Highest Point Festival is Lancaster’s primary annual music festival. Set in the idyllic Williamson Park, the fest unites ravers, families, indie kids and everyone in between to enjoy banging tunes over the weekend in May each year. 

The festival’s 2023 lineup includes headliners Hacienda Classical, Anne-Marie, and Bastille, plus the likes of Freya Ridings, Friendly Fires, Sigma, Sub Focus, Girls Don’t Sync and The Lottery Winners. To get Lancaster in the mood for this multi-genre haven, let’s take a look at the festival's highlights over the years. 

From truly legendary sets to sightings around the festival site, here are some of the best moments Highest Point Festival has gifted Lancaster over the years.

The heavenly extended version of Lost in Music by Sister Sledge 

One of the festival's many legendary artists to perform over the years, Sister Sledge, brought the positive, feel-good vibes the festival is best known for. The legendary hitmakers behind timeless tracks, including ‘He’s The Greatest Dancer’ and ‘We Are Family’, lit up the main stage with an extended version of ‘Lost in Music’, bringing those uplifting disco vibes to a huge crowd who relished every second. Naturally, everyone was singing along, and there wasn't a single person not grooving along - it’d be impossible not to.

Basement Jaxx bringing the party to the Ashton Memorial stage

Just in front of the stately Ashton Memorial sits the Memorial Stage. And Basement Jaxx tore it up in 2022 with a DJ set full of certified bangers, including a few of their own tunes. As the last set of the evening, the dancing didn’t stop until midnight. And with the stage directly below the memorial, the lights flickering up the building were simply stunning. 

Hacienda Classical bringing the throwback vibes

Hacienda Classical, who performed at the festival’s original one-off event in 2016, went on to headline the Sunday in 2018, bringing an incredible weekend to the perfect close. Performing hits everyone all knows and loves, like ‘Rhythm Is A Dancer’ and ‘Voodoo Ray’, there wasn’t a single soul who wasn’t enthralled by the unrivalled sounds of yesteryear’s most iconic tracks. Hacienda Classical are back again for 2023, and are ready to kick off the festivities with a bang with their Thursday headline set. 

Richard Ashcroft’s indie masterclass.

Opening the 2022 edition with hit after hit after hit, it’s safe to say the indie king made a lasting impression. Ashcroft’s iconic tracks had a sea of people waving their pints in the air as they perched on their mate's shoulders. Heads were thrown back as the crowd belted out every word to ‘Sonnet’, ‘Lucky Man’, and ‘The Drugs Don't Work’, before the unreal emotional crescendo that was ‘Bittersweet Symphony.’ It was electric

The crowd singing so loudly you could barely hear Becky Hill

A fantastic performance is nothing without a crowd that’s loving every second. Thankfully, Highest Point crowds are always up for a sing and dance. Following a dramatic, awe-inspiring entrance, Becky Hill, backed with a full band, wild visuals, and a passionate crowd, launched into ‘Wish You Well’. If she wanted, she probably could’ve gotten away with singing none of it as the crowd did all the heavy lifting for her. Shivers. 

Festivals are more than just the tunes. You need a bit of something else here and there to set the tone and get everyone buzzing. And bubble lady did exactly that. Wandering the grounds for the whole weekend, bubble lady delighted and mesmerised kids and big kids alike by filling the air with huge bubbles. There was plenty of headbutting, catching, and even licking of the bubbles - standard festival antics.  

The huge drum and bass rave conducted by Wilkinson 

Closing on a euphoric high, Wilkinson's set concluded with the explosive ‘Afterglow’. As you can imagine, there wasn't a single person not belting it at the top of their lungs. "I want you to turn to the person next to you right now and say 'I love you’”, he said during a quieter moment of the song before the chorus came back in full force, lights going wild, 7,000 people bouncing, the visuals on the LED screen flashing - pure poetry. 

Richy Ahmed gifting ravers an incredible final dance on Friday in 2021

Following a wild drum and bass set by Wilkinson on a warm evening, all the stages at the Highest Point were closed. Except for The Dell. Crowds were wandering around asking if there were any other sets due to start before setting off in droves to catch Richy Ahmed for one last dance. It felt like the evening had peaked following Wilkinson’s immense set. Little did they know they’d be blown away one last time.

Tucked away in a woodland paradise, Richy, in a tree-top booth, blessed crowds with a high-energy burst of house and tech house tunes. The crowd, of course, honoured the last rave of the evening by going wild. 

Sophie Ellis-Bextor covering Madonna’s Like A Prayer

To be fair, Sophie's whole set was magical - with hits like ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’ and ‘Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)’, it was destined to be. Her family-friendly set united every shade of music fan to enjoy her pop and nu-disco bangers that will no doubt go down as timeless. And then she covered ‘Like A Prayer’ and blew the roof off the place!

A Porsche floating on the lake 

With Porsche as the festival’s main sponsor, the team decided to stick one on the lake. Mad.

DJ legend Sasha lighting up the Memorial Stage

In 2018, prog house icon Sasha took to the Memorial Stage on Friday. Bringing chill vibes reminiscent of relaxed Ibiza soundscapes, his set perfectly complemented the early summer evening. As the festival's first proper event, it couldn’t have asked for a better start. 

The proper arms-in-the-air, sing-until-you-lose-your -voice-tune had everyone going wild. The laidback indie tune is the perfect festival anthem, and it showed when the band took to the stage in 2018. A real cathartic experience for every single person in the crowd. 

Bringing pop, indie, drum and bass, disco, house and more to Lancaster, it’s clear why Highest Point Festival has so many devoted fans. Head over this year to enjoy the likes of Hacienda Classical, Bastille, and Anne-Marie across unique stages, including a woodland disco, the waterfall stage (yep, there’s a real waterfall!), the Memorial Stage, and of course, the main stage. 

Highest Point Festival will take place Thursday 11th - Saturday 13th May 2023, at Williamson Park in Lancaster. Tickets are available here

For more information on Highest Point Festival, please visit: highestpoint.co.uk 


Highest Point Festival
Highest Point Festival

The Award-Winning Highest Point returns to the glorious Williamson Park in Lancaster, Thursday 11th to Sunday 14th May 2023.



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