In 2018, 2000 Trees cemented itself in the heart of the Summer festival calendar when it won Best Medium Sized Festival in the UK Festival Awards. It has continued to develop itself further in 2019 to see an even bigger and better event for this year, along with an conscious eco-friendly ethos.
Early arrivals to Upcote Farm on the Wednesday were treated to an evening of stunning Forest Session performances from the likes of Luke Rainsford and Dave McPherson, followed by an extra special intimate silent disco in the forest afterwards. This was the perfect relaxed beginning to a wonderful few days of music.
On the Thursday morning, festival goers saw the full site for the first time in 2019 and had access to all of the delicious food and drink on offer. There were many welcome additions this year, such as the Purity and Westons bars; which offered some much needed shade in the glorious sunshine. It was also lovely to see the addition of a chill out and family friendly area for young festival attendees and those who just wanted a bit of quiet time.
Thursday saw a girl-power afternoon, as Bristol-rockers Soeur kicked off the music in The Cave with their first of two powerful performances during the event. This was followed up by a quirky set on the Main Stage from Mexican garage-punks Le Butcherettes, and talented new Indie-pop band Novacub on The Neu Stage. Novacub’s colourful and amusing performance quickly drew in a large audience, and I think it is safe to say that we will definitely be seeing more of these during the next year or two. Fan-favourites Yonaka also gave attendees plenty to talk about that evening, with their energetic set on The Main Stage.
In the Axiom, it was Lenmania all day as the lineup was curated by a 2000 Trees favourite; Jamie Lenman. One of the best sets at Lenmania came from English Metal band Loathe, who kicked up a storm and got several angry mosh pits going throughout their show. Loathe’s label and EP-mates Holding Absence were also present that day, and spectacularly headlined The Neu Stage later that evening.
Two of the best performances on Thursday came from alternative Dutch band De Staat, and Croydon trio Press To Meco. De Staat got everyone moving in The Cave with their crazy and bizarre set, while Press To Meco offered a beautifully intimate Forest Sessions set, which was one of the best of the three days. Ending the evening on the perfect high, Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls headlined the main stage, and as the arena rang out with thousands of voices singing lyrics back to them, they proved why they are invited back to the festival on a regular basis.
Friday saw many bleary eyed fans waking up from a late night at the silent disco and too many drinks, but most had managed to shake off the worst of hangovers by the time that Welsh four-piece Dream State stormed the Main Stage to a huge audience. Many stuck around there for The Dangerous Summer, but fans who took the short hop across to The Neu Stage between those were rewarded with one of the best sets on the Friday; an emotional and intimate performance from emo collective itoldyouiwouldeatyou.
The Axiom and The Cave were particularly lively on Friday with punk-rockers Crazy Arm and Angel Du$t both offering energetic shows. At the other end of the spectrum, there was a more chilled-out vibe in the Axiom later, just in time to see the Jim Lockey & The Solemn Sun‘s reunion and Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.
Wrapping up Friday (and also sadly wrapping up my days at the festival for this year as I was heading off for a friend’s wedding), were pop-punkers As It Is and British rock band You Me At Six on the Main Stage. Although As It Is were actually the penultimate band of the night, they commanded the audience with an almost hypnotising stage presence; so for me personally, they were the headliners for that day.