A dance festival of Nineties and Noughties club music is being held for the first time at Wilkswood Farm in Langton Matravers near Swanage – a venue already well known for its reggae festival.
The long standing Wilkswood Reggae Festival, which takes place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd July 2023, is to be joined later in the summer by the new Jurassic Dance Festival from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th of August 2023.
Bringing a little bit of Ibiza to Langton Matravers – DJ Judge Jules will be headlining the Jurassic Dance Festival
Rave and reggae
Although rave and reggae may seem worlds apart, the organisers say there’s a common thread which holds the two camping and music weekends together – a family friendly vibe where parents can relive their youth and bring the kids along too.
The Wilkswood Reggae Festival has attracted some of the best UK and international roots, dub, ska and reggae artists since 2016, alongside offering street food stalls and a cocktail bar, called the Rumshack where Jamaican rum is a firm favourite!
Away from the camping and glamping areas, one field is dedicated to kids’ entertainment and a clearing in the woods is used for storytelling and music. Workshops in beatboxing, urban dance and rap performance are also on offer.
A similar format is being planned for the first ever Jurassic Dance Festival, with a kid’s zone and lots of activities for children over the course of the weekend, including DJ and dance workshops, which the organisers say should leave parents free to let their hair down like they did back in the day!
Chilled out family friendly weekends at Wilkswood
A Notting Hill by the Sea vibe
Festival director David Mountjoy said:
“The Wilkswood Roots Reggae Festival is a family-friendly festival and we have a self imposed capacity of 2,500 people attending in a perfect location for a relaxed and intimate event which is perfect for those who have young children or don’t enjoy huge crowds.
“Reggae is ideal music to chill out to and to enjoy – we aim for a Notting Hill by the Sea vibe and it really is one of the friendliest festivals anywhere. Each year we look to improve on the previous year’s line-up and we think we’ve managed that again.
“But this year we have also organised an inaugural Jurassic Dance Festival at Wilkswood Farm over the weekend of the 18th to the 20th of August 2023 where each day will see a different dance genre featured – dubstep, Ibiza house and old skool rave.”
Keeping the children entertained is a major part of both the music festivals
Appealing to couples in their 40s with kids
“We are limiting the capacity to 1,000 for the dance festival, to give a more relaxed, calmer environment than other larger events, aiming to encourage parents who used to go clubbing to bring their kids to see how they did things in the old days.
“Reggae and rave might sound like very different genres, but they’re basically based around the same theme of having parents feeling safe enough to bring their kids to a festival. The music for Jurassic Dance is all ‘old skool’ to deliberately appeal to people in their 40s with kids.”
Judge Jules headlines Ibiza House session
Pioneering dance DJ Judge Jules is set to headline the Jurassic Dance Festival, presenting a nostalgic trip back in time and inviting mums and dads to revisit the club sounds of their youth.
Judge Jules – the stage name of Julius O’Riordan – is a dance music DJ, record producer and entertainment lawyer who made his name through his long-running Radio 1 Saturday evening show which played dance tracks, house music and trance music.
Jurassic Dance Festival line-up 2023
- Friday 18th August – Tribal music for the Dubstep Takeover is presented by Stimulus and features sets by Youngsta, J:Kenzo, N-Type, Sukh Knight, Trends and Boylan and others
- Saturday 19th August – Xtra Hot Ibiza House with Judge Jules, joined by Dr Packer (Glitterbox), Andrew Galea (Sol Brothers) and Ridney and Doctor Feelgood (Mambo b2b Ibiza) and others
- Sunday 20th August – Old Skool Rave is presented by Return of the Vibe and features Ratpack, Slipmatt, Brockie, DJ Vibes, Aquasky and others.
Veteran reggae singer Horace Andy will headline Wilkswood’s reggae festival
Daughter of Sex Pistols drummer sings reggae
Meanwhile, the Wilkswood Reggae Festival is headlined by the Midnight Rocker, Horace Andy, making a rare UK appearance with his live band on the main stage on Saturday 22nd July 2023.
Other headliners on the main stage over the reggae weekend will include Hollie Cook – daughter of Sex Pistols drummer Paul – Kiko Bun, Roots Daughters, and Redhead QI among others.
The Jah Spirit Sound System arena will again feature exclusive takeovers on each day from three of the UK’s top sound systems. Jah Shaka, Aba Shanti-I and Channel One will all be appearing with their own custom built speaker rigs.
Wilkswood Farm, set in a valley at Langton Matravers, will be transformed for music festivals
A valley with natural sound control
For the second year running, the reggae festival is inviting Langton Matravers villagers to join them on Thursday 20th July 2023 for a bonus day, to see how the festival operates and to alleviate any fears of unwanted late night noise or rowdy behaviour.
David Mountjoy said:
“We applied for a temporary licence in 2022 for the Thursday to invite local residents in for free, as a soft opening to promote good relations within the community, which was successful.
“It also allows people to arrive early to set up their camping, to help with traffic management on Friday morning, but we would very much like the locals to come and see what the festival is like.
“The farm sits in a valley, and the beauty of the site is that we have natural sound control, no amplified music within the campsite and no bars or barbecues away from the music site, to keep the noise down.
“We want the people who like to stay up later to stay away from the campsite where families with children may be trying to get to sleep earlier.”
Glamping tents are set well away from the bands so that everyone can sleep at night
“We do try to give back to the village”
And co-director of the festival Aaron Trainer, added:
“We are proud of how we operate, we are a small festival, but we pay the same attention to detail as Glastonbury.
“We have given money to the village to help build the playground for the kids, we do try to give back to the local community, and we do search people coming in and confiscate amplified music systems to try to prevent unwanted noise.”