End of the Road Festival
|Location(s)||Larmer Tree Gardens, Wiltshire|
|Date(s)||three days, first or second week of September|
|Genre||Folk / Americana / Alt. Country / Indie / Blues / Electro / Rock|
End of the Road Festival is an annual music festival in England which focuses on alternative music, mostly folk, alt.country and Americana. It is hosted at the Larmer Tree Gardens, on the border of north Dorset and Wiltshire, and usually takes place over the first or second full weekend in September, opening camping on Thursday afternoon with the entertainment running from Friday to Sunday inclusive. The first festival took place in 2006, and sold out for the first time in 2008. The festival is independently run, and started by two friends Simon Taffe and Sofia Hagberg.
The festival is run over four stages: the Woods Stage, the Garden Stage, the Big Top Stage and the Tipi Tent, as well as a clearing in the woods around the Garden Stage containing a piano at which semi-secret sets take place. There are also children's areas and workshops, a healing field, a film tent, comedy, a library in the forest and a games area (ping pong, table football etc.). Due to the nature of the gardens the festival is set in it is not unlikely to see peacocks wandering around the area and macaws in the trees.
In 2011, the festival won an award for "Best Small Festival". In 2012 claims were made that End of the Road Festival is secretly organized by the Church of Scientology. A statement made by the festival has since denied these claims, however acknowledges that two members of management are Scientologists.
The first festival took place 15–17 September. It was headlined on the Friday by Josh Ritter, on Saturday by Badly Drawn Boy and on Sunday by Ryan Adams. Other artists included Absentee, The Boy Least Likely To, Brakes, British Sea Power, Chris T-T, Darren Hayman, Dawn Landes, Ed Harcourt, El Perro Del Mar, Electric Soft Parade, Emmy the Great, Fanfarlo, Frightened Rabbit, Gravenhurst, Guillemots, Holly Golightly, Howe Gelb, I'm from Barcelona, James Yorkston, Jeremy Warmsley, Jim Noir, Jolie Holland, Kathryn Williams, Metronomy, Micah P Hinson, Richard Hawley, Simple Kid, Suburban Kids with Biblical Names and Tilly and the Wall.
The second event, held 14–16 September, was given a full marks five star review by The Independent newspaper. It was headlined by Yo La Tengo, Super Furry Animals and Lambchop, and also featured Archie Bronson Outfit, Architecture in Helsinki, The Bees, Brakes, British Sea Power, The Broken Family Band, The Concretes, Danielson, Darren Hayman, Dawn Landes, Euros Childs, Frida Hyvönen, Herman Dune, Howe Gelb (who also curated the two main stages on the Friday, headlining the Big Top stage with a Giant Sand jam session), I'm from Barcelona, James Yorkston, Jeffrey Lewis, Jens Lekman, Joan As Police Woman, John Parish, Johnny Flynn, Josh T Pearson, King Creosote, Loney Dear, Malcolm Middleton, Midlake, Pete and the Pirates, Robyn Hitchcock (who was accompanied by John Paul Jones), Scout Niblett, Seasick Steve, Stephanie Dosen, The Twilight Sad, Willard Grant Conspiracy and Zombie-Zombie.
For the first sellout year, over 12–14 September, the headliners were Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band, Mercury Rev and Calexico. Also appearing were A Hawk And A Hacksaw, Akron/Family, American Music Club, Billy Childish and the Musicians of the British Empire, Bon Iver, Brakes, British Sea Power, Darren Hayman playing Hefner songs, Dirty Three, Jason Molina, Jeffrey Lewis, Kimya Dawson, Kurt Wagner, Laura Marling, Low, Micah P Hinson, The Mountain Goats, Noah & the Whale, Richard Hawley, Robyn Hitchcock, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Sons of Noel and Adrian, Sun Kil Moon, Tindersticks, Two Gallants, The Wave Pictures and Zombie-Zombie.
The 2009 festival took place 11–13 September. Explosions in the Sky, Fleet Foxes and The Hold Steady were headliners. Also playing were The Acorn, Alela Diane, Beth Jeans Houghton, Blitzen Trapper, The Boy Least Likely To, The Broken Family Band, Charlie Parr, Darren Hayman, David Thomas Broughton, Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele, Dirty Projectors, The Dodos, Efterklang, Herman Dune, The Horrors, Josh T Pearson, The Leisure Society, The Low Anthem, Malcolm Middleton, Mumford & Sons, Neko Case, Okkervil River, Richmond Fontaine, Shearwater, Steve Earle, Vetiver and Wildbirds & Peacedrums.
For its fifth year, the festival took place from 10–12 September. Headliners were Modest Mouse, Yo La Tengo and Wilco. Also playing were Deer Tick, Wolf Parade, The Low Anthem, The Felice Brothers, Woodpigeon, Phosphorescent, The Wilderness of Manitoba, The Unthanks, Iron & Wine, The Mountains and the Trees, Annie & The Beekeepers, Dylan LeBlanc, Joe Pug, CW Stoneking, Charlie Parr, Frank Fairfield, Daniel Lefkowitz, Monotonix, The Mountain Goats, The New Pornographers, Caribou, The Antlers, Citay, Freelance Whales, a Jarvis Cocker DJ Set and many, many more. Also present was comedian Russel Howard and music journalist Barney Hoskyns.
In 2011 the festival took place from 2–4 September. Headliners were Beirut, Joanna Newsom and Mogwai. Also playing were Midlake, Laura Marling, The Walkmen, Wild Beasts, The Fall, Lykke Li, Tinariwen, The Unthanks, M. Ward, Gruff Rhys, Okkervil River, Phosphorescent, John Grant, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Best Coast, White Denim, Tune-Yards, Willy Mason, The Black Angels, Wooden Shjips, Jolie Holland, Josh T Pearson, Kurt Vile, Micah P Hinson, James Yorkston, Gordon Gano & the Ryans, Caitlin Rose, The Leisure Society, Brakes, Zola Jesus, Austra, Beth Jeans Houghton, Timber Timbre and more. There was also comedy from Robin Ince, Jo Neary, and Simon Munnery and literature from Laura Barton, Rob Young, and Clinton Heylin to name but a few.
In 2012 the festival took place from 31 August to 2 September. Headliners were Patti Smith, Grandaddy, Beach House, Grizzly Bear, Alabama Shakes. Also playing were Dirty Three, Midlake, The Low Anthem, Roy Harper, Mark Lanegan, Tindersticks, Jeffrey Lewis, Robyn Hitchcock, Graham Coxon, Villagers, Patrick Watson, Justin Townes Earle, First Aid Kit, Deer Tick, Anna Calvi, I Break Horses and more.
- NME. "2010 Scientology Links". Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- Hasted, Nick (2007-11-18). "End of the Road Festival, Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2009-03-18.
- "…And the winners are…!". Festival Awards. 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2012.