The return of Houghton festival this year is not just another addition to the UK's festival calendar but more of committal to its patrons to deliver a unique and communicable gathering of electronic music in its purest form.
The 3rd edition will yet again encapsulate the pinnacle of electronica and art on the beautiful grounds of Houghton Hall in Norfolk between the 6th and 9th of August 2020 It would have been their 4th edition if it wasn't for the gale-force winds last year which battered the grounds of the grade 1 listed building, prompting authorities to deem it unsafe and halting the party in the process.
This year line up is unashamedly good and just glancing over the 1st drop of names makes you realise they are coming back to deal with some unfinished business. Described in some quarters as setting a new benchmark for music festivals, the musical programme reflects the curator, Craig Richards' eclectic taste while continuing the festival's tradition of encouraging long extended sets and unique live acts, across cutting edge sound systems. After making arguably one of the most successful debuts of recent times in 2017, the festival opted to make only minor improvements to its simple and refined approach in 2018.
After extraordinary sets in 2018, the heavyweight returnees include Ricardo Villalobos, Helena Hauff, Ben UFO, Optimo, Hunee, Seth Troxler, Jane Fitz, Pearson Sound, Andrew Weatherall, Joy Orbison, Powder, Midland and Call Super, whilst debut appearances are lined up for Four Tet, Bruce, DJ Stingray and Lena Willikens amongst many others, as Houghton's lineup extends to include even more of the most influential figures in electronic music.
There are also sets from Carl Finlow as Silicon Scally, Vancouver protege D. Tiffany, Floating Points and festival favourite Ruf Dug. Palms Trax showcases his deep-digging gems, Calibre and dBridge offer up their unique strain of thunderous bass music with Jungle godfather Randall and Metalheadz general Doc Scott turning up the bpm's. On the flipside, Gerd Janson will be showcasing his eclectic genre spanning commitment to the scene. Harvey Sutherland, Flanger, DMX Krew, Radioactive Man and acclaimed composer Ricardo Romaneiro all deliver live sets unconfined by genre, with Juju & Jordash uniting with Move D to become Magic Mountain High for a welcome live return.
As always, Houghton casts a spotlight on an array of rising talent and experimental artists. Estonian violinist and vocalist Maarja Nuut, the rapidly rising Object Blue, UK jazz pioneers Matthew Halsall and the Elliot Galvin Trio, German dubtronica trailblazer Pole, and the abstract and beautiful musings of Soundwalk Collective are all appearing on the 360° soundscape of the Pinters stage, created for the perfect listening environment of jazz, ambient and experimental sounds. Wild card producer John T. Gast and innovator Mark Ernestus' Ndagga Rhythm Force will also be making a welcome appearance on the stage.