This is one small festival with its head screwed on. The organisation was like no festival I’d ever seen. There were no cash transactions anywhere on site, instead you loaded money onto a wristband and this was scanned by staff to pay for your drinks, food, merch and rides. The only problem was that the prices weren’t thought out very well so you ended up with a lot of change left on the wristband which you then have to claim back online after the festival which seems a bit of a con really. You also had to buy the cup they served your pint in for £1 and keep hold of it all day which was quite awkward. So I loaded £20 onto my card thinking that would be roughly 4 pints and the bar charged me £5.50 for a pint plus £1 for the cup which I thought was a bit steep considering Rebellion festival charge £4 a pint. Of course I understand why they do this, it’s one of the top family friendly festivals in the country so I imagine they want to cut down as much as possible on rubbish and drunkards. It worked, the site stayed very clean all night and people were very composed but to be honest it’s a festival – a break from reality and it just felt a bit over controlled.
The line-up and multiple stages were excellent and even the main stage maintained a sense of an intimate gig with the artists close to the crowd and the sound system bringing out the bands vibrantly. The best stage for dancing was the Top Shed featuring Kane FM DJ’s Davinci Sound and The Boom and Bass Crew.
Who we saw:
Preluche *** 3:45pm, Laundry Meadows Stage
3 piece female band with a lot of attitude. They were decent but I hate a lead singer being stuck behind a keyboard/synth and I felt like the only one in the band really performing was the bassist, who was cool AF.
Kiko Bun * 4:00pm, Main Stage
Awful. He was upstaged by his two female brass accompanists who were mesmerising to watch.
ExMagicians ** 4:55pm, Laundry Meadows Stage
This four piece all-male band from Ireland were fairly decent but just had nothing special about them. Very middle of the road chord progressions, structures and lyrics.
Hot 8 Brass Band * 5:15pm, Main Stage
They were just so out of time. No one in the band were looking to each other or making a connection, the two drummers weren’t even in the pocket with each other and none of the brass players were listening to them anyway so they were all just hashing through songs. We left after ten minutes.
Too Many Tees **** 6:00pm, Big Top Stage
It was like watching a rapping comedy duo. You could really feel the energy these guys were putting out and the brotherly love between them. Highly recommended!
Tiggs Da Author **** 6:45pm, Main Stage
His set was excellent and he knew exactly how to get the crowd going. We also got to be involved in the filming of his new video.
Loyle Carner ***** 9:00pm, Main Stage
An outstanding performance from the new face of rap. Honest, raw and completely captivating.
Kelis *** 9:45pm, Main Stage
With a great backing band and her voice on form, Kelis ran through her hits in a beautiful dress but we expected a little more stage presence from the singer of ‘Milkshake’ and ‘I Hate You So Much Right Now’. Instead she just stayed in one spot with her mic on the stand for the whole show.j
Goldie **** 10:45pm, Big Top Stage
A DJ with a crazy loud sound system, strobe lights, smoke machines and a rapper getting the crowd going. This performance was electric. Though after about half an hour, it did begin to get very samey. Forgive us for not totally understanding DJ music.