(Photo: Mark Slater)

This year Music Liberation made its first visit to the 2000trees festival at Upcote Farm, in Gloucestershire. 2014 saw the independent event reach it's 8th birthday, with the 5,000 strong attendee's getting their lungs filled with countryside air across 3 days from Thursday till Sunday.

The event originally began in 2007 with a group of friends who had become disillusioned with the 'musical merry-go round' nature of the larger mainstream music festivals, along with extortionate ticket prices and overpriced food and drink. Hence 2000trees was born!

First things first, as a self confessed music lover/junkie/snob, it is often surprising to most that it was only in 2011 that I went to my first music festival - making the pilgrimage to see Mr Eavis and his Glastonbury extravaganza. Since then I've been back to Pilton Farm for the last two years, but have negated to visit any of the other numerous festivals that the UK has to offer over the Summer months. So when the chance arose to visit the 2000trees festival this year I decided to take it, the fact that I've reached the dwindling years of my 20's may well have helped this decision.

Upon arrival at the site (after a very smooth transition from our London based train onto a shuttle bus), we enter the festival without much hassle despite the blazing sunshine testing nerves and fatigue. The first thing that's apparent is how small the site is (bearing in mind my only previous experience above), as we can see three of the four main stages and the two campsites in one swing of the hips. Having quickly set up our camp (ok it took me a fair while with my new tent, and I did require assistance from a friendly neighbour), we took in a stroll of the site.

(Photo: Laura Dimmick)
At one end is The Croft where over the weekend we take in comedy sets and twee folk and brass. The middle of the site is home to Avalon and The Cave, and the other end of the site is where we find the Main Stage, with these three being the place for more louder, plugged in music.

Croft, Avalon, and The Cave are all tent shaped, whereas the Main Stage is open to the elements, which thankfully this year was only the sun. All of them are located near to bars and food, and if you so wish camping can be done of each of their doorsteps in Camp Turner and Camp Reuben.

The toilets at 2000trees deserve a mention, with the portaloos and mens Eco toilets always being reasonably clean, and stocked with hand sanitiser and loo roll. To most it really does make a big difference (particularly for the ladies), and you can tell why the festival won an award for them back in 2010.

(Band Of Skulls - Photo: Mark Slater)

The bands finished around 11.30, after which there was an assortment of music genres being played out by a host of Silent Disco DJ's which never fails to satisfy most. The food provision is good, with a plethora of different cuisines on offer at reasonable prices (my personal preference being the Steel City burger). Other things on offer were secret shows and acoustic sets in the forest, face painting, tight rope walking, boutique shops, and various busking stops situated across the site.

(Trash Talk - Photo: Mark Slater)
Musically my highlights were:- God Damn, Slaves, The Computers, Trash Talk, The Bronx, Band Of Skulls, Maybeshewill, Jamie Lenman, Frightened Rabbit, and although not being quite to my taste a mention must go to Inme frontman Dave McPherson, who managed to play 8 sets across the weekend, nice one Dave!

There is a real community feel to the 2000trees festival with the layout of stages and camping helping to create a sense of togetherness amongst all involved. Musically speaking those who like the majority of noisy guitar based bands will not be disappointed, as will those who prefer a gentler acoustic touch. Having now been to two different festivals it is difficult to pick one or the other having enjoyed a thoroughly awesome experience at both, but that is surely testament in itself that 2000trees can compete with an established mainstream festival such as Glastonbury. I suspect that alongside the other 4,999 people that went this year I will certainly be returning to the Cotswold Hills in 2015.

You can purchase tickets for the 2000trees festival in 2015 now, with a limited offer of 10% off - www.twothousandtreesfestival.co.uk/tickets/

(Photo: Mark Slater)