Saturday 22 October 2016

Female artists to the fore at End Of The Road festival

Published 03/09/2016 | 18:21

The End Of The Road has been described as the best small festival
The End Of The Road has been described as the best small festival

Women artists are leading the charge at this year's End Of The Road Festival, with harpist Joanna Newsom and singer-songwriter Bat for Lashes both headlining.

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Newsom chose the sell-out event as her only UK festival date, and will appear on the main stage on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Bat for Lashes, real name Natasha Khan, was topping the bill on Saturday night, following on from New York art rockers Animal Collective on Friday.

Newsom and Khan account for two of the four headline acts and join an unusually large number of women to feature in a festival schedule.

Festival co-founder and director Simon Taffe said the line-up was a "deliberate" attempt to address a gender imbalance in the music industry.

"I feel that generally in the music world it is so over populated with masculinity," he said. "I feel that woman are treated pretty badly in the entertainment world.

"If every festival put on more female artists, then eventually it will balance out and be a lot less misogynistic for the next generation."

The four-day event, which won NME best small festival award 2016, is hosting what critics variously describe as a "distinctive" and "diverse" line-up, with a mix of artists old and new.

Among acts featured are American singer-songwriter Cat Power, Scottish veterans Teenage Fanclub - in their only UK festival appearance - and The Shins in their first show for four years.

The End Of The Road Festival has been running at the Larmer Tree pleasure gardens on the Dorset/Wiltshire border for the past decade and offers this year's festival-goers comedy stage performances from the likes of Stewart Lee and Bridget Christie, as well as numerous workshops, Healing Fields and library.

The festival's highlights are the now near trademark secret shows - previous artists including Jarvis Cocker and Patti Smith - as well as surprise performances and one-off collaborations.

The independently-run festival at Tollard Royal - which this year attracted a capacity crowd of 11,500 despite the rain - ends on Sunday, drawing the summer festival season to a close.

Press Association

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