Standon Calling is a family affair says festival founder

PUBLISHED: 14:57 06 April 2015 | UPDATED: 14:57 06 April 2015

Standon Calling 2014 festival [Picture: Standon Calling]

Standon Calling 2014 festival [Picture: Standon Calling]

Standon Calling

The founder of Hertfordshire music festival Standon Calling 2015 has thanked the support of his parents for allowing the event to take place “at their home”.

"We’ve never had a line-up when so many of the support acts look like they’re about to break into the big time."

Standon Calling founder Alex Trenchard

The festival has grown from a birthday party in the garden of Standon Lordship to a popular 8,000-plus boutique event, whilst still keeping its family-friendly atmosphere.

This year’s 10th Standon extravaganza will feature main stage headline performances from Little Dragon, The Dandy Warhols and Basement Jaxx over the weekend of Friday, July 31 to Sunday, August 2.

Festival director Alex Trenchard said: “Standon Calling is unique in that it happens in my family home. My parents live there. Without their support the festival would not be around today.

“They’ve been pretty long suffering from the start. Ten years ago when we organised the first festival I hadn’t told them it was even happening. They were away on holiday.

Standon Calling festival founder Alex Trenchard [Picture: PG Brunelli]Standon Calling festival founder Alex Trenchard [Picture: PG Brunelli]

“Bit of a risk, I know, but I don’t think they would have been up for it if I had.”

After they found out via a local paper, Alex admitted “an awkward few days followed”, but his parents “forgave me in the end and allowed it to carry on”.

He said: “I think they were quite intrigued to see what they’d missed the year before.

“They are central to the Standon Calling story. The two key pillars of it, in fact. Standon Calling simply wouldn’t exist without them.”

Standon Calling 2015Standon Calling 2015

Alex revealed: “The truth is they don’t really enjoy the build up. Articulated lorry after articulated lorry. Stages going up in their garden. Who would?

“But somehow they smile through gritted teeth for the six weeks before the festival... And then something changes as things start to get going each year.

“I don’t think it’s because of the music. I think it may be more to do with their natural hospitality and love of fancy dress.”

Alex is proud of the bill organisers have pulled together this year, and taken on board feedback from ticket holders on how to improve the experience each year.

"Standon Calling is unique in that it happens in my family home. My parents live there. Without their support the festival would not be around today"

Festival founder Alex Trenchard

He said: “A lot of our friends of Standon said they wanted more electronic dance music back in The Cowshed [the festival’s nightclub].

“I’d say that Thursday’s announcement of Bondax & Friends, The 2 Bears & Maribou State delivers on that. But, of course, it’s not just The Cowshed.

“With The Magic Numbers and Ezra Furman headlining The Last Dance Saloon, it’s our strongest lawn stage since Mumford & Sons headlined in 2009.

“This week we also announced that Orbital’s Paul Hartnoll will be taking over the Big Top with his new project 8:58. Can’t wait.”

With a host of acts set to break into the mainstream, Alex added: “This year’s line-up is our best in years. Like me, many of you choose your festivals around the acts that are playing.

“But what became evident in your replies to last week’s email is that like my parents many of you love Standon Calling for the friendliness and the atmosphere.

“From Mum and Dad’s perspective Standon Calling isn’t just a party, it’s a party at their home.

“I think that in their minds none of you are just ‘punters’. In their minds you are their guests. There just happens to be 8,000 of you.

“I like to think that somehow this permeates into the atmosphere and helps make Standon Calling such an inviting and hospitable place.”

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