Located in the picturesque Hertfordshire countryside, about 30 miles from the capital, Standon Calling is fast sculpting a reputation as one of the UK’s best small festivals.

What started as a pool party for 25 friends has developed into a full-scale event that showcases artists from every corner of the musical spectrum. It prides itself on a bill that celebrates the eclectic but never compromises on quality. 2013 will be no different…

This summer’s line-up is headed by hip-hop royalty as De La Soul bring their unique brand of ghetto infused flower power to Standon. The organic sounds of their seminal album ‘3 Feet High and Rising’ were made for the fields, and the chance to see it showcased in such an intimate outdoor setting is one that rarely comes around.

Always striving to mix it up, the main stage will also host a headline set from Kitsuné Music’s finest, Digitalism. The German duo effortlessly straddle an overlap of pounding electro and catchy indie rock, resulting in a sound that will ensure the hedonism of Standon Calling continues well into the early hours.

The top of the bill is completed by the grizzly indie-rock of Band of Skulls. After following a mind-blowing 2012 autumn tour with a live album recorded at Brixton Academy, they’ve smashed through the walls and ceiling and will instead be heard reverberating high into the Hertfordshire stratosphere.

Other acts include 2013 chart-toppers Bastille and AlunaGeorge. Meanwhile, Welsh rockers The Joy Formidable, The D.O.T (featuring The Streets’ Mike Skinner), noisy Londoners TOY, and Mancunian art-pop masters Dutch Uncles are likely to be real highlights.

For those who are still raring to go after the live sets are over, there’s a stellar line-up of DJs including Simian Mobile Disco, DJ Yoda, and Craig Charles- who will be bringing his infamous funk ‘n’ soul show to the countryside.

Every year the event is centred on a theme, this year it’s ‘Running Away from the Circus’. Fancy dress or not, expect to see a range of circus performers throughout the day on the Cowshed Stage (not an attempt at an edgy name, it’s literally a cowshed).

When the time comes to bring the tempo down a bit, look no further than the Lordship Stage. Located on the lawn of a 16th Century Manor House, it will see sets from Lucy Rose and Danny & The Champions of the World.

But perhaps the biggest surprise of the weekend will come when revellers discover the venue’s stage side swimming pool and cocktail bar (ever seen that at Reading or T in the Park?).

Standon Calling takes place at Standon Lordship, Hertfordshire on 2-4 August 2013. Tickets are priced at £99 including camping and can be bought through Aloud.com RIGHT HERE.

Words: Patrick Davies / Photos: PG Brunelli, Tom O’Meara