There is a first for everything and I decided to pop my UK Festival cherry at 2000 Trees festival.
But you’ve been to many festivals before you might say. That’s correct, however I have never been to a UK festival that included camping in a field for several days.
2000 Trees seemed to be the best choice and what can I say, I don’t regret any of it. I got to meet so many lovely people, sat around the fire and drank warm cider with a really interesting and inspiring crowd and I got to see some really great bands perform over three days.
Enjoy my festival highlights of 2000 Trees festival! ☺
Grumble Bee – Forest Stage – Thursday
Sometimes, the best things in life come without warning. This was exactly the case with Grumble Bee.
Stumbling to the forest stage, walking over rain-sodden underwood, looking for shelter from the light rain Jack Bennett aka Grumble Bee was just about to perform an acoustic set.
As soon as Grumble Bee started his 2000 Trees acoustic set performance I was in awe. Hearing the first sounds of ‘Sky Writer’ and Jack’s raw and emotional voice and I was gone.
It doesn’t happen that often, that an artist casts a spell on me that easily but in Grumble Bee’s case it was all I could have ever asked for in that moment.
Standing on the small acoustic stage in the forest of Cheltenham’s Upcote Farm, it seemed that Grumble Bee himself wasn’t able to grasp the happenings.
He went on to excuse himself numerous times, as broken strings at the start of his set didn’t make it an easy start, however that didn’t stop Grumble Bee from delivering an outstanding performance.
He premiered the acoustic version of ‘Lapwing’ at 2000 Trees festival and it was so well received by the audience that it put a massive smile on Grumble Bee’s face.
Following up the thigh, Grumble Bee stunned the crowd with a captivating acoustic rendition of ‘H.C.A.D.C.’ that let Jack Bennett’s true talent shine through. Sounding completely different than the usual rock version of the song, it was a rather magical experience.
Being in an enchanted forest and the intimacy of the set up only added to the magic. The fans surprised Grumble Bee by singing the lyrics back to him passionately.
During Grumble Bee’s set there was a certain feeling in the air, one that told you that you are very privileged to be able to witness such a great talent perform and evolve from song to song.
Once his set was over Jack Bennett aka Grumble Bee thanked the 2000 Trees festival crowd and went off stage with a happy smile plastered all over his face and well deserved standing ovations.
VANT – Main Stage – Friday
Opening up the main stage on the second day of the festival is never and easy job, so Mattie Vant choose his words wisely when his band VANT took to the 2000 Trees main stage on Friday midday.
‘Time to wake up!’ he greeted the festival goers. Kicking their set off with the loud and heavy ‘The Answer’ already woke up some of the punters. However, throughout their set VANT tried several times to get the crowd involved but due to it still being the start of the day and probably massive hang overs all around the most participation the four-piece from planet earth would get was some hand clapping.
Some would say that this would have killed the vibe and the bands enthusiasm to perform a good show, not VANT though. Mattie, Billy, David and Henry powered through their mid-day slot with tons of energy and totally smashed the likes of ‘ Parasite’ and ‘ Parking Lot’.
In true rock star style, Mattie euphorically jumped off stage and into the pit sending everyone into frenzy. Their recent single ‘ Karma Seeker’ sounded particularly great in the festival set up and the sun shine that slowly peeked through the crowd lit up the spirits all around.
Continuing their energetic set VANT pulled it out of the bag and wrapped up their set with my personal favourite ‘Do You Know Me?’ rocking out one last time!
Having seen VANT play Bushstock Festival in June on a teeny tiny stage and now looking up to them on the main stage only shows how far they have come already and how much potential these four lads have.
Let’s take a look into the future when VANT eventually release their debut album, this will without doubt be a master piece that will carve out their spot in the music scene.
I think we can all agree that VANT are the festival headliners of the future and are definitely here to stay!
Lonely The Brave – The Cave – Friday
Kicking their set off with ‘Radar’ from their recent album ‘Things Will Matter’ was a great choice as it got the crowd going instantly. The whole band seemed really pleased with the turn out and guitarist Mark Trotter addressed the fans and thanked them for filling up the tent.
‘Trick Of The Light’ sent a rush of nostalgia through the tent as band and fans both revelled in the memory of the good old ‘ The Days War’ days.
As the set continued singer David Jakes slowly made his way out of his hideout at the back of the stage. It was really great to see how he seemed to have warmed up with the whole ‘being in the limelight’ situation and how he took a few small steps towards the front of the stage.
