This year saw our second visit to the 2000trees festival, the 3-day event which takes place at Upcote Farm in Cheltenham. We made our first trip to the award winning independent festival in 2014, and after having such a fantastic time we had to return again this year.
We were glad to arrive on the Thursday with the rest of early entry folk (especially happy to see the back of London after the morning's tube strike chaos), and after finding our spot in Camp Marwood (other camp sites - Turner and Reuben - are available) we cracked open a cider and set off to explore the site. Which for those of you who have been to 2000trees before will know takes all of 30 minutes end to end, from the The Croft at the top of the site down to the Main Stage, with The Cave and The Axiom in between both. This scale is perfect for those who like a quick clothing change, a nap, some snacks, and/or a re-stock on alcohol.
Our music schedule began with catching the end of &U&I's set, before watching one of our favourite acts from last year - The Computers. We took a brief break to catch some comedy up at the Croft and took a wander into the trees to check out the locations for Forest Sessions (including a little go in the hammocks!). A quick march back to The Cave and we were ready to witness the spectacle that is Bristol's Turbowolf, after which we got our position set at front for Thursday's headliners - The Subways, who provided a set full of sing-alongs just right for the opening night vibe.
Awaking on Friday morning a little groggy we were soon back in the swing of things after we paid a visit (and it wasn't our last) to the Smokin' Hot Tamales hut, sampling their truly excellent Breakfast Burritos. After sun cream was applied and a beer was in hand we headed down to the main stage, firstly seeing Bite The Buffalo, followed by Ghouls. After which we headed up to The Croft to see the delightful Hannah Lou Clark (who had a unfortunate defeat with her drum machine) as well as The Lion And The Wolf. Back down to the main stage to see a rescheduled performance from Cleft, before a personal highlight of mine seeing Future Of The Left who increased anticipation ahead of a reformed Mclusky* set to come later.
Our main stage action finished for the day with Young Guns, who really surprised us with the confidence and quality of their show. Heading over to The Cave we were suitably ready for Pulled Apart By Horses who certainly didn't disappoint, with the Leeds 4-piece delivering a set of new and old songs which really hit the spot. We chose New Orleans singer-songwriter Benjamin Booker for our final act of the night at the Axiom, with the American playing songs from his well received self titled debut album. Our evening finished with the almost now legendary 2000trees silent disco, which is spread out across the entire site, and encompasses all of your rock and pop desires!
Saturday began with a breakfast burrito (standard), and the interesting 20 odd member Scottish act Human Pyramids. Cardiff's Samoans showed some nice crowd banter over at the Axiom, before we checked out Black Peaks in the Cave. The ever reliable The Xcerts put on an uplifting performance on the main stage, after which Defeater changed the mood after destroying the cave with their hardcore punk. And So I Watch You From Afar restored some parity, and this was further extended with the reggae/ska 4-piece The Skints. A day that went far too quickly ended with heroes Mclusky*, who appeased the rammed Cave stage many of whom thought they would never again see the seminal post-hardcore group.
2000trees is not just about the music though, as there's a huge games area to the side of the stage - with giant jenga, swing-ball, twister, and a whole host of other games which when you've had a lemonade or two can become a little competitive (ahem!). Alongside the silent disco there was also a silent cinema, we took a respite in the early hours to relive childhood worries to watch Labyrinth. There's also the aforementioned spot in the woods where you can hide from the sun and relax in a hammock.
When it comes down to it though, 2000trees is a music festival at it's core, and it's this focus which makes it one of the best independent festivals we've been to. The combination of new music and an appreciation for established acts who have completed their formative years, leads to an event which is nigh on perfect as far as we're concerned. Next year sees the festival reach it's 10th birthday and we're sure the guys behind it have some exciting things planned, so we're already putting it into our diaries again. See you there! // 2000trees