The Snug celebrates 10 years of barminess at Beatherder

John and Emma outside The Snug at Beatherder.
John and Emma outside The Snug at Beatherder.

From gabba to pure disco and DJs playing in their underpants, you’re never quite sure what you’re going to walk into at The Snug.

Celebrating its tenth year at Lancashire’s favourite festival Beatherder, R’ John’s Snug, to give it its full name, has continued to evolve and push the boundaries of music, and lunacy, with each annual residency.

The Chicken Brothers. Photo by James Abbott-Donnelly.

The Chicken Brothers. Photo by James Abbott-Donnelly.

Originally fashioned on a traditional “infirmary”, The Snug is run by John Hayward and Emma Andrews, from Bentham, and Stuart Miller, from Cumbria, who ensure that sense of humour is king.

John, who with Emma runs The Black Bicycle shop in Bentham, started off booking the acts and doing the sound at the festival’s Working Mens Club, but soon found his own niche, creating Grandma’s Lounge, a precursor to The Snug. He said: “It was the tenth year of The Snug this year.

“Three years ago they (punters) nicked everything we put out, stuff was being taken off the walls. Last year we filled it with plants, and this year we did primary colours.

“The premise is it’s an old infirmary, but it’s always party music. We’ll play everything. A bit of gabba on Sunday, straight through to pure disco, and then we had a world DMC champion on this year as well.

Set up time at The Snug at Beatherder

Set up time at The Snug at Beatherder

“The Chicken Brothers came with Dutty Moonshine, and they ended up DJing in their underpants. It’s got to have a sense of humour. Anything goes as long as you take the mick out of yourself.”

John said The Snug was “traditionally dead” during the day at Beatherder, but plans were afoot for a giant jumble sale on Saturday afternoon at next year’s festival.

As well as Beatherder, John and Emma, who manages Bentham band Dohnut, also help to run The Love Shack at Solfest, play records at Glastonbury, and will this year be pushing a big gramophone around Boomtown Fair in August.

Check out R’ John’s Snug and The Love Shack on Facebook for more information.