I’m a bit of a latecomer to festivals. I didn’t experience the coming-of-age ritual of tents on fire, Absinthe bingeing and general Hell on Earth that is Reading Festival in my adolescence, instead opting for various day festivals put on for free, fortunate enough as I was to call Central London my home until I was 18.
My first proper full weekend festival experience was the rather civilised and head-tiltingly wonderful End of the Road Festival in 2008. The music is great, the crowds are friendly, the food and drink on offer is top notch, there are peacocks strutting around the place, there is a little lending library in a forest clearing and you can even play Scrabble and read a copy of The Observer on a Sunday. They even added artisan cheese tasting and bread making workshops to their itinerary this year, the wonderful people that they are.
After much positive feedback from friends following last year’s line-up, I decided to attend 2000 Trees Festival this year with a few friends. The focus of the festival is new and underground British music, and seeing as the last festival I attended was just outside Nottingham, the fact that 2000 Trees is a mere 40min drive from Bristol and cost just £65 made it a no-brainer.
Unsurprisingly, the site resembled more of a swamp when we arrived – the rain having barely desisted for almost a fortnight. Musical highlights from Friday include My First Tooth bringing some danceable indie fun to the otherwise demure Leaf Lounge stage; The Computers sending the crowd in to chaos with their thunderous rock ‘n’ roll preachings and crowd-surfing lead singer (guitar, mic stand and all); Gaz Brookfield getting the whole of the Greenhouse Stage singing along with his cheeky acoustic ditties and Crazy Arm with their Celtic-influenced and energetic punk set which would have ended the evening far better than 65 Days of Static or Pulled Apart By Horses in my opinion.
Saturday was a bit more of a mixed bag; the heavy rain meant that many people left the site to escape the torrents of mud and most of us stayed in our sleeping bags until afternoon until the weather improved. Brontide provided a much-needed burst of energy and Sharks were a very pleasand band to listen to whilst enjoying a Pieminister in the brief spell of sunshine.
The day continued to improve with fantastic sets from The Social Club, 2:54, Turbowolf and another brilliant singalong set with Johnny Foreigner. Sadly Alessi’s Ark were drowned out by the noise of the crowd and Alessi seemed nervous throughout so what I expected to be a highlight of the afternoon was a bit of a let down.
Hundred Reasons and Future Of The Left were a brilliant way to see out the festival with equally punchy sets; the former marking the end of over 10 years performing as a band and the latter on the ascent in to a no doubt equally successful future with their unique and exciting approach to song writing and performing.
Overall: A great way to experience and celebrate emerging British talent – highly recommended.