2000 Trees Festival: Thursday
So, after a calamity of a morning and over 6 hours of travelling, we finally arrived to a picturesque setting of blue skies and forest, with the sound and site of thousands of diverse music fans, from pop punk kids and their fake stretchers to hard rocking middle aged men chopping wood and discussing deep purples guitar tone. Not to forget the millions of uses of the pun that 'there's more than 2000 trees here', 2000 trees festival gives you that warm fuzzy feeling that you are home for the weekend regardless of where in the grounds you are, and reminds you of what Pre-Kanye grass roots music festivals are all about. A mixture of people, music, scenes and odd head wear (especially the absence of bucket hats) meant this weekend was going to quickly become one of the most pleasant, least aggravating music festival experiences so far, and from stepping through the gates to be met with what I can only describe as a massive potential birthday cake/busking stage saying 2000 trees, to the surprisingly easy exit on the final day, this festival is really one you need to try out if you're sick of the NoS tooting, blandly clad EDM fans that festivals are becoming over packed with.
Due to traffic we were a few hours late to making the festival, however this did not slow down the process of realising their 'Cave' stage was to become my home away from home. Turning up to just catch the end of The Computers bringing their Punk n' Roll raucous to an end to a group of fresh faced festivallers about to lose their well groomed hairstyles and sobriety on a beautiful, sweltering day, as Turbowolf took the stage. As expected, what followed was the band causing complete and utter anarchy and a vortex mosh pit that did not give up the whole weekend. As the band so humbly took to the stage to a raucous applause literally for their line check, they opened their 30 minute assault with Ancient Snake all the way through an extensive collection of their heaviest and bounciest jaunts, all the while supplemented by the continuation of the greatest shirt collection I've ever encountered from the torso of vocalist Chris Georgiadis. 'Do you want to live forever?' proclaimed Georgiadis merrily before telling us that was in fact impossible on the way into Nine Lives, shortly before watching Lianna Lee Davies climb the speaker system aside the stage allowing 15 year old me to dribble somewhat in peace to myself for a moment. All in all the first band I saw were possibly in the pot of the best bands I experienced in the weekend leaving the stage to the explosive Let's Die, setting the tone for one of the most consistently well booked stages at any festival I've been to thus far.
As the night progressed, so did I. Taking in the surroundings and generally pleasant (although slightly subdued) and very, very tiny environment as The Subways took to do an acoustic set in possibly my favourite natural spot I've been to 'The Forest' stage. This became a regular haunt of mine and the rest of the team over the weekend. Compared to the Leeds festival 'Forest' this has the exact opposite appeal and effect. Almost feeling like I could lie on the floor, logs, hammocks, pretty much anywhere and be content for the rest of the festival, or even the whole festival season, I gazed on to the much more quiet, yet still pleasant tracks the subways would later gear up and blast electrically. Through Rock n Roll Queen to Oh Yeah it was a thoroughly enjoyable set in a 'leave your brain in your tent' surrounding for Bridges and The Cadbury Sisters respectively playing the evening down with their soothing harmonic brands of acoustic music.
However, it was The Cave stage once again that would steal the evening as Arcane Roots smashed out their aggressive pop tinged tracks in wait for the first night headliners The Subways to take the stage.... and when they did it was hit after hit after hit. Although not the most overpowering frontman I've ever encountered, the energy and tracks from my adolescence including Girls & Boys and I'm In Love kept a wave of excitement and movement completely destroying the ground underneath them in the cave, and completing the cycle of 'female bass player power day' in the loudest of fashions, leaving us all to stumble out into the night, with the playful innovative covers set from Thrill Collins being the final act of the night in the Forest as Thursday became Friday, and the festival plunged deeper into chaos.
Words: Greg Dixon | Photos: Cai Dixon