End Of The Road blog #1: five videos that make up 2011

Scenes at End Of The Road Festival 2006 by Michael Gregory
Scenes at End Of The Road Festival 2006 by Michael Gregory

End of the Road director Simon Taffe selects five videos and talks about what's new at this year's festival.

End of the Road director Simon Taffe selects five videos and talks about what’s new at this year’s festival.

We’ve just finished putting together the final touches for this year’s lineup – as always, it has been like assembling a three-day long, three-dimensional mixtape. We said from the very start, back in 2006, that we’d only book bands whose records we liked, so finding those records is a constant obsession – and sometimes it can be quite frustrating that we can only book artists from the present day…

Woods – Suffering Season

We love Woods, and it’s great that they’re on the bill. You could say woods are this year’s theme – we have a brand new main stage called the Woods Stage, a nod to the leafy outskirts of our amazing site at Larmer Tree Gardens. Wandering through the trees from a piano stage to a library in a clearing is as much part of the festival as witnessing the headliners or having kedgeree for breakfast.

Big Star – Thirteen

I know Big Star have influenced so many of the bands we have playing – you can hear it in the arrangements, in the bursts of melody and lyrics you hear as you travel from stage to stage. This is from 1972, but it could be from any year – it’s just one of those timeless songs. Last year I asked a few bands to do Big Star covers – I wanted to make a subtle tribute to Alex Chilton, their lead singer, who had died that spring.

Joanna Newsom – Peach Plum Pear

We put in an enquiry and she got back to us within a couple of days and said yes. She’d already heard about the festival from others who’d played. It’s a fantastic feeling when you see that artists don’t just give to the festival, but they feel like they’re getting something from it too. It means they’ll talk about it, and that can only help us in future years. This year it helped us to get Joanna Newsom – perhaps in the future we’ll get our other dream headliners like Sufjan Stevens, or Tom Waits.

Talking Heads – PsychoKiller

A great live video from 1984 – I’ve been going through all their past albums again. This show is what a festival is all about, catching moments that will later be looked back on in the way old Talking Heads performances are. But it always needs to be surprising – so we try to strike the right balance between keeping the spirit of the festival intact and changing just enough to keep it new and surprising – we don’t want each year to be a re-enactment of the last.


The peacock is the emblem of the festival – we couldn’t find a video of one at Larmer Tree Gardens but this one seems pretty popular. Every year thousands of people (8,500 adults this year) descend on the home of the Larmer Tree peacocks for End of the Road, and they just take it all in their stride, wandering around amongst the crowds like it’s all the same to them. Hopefully it means they quite like it.

End Of The Road Festival 2011 will return to Larmer Tree Gardens on the Dorset and Wiltshire border from 2-4 September.

Only adult weekend passes remain on sale for £145 (including camping) while all children and youth End Of The Road tickets have sold out.

For tickets and more information see: http://www.endoftheroadfestival.com