We’re right at the beginning of May, which can only mean one thing: festival season is about to commence. When a festival named Call of the Wild was first announced last year for Carlisle to kick off 2019’s season in style, it caught my attention. Normally, I’m a cynical git when it comes to a new festival and I’ll sit out the first year whilst the kinks get ironed out for the following year.
But there was just something about this one. In the intervening months, they’ve since relocated down to Lincolnshire Showground, added even more impressive names to the line-up and have hinted that next year is going to be even better. Usually these festival previews are called “We’ll Be There” because we’re going to be in attendance but unfortunately, we just couldn’t make it work (my own personal life is getting in the way which is less than helpful) but I simply can’t ignore this.
The biggest draw for any festival is simple: the line-up. And it’s simply perfection. A great balance of old and new bands and running the gamut of different sounds, there’s going to be something for everyone. Simply look at the headliners for a start:
- The Virginmarys – powered by last year’s Northern Sun Sessions, they’re going to leave their mark as the inaugural headliner of the festival for years to come with their unique, modern sound and trademark incendiary performance.
- The Wildhearts – their new album is so far the best album of 2019 and with these new songs along with all the classics, they’re perfect for a Saturday night. Expect singalongs and fun to be had in spades.
- Hardcore Superstar – this is their only UK performance of 2019 and a perfect band to bring the weekend to a close. Their live shows are non-stop energy and they’ll make sure the weekend ends on a high.
Look elsewhere on Kilmister Stage and you’ll see a healthy mix of bands whether it’s the modern hard rock sound of bands like Those Damn Crows or Tomorrow is Lost, there’s the old school stylings of Tax the Heat and The King Lot whilst Rival Bones’ grooves and the blues and bluster of Naked Six ensure that even in 2019, uniqueness in new rock music can still be found whilst simultaneously kicking the shit out of you.
Looking at the Cloven Hoof Stage and that’s where they take the eclecticism to the next level with everything from classic rock, alternative metal and stoner grunge. Meanwhile, the Badlands Stage is where you go to get your punk on and its various subgenres – you’ll have a great time there. And if you needed any more convincing that the festival want to support new and upcoming talent, their recent Launchpad battle of the bands competition saw several up and coming bands perform for the chance to open the Kilmister Stage.
As always, you can expect the usual ticket packages whether you want to go for a day or the full weekend, do it right by camping or for those who like their comforts, glamping options are there for you. There’s also VIP add-ons and if you’re worried all those exceptionally snazzy t-shirt designs will sell out before you get to the merch desk, you can pre-order in advance. And you know the best bit about all of this? It’s extremely affordable. Where other festivals this size and smaller can be more basic or require you to re-mortgage your home, this looks set to make the prices as welcoming as possible.
There’s an emphasis on being family friendly, (after all, inclusiveness is the hallmark of our music and scene), transparency and helpfulness runs throughout their website and it’s sure to carry over to the event itself.
Speaking as a music fan, first and foremost, I fully believe in this festival and I’m sure for anyone with a vested interest in the UK rock scene, Call of the Wild is going to be staple in the festival calendar. And as an extra caveat, yesterday, the festival announced they got news that Lincolnshire Showground will be their home for the next five years – and the first one hasn’t even happened yet! It wouldn’t surprise me if 2019 is going to be an “I was there” moment. Now, if you excuse me, I’m going to sulk in the corner because I can’t be there.