Take a second to think about Leicester – what comes to mind? A vindication of every Shane Meadows film ever made? A rubbish place to buy curtains? You wouldn’t be that far wrong, but luckily for the denizens of the UK’s 10th biggest city (Wikipedia, natch), a festival sized chink of light is on the horizon, in the form of the wonderful Summer Sundae.
For the last 11 years, the council-hosted bash has attracted some of the country’s most exciting artists, including Kasabian, Amy Winehouse, Yo La Tengo and, er, Gomez. This summer’s edition is no different, promising tons of lovely music fun. PiL head the festival, along with Ocean Colour Scene and South London songstress Katy B. To that can be added a scintillating indoor stage curated, as has become tradition, by the impeccably eclectic Drowned in Sound. Set amongst the gilded confines of the adjacent De Montfort Hall, the stage provides a stunning backdrop for the likes of Japandroids, tUnE-yArDs and Gold Panda. The stellar lineup also features the likes of Jonathan Richman and Adam Ant’s new venture, The Good The Mad & The Lovely Posse.
Though it’s among an ever-growing number of city fests, it sets itself apart in its sheer inclusiveness. Unlike the similarly sized Evolution and the otherwise excellent Dot to Dot, the organisers have always attempted to create something more than a list of bands on a bit of paper; only last year turning the site into a giant beach, complete with Punch and Judy shows and inflatables (!!). This time round they’ve opted for a safari-themed event, promising an interactive jungle and something called “gorilla knitting”. There’s plenty of kid stuff too, which is probably a relief for those who’ve been forced to drag their little darlings along. Yes, it’s a little off the beaten track, but the last time I got to mess about with jungle stuff in London I got banned from the Rainforest Café.