All you need to know about Lancaster's Highest Point Festival

Highest Point, Lancashire’s biggest open-air music festival, is set to welcome 35,000 ticket-holders to Williamson Park in Lancaster for four days of fun-filled musical performances. Guardian reporters tell you all you need to know...

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 2:26 pm
Lancaster's Highest Point Festival is back this weekend.

Originally set to take place in May 2020, the Highest Point festival kicks off today until Sunday in the stunning 54-acre grounds of Williamson Park.

Guests can expect to see more than 100 artists across six stages over the course of the weekend, with a dedicated family day, plus a premier regional street food and craft beer offering on site.

The festival boasts its biggest, impressively diverse line-up yet, with more than 50 acts including indie icons James, Brit and Ivor Novello award winner Rag‘n’Bone Man, chart star Becky Hill, Brit and MOBO award-winning singer/songwriter Ella Eyre, British electronic music band Clean Bandit, chart topping Rudimental, Drum n Bass heavyweights Hybrid Minds & Wilkinson and house music DJ Hannah Wants.

Ocean Colour Scene headlining at Highest Point in 2018.

Also joing the line-up are post-punk band The Futureheads, dance innovators Crazy P Soundsystem, 9-piece dub band Gentleman’s Dub Club, General Levy, Sam Divine, Dimension, The Lottery Winners, Lancaster natives The Lovely Eggs, Monki, 3D (Dave Seaman, Darren Emerson & Danny Howells), Charlotte OC, Graeme Park, K-Klass and many more.

There is a new Sunday night event added, with Rick Astley and Sophie Ellis-Bextor to headline with the support of the Cuban Brothers.

1,000 free tickets for the Sunday night have been given to NHS staff as a “thank you” for their hard work over the last 18 months.

For the first time ever, the huge event is extending its run to include the Thursday night. Festival favourites James will be taking to the stage to play classics from their back catalogue, plus brand new music including their new single ‘Beautiful Beaches’ from their latest studio album 'All The Colours Of You'.

The main stage at Highest Point in 2018.

Liverpudlian rock band Lightning Seeds have already been confirmed as a support act for the gig. The legendary band will light up Lancaster playing the music that made them famous over their long career, such as hit tracks including ‘The Life of Riley’, ‘Pure’, and ‘Lucky You’.

Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly will also delight gig-goers, as the English musician also known as Sam Duckworth, joins the two bands at the gig on what will be 15 years since the release of his debut album ‘The Chronicles Of A Bohemian Teenager’.

Revellers on Friday can expect to see world class DJ sets from the likes of Rudimental, Wilkinson and Crazy P Soundsystem, plus high energy vocals from Becky Hill and Ella Eyre, progressive-house kings 3D (Dave Seaman, Darren Emerson & Danny Howells) Sam Divine, and tastemaker Monki, whilst Ibiza party starters Do Not Sleep have their own stage with Richy Ahmed headlining.

Saturday will see another stellar line-up, with acts including psychedelic punk rock duo The Lovely Eggs taking to the stage in their hometown.

They’ll be joined by indie pop band The Lottery Winners, post-punk band The Futureheads, drum and bass heavyweights Hybrid Minds, British electronic music band Clean Bandit, house music DJ Hannah Wants, and rising hip-hop star Ms Banks plus many more, all culminating with a headline set from Brit award winner Rag’N’Bone Man.

On Sunday the festival welcomes back The Big Family Day Out for its third year at Highest Point. Families attending the event can meet the PJ Masks, with the kids’ favourite TV superheroes making appearances at intervals across the day,

YolanDa’s Band Jam– as seen on Cbeebies – will perform on the main stage and guests will have access to live performances, an interactive theatre, DJ workshops, storytelling, bubble displays, tipi building, arts and crafts, face painting as well as entry to the butterfly house and mini zoo – all at no extra cost.

Kids under the age of five can attend for free, with tickets for children aged six to 17 just £10, and tickets for adults available for £15 per person.

The festival will come to a close on the Sunday night with a final night of live performances with Rick Astley headlining, with special guest Sophie Ellis-Bextor, and supported by The Cuban Brothers.

The three acts will close a huge weekend of live music at Lancashire’s biggest open-air music festival.

Despite the double disappointment of having to postpone the festival twice amidst coronavirus concerns, organisers Jamie Scahill, Richard Dyer and Holly Wignall have remained in high spirits.

Determined to bring the much-loved festival back to the historical northern city and its music loving inhabitants, they have been working tirelessly to deliver what will be their most ambitious event to date.

Festival Director Richard Dyer said: “We’re going to throw the biggest, most outrageous party of 2021.

“We cannot wait for you all to see how we plan to transform the beautiful Williamson Park once again, into an amazing, sensory overloading festival site”.

Director Jamie Scahill added: “We’re delighted that all of the artists that were due to join us last year have agreed to perform at the festival in 2021, and we’re super proud to have continued to add to this to create an even more incredible experience for our guests.

“This is by far the biggest and best bill of artists we’ve ever brought to Lancaster.”

This year’s festival will follow on from 2019’s hugely successful instalment, which welcomed 15,000 music fans to witness the likes of The Zutons, Feeder, Grandmaster Flash and Sister Sledge.

Music lovers heading to Highest Point need to pass new coronavirus regulations in order to attend.

Festival organisers have announced a Covid Event Pass, which will be needed to enter the festival grounds.

People who have had a negative lateral flow test, a double vaccination (with the second jab two weeks prior to the event or longer) or a positive PCR result in the last 180 days (therefore the antibodies doing their jobs) will be granted a pass.

A festival spokesman said: “We appreciate this wasn’t listed on the event details when the event was first placed on sale.

“To get the NHS Covid Pass it is a simple app download on your mobile phone. If you don’t have the app, but are vaccinated, then you can request the paper version of the barcode.

“If you need to upload a lateral test flow result, then please grab yourself a test kit from a pharmacy for free then register your result by visiting https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result

“If you don’t wish to download the NHS app, then we will accept a test result text message.

“If you don’t wish to comply with this safety measure, then please email [email protected] and we will roll the ticket to the 2022 event. Refunds are not available.”

Highest Point 2021 will be a cashless event using a wristband operation.

You can top up your wristband prior to the event using the online top-up page, as well as during the event on your smartphone or at top-up booths.

Your wristband credit can then be used at any of the shows.

Please note, cards/cash will not be accepted at bars or food vendors.

Any leftover credit can be claimed online after the event or you can choose to donate to the event’s charity partner. Macmillan Cancer Support.

The full Highest Point line-up is as follows:

THURSDAY:

James / Lightning Seeds / Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly

FRIDAY:

Rudimental (DJ set) / Wilkinson (DJ set) / Becky Hill / Ella Eyre / Richy Ahmed / Sam Divine / General Levy / 3D (Dave Seaman, Darren Emerson & Danny Howells) / Crazy P Soundsystem / Do Not Sleep / Josh Butler / East End Dubs / Seb Zito / Luuk Van Dijk / K-Klass / Monki / / Jess Bays / PBR Streetgang / James Holroyd & many more

SATURDAY:

Rag’N’Bone Man / Clean Bandit (DJ Set) / Hybrid Minds / The Futureheads / Hannah Wants / Ms Banks / Gentleman’s Dub Club / Dimension / Friction / Ilyus & Barrientos / Pax / The Lottery Winners / The Lovely Eggs / The Cuban Brothers / Emerald / Charlotte OC / Graeme Park / Anton Powers / Matt Thiss / Funkademia / Lovedose / Demented Disco / The Hiphopalipz / Gareth Brooks / Juice Box & many more

SUNDAY – BIG FAMILY DAY OUT:

Main Stage – PJ Masks / YolanDa’s Band Jam / The Cuban Brothers / Donny Disco.

The Chris Glaba New Music Stage – Live Bands.

The Dell – Funkademia presents the BabyFunk Disco with

DJs and activities.

The Dip – Music Workshops / Theatre Shows / Skiddle Academy DJ Workshops / Art Workshops / Craft Workshops / Ebubilio Giant Bubble Displays.

The Sundial – Circus & Aerial Workshops & Performances.

The Woods – Magic Shows / Storytelling / Tipi Den Building.

The Waterfall – Family Ibiza Beats Yoga.

Throughout The Park – Samba Drumming Workshops / Mad Science / Theatre Shows / Art Workshops

SUNDAY NIGHT:

Rick Astley / Sophie Ellis-Bextor / The Cuban Brothers

Tickets may still be available on the Skiddle website although full weekend tickets have sold out.

Tickets for Thursday are £35

Tickets for Friday are £45

Tickets for Saturday are £55

Tickets for Sunday are £25

Go to www.skiddle.com/festivals/highest-point-festival