Arguably the best curated festival in the UK, and one of Long Live Vinyl’s absolute favourites, returns for its 15th year with Pixies, Big Thief, Bright Eyes, Richard Hawley, Angel Olsen and Aldous Harding among the biggest names on the bill.
Summer 2020 may seem like forever away, but mercifully festivals are already starting to announce their lineups and End Of The Road has been one of our most eagerly awaited since last year’s stellar edition of the beatific Dorset festival, featuring Spiritualized, Michael Kiwanuka, Jarvis Cocker, Metronomy and loads of Long Live Vinyl’s favourite bands. This year’s line-up is an absolute corker, with Simon Taffe’s team pulling off several notable coups.
Pixies will be making their debut at Larmer Tree Gardens as one of the headliners, after last year releasing their Beneath The Eyrie album. From festival headlining veterans to a first timer, true cult original King Krule will bring his endlessly inventive music to the Woods Stage, veering from jazz to punk to dub and hip hop, to headline his first festival. With a freshly announced and highly anticipated new album Man Alive! on the horizon, it’s going to be thrilling watching Archy Marshall perform.
The singular Angel Olsen returns to End Of The Road having left audiences awestruck by the sheer range of her voice back in 2013. Since then she’s been on a musical journey that has seen her evolve from sparse folk to the bold and boundary-breaking album All Mirrors. It is a privilege to welcome her back to headline the festival (with a full band behind her) at the peak of her powers.
Brooklyn folk-rock four piece Big Thief have made quite an impact since their arrival in 2016, releasing four acclaimed albums in just three years including both U.F.O.F and Two Hands in 2019. Their Garden Stage set at End Of The Road in 2018 was transcendental and it was clear they were a band destined to top the bill.
Announcing their first show in nearly ten years, Bright Eyes will appear at the festival for the first time in 2020. Last seen in 2018 on the Tipi Stage, incomparable New Zealand songwriter Aldous Harding returns this year after releasing one of the best albums of 2019 with Designer. Making her third appearance and with her delicate and idiosyncratic tunes, Aldous is fast becoming a festival favourite.
Richard Hawley. first performed at End Of The Road way back in 2008, and has been a regular ever since. It feels like a homecoming show to have the masterful Sheffield songwriter back at Larmer Tree Gardens 12 years later.
UK rap pioneer Little Simz leads the charge of this year’s talented wordsmiths, drawing from jazz, funk and punk to soundtrack her dexterous flow. Her Mercury Prize nominated GREY Area propelled her into the mainstream last year and she counts Kano and Kendrick Lamar among her devoted fans.
One of the underground’s most in demand artists, the South East London born Shygirl will mesmerise with her tongue-twistingly fast vocals, while the 19 year old London poet Arlo Parks will captivate with her tender, confessional grooves.
Bay Area spoken word artist and musician Tenesha The Wordsmith puts her deft and sharp words against a backdrop of leftfield electronica, soul, hip-hop, and jazz. “Black Noise” was a startling piece of afro-futurism and her latest project Peacocks & Other Savage Beasts, brings together different lines of black music with explosive results.
Finally, it wouldn’t be End Of The Road without its now signature set of raucous guitar acts. Crowned kings of riffs Pixies topping the bill will be in excellent company with Dublin four-piece Girl Band and their discordant shards of guitar, intense, dissonant grooves, and frontman Dara Kiely’s absurdist wordplay.
Fellow Irelanders Just Mustard have been steadily building a reputation as one of Ireland’s most thrilling new bands and were handpicked by Robert Smith to support The Cure. Flying the flag for post-punk will be South London’s Dry Cleaning, alongside festival sweethearts Squid, who were the talk of the weekend last year after playing a whopping three sets to wild acclaim. The Brighton born Sonic Youth super-fans have gone on to be named one of BBC Sounds of 2020 and the accolades aren’t likely to end there: they’ll rule another exceptional End Of The Road this summer.
The full lineup for the festival can be found here – we highly recommend checking it out. End Of The Road takes place from the 3-6 September. Tier Four tickets are available here now.