Rock heads east as Lincolnshire gears up for Call Of The Wild Festival

Call Of The Wild Festival Poster

In an already crowded festival calendar, one of the first outdoor rock festivals off the season is almost upon us, and it's one you may not be aware of.

While June has mega festival Download and July plays host to Ramblin' Man Faire and Steelhouse, rock fans looking for a weekend's worth of entertainment at the end of this month can head east, to Call Of The Wild

Held at the Lincolnshire Showgrounds in Grange-de-Lings – a parish situated three miles north of Lincoln City centre – it's a venue that usually hosts gatherings of camper van owners or toy collectors. 

But between May 24 and 26 it'll play host to a stellar line-up of rock acts, headlined by album-of-the-year contenders The Wildhearts, plus Classic Rock award winners The Virginmarys and Swedish sleaze rockers Hardcore Superstar.

Other acts booked for the festival include a veritable who's-who of the NWOCR movement including The Treatment, Tax The Heat, Those Damn Crows, Trucker Diablo, Last Great Dreamers, Bigfoot, The King Lot, Falling Red and Theia, alongside old stagers like Rocky Shades' Wrathchild. 

It's tempting to wonder how much of a gamble the project is. After all, rural Lincolnshire isn't one of rock'n'roll's traditional hotbeds.  

"Call of the Wild Festival was not set up on a whim," says organiser Raz White. "The organisers have in excess of 50 years experience in the music industry, and we felt strongly about many so-called festivals folding before the event and music fans losing their money, with no other explanation than ticket sales were lower than expected. 

"We have financed Call of the Wild regardless of any ticket sales, and are aware that people may be wary of trusting us delivering the festival in year one... but we 100% will!" 

And in the end, that location may prove to be something of an asset. "One of our strengths that we are in a location that has never ever had this kind of event," says White, "Lincolnshire Showground is easy to access from major motorways, and there are also good train and bus links. The festival is only a £10 taxi ride from central Lincoln."

Like Ramblin' Man and Steelhouse, who've built solid reputations over a number of years, Call Of The Wild are also thinking long-term. 

"Our plans are honestly to lay solid foundations and build from them," says White. "We have already began work on bookings for year two, and our intentions are to build a medium to large festival within five years."

With three stages (including one named after Lemmy) and over 70 bands performing over the weekend, the festival looks like value for money – a weekend ticket is just £79  – and comes with all the features you'd expect:  bars, food stalls and market traders. It's family friendly, with glamping options and facilities for camping, camper vans and caravans. 

Call Of The Wild takes place May 24-26 at Lincolnshire Showground. Tickets are on sale now.  

Call Of The Wild Festival Poster

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.