Shipping Hill Farm, The Ridgeway, Manorbier, Tenby
Fri 19-Sun 21 July
True to name, you’ll be bundling your sleeping mats between your knees on a train-ride past Carmarthen for this one, an intimate little music experience that opens up right out of the station in the village of Manorbier near Tenby.
You might have seen the swish advertising campaign for Westival, popping up not quite completely everywhere as the nights have been growing warmer. The festival’s big USP is that it picks its roster based on “class not genre” which apparently means that the artists, isolated based on their skills in their chosen styles, are allowed to go ham in an extended set that celebrates those however they feel best. Highlights this year will probably be the excellent Canadian tech DJ Peach; house and disco mixer Marcellus Pittman from Chicago; Swahili-singing Afrobeat artist Mim Suleiman, and funky deep-cuts selector Donna Leake. Mixmag are to owe for this little bit of eclecticism, and the format demands that you know your stuff at least a touch, or can adapt to some kind of boogie in a pinch.
Beyond the love of the sound though, the festival also seems to have an obsession with glamping. You can pick up the standard whack-a-tent-on-the-floor-and-sit-outside-with-a-can tickets for only 70 or 80 quid each, but if the weekend is just too long a time away from your house you can shell out quite a lot more and sleep on a mattress, with duvet, eye mask, toiletries, and your spoiled Lithuanian captain-of-industry’s daughter for company, taking Instagram photos for use in next year’s swish Westival advertising campaign. The standard tickets are cheap enough, though, that if you like a dance, dig for your music, want to do the previous in a cosy weekend on the Welsh coastline but find Gottwood too heavy, then I don’t see that you have much of a choice.
Westival comes about at the end of July for positive vibes, good tunes, fresh cuts, and hopefully a completely rained-out and parched blue sky to replace this year’s currently disappointing sequel to last year’s shoulder-burner.
Tickets: £70-£80. Info: westival.wales
words Jason Machlab