The Big Chill Celebrated its 17th in style with a fantastic weekend

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The Big Chill Celebrated its 17th in style with a

Around 300 artists performed across 10 stages at this years 17th celebrations of The Big Chill festival at Eastnor Castle Deer Park in Herefordshire.

This year’s new developments point towards a bright future for The Big Chill as Festival Republic reflect upon their long-term plan to ensure the continuation of one of the summer’s original events.

Festival Republic Managing Director, Melvin Benn comments:

“This is our second year promoting The Big Chill and it has been a great opportunity to implement some changes and improvements. There was a brilliant response to our improved and expanded family area ‘The Little Chill’, often at times over the weekend as popular with the parents as it was the children! The Therapy & Chill field was increased in size and the treatment tents were busier than ever, Big Chill Radio got its own stage, BBC 6 Music broadcast three shows live from site, and there were new additions to the music on offer including The People’s Ear Stage, the psychedelic White Rabbit Lounge and Tom Middleton’s Sound Of The Cosmos, whilst classic parts of the festival, such as the Art Trail triumphantly returned in partnership with Saatchi Online.

Some of the first to arrive were the participants of the Tour De Chill, our new charity bike ride to the festival which raised £5300 for one of our official charity partners, Kenyan Orphan Project. They were amongst the numbers who enjoyed music a day early this year with James Blake headlining our first ever Thursday night Deer Park stage performance. Headliners The Chemical Brothers, Kanye West and Rodrigo y Gabriela all put on brilliant sets. We were also very lucky to have many other diverse and celebrated performances from Jessie J, The Bullitts, featuring Lucy Liu, Idris Elba and Jay Electronica, Jamie xx, Hercules & Love Affair, Ghostpoet and Robert Plant & The Band of Joy, to name but a few.

West Mercia Police have confirmed that there were ‘no serious incidents or serious crimes on site’, which we are extremely pleased with. Last year we were able to bring bigger and higher profile acts to The Big Chill, such as MIA and Lily Allen who brought with them a new wave of younger festival-goer. We’re pleased to see many of those faces return this year. We now have a broader and more diverse line up reflecting a broader and more diverse audience, children, teenagers, adults, families, students and young people alike.

Meanwhile backstage…

The Food Busker, aka John Quilter, cooked up feel-good food from backstage all weekend for the festival's performers. He even saved the day when Neneh Cherry was sent BBQ peaches as a remedy for her sore throat, she said: "you're a life saver honey, that's so nice of you". As Kanye West complained of a sore throat, Food Busker was rushed on stage with a Oolong Tea throat remedy. Afterwards Food Busker fed West's posse including Borahm Lee & Jesse Quitslund, after their performance and then fed all his dancers & ballerinas peaches and cream to keep them all sweet. Jessie Jay, The Bullitts (featuring Idris Elba and Lucy Liu), Empire of the Sun, The Knocks, Norman Jay and Zola Jesus also enjoyed some delights from the Food Busker's kitchen.

Published on 16 August 2011 by Wayne Feltham

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