Connected to the countryside…

What makes the perfect festival experience? It’s a question that’s at the heart of our planning sessions at Altitude HQ and it’s what drives us from year to year to shape the festival weekend.

Hopefully if you’ve been to Altitude before you’ll know that it’s something special and our ambition is to keep it that way. Whether it be selecting bands, family entertainment, food sellers or even the less glamorous elements such as the portable toilets, we try to ensure that they all stack up to make a memorable weekend for the right reasons.

One thing we’re incredibly committed to is keeping true to our aim of being as environmentally friendly as we can. It’s why we choose to work with suppliers who share our eco-conscience, why we work alongside Mid Devon Council to have a variety of recycling points across the site and ensure that we leave no footprint behind in the festival field – the sheep need to graze in it once we’ve gone after all!

This year we’ve chosen to work with Green Goblet to supply our drinking glasses. Their company strapline ‘refill not landfill’ really resonates with us and we can’t wait to see their Altitude branded glasses in full swing on the weekend. Since the glasses are reusable, you’ll also have the perfect momento to remind you of the weekend, over and over.

Our environmental responsibility doesn’t stop there however. We’re mindful of reducing our carbon footprint too. It’s why we choose local food suppliers who not only serve fresh and exciting ranges of food but being on our doorstep limit their fuel impact. We feel that it adds to the Altitude family – a common goal and sense of collective action.

We’re confident that our festival goers share these same values and as the weekend is all about community and coming together we can’t think of a better way to do so: in a field, relaxed and immersed in family time, watching the sun go down over the view, with drink in hand safe in the knowledge that we’ll leave the field exactly how we found it.

We can’t wait to welcome you – spread the word amongst friends and family that it’s festival time. It’s time for unity, time for happiness and time to take in the world around us…

M is for Music

Whenever the Altitude team get together, we always end up talking about music, whether it be record collections from the past or discussions around the current local music scene.

We all have different tastes but one thing unites us – a belief that music is important to life and acts as the soundtrack to both good and bad times. Thankfully we know that as a festival-goer you’ll agree with us – great long-lasting memories deserve great music and it’s something we’re passionate to deliver to the Altitude weekend experience.

Who could forget Ez Dickens’ very first festival appearance as a young teenager, the whole crowd willing her on to then be blown away by her energy and her voice. And what about the time when the brilliance of Molotov Jukebox descended on the festival and got the whole festival jumping or so it seemed?

Familiarity and surprise is the power of music. We’ll keep the surprises up our sleeves for June 14/15 but in the meantime, to mark International Women’s Day, here are just some of our fave female artists that you’ll know and hopefully love!

Let us know in the comments which female artist you’d choose – from Aretha to Yazz (couldn’t think of an artist beginning with Z?) there’s plenty to select from!

Phil, Altitude co-organiser goes back to the 80s for his choice:

“I was a 16 years old in 1983, a year in which great pop music seemed to be everywhere, but Annie Lennox stood out from the crowd. She had such a striking image as well as a soaring voice of pure soul, and she was the independent woman of her day. Not only was she an amazing singer in a great band, she was an outspoken political activist and notable for her work raising money and awareness for HIV/Aids. I loved this song back then and I still do today.”

Who’s That Girl by the Eurythmics

Jon, Altitude co-organiser reflects on a truly worldwide supers star:

“Looking back on my early teenage years, one artist immediately springs to mind. For her sassiness and the string of hits that seemed to be constantly in the charts, Madonna was pretty much unrivalled and was such a powerful female force at the time. She wasn’t afraid to embrace her sexuality and at the time she shocked the mainstream with her full-on videos and controversial lyrics – it was like she’d come from another planet. So many of her songs were the soundtrack to my teens and it’s really hard to think of any other artist who was so instrumental in experimenting with different types of music and making them their own.”

Like A Virgin by Madonna

Greg, Altitude co-organiser heads to a 90s indie idol:

“When the hushed tones of Mazzy Starr’s album ‘So Tonight That I Might See’ spilled out of my record player back in 1994, I was instantly hooked. Ethereal and dream-like, the voice of Hope Sandoval, the band’s delicate-sounding lead singer was everything for six months solid. The album’s simple beauty is a great accompaniment to a fire and a glass of wine and you’d be hard pushed to find a singer whose voice is more perfect or haunting.”

Fade Into You by Mazzy Starr

Chris, Altitude resident DJ’s choice comes straight from his passion for dance music:

“In the late 90s, albums like Roni Size’s Reprazent and the EZ Rollers Weekend World brought me into the world of drum and bass. In 2001, when I first heard Midnight by Un-cut, my ears pricked up.

The track featured a memorising new female vocalist called Jenna G and with Un-cut she went on to be a prominent part of an entire album the following year (The Un-calculated Some).

I love her voice – she has an impressive range and her melodic style really suits drum and bass music – it fits like a glove. Jenna is still performing and her most recent venture is the multi-piece band Jenna & the G’s. One day I’d love to see her perform at Altitude!”

Midnight by Un-Cut

Winter fading away…

So that’s Winter 2018/19 over and done with. Time to start looking forward to Spring and some more warmth on our faces, which hopefully in turn will get us in the mood for Altitude when June rolls around…

It’s often a challenge when thinking about plans for the festival because it feels too early for some elements but then we want to give things plenty of time to explore and experiment with. We’ve pretty much got our music lineup locked down as well as the entertainment programme which this year we’ve turned to Dan The Hat to lend his experience and he’s definitely come good – we’re all really excited about what he’s lined up for us and think it will blend brilliantly with the live music.

Right this minute, Phil is deep in conversation with Ben from Exeter Academy of Music and Sound and the musical talent who is none other than the fab Sadie Horler, all three of them getting heads and ears together to handpick the acts who have applied to perform on our brand new Horizon stage. We’ve always been passionate about Altitude’s role in developing and promoting local music and showcasing emerging talent so we’re really looking forward to the outcomes of their discussions – the Horizon stage is certainly going to be a great addition to the festival vibe. We’ll let you know the lineup ASAP so keep your eyes on our social media for updates.

Two other meetings this week have seen conversations begin with the local authority to clarify our plans for 2019 as well as with our security contractors. For us, we want the festival to be one that is a truly memorable experience and this starts with ensuring that the weekend is safe and that you have the chance to fully switch off and relax into the festival weekend. Our experienced team from Platinum Gate Security have been with us from the very first year and following really positive feedback from you and our own interactions with them, we’re delighted to say that they’ll be with us for 2019, providing car park management and on site security. They understand that we want the weekend to be memorable for all the right reasons so that’s you, us and them who share the same vision.

Lastly, we’re beginning to look at the site plan itself and possibly give it a freshen up. There’s been lots of diagrams drawn on bits of paper and conversation about how things will work for the best. As ever, you’re at the centre of all we do – you’re the family that we care about and we hope our final plans will reflect that. We see ourselves as Devon’s little festival with a big heart – we do it for good times, we do it for lifelong memories. Here’s to the fading of Winter and the dawn of Spring. Summer and Altitude has a warm welcome for you just around the corner…

Please feel free to comment or contact us if you have great Altitude memories to share. You’re all part of the plan 🙂