A small step for Dave, a huge step for Lonely The Brave! And it proved to be the right thing to do as it seemed to have changed the dynamics in the tent for the better.
‘Dust And Bones’ which is the epitome of Lonely The Brave’s sound unsurprisingly set the roof on fire. For some of the fans it was the first time hearing the new material live and they made damn sure to make it count!
The whole set was very second album heavy, very much to the liking of the crowd that celebrated ‘ Diamond Day’s’ and ‘Strange Like I’.
Obviously no Lonely The Brave set is complete with a performance of their smash hit ‘ Backroads ‘, which will forever be the anthem of every Lonely The Brave fan.
Finishing their 2000 Trees festival set with ‘Rattlesnakes’ wrapped my first Lonely The Brave festival experience up quite nicely.
It is hard to decide where I like my Lonely The Brave best when they never disappoint. At a festival or at an intimate venue? As long as they keep surprising me with their great live performances, I don’t really mind.
Counterfeit – Main Stage – Friday
When you have a famous actor fronting your band, you sometimes have to fight for recognition. Jamie Campbell Bower’s band ‘Counterfeit‘ were facing the exact problem when taking to the main stage at 2000 Trees festival on Friday afternoon.
Opening up their set with the amazing ‘Hold Fire’ which sounded rather lush, they sadly only managed to draw a small crowd in front of the stage. Their hard and heavy punk rock sound pouring from the stage onto the festival ground got the crowd in front of the stage immediately moving.
Jamie tried numerous times to get the people sitting on the side of the stage to join the party but they decided to stay put and miss out on the fun.
Nonetheless, Counterfeit convinced with an outstanding, high energy set. The band was visibly giving it their all, with lead singer Jamie Campbell Bower jumping into the crowd several times, singing and dancing with the fans and even Spiderman made an appearance!
As it was time for ‘Family Suicide’ I couldn’t help myself and went absolutely nuts. This is by far my favourite Counterfeit song. It is hard and heavy and a lyrical genius.
Counterfeit wrapped up their first festival performance with ‘Enough’ having the crowd go mental one last time and shouting the chorus in unison.
Jamie Campbell Bower, Sam Bower, Tristan Marmont, Roland Johnson and Jimmy Craig put on quite the show and constantly fought for the acceptance as a real punk rock band. If people would stop being judgemental and take away all prejudices they would hear, see and feel that Counterfeit are the real deal.
Their sound is new, ingenious and harder than expected. Songs like ‘Come Get Some’ and ‘Addiction’ prove that they have earned their spot in the punk rock circus.
It is fair to say that Counterfeit delivered a wicked performance but sadly not everyone is able to appreciate the genius that makes Counterfeit the great band they are.
Creeper – Main Stage – Sunday
Cleary one of the most hyped bands at the moment, Creeper where set to conquer the main stage at 2000 Trees festival on Sunday afternoon.
The six-piece from Southampton was greeted by a massive crowd as they made their way onto the stage, launching straight into ‘VCR’, driving the masses wild!
Fan favourites ‘Black Mass’ and ‘Honeymoon Suite’ went down an absolute storm, letting the bands energy mingle with the fans enthusiasm to create an electric atmosphere.
The whole band was on best form, no sign of having enjoyed themselves over the last days as ‘normal’ festival goers. Creeper were going in for the kill with ‘Valentine’ and ‘Gloom’, sporting their matching ‘Callous Heart’ jackets.
Lead singer Will Gould’s voice showed its true colours and breath taking vocal range during the ballad ‘Misery’. Only accompanied by Ian Miles guitar, Will’s voice was captivating. The fans joined him in the chorus and together they created a master piece.
The whole of 2000 Trees festival was singing that Misery will never go out of style.
Who would doubt so many people?
After that beautiful peaceful moment, Creeper changed the tempo with ‘Astral Projection’. Having the rest of the band aka, Dan Bratton, Oliver Burdett, Sean Scott and Hannah Greenwood join in again they tore the festival apart.
Judging by the big circle pit and general moshing and dancing, the crowd surely loved every second of the Creeper set. And rightly so!
This festival performance only proofed that Creeper are about to blow up as soon as the debut album drops. You better join the #Creepercult as soon as possible as you definitely don’t want to miss the next rock sensation of the decade!
See you again next year 2000 Trees, you’ve been amazing!