If you haven’t ever been to 2000 Trees Festival before; just know this: you are missing out. The community-spirited independent festival based in the heart of the Cotswolds may not be the UK’s biggest festival, but it certainly is one of the best. This year it was back for it’s twelfth year, offering three days of music from some of the best artists around, along with delicious food and drink in glorious surroundings.
Following the fun of setting up a tent; Thursday began with a set from hotly tipped Devon rockers Reigning Days in The Axiom, who showed that old school rock is definitely not dead with stadium-rock anthems full of catchy guitar licks. Fellow county-men Black Foxxes performed on the Main Stage shortly after, and still managed to give us one of the best sets of the day despite front man Mark Holley suffering from a broken rib.
Another of my favourite sets on the Thursday were from Scottish pop-rockers Vukovi, who were back at the festival for their second year in a row. Following several months of social media silence from the band, they previewed their new song Claudia, which went down a storm with the packed out tent. Festival favourites Turbowolf brought their psychedelic party back to the festival on the main stage, while retro, Tarantino-inspired rockers Black Honey drew in a large crowd into The Axiom for their set.
The festival was originally due a set from Scottish indie-rock band Frightened Rabbit on the Thursday, however; this was not to be following front man Scott Hutchinson’s sad passing earlier this year. However; Scott and the band’s legacy was felt strongly around the site throughout the whole weekend, as the new Camp Frabbit busking stage appeared, many bands paid tribute to him through their sets, and there was a lovingly crafted tribute performance by various artists on the Forest Sessions stage on Friday.
Rock band Marmozets filled the empty space on the bill left by the aforementioned, and delivered a lively and triumphant performance which they dedicated to both Scott and the band. This also proved a wonderful warm-up for Thursday’s headliners At The Drive In; as the post-hardcore pioneers pulled off an explosive and lively show which left the audience wanting even more. Luckily for those who did want more, there were a few extra late night performances in the forest from Dave McPherson and local lads, Thrill Collins.