2000trees, what a festival.
2000trees strives to be a platform for new and underground British music, and in 2015 it definitely lived up to its name. Six friends set it up in 2007 because they were fed up with paying extortionate prices to see bands at larger festivals, subsequently offering a cheaper alternative to the public. Thursday evening welcomed back bands who had played the festival before including the likes of The Subways, and Arcane Roots as well adrenaline fuelled The Computers who made guitars fly and saw guitarists crushed by a fully orchestrated mosh pit centred around said band member.
We caught up with both Charlotte from The Subways and Aiden from The Computers and asked them about what made 2000trees so special!
However, these larger bands where however not the highlight of this festival! The ska/punk band Ghouls drew in a large crowd with their brass and sax driven riffs and melodies. These young guys were only used to playing small venues to crowds of 15-20 people, but it was clear to see that their energy really spread to the early Friday main stage crowd.
Other highlights of the weekend were ‘home grown’ bands from Bath. Opening the main stage on Friday, the two brothers who make up Bite the Buffalo, who’s bluesy rock and energetic performance that needs to be seen to be believed, got a crowd on their feet and moving to their rhythmic distortion despite obviously still feeling the affects of the Thursday evening before.
The second of Bath’s reps at 2000trees who were a highlight of the festival were Bare Knuckle Parade. Do not be fooled by their name, I was expecting some death core, hard metal craziness but I was pleasantly surprised. Their banjo and ukulele led rock sound was amongst the most catchy and enjoyable at the festival, managing to get a lacklustre Croft Stage on their feet and jigging to their instantly unique and enjoyable sound.
The uniqueness to 2000trees that made it what it was was the various small busking stages, which allowed pretty much any aspiring musician to share the stage other bands that were performing at the festival and arranged surprise acoustic sets of their songs. The Forest Stage also allowed this stripped back acoustic feel to be felt in an idyllic setting, and pretty much all large bands performed their big tunes with a twist on a small stage without barriers, high-vis security guards and moshing crowds. Audiences were able to enjoy these acoustic sets on hay bails, in hammocks or even on beanbags if you were lucky enough to find one not already in use, in the middle of a forest!
Various bands played on smaller stages, including a very animated but short set from ROAM and an always-incredible Nothing But Thieves performance, which packed out the Axiom stage.
The main stage offered some large names in underground and British rock including Deaf Havana and Young Guns who both absolutely smashed their performances on Friday evening.
The main stage also played host to a band called Cleft, who were not meant to be playing on that stage at all this year, but due to ACollective having an eight and a half hour flight delay and one of Cleft’s band members having a seizure, they were able to fill the slot. We caught up with the guys from Cleft to find out what happened!
Saturday’s headliners were a mix of misfortunes and disappointment. Power outage 15 minutes into Alkaline Trio’s set was the sign a number of people needed to leave as their lack of energy and soul really didn’t excite the packed main stage crowd. However, credit to one member of the trio who despite the power outage sat at the front of the large stage with an acoustic guitar and played an acoustic cover for those who were close enough to be in earshot. Power was restored but didn’t seem to kick any sort of energy into their performance, the only real disappointment of the weekend.
On a whole, I can understand why the festival in it’s short existence, has won awards such as the Grass Roots Award in 2010. It has grown year on year and is one hell of a weekend in the rolling hills of the Cotswolds and I recommend it thoroughly to any music enthusiast!