Two times winner of the AIM awards prestigious ‘best independent festival’ accolade, Brainchild returns for its fifth consecutive year, promising to keep it tight but light on the wallet and feet. Endearingly small, it positions itself as an antidote to the soulless corporate mega-fests, an open and intimate gathering of musicians and minds where everyone in attendance is invited to contribute.
With a diverse and eclectic line-up, there’s sure to be something which will excite your imagination and get those creative juices flowing. Rapper and conceptual artist extraordinaire Kojey Radical headlines, bringing his politically charged lyricism to the festival. If all that sounds a bit fiery for your tastes, singer-songwriter Andrew Ashong –also headlining– promises to sooth the soul with his smoky jazz sensibilities.
Elsewhere on the bill, Gambia meets electronica act Susso, funk-rock eccentrics Thidius and the steezy SE Dub Collective all look set to be highlights. And, as a personal recommendation, let me assure you that anyone who leaves the festival without riding the mighty stallion which is Horsey will have sorely missed out.
Jazz fans in particular look to be spoilt for choice, with a number of the country’s best young acts performing. Brainchild veterans Vels Trio and Ezra Collective both return, riding high on the back of incendiary sets delivered in previous years, while the Sun-Ra channelling upstarts Where Pathways Meet debut.
There’s plenty to get feet moving too, just don’t expect anything Iberian. A series of genre-bending selectas – Dego (2000 black), Boko! Boko! and Ben Hauke to name but a few – will keep the party going late into the night with beats of both the afro and broken variety.
For the more cerebral among you, Brainchild offers a whole lot to keep the mind whirring with an array of panel discussions and workshops on topics ranging from the ongoing refugee crisis to the dynamics of the sex industry. While Jeremy Corbyn may not be in attendance (though never say never), there will be plenty of opportunity for political discussion too, with sessions hosted by the likes of online intersectional feminists gal-dem, and Bafta-winning documentary makers Daisy Squires and Hassan Akkad.
With a focus on fostering collaboration through jam sessions, discussions and even ‘open decks’ collective record playing, it’s the one festival where it can be said with confidence that it really won’t be the same without you. So cop a ticket, pack your favourite LPs and head to down to Brainchild.
Brainchild Festival takes place 7th - 9th July in East Sussex
Limited tickets remain at £80 here
For more information on the festival follow the link here