The heat wave that spanned last year’s 2000trees festival was polarising. It was what every Brit hopes for at a festival and yet, for some of the people camped near me at least, it proved too much; it left them pink, dehydrated, and vomiting into a bush.
It also must’ve left the organisers with somewhat of a dilemma. In the mind of a festival punter, every year must top the previous, creating a sort of totem-pole of hedonistic memories. How – when organising a festival – do you top a heat wave?
Looking at last year’s line-up highlights a similar problem. For a festival of this size, headliners of Frank Turner and Mystery Jets were – within their genre – perhaps the biggest names that the organisers could hope to have booked. However, rather than try and emulate and slightly build on last year’s line-up, for this year’s festival the organisers seem to have thrown caution to the wind and gone for something completely different.
Firstly there’s dan le sac vs. Scroobius Pip, an electronica/spoken word amalgamation that, I’ve been told, given the right crowd are capable of stirring up an atmosphere more akin to a rave than a Frank Turner gig. They’re also perfect for the festival; well known and prolific enough to put together a crowd pleasing headline set, and yet not so big they feel out of place at a small gathering nestled in the Gloucestershire countryside.
Other notable names topping the festival’s poster – in such a democratic fashion that it suggests there’ll be six headliners – are Frightened Rabbit and Public Service Broadcasting.
The latter seem like an ideal booking. For a festival of this size, you’ll realistically get a limited selection of household names. However, if you are going to pay to see a band you haven’t necessarily heard of, what could be more appealing than a performance that incorporates archived footage, TV sets, sampling and live video projections.
There’s also Frightened Rabbit, a Scottish outfit who took centre stage at the festival in 2011. Not daunted by the task of playing again, however, it seems Frightened Rabbit are eager to return as headliners.
Scott Hutchinson, the band’s lead singer, has said: “It was such a memorable show for us last time, the crowd was in fine voice and it was clear that everyone was there for the music.
“We hope for more of the same this summer – it truly is one of the best small festivals in Britain.”
Brace yourself here. This next bit might shock you.
When scanning the rest of the poster, there are some acts that even I haven’t listened to. And I was once described as “an average to poor music journalist” by someone whose brother once played bass in Bloc Party.
But that, in many ways, is the best bit. 2000trees is – by its own admission – a festival for “new and underground music.” I’m therefore planning to discard my hipster hat for the weekend and try and embrace as many new bands as possible.
I mean, if I can’t find a band I like out of Wolf Alice, Cerebral Ballzy, Baby Godzilla and Hawk Eyes, then I need to sort my life out. Either that or stop judging bands on how cool their names sound.
Point being, 2000trees has the atmosphere and ethos to be enjoyable even if there were no bands. And the best bands are the ones you discover when searching for shade and fleeing a hangover. Then you’ve got a cool story to tell girls in bars for the rest of your long and lonely life.
2000trees takes place over 10th-12th July in Cheltenham. Tickets are available now over at the 2000trees website. Act fast!
(N.B. Re-reading the last couple of paragraphs, I realise that in attempt to lose a hipster hat I may have in fact donned an even more elaborate and flowery hipster hat. My apologies)