Third time lucky for Pixies at End Of The Road Festival

The American indie-rock pioneers had been due to play the end-of-season festival in 2020 and 2021.

Music fans gathered in their thousands in a quiet corner of the Dorset countryside to celebrate one of the final events in the British festival calendar this weekend.

A sell-out crowd of 15,000 were at this year’s End Of The Road Festival, with American indie-rock pioneers Pixies a notable draw, headlining the main stage on Saturday.

The influential guitar band, who formed in 1986 and are promoting their eighth studio album, had been set to top the bill in 2020 before the festival was cancelled due to Covid.

Fleet Foxes
US indie-folk rockers Fleet Foxes headlined the Woods stage on Friday (Burak Cingi/PA)

They were due to headline again in 2021 but the continuing effects of the pandemic put paid to those plans too.

Other festival highlights this year include Texas psychedelic soul trio Khruangbin and Seattle indie-folk rockers Fleet Foxes, who headlined the main stage on Thursday and Friday respectively.

The independently run festival, which is renowned for its varied musical line-up, was hosting acts from around the world, including Malian blues collective Tinariwen, Tamil-Swiss singer-songwriter Priya Ragu and Ethiopian jazz great Hailu Mergia.

The Garden stage at the End Of The Road Festival
End Of The Road Festival 2022 drew a capacity crowd (Parri Thomas/PA)

The four-day gathering, which is in its 16th year and ends on Sunday, is held at the Larmer Tree Gardens, near Blandform Forum.

It hosts four music stages, as well as a talking heads stage, but the event’s highlights are its surprise performances and one-off collaborations.

Tinariwen on the Woods stage
Mali’s Tinariwen were among acts from around the world (Burak Cingi/PA)

Among the unannounced acts performing this year were English experimental electronic rock band Beak, featuring Portishead’s Geoff Barrow.

Speaking earlier, festival co-founder Simon Taffe said he was “beyond excited” about this year’s event which he said featured artists who organisers had been asking to play since 2006.