Music at Sea Change

Extraordinary encounters for both artist and audience…

As Drift Record Shop, it was somewhat inevitable that we would want to extend that musical experience into the live environment, in particular bringing rare musical experiences to our - largely overlooked - part of the world. The premise was (and largely remains) pretty simple… How can we welcome some of our most favourite music makers to this beautiful landscape and create extraordinary encounters for both artist and audience? The first iteration of Sea Change was internally dubbed ‘if you build it, they will come’, bringing British Sea Power to the town Civic Hall that more-often holds a flea market, Bo Ningen and Richard Dawson to an industrial unit (RIP), Alasdair Roberts, Yorkston Thorne Khan and Joan Shelley to the church on the High Street and all sorts of other curiosities in the towns off-kilter spaces. We did build it, people did come and we all felt inspired to do more.

A weekend of quite ridiculous brilliance you won’t find
anywhere else in the country
— Clash Magazine

Sea Change has grown in size and scope over four editions. Now entirely based on the neighbouring Dartington Hall Estate with a Truck Stage, a Big Top, a couple of Grade II listed buildings, a disused Gymnasium and ever more interesting spaces across the iconic grounds. We remain committed to programming music that inspires us at the record shop, both new and underground, but also offering opportunities for established artists to present exclusive work and collaborations. Some of our proudest moments have come in the special works that we have commissioned. To celebrate Rob Young and Irmin Schmidt’s All Gates Open book, we invited Can singer Damo Suzuki and the spectacular Japanese noise band Bo Ningen set to cross swords, truly honouring the Krautrock band’s pioneering spirit. Across the site, Jane Weaver, visual artist Sam Wiehl and Liverpool new music group Immix Ensemble presented an exclusive multidisciplinary adaptation of their Kosmologie Ancienne. In one of our first explorations on the Dartington Estate, we invited Lubomyr Melnyk to perform two piano concerts at the historic Great Hall that were broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction. Other showcases have seen international institution Shirley Collins in conversation (and song!) with the Totnes & Dartington Morris Men, Sandra Kerr and John Faulkner performing the original music from Bagpuss (as Stewart Lee, Daniel Postage and the ‘old, saggy cloth cat’ watched on from the stage) , Ryley Walker necking his own signature beer and playing live at the local brewery and The Pop Group’s Mark Stewart and Gareth Sager performing 'Blood Money', a live installation and collaboration with sound artist Matthew Shaw.

 
 
Rare and unique
— Uncut Magazine


Mindfully growing what we do (we remain at a bijou two-thousand person capacity), we are able to present shows of scale whilst still focusing our efforts on providing rare experiences, like Japanese vibraphonist Masayoshi Fujita sharing the same Church space as troubadours Josh T. Pearson and Micheal Chapman. Our main Truck stage has welcomed Metronomy, Gruff Rhys, The Comet Is Coming, James Holden and Andrew Weatherall, all sitting beautifully in harmony with incredibly intimate shows and appearances from Aldous Harding, Snapped Ankles, Peggy Seeger, Billy Bragg and Chris Carter.


Always different, always special…


Sea Change Festival returns to Dartington for its fifth edition; 22nd, 23rd and 24th of May 2020. We will begin announcing artists before Christmas, but we can assure you that some you will know, some you likely won’t, and some will be here doing things that you might not be expecting. The thread that connects them is that they are going to all come together for an inspiring and thrilling weekend of music.

 
 
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2019
: Metronomy, The Comet is Coming, Gruff Rhys, Lubomyr Melnyk, Gazelle Twin, Bill Ryder-Jones, Maps, Black Midi, W. H. Lung, Du Blonde, Szun Waves, Rozi Plain, Laurence Pike, Anne Müller, Adrian Sherwood, Stewart Lee and Michael Cumming present ‘King Rocker’, Peggy Seeger, The Pop Group, Will Burns and Hannah Peel, Virginia Astley, Salena Godden, TVAM, Black Country New Road, Pip Blom, Death & Vanilla, You Tell Me, Deep Learning, The Nightingales, Doomsquad, Sandra Kerr and John Faulkner perform the music of Bagpuss, Pale Blue Eyes, Hearing Aid Beige, Michael Clark, Lecu, Dawn Chorus Ignites…

2018: Hookworms, Gwenno, Shirley Collins, Damo Suzuki x Bo Ningen, Immix Ensemble present: Kosmologie Ancienne by Jane Weaver & Sam Wiehl, Josh T. Pearson, Cosey Fanni Tutti, James Holden & The Animal Spirits, Lost Horizons, Chris Carter, The Weather Station, Rival Consoles, Andrew Weatherall, Billy Bragg, Daniel Blumberg, Saint Leonard's Horses, Ex-Easter Island Head, Snapped Ankles, Rob Young, Andy Votel, Daniel Thorne, The Surfing Magazines, Lost Under Heaven, Hater, Hatis Noit, Raf Rundell, Virginia Wing, Dialect, Sweet Baboo, Red River Dialect, Charles Watson, Penelope Isles, James Heather, Boy Azooga, Apostille, Hilang Child, Bryde, Group Listening, Emma Warren, Laura Snapes, Richard King, Babak Ganjei, James Endeacott…

2017: Temples, Gold Panda, Jane Weaver, Jambinai, Blanck Mass, Aldous Harding, Daniel Brandt, Ryley Walker, Julie Byrne, Nadia Reid, The Proper Ornaments, Amber Arcades, Chris Forsyth and The Solar Motel Band, Hey Colossus, LOWLY, Masayoshi Fujita, Michael Chapman, Pixx, Seamus Fogarty, Gulp, H.Hawkline, Modern Studies, Death and Vanilla, Girl Ray, Grumbling Fur, Holly Macve, Douglas Dare, The Hundredth Anniversary, ILL, Will Stratton, Jim Ghedi, Mai Mai Mai, The Orielles, Trembling Bells, Rats on Rafts, Sex Swing, Wovoka Gentle, Seahawks, Tasseomancy, Tinnedfruit, VENN, Teleplasmiste, Tourists, W. H. Lung, 'Avocet Revisited', Simon Raymonde, Will Burns & Adam Chetwood, Laura Barton, Luke Turner, Laura Snapes, Toby Morgan…

2016: British Sea Power, TOY, Bo Ningen, Richard Dawson, THROWS, Yorkston Thorne Khan, BC Camplight, Rival Consoles, Ultimate Painting, The Parrots, Alasdair Roberts, Luke Abbott, The Wave Pictures, Joan Shelley, Nathan Salsburg, Howes, Szun Waves, Rose Elinor Dougall, Guy Andrews, Teeth Of The Sea, The Drink, Red River Dialect, Holly Macve, The Pure Conjecture, BarCreeps, Bizarre Rituals, Thirty Pounds of Bone, The Membranes, Sound of Yell, Death Shanties, Sylvia Patterson, Simon Goddard, Jude Rogers…