Review: 2000trees Festival
HAVING a festival on your doorstep featuring the best UK bands is pretty special. Having a festival as brilliant as 2000trees on your doorstep is more than special.
Starting in 2007 with a capacity of just 1,000, the event at Upcote Farm, Withington, now boasts a ceiling of 4,500 while maintaining a feel of being the festival calendar's best kept secret.
The glory of this festival is that despite its gradually-increasing size, it still maintains a sobering sense of intimacy and a familiar face is never too far away.
This was the first time in the festival's history it didn't rain and as temperatures soared to nearly 30°C, every ounce of shade was populated by sunburned revellers throughout Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
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2000trees prides itself on its green approach, having the second best toilets at any UK festival, a picturesque location, but most importantly, the music it offers.
This year's headliners included the Mystery Jets and the festival's favourite son Frank Turner – who played the first 2000trees six years ago.
And if you didn't see him this year, where were you hiding? I had seen him three times by 1pm on Friday, all unwillingly!
Frank played a number of 'surprise' and 'secret' slots, including one to competition winners in a tent 10 yards from my own on Friday morning.
He also appeared in The Cave (the second stage) on Thursday night and on the Greenhouse Stage with Cheltenham's Jim Lockey on Friday morning.
All of this culminated in his top-of-the-bill slot on the main stage on Friday night which pretty much emptied out every other stage.
They love him at 2000trees.
His set prompted singalong after singalong and the crowd turned into a single sun-kissed jumping entity lapping up every lick and melody.
Meanwhile, over at The Cave on at the same time as Frank were the incredible Adebisi Shank, whose largely instrumental up tempo tech-rock shone through as one of the highlights of an amazing weekend of music.
And So I Watch You From Afar's set was another stand-out moment as they were last up on The Cave on Saturday.
Elsewhere at the festival, Dry the River's catchy alt folk-inspired tunes proved a big draw, as did We Are the Ocean, whose infectious radio friendly melodies were sang back at them.
Also worth a mention are some of the local acts who littered the line-up – another refreshing element of 2000trees ethos; their passion for providing a platform for local music.
As well as Jim Lockey (who has played every 2000trees festival), there were also the likes of Empire, The Cadbury Sisters, Kitten and Bear, Andy Oliveri and Black Art on the bill.
All of them impressed hugely in amongst a catalogue of seasoned national touring artists.
This was my fourth festival in 14 days, having been to Glastonbury, SportBeat and Barn on the Farm in the last fortnight so I could've been forgiven for feeling a tad festival-weary. But 2000trees knocked that out of me within seconds of my arrival.
I can't recommend this festival highly enough, it's incredible.
If you love music and you love festivals, snap up a 2000trees ticket for 2014 – before everyone else gets in on the secret.