Led Zeppelin legend Robert Plant is bringing his band, the Sensational Space Shifters, to headline the 2018 version of the Bearded Theory Spring Gathering. As reported by the Leicester Mercury, Bearded Theory takes place at Catton Hall in South Derbyshire over the United Kingdom’s spring holiday weekend, from May 24 to May 27, 2018. This year sees the 11th edition of Bearded Theory, a 10,000 capacity music festival, and while this year’s festival offers its usual eclectic mix of music, attracting a legend like Robert Plant to headline the event is a major coup for a relatively small independent festival.
Last year, it was reported by the Inquisitr that music fans who had missed out on tickets for Glastonbury festival should consider Bearded Theory instead. In 2018, there will be no Glastonbury, as the organizers need to rest the land from the damage caused by the huge numbers who attend. Of course, no one would claim that a small festival like Bearded Theory can compete with Glastonbury. The sheer size and scale of Glastonbury, its 24-hour nature, and the range of entertainment available are simply mindboggling.
Glastonbury and Bearded Theory do share an ethos: they are both strongly committed to new music, and in their distinct ways, they offer incredible value for money and an atmosphere that is rarely rivaled. Where they perhaps differ is in that Glastonbury has developed into a corporate monster, whereas Bearded Theory is run by volunteers, it has no corporate sponsorship, and it manages to maintain a friendly family atmosphere.
So How Does Bearded Theory Attract Rock Royalty Like Robert Plant?
The answer to that question is both simple and complex. Robert Plant was born in West Bromwich, just a 30-minute drive from Bearded Theory. So, in many ways, appearing at the festival is a hometown gig for Robert Plant. Of course, Bearded Theory cannot hope to compete financially with the likes of Glastonbury, so it is unlikely that Plant is in it for the money.
In recent years, Plant’s work with Alison Krauss, his Band of Joy, and laterally with the Sensational Space Shifters show that his passion for American music is undimmed. Plant has continued to innovate, and he seems to enjoy bringing his new music to more intimate venues. Bearded Theory offers that, and as reported by Anti Music, Plant wants people to “stop living in the past.” Plant wants fans to embrace new music.
Those fans who still worship Led Zeppelin almost 40 years after they split should be in for a treat though. As reported by Blabbermouth, Plant has been including a new take on Led Zeppelin classics like “Black Dog” and “Whole Lotta Love” in recent setlists.
It would seem that Plant, like Bearded Theory, will offer something for everyone. By booking acts like Robert Plant, the team behind Bearded Theory has demonstrated that they continue to strive to make each year’s festival better than the last. This year will see Plant share the stage with reggae legend Jimmy Cliff, electro-punk outfit Sleaford Mods, post-punk heroes the Jesus and Mary Chain, and indie rocker Jake Bugg.