A little bit country
7th September 2019
Livestock 2019 is back this month so our resident music correspondent Paul Dunton talks to one of the co-founders of this little festival, Thom Heasman, about why hearing live music on a farm in Penshurst is so special
Where is Livestock situated, and could you give us an insight into its history?
Livestock Festival takes place in the heart of Penshurst and this year it’s happening on Saturday September 14. It was established in 2013 by Harry (the farm owner) who came up with the idea of putting on an event to raise money for charity.
He then got me and Jennie involved and since then the festival has grown from a couple of local acts playing acoustically around a bonfire with a very dodgy sound system, to where we are now with two stages, a much broader range of artists and a team who know what they are doing with the sound!
We are still a core team of three, but we couldn’t put Livestock on without the help of so many others who all have the goal to raise money for local charities.
What can festival goers expect this year in terms of the music line-up?
Over the years I think we’ve started to discover that we lean towards BBC Introducing up and coming indie/disco/ electronic artists.
We are really excited that Livestock 19 is being headlined by Patawawa and supported by The Modern Strangers, Kate Lomas, Suncharmer and Steffan James, to name just a few.
We have three DJ sets serving up groove anthems throughout the day and we will also be the official ‘comeback’ gig for the 80s synth outfit WAX.
Will you be having any food and drink on site?
Absolutely. We are partnering up with some amazing local food vendors, to satisfy all your hunger needs throughout the day. There will be plenty of drink options too, including prosecco on tap, as well as some delicious ales and hard sodas.
Can you describe some of the things that give Livestock its unique identity and atmosphere?
I think it’s obvious when you come along to Livestock that we’ve been resourceful and used spare bits from around the farm to create our furniture and decorations.
We have very little money to play with which I love as it brings out the creative side in us. We are always sharing ideas and then trying to better those ideas and make them cheaper to pull off.
Honestly, I don’t think a farm is a unique setting for a festival, but there is always such a friendly and caring vibe at Livestock which we’re really proud of and I think it’s because no one is there to make money.
What are your aims with putting on Livestock?
We have a three goal mission. Firstly to raise as much cash and awareness as we can for local charities, which this year is the wonderful Life&Soul (a Tunbridge Wells based charity working with children and young people age five to 25).
Secondly it’s to showcase all the amazing emerging talent in both music and food. And lastly to have loads of fun doing it!
We’ve always said we’d stop putting it on if we stopped having fun, which again helps us come up with new ideas; like a couple of years ago when we added hand paintballing into the mix.
Tickets are £20 plus booking fee online – children of 12 and under go free – or £25 on the door. Simply head to www.LSfestival.com to book and listen to their 2019 playlist. You can follow Livestock on Facebook and Instagram with the handle @livestock.festival