Labyrinth Open Air returns to the beautiful woodlands of the Bedfordshire countryside on the 18 September 2021 with two stages – a trippy labyrinth stage and the Tom Dixon stage, where artists will play from within a custom stage installation, designed by the industrial designer Tom Dixon.
Just imagine this; the sun is shining, you’re queuing at the bar for a frosty IPA before heading down to meet your mates in front of the main stage to see your favourite artist. There are crowds enjoying the good energy and neon lights can be seen piercing through the sky. Yes, you’re at a music festival.
Located in the beautiful staycation goal surroundings of Tofte Manor, Labyrinth is one of the few UK festivals which decided to take the risk and go ahead this season – and we couldn’t be happier they did. The new open air venue combines the natural beauty of the British countryside with the energy and atmosphere of a spiritual sanctuary, resulting into a unique visual and audio experience that will take you for a charming day trip outside of London. The breath-taking 17th century Manor House, once worked on by the famous painter Whistler, is also home to a psychedelic labyrinth located in the lush blooming gardens. Serving as a source of peace and inspiration, it copies the design pattern of an ancient labyrinth in the Chartres Cathedral in France – a Roman Catholic church built in High Gothic and Romanesque styles.
In terms of music, there’s a lot to look forward to – Labyrinth record label was founded in 2017 and started as a series of Thursday evening dances at West London’s Notting Hill Arts Club before eventually filling iconic venues such as Village Underground and Loft Studios. Focusing on showcasing record labels across the house and techno music scene, artists and its communities, Labyrinth is the curators Michael Dicks and Nick Castleman’s biggest event to date.
Now about those big names. Innervisions’ kingpins Dixon and Ame whose productions and their DJ sets have played a pivotal role in defining the house music scene will host their first b2b performance in the UK since 2019. The artistic duo are well known for pushing boundaries and performing at unique offsite locations – turning the Royal Albert Hall into a nightclub for example – and Labyrinth Open Air should be the ideal place for them to make a highly-anticipated return.
Other DJs include the ground-breaking Ninja Tune label with stars TSHA and Sofia Kourtesis, as well as Jennifer Cardini with her unique blend of techno, electro and disco music. Innervisions’ favourites Trikk and Jimi Jules continue to spread good vibes with their deep house tunes while Lola Haro from Antwerp – she holds a residency at Paradise City Festival in Belgium and has been awarded Most promising artist of 2019 – knows how to set the right mood with her warm sounds, so there’s really a lot of music talent to be discovered.
Built into a tree line projecting a kaleidoscope of colours, the Tom Dixon stage is the place where the magic happens. You can expect flower-shaped lights burst and flicker with colour, creating an enchanting show that harmonises with the music played. The Labyrinth stage located right next to the actual maze has a more pared-back design and is abloom with greenery, hanging lanterns and trippy kaleidoscopic décor that set the laid-back tone for the festival. Guests can explore the labyrinth on their own during the day as well as the night and are expected to experience more trippy visuals as they make their way through the maze. Ambience is a big part of Labyrinth Open Air, so you can find lights dazzling the crowd all night long, LCD screens projecting funky visuals as well as head beams, smoke machines and neon light shows going off all night.
Drinks are served from two main bars and include classic beers, wine, spirits and softs as well as the up-and-coming NIO Cocktails. Plenty of London’s best street-food vendors are coming down to serve guests some gastronomical magic in the form of MOB kitchen burgers, Alpine Pizza, loaded hash browns and other delicacies including ice cream vans located across the site – just in case we get another heat wave of some sort.
Because the festival site is located in a secluded bit of countryside enveloped only by fields and forests, the transport has been thoroughly planned out. Guests have the option to hop on a special bus departing from two major London stations, with the ticket being available to purchase separately or with general admission. There are also taxis and frequent buses to Bedford station, ensuring festival-goers can leave and arrive whenever they want, making the overall experience smooth and enjoyable.
With every little detail being considered, Labyrinth Open Air is a promising new festival set to create an entertaining experience that’s much more than your typical night out. Packed with music, visual experiences and set in a unique backdrop while also allowing new talents to make their debut on the music scene and be discovered by the crowds, this is the place to be on September 18th.
To find out more and buy tickets, visit labyrinthevents.com
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