70s way.

King Creosote
It seemed as soon as one great act finished another one started

This festival is paving the way for a new anti-establishment trend and for people searching for that 'real' festival feeling that gets sometimes gets lost when a festival grows. I'm sure the demand for smaller non-corporate festivals will only increase in years to come.

My highlights of the festival were the secret cycle-powered disco, the slow motion egg fight, all the classic VWs, the atmosphere and all the people! I'd definitely recommend this festival for people who don't want to be bombarded with advertisements, and for those who enjoy a more personal and friendly atmosphere.


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific