The Somerley Tea Party celebrates its third birthday this summer from the 3rd to 5th of June. The two-day festival returns to the sprawling green of Somerley Estate’s 18th Century country garden and lush woods. Somerley combines boutique with the big stars and hot underground talents from the worlds of house, techno and drum & bass. It remains to be seen whether mad hatters and march hares will be drinking tea but this year offers camping for the very first time as the quaint, independent festival continues to grow.
Annie Mac will take some time off BBC Radio 1 to bring her dexterity on the decks to the New Forest estate. Joining her will be house, bass and techno sensation Eats Everything. 2016 boasts takeovers from influential label Hypercolour and London party crew Percolate. Former DJ Mag Best of Britain winners and Southampton’s very own nightclub Junk will host the main stage. You may have noticed them hit the headlines recently and at the time of writing the petition to save the South Coast’s definitive home of underground music has reached over 2,500.
Many acts are returning for their 2nd or 3rd time and as such, residents Zoo Look and Charlie Banks will be joined by the genre spanning Joy Orbison and Radio 1’s B. Traits. Also in attendance will be one of the biggest names in the German electronic music scene, Roman Flugel, and drum & bass royalty High Contrast and Rockwell.
There’s plenty to explore away from the music though, with cutting edge installations dangling from the trees. What makes Somerley unique is it’s picturesque setting, a far cry from the farms and fields in the middle of nowhere that come with most other wristbands. Every area is unique and within five minutes walk of the campsite, offering a wide range of experiences. The main stage is situated inside a five-meter high walled garden and new for 2016 is the RFID Dome. Arts University Bournemouth host their own arena and will offer a wealth of creativity throughout the festival. The Tea Party boasts its own full size fun fair and market and most importantly of all it is able to serve alcohol until 3am Friday and 4am Saturday! It bodes well since they enforce an eight can ration in the campsite – as an independent boutique festival without corporate sponsors it does rely on bar sales to remain afloat, so it’s in the festival’s best interest for you to indulge in excess.
Many acts are still yet to be announced, but for now let vinyl loving Motor City Drum Ensemble wet your tongue. Joining will be Rush Hour’s Dutch don Tom Trago, Hypercolour associates Luke Vibert, Tom Demac (live) and Cedric Maison, as well as Purp & Soul chief Ben Pearce. Plus DJ extraordinaire Oneman and the likes of Mumdance with Elf Kid, G-Dub (aka Sub Zero & Original Sin) and Mob Tactics , Ulterior Motive , Harry Judda, Turno, Lunos , and Klip & Outlaw .
Somerley offers picturesque camping in their boutique tents but is very close to London, 10 minutes from Bournemouth and 20 minutes from Southampton. It’s local and it’s pretty and full of Boiler Room alumni.
Tickets are available here from £35 for a Saturday ticket and £55 for the weekend.