From the 24th to 27th of August I went to Lost Village Festival in Lincolnshire.
Lost Village is one of the most unique music festivals in the country. It is set in an “abandoned woodland village” in rural Lincolnshire, on a beautiful site which encompasses open grassland, woodlands, and even a lake. The site fits very well to the festival’s identity.
Lost Village has a mystical aura that surrounds it. Imagine the Blair Witch Project but with booming dance music, and plenty of ravers, and you get an idea of what it was like.
The main stage was called the “Burial Ground” and was set on open grassland with food and bars nearby. Following paths into the forest you come to some smaller stages in woodland clearings, each with a different identity.
A lot of effort and attention to detail went into decorating the site, and each area was different. For instance “The Junkyard” had lots of scrap metal or corrugated iron sheeting laid around, and even a couple of old cars which was impressive.
Actors dressed in quirky clothing wandered the site telling the story of Lost Village to people. I didn’t get much chance to talk to them myself unfortunately, but they certainly looked the part.
The accessibility of the site was overall very good, considering most of it was in a forest. The area around the main stage was flat open grassland, so was easy to drive my Powerchair on. The dirt paths linking the other stages through the woods were not too bumpy either, so driving around was quite painless.
The worst place for me to drive was The Junkyard because the ground was much more uneven. I had to be careful not to go into any hidden dips or get stuck on tree roots, but I managed to negotiate it okay.
Luckily the weather was glorious over the four days of the festival, so the ground was mostly dry and firm. If it had rained then I probably would have got stuck in the mud in the forest. So praise be to the gods of techno for keeping it dry!
Disappointingly the outdoor hot tubs and sauna in the spa area were not accessible, as they didn’t have a hoist. I have asked the company that run them to provide a hoist for next year, and make the shower facilities accessible, so hopefully they will do so. I did manage to have a nice head massage though, which was relaxing.
There were a number of accessible portaloos around the site. But as usual the number of able-bodied toilets far outweighed the number of accessible ones; by at least 10 to 1. And able-bodied people were using the accessible ones too. So frequently I had to wait for someone to come out, which is not fun if you’re desperate. Also, as usually happens at music festivals, the toilets quickly became squalid. It would have been much better if the accessible toilets had Radar locks on them to stop them from being abused.
The music at Lost Village was Electronic Dance Music (EDM), which I admit I have a limited knowledge of. I didn’t know who any of the DJs were, so to my untrained ear it all sounded the same. It was an education at least!
Most of what I heard seemed to be high tempo techno music, and I couldn’t tell the difference from one DJ to the next. I was trying to find some lower tempo or house stuff but there didn’t seem to be much of it.
From what I’ve read after the event it seems that there were bands and DJs playing some lower tempo stuff. It’s just that I didn’t know where they were as I wasn’t familiar with them. So next year it would probably be helpful if they separated the acts into different genres and musical styles. Then we can see at a glance which acts we want to see, even if we’re not familiar with them.
Besides the music there were a number of other attractions to keep the ravers entertained.
The appropriately named “Lake of Tranquillity” was indeed a beautiful and relaxing area to get some respite from the music. It’s just a shame that I couldn’t use the hot tubs. They were right next to the lake so I imagine it would have been a very chilled out experience.
There was also the “Lost Theatre” where you could see stand-up comedians such as Russell Kane, Sean Walsh and Jarred Christmas. Opposite this was the “Institute of Curious Minds” where you could listen to interesting talks about various topics. Personally I found it difficult to hear what the comedians were saying with the boom boom boom of the music in the background. I didn’t manage to see any of the talks either for some reason, but next year I will make sure I catch some of them.
From what I’ve read after the festival I seem to have missed some of the stuff that was happening. I didn’t get a chance to talk to any of the actors about the story. Apparently there was a secret door around the lake leading to an underground bar, and it only opened at certain times. I never realised, so it was a well-kept secret indeed!
On the final evening there was a firework display and performance from the actors including acrobatics, but it was dark so I found it hard to see.
There was a good selection of street food, with stuff like Vietnamese baos for example. These are like rice rolls with chicken and salad in them. Apparently they had been voted the best street food last year, so it was pretty decent.
As well as the street food they also had “Tribal Banquets” which had to be booked in advance. These were sit down meals in a big marquee cooked by Michelin starred chefs, and the food was very nice. Some of it I found was a bit strange. One of the starters had what seemed like some sort of cheese, but I’m not sure what it was. It wasn’t solid and it wasn’t liquid, but I still ate it even though I didn’t really like it.
I had one Tribal Banquet on the Saturday and then I had a Sunday dinner too. I preferred the Sunday dinner which I thought was delicious. The beef was rare and not chewy at all which I really liked.
Overall I enjoyed Lost Village and I was impressed by how well organised it was. It is a unique festival and if you are a big fan of EDM, you will love the experience. I will probably go back next year, but I just hope that they have a greater variation in musical styles.
The thing I liked best about Lost Village was the effort and attention to detail that the organisers had put into creating it. The actors and performers, the weird sculptures and decorations, the lights, and the location itself all contributed to the otherworldly feel of the festival.
The accessibility of the site overall was good, even places that were a bit off the beaten track weren’t too hard to traverse. However I hope that next year they make the hot tubs, Sauna, and shower facilities accessible, so I can get pampered too!