It is July which means it is 2000 Trees festival time, also known as the best time of the year!
Tucked away on Upcote Farm, 2000 Trees opens its gate for an avalanche of rising rock music which is highly appreciated by the loyal Trees punters which are also the nicest festival bunch out there.
Blessed by the ongoing heatwave in the UK, the festival was basking in glorious sunshine throughout and even a little bit of rain on Friday couldn’t dampen the mood. With so many great acts playing across the weekend, it was impossible to catch ’em all so let me tell you about my 2000 Trees Highlights 2018!
Let’s get this straight out the way, Enter Shikari were insane!
Headlining on the Saturday night, the crowd seem to have managed to have brought an excess supply of extra energy, as the front of the stage was constantly bouncing around like they had one to many Gummi Bear juice (could have been few to many ciders as well).
As this year was the first time for Enter Shikari at 2000 Trees, they were so up for it! Energy levels were peaking as Rou, Rory, Rob and Chris claimed their rightful headline slot. Mosh pits broke out straight away as Enter Shikari opened with ‘The Sights‘ and thanks to the front of stage dynamics and excellent skills of how to work a mosh pit, I ended up pretty much in front of the stage.
It was wild, it was rowdy and it was abso – fucking – lutely great! Shikari dished out all the hits from their impressive back catalogue, barely giving the fans time to catch their breath as ‘The Last Garrison‘, ‘Mothership‘ and ‘Rabble Rouser‘ were unleashed upon 2000 Trees.
Only taking it down a notch during the quieter beautiful ‘Airfield‘, before lead singer Rou Reynolds announced ‘We have 8 minutes left and four songs to fit in, so let’s do this, Trees!’. What happened next was an epic quick fire music session that sent the crowd into a meltdown. It felt like the gig has just flown by as it was already time for the encore. Obviously Enter Shikari would never leave out the mighty ‘Redshift‘, (such a good song!) before sadly wrapping things up with an epic sing along of ‘Live Outside‘.
Did I enjoy Enter Shikari? Yes!
Was it worth almost losing my shoes in the pit? Hell yeah!
Would I do that all over again? In a heartbeat!
After having seen Dream State at The Great Escape this year, I couldn’t wait for them to come back to 2000 Trees! I pretty much told everyone and their gran to go and see them, so I wasn’t surprised when the Axiom tent was rammed for their set on Saturday.
Despite some minor technical difficulties at the start of the set, that probably no one really noticed, Dream State know how to kick ass! CJ storms across the stage like a tornado, being in five different places at the same time (seems like a cool superpower to have), never slowing down.
Dream State kick of their afternoon set with the mighty ‘New Waves‘ which is probably one of my favourite songs at the moment. As expected the crowd goes nuts and seconds later CJ is already at the barrier ready to dive into the crowd. Their new take on nu metal is mirrored by their energetic live show as the entire band seems to giving 120% on stage, doing anything to deliver an epic show.
During ‘Solace‘ from their new EP ‘Recovery‘ CJ jumps straight into the crowd, that couldn’t quite believe their luck, only to be carried around the tent on some fans shoulder seconds later all while spilling her heart out to the emotional song. Dream State wrapped up their short but intense set with ‘White Lies‘, which saw CJ crowd surfing and losing herself in the crowd one last time while the boys held down the fort on stage.
I have said it before and I will continue to do so, but Dream State are the next big thing! They are proper rockstars in the making with incredible music and through the roof song writing skills, they surely will blow up any second now, you heard it here first!
On Friday the bad bitches from Dream Wife celebrated their 2000 Festival debut with a wild performance at the Axiom.
Bringing their unadultered punk-pop tunes to Upcote Farm, Dream Wife were more than up for trashing the place. Opening up with their hit ‘Heartbreaker‘ followed by ‘Lolita‘ set the crowd on fire right away. ‘2000 Trees you are nice and rowdy! I like it!’ greeted lead singer Rachel Mjoll the fans with a mischievous smile on her face.
Waving the flag for girl power and equality Dream Wife’s songs reflect their stance on those topics. Before playing the anthem ‘Somebody‘ the band encourages their fans to simply be who they want to be and not give a fuck about what others might think. And when the song finally starts the place lets lose and gets rowdy, taking up the space they deserve.
Highlight of any Dream Wife set is always when they play ‘FUU‘ as it is the most aggressive tune with a twist. I mean, how can you not love a song that samples the Spice Girls? A big mosh pit erupts and the self-proclaimed bad bitches from Dream Wife smile brighter and bigger than their fans, taking it all in and basking in their extremely successful 2000 Trees debut.
I will never get enough of Dream Wife’s raucous girl power anthems that genuinely have a message to tell, plus I would never turn down a crazy wild live set.
Bringing a good dose of pop punk to 2000 Trees were the Scottish lads from Woes. Playing The Cave stage early on the last day of the festival, the four-piece drew a small but dedicated crowd into the tent who despite the still early hours of the festival day was up for some mosh pit action.
Giving their new EP ‘Self Help‘ the live treatment went down well with the fans. However, it was the last two songs that really made a difference! When at a Woes gig you know it is almost the end of the set when the band plays ‘Losing Time’ the ultimate pop punk tune! I mean how convenient to play this as the penultimate song as the band is actually losing time, with the set about to finish. So clever!
After jumping around and reveling in the free spirit of everlasting youth, Woes close their set with their debut single ‘Worst Friend‘ which goes down an absolute treat as the fans break out into a mosh pit right in front of the stage. As I will always be a pop punk kid at heart, band like Woes will always have a special place in my music collection. Pop punk has been around for years, and sometimes it is repeating itself, but Woes have figured out a way to give it a fresh new polish!
Playing a mid-day slot at a festival can be hard. With half the festival crowed still nursing their hangovers and the other half pretty much still hanging out in the camp site. Yet, the three lads from Gloo managed to draw quite the crowd! Having just released their debut album ‘A Pathetic Youth‘ the grunge trio was in good spirits about their 2000 Festival performance.
Delivering a high energy set that if you would have closed your eyes, would have made you think there are definitely more than three people on stage, that’s how big and loud Gloo were. Lead vocalist Tom Harfield sang his heart out to their recent single ‘Pissheads‘ and had the crowd in the palm of his hand. The trio wrapped things up with debut single ‘Let Me Have Some‘ and the fans in front of the stage couldn’t stand still.
I am pretty convinced that if Gloo would have played a bit later in the day the turn out would have been even bigger, but you always need something to look forward to till next time, right?
Other acts that deserve a little shout out, Twin Atlantic owning the main stage on Friday night always a pleasure never a chore! It sometimes slips your mind how many great hits they had until you are standing right in front of the stage and you are quite vividly reminded by Twin Atlantic themselves.
The Xcerts playing the Forest Stage is a given by now, the Scottish trio is pretty much part of the furniture at Trees and year by year bring their massive sing along tunes to 2000 Trees, never failing to disappoint. And so I found myself sitting in a forest on Friday midday singing my heart out to Murray casually walking through the crowds all while playing a beautiful acoustic rendition of ‘Aberdeen 1987’. Works for me.
Thank you 2000 Trees Festival for being the nicest and simply the best festival out there. You never fail to amaze me with your brilliant line up, nicest festival crowd out there and simply the best festival burgers I have ever had (looking at you Smoking Buns!).
It has been a blast to party with you Trees, can’t wait to do it all over again next year!
You’ve only got 52 weekends a year; make sure the 2000 Trees weekend counts!
Also special shout out to my fave live music photographer Nici Eberl Photography for providing me with some sick shots!