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All Tomorrow’s Parties

While music festivals are generally held in the summer, All Tomorrow’s Parties (or ATP for short) is the festival to end all festivals – both literally and figuratively. The former because it’s held in December, year end, and the latter because, well, it always boasts incredible line-ups that would make any music lover weak at the knees and shaky with gratitude. And yes, the festival takes its name from the Velvet Underground song. As if it wasn’t cool enough already.


This year, there will be two separate ATP weekends held at Somerset, England. What’s so special about these events is that they always feature a curator – a musician who then selects other musicians that they favor to perform with them. So you can sort of say there’s always a theme to each of these festivals, and it’s especially interesting as you get to see the ways in which these musicians influence and inspire each other’s music. To me, it seems like the next best thing to being able to peruse these curators’ record collections, a sneaky guilty pleasure that I’m sure we all harbor.


From the 2nd to 4th December, Jeff Mangum (only the vocalist for Neutral Milk Hotel, no big) will serve as curator, inviting with him other heavyweights such as Thurston Moore (vocalist for Sonic Youth and the stuff of my dreams), Joanna Newsom, The Mountain Goats, Fleet Foxes, and Superchunk. From 9th to 11th December, there will be a special Nightmare Before Christmas edition, curated by Caribou, Les Savy Fav and Battles. They will be inviting with them Four Tet, Toro Y Moi, Surfer Blood, Washed Out, Flying Lotus, and many more.


To top it all off, the festival is held at Butlins Resort, so there’ll be none of your normal weekend festival tent-pitching nonsense. The musicians and concert attendees will be sleeping in the same place, which means there’ll be plenty of opportunities to bump into them – just a heads up for the groupies. There’s also an indoor splash pool in the resort, and performances can go on for as long as till 5am.


There’s no doubt about it – if you’re lucky enough to be in England this December, make sure you attend All Tomorrow’s Parties. Though you might not want to attend any more parties after that because I’m pretty sure nothing will quite measure up.

– Yishu

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