Evolution is a fresh, affordable, and fun festival

Evolution Music Festival 2013 review

published: Mon 10th Jun 2013

around the festival site

Sunday 26th to Monday 27th May 2013
Spillers Wharf, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE8 2JR, England MAP
£39.50 for the weekend
daily capacity: 35000
last updated: Tue 21st May 2013

Evolution is a fresh, affordable, and fun festival up in the north east of England, providing a fantastic line up, a beautiful setting and some glorious sunshine.

Unfortunately the site didn’t provide camping however, on arriving at the site, unless you wanted to pitch up on concrete some may argue for those more accustomed to the festival scene the absence of mud was a huge treat!  The local hotels provided a much welcomed comfy night’s sleep!

With the chart topping line-ups, it’s inevitable that the type of crowd the line up attracts is over excited, drunk, teenagers. If you look like you own a driver's licence it would be inevitable that you will be asked at some point every hour to buy them a beer!

Rudimental are topping the charts at the moment and they sure as hell deserve to be, blasting out 'Feel The Love' and a fantastic cover of The Fugees 'Ready or Not' regardless of whether the majority of the audience knew the song, the oldies of the crowd certainly enjoyed it! It was hugely refreshing to see such a mainstream current act, actually doing things properly, playing the guitar, the saxophone, the drums, tambourines, instead of "button pressing" labelling itself as music. These guys do it the proper way.

Ellie Goulding rocked the stage, literally, drumming her way into, 'Explosions' and a brilliant cover of Elton John's 'Your Song', along with a huge crowd sing-along to 'Starry Eyes'. 

The Vaccines unfortunately were lost on the majority of the audience, more accustomed to your xfm listeners as opposed to Your Now 35 fans. Starting with 'Ra, Ra, Ra' probably their most catchy song yet, its ashame it only lasts just under 2 minutes, like all great songs you want them to carry on! Regrettably, apart from Guitarist Freddie Cown, frontman Justin Young seemed to be going through the motions and couldn't keep up with the songs, one can only hope this isn't a downward spiral for The Vaccines, with songs like 'Wetsuit', they belong at festivals.

Sunday came and so did the rain, and surprisingly so did the short shorts, most teenagers to drunk to stand somehow still able waltz past security… once you had stepped over the rubbish, and bodies littered en-route to the stage, You were greated by AlunaGeorge, seemingly dressed for the occasion in her hot pants and bikini tops, she obviously took some fashion tips from the girls of Newcastle