Standon Calling

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (

Standon Calling 2021 was headlined by Bastille and Hot Chip - Credit: Khris Cowley for Here & Now

Right up until the sudden deluge that ended it prematurely, the welcome return of this crowd pleasing festival had gone swimmingly.

Storming sets by Bastille Reorchestrated and Hot Chip - not to mention some vintage boogeying with Sister Sledge - had been the perfect euphoric comeback for outdoor gigging. There was raving in the woods with top DJs for the teens, yoga, hot tubs and survival skills for the middle aged, and the annual dog show and costume parade for everyone else.

© Photography by Julian Preece for Here & Now (

A costume parade and dog show are part of the regular features at Standon Calling - Credit: Julian Preece for Here & Now

Amid rolling Hertfordshire hills, this country estate worked its magic. Swimming in the outdoor pool to a backdrop of Rockoake and a talk by a space scientist perfectly summed up the festival experience of surprising eclectic entertainment.

On the family beat, we caught grisly Georgians with Horrible Histories, beatboxing, a juggling show, and DJ workshop, sawing and hammering with the Woodland tribe, and whizzing down the zip slide before a cup of tea in the Magic Teapot with the musically gifted tea-makers jamming on their instruments.

© Photography by Sophie Vaughn for Here & Now (

Standon Calling 2021 - Credit: Sophie Vaughn for Here & Now

We even sneaked in an hour of comedy with the brilliant Zoe Lyons and some lying around in the sun drinking cider. Flash flooding put paid to a final evening with Primal Scream and Sophie Ellis Bextor, but like the rapturous crowds, let's hope they will be back next year.