End of the Road festival 2017 – your guide to the stuff that isn’t music that’ll be very good

There’s more to the festival than stupid old songs

Glastonbury invented the extra curricular side of British festivals, where if you didn’t fancy watching Blur you could go and see some guy juggle, or have a fight with a Diablo. Everyone has a non-music program these days, but End of the Road’s has taken on a life of its own, due to the scaled down, pretty site of Larmer Tree Gardens, and how heartfelt it all feels.

They’re a crafty bunch and as such encourage guests to do as they do, with a load of workshops that are especially good for tricking children into not shouting their stupid little heads off. Adults are welcome too, as long as you’re OK with not being able to carve a wooden spoon better than a 6-year-old. If that’s going to be a problem, between walks around the Victorian gardens, through installations and the odd secret set by bands on the bill, here’s what’s good away from the music (Go here for our favourite artists).

The Adam Buxton Podcast

Comedy is a big part of End of the Road, with this year’s cast including Joe Lycett, Doc Brown, Cardinal Burns and Jenny Collier. Adam Buxton also returns for a second year to record his interview podcast in front of a live audience (Mac DeMarco is one of his guests). It’s no big deal but we’ll be doing that, too, and so will Amy Annette for her brilliant What Women Want Podcast. It’s not for us to say which of those podcasts is the best, but ‘Dr Buckles’ does have a way about him. It’d be so much easier to hate the guy.

Cosey Fanni Tutti in Conversation

Each day, before the music starts at around 12pm, the literature line-up gets going with authors reading their work and discussing their writing. This year that will include Cosey Fanni Tutti, who will be talking about her autobiography, Art Sex Music. As a stripper and performance artist who changed the face of experimental, industrial music in Throbbing Gristle, it’s one hell of an apt title, and a far more interesting read than a lot of rock memoirs.

A bit of David Lynch

Watching movies at a music festival is a bit counter-intuitive. End of the Road do make the whole thing so horribly tempting, though. Their cinema is the comfiest spot on the site, and this year they’re apparently moving it and making it better. As well as Tuareg guitarist Mdou Moctar’s remake of Purple Rain (called Rain the Color of Blue with a Little Red in It), this year’s showings include the original Twin Peaks pilot followed by Blue Velvet on the opening Thursday night.


Of those workshops we mentioned where you’ll probably be shown up by a child, the one where you’ll care least is probably Videopia – a filmmaking class that revels in the absurd, where being crap is kind of a bonus. Over the course of last year’s festival they remade Jurassic Park – this year they’ll taking on Labyrinth. We’ve all wanted to be David Bowie at least 100 times in our lives, and now’s your chance. Maybe take a banana to ensure you get the part.

 …Or just stuff your face

At any festival you’re going to need sustenance to keep you going. None of this guide works if you forget to eat. In festivals of the past that would include tactical meals – 5 donuts and a Mars Bar for elevenses and a boiled hamburger for dinner if you really needed it. It’s hard not to miss those carefree days, but the food at End of the Road is actually good and good for you. A majority of it is vegetarian or vegan, so you’re not tempted to have a Wagon Wheel for breakfast.