Go (Kanye) West! The Big Chill 2011 preview

Scenes at The Big Chill 2010 by Jamie Boynton
Scenes at The Big Chill 2010 by Jamie Boynton

We look ahead to The Big Chill 2011 with highlights, a video guide, a Spotify playlist and more.

The Big Chill’s reputation as an ambient, dance, jazz and folk festival, filled with frazzled old rave veterans has changed in the past couple of summers, with a sprinkle of mainstream pop and indie acts attracting a youthful new wave of fans.

This gentle shift has not compromised the boutique festival’s peaceful vibe, and its spirit remains with an underlying consistent bill of chill-out music, comedy and arty stuff in the beautiful surroundings of the Herefordshire countryside.

This year, however, it will be put to the test as The Big Chill sees its most dazzling anomaly yet; hip-hop megastar, super-ego, and the man dubbed a  “jackass” by the president: Mr. Kanye West.

The multi-platinum ‘Gold Digger’ singer will be galloping into town with his horizontally-obscured sights on conquering Eastnor Castle. The outspoken singer is sure to split opinion, but there is no doubt that Deer Park is in for an extravagant show (see below).

Obama is right! I don’t care for Kanye. What else is on?
The Chemical Brothers will be blowing the audience’s heads off, closing an electric first full day of music.

Friday also features Wild Beasts, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti and Mercury Prize-nominated Ghostpoet. For a spectacle though, catch the freaky, futuristic dance pop of Empire For The Sun:

Jessie J might still be hobbling on that broken leg, but the Essex pop diva performs on Saturday, along with Katy B, Crystal Fighters, Metronomy, Calvin Harris, Example and, of course, Kanye ‘entrance’ West himself. Check out this bonkers start to his Coachella set:

Elsewhere, the lovely Craig Charles brings his scandalously fun Funk and Soul Show to the Starburst stage. The final day sees mind-boggling Latin, acoustic-shredding duo Rodrigo y Gabriela headline:

Led Zeppelin legend Robert Plant sings with his Band Of Joy, and Norman Jay returns with his much-loved ‘Good Times’ set.

Weird on-site spectacles at Big Chill include The Electric Hotel; a dance showcase set in a sort of glass cross-section of a four-storey apartment block. The Enchanted Garden is decorated with giant UV butterflies with butterfly stilt-walkers flitting about, and Coyote Moon hosts storytelling, clay workshops and a trapeze show.

As if all that wasn’t exciting enough, get yourself pumped with our Big Chill 2011 Spotify playlist.

Also check out our Big Chill fashion guide for 2011.

The Big Chill tickets are on sale now priced at £165 for adults, £85 for 13-15 years and £5 for 12 and under.

Click to buy Big Chill tickets.

The Big Chill 2011 takes place from 4-7 August at Eastnor Castle Deer Park in Ledbury, Herefordshire.