KALLIDA, the “mad house party”, returns this weekend for its third edition…
Beneath the established, often brand-heavy assembly of UK festival names, lies a burgeoning circuit of smaller independent competitors, whose size allows more scope for specialisation and creative idiosyncrasies. One of those underliers is KALLIDA Festival, tipped as a ‘mad house party’, which returns this weekend for its third edition.
With a capacity of just 400, KALLIDA is gaining cult hype as a meeting place of immersive and left-field visual art and hefty sound systems. So much so that the festival recently made it to the Guardian’s list of the UK’s ten best niche festivals. This year, the festival relocates from Baskerville Hall in the Brecon Beacons (also home to Freerotation), to the equally majestic Sparkford Hall, a Grade II listed Georgian mansion in Yeovil.
For 2019, KALLIDA boasts its biggest lineup to date, including sound system legend Aba Shanti-I, Paris’ so-called ‘King of Blends’ Teki Latex, up-and-coming Ugandan star Kampire, and the bizarre DJ Bus Replacement Service, whose surreal sets and latex Kim Jong-Un mask have earned her the title “The Frank Sidebottom of techno”. Whilst fast-paced and high energy dance music will dominate the late-night proceedings in the many rooms of Sparkford Hall, the sounds of jazz, world and hip hop from acts such as Têtes de Pois, Morriarchi, Maisha, and DjeuhDoah & Lieutenant Nicholson will soundtrack the afternoons outside in the lush grounds.
But unique to KALLIDA’s identity is the emphasis on its immersive art. Visit the festival’s hypnotising website and you’ll see the visual artists in as big a font as the music acts; the art is integral, not an afterthought. With a new location comes new opportunity, and we can’t wait to see how the barn space will be utilised by the likes of interactive design studio Kai Lab, or how Zaron Mizmeras’ dissociative but emotive installations will fare for his second KALLIDA running. The Barn will also host a cinema showcasing new British filmmakers, curated by Joe Gainborough and Patrick Chamberlain.
Outside, sculptures and LED visuals will litter the mansion’s gardens, including Suzie Olczak, who returns to the festival with her celestial Orrery sculptures. Inside the hall, however, will be the most physically immersive exhibitions, from Fiona Albrow’s Love Hotel to Clemence Debaig’s use of virtual spaces.
Accompanying a vanguard of electronic music, KALLIDA’s visual billing hopes to make the festival a blurred space where artistic expression are indistinguishable from real experience.