This weekend, Craig Richard’s vision of the perfect celebration of art and music on the grounds of the Pallardian neoclassical mansion of Houghton Hall returns.
This summer sees the Godfather of Acid Jazz Roy Ayer’s final EU tour, Notting Hill soundsystem legend Aba Shanti-I and buzzed about newcomers Animistic Beliefs. Richard’s longstanding friendship with Ricardo Villalobos encouraged the German-Chilean icon to play an unprecedented jazz set. A dip into the line up at random reveals quality running through the whole 200 + name program; Helena Hauff, GiGi FM, Gigi Masin, Peach, Powder, Mark Ernestus.
It’s the details that separate Houghton; the bespoke d&b Audiotechnik sound systems throughout, letting DJs play out the deeper, more detailed parts of their box with confidence. The rare 24 hour licence that encourages longer exploratory sets into the small hours, artists often playing exclusive back to back or multiple sets. The booths are at ground level, each set up equally with the highest spec allowing vinyl to be played worry free.
In addition, Houghton Hall’s sculpture park is open to the festival exclusively for the duration, reached on a cream coloured miniature railway. The collection features work by greats like James Turrell, Rachel Whiteread, Richard Long, Stephen Cox and Anya Gallacio. The House’s 2023 artist in residence is Sean Scully – with the festival due to announce its own artist in residence later this summer.