However you celebrated your tenth birthday, be it a 5-a-side party where your mates let you score the winner, a bouncy castle in the garden or a trip to Disneyland, we’re willing to wager you didn’t have some of the country’s biggest artists in the country come and play in your back garden.
Barn on the Farm founder Josh Sanger has pulled out all the stops to ring in the festival’s first decade, with secret sets from The Vaccines and George Ezra (or as he was cryptically billed, ‘Reggae Zero’) the icing on the cake.
The Vaccines rock up on Friday night to shower their rabble-rousing indie anthems over the Outdoor Stage, looking oh so comfortable in their own skin after a meandering few years. New songs on show are delivered with glee and hint at another banging album next year. It’s a great booking and speaks for Barn’s growing status.
The Japanese House prove their mettle with a bewitching set in the tiny Wooden Barn on Saturday night, eclipsing unremarkable headliner Dermot Kennedy (a late replacement for poorly Sam Fender). Amber Bain is becoming more of a star with every performance and has the songs to back it up.
When George Ezra hits the stage on Sunday evening, no one is very surprised to see him, having joined the dots long ago (and his name is written on the drum skin, duh). In forty-five minutes he delivers all the hits to an adoring crowd, ‘Paradise’ given a lengthy outro and ‘Budapest’ taking the roof off the Main Stage.
The whole weekend builds up to Lewis Capaldi’s set. A returning hero, he was surely booked in long before ‘Someone You Loved’ sent him stratospheric. His wit is well documented and complements his sad, sad songs brilliantly. With his album now in the wild for over a month, every song gets a big reception, and Lewis namechecks those on the bill who helped write some of his defining tracks.
Saving the best for last, Maggie Rogers crosses the pond for the last show of her debut album campaign and her first festival headliner. It’s both a personal high point for the singer and the culmination of a celebration for the festival and makes for a life-affirming hour of pop hooks and devil-may-care dancing. The delicate craft of ‘Overnight’ shines, Rogers twirls her deep blue cape through the stomp of ‘Give a Little’ and provides a confetti moment with a euphoric ‘Light On’.
As revellers begin to peel away and get ready to return to real life, Rogers send us on our way with acapella country hymn ‘Now That the Light Is Fading’, a soothing end to a weekend of over-achievement for a small festival that continues to break the rules.
Words: Dillon Eastoe