While we’ve all heard of the Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds festivals, there is an independent music festival taking place in England that seeks to avoid the brand names and predictable line-ups of its more illustrious cousins. All Tomorrow’s Parties (ATP), named after a Velvet Underground single, is a festival that happens at least twice a year at the Pontins Holiday Camp in Camber Sands, East Sussex.
Despite its incongruous surroundings, ATP persuades a highly acclaimed band, artist or cultural figure to curate each festival and invite their favourite performers to form an eclectic and exciting musical experience.
Previous curators include indie heavyweights Pavement, Belle & Sebastian, Modest Mouse, The Shins and even Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons.
About All Tomorrow’s Parties
Since its establishment in 1999, the main aim of ATP has been to provide an alternative to more conservative rock festivals, not only by selecting a more experimental line-up but also by shunning corporate sponsorship and creating an intimate setting when compared to the open fields and huge stages of the likes of the Reading and Leeds festivals.
The unusual venue choice of a holiday camp on the Sussex coast enables punters to stay in the same accommodation as the performers they have come to see. There is a ‘no VIP’ policy, so don’t be surprised to bump into the band that is just about to perform.
Another advantage of the accommodation is that the private chalets offer some necessary shelter from the much-maligned British summer, so there is no need to bring your wellies!
All Tomorrow’s Parties 2012
There are 2 ATP festivals remaining in 2012. The ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’, curated by U.S. rock trio Shellac, is set for the 30th of November to the 2nd of December, and promises a line up veering from metal to experimental, and stopping off at all points in between.
Next up is the weekend of the 7th to the 9th December, curated by Ohio band The National, whose performance will no doubt include fan favourites from their five critically-acclaimed albums. Their selection of artists features Local Natives, The Antlers and Menomena. There are also 2 events already scheduled for summer 2013, with confirmed acts such as Atlanta flower-punks Black Lips and Brazilians CSS. Forthcoming curators are TV on the Radio and Deerhunter.
ATP has also expanded outside of the UK, organising festivals in Australia and Japan, and setting up stages in Spain and the U.S. Their events in Britain offer a fresh and welcome alternative to what we have come to expect from more established festivals, in terms of the music, the setting and the atmosphere. Camber Sands is less than a 2 hour journey from London, so why not head off for an exciting and unique festival weekend at a holiday camp on the beach in East Sussex?! In addition to the semi-regular festivals, ATP also hosts a number of gigs at prestigious London venues throughout the year. A full event calendar can be found on the official All Tomorrow’s Parties website. Enjoy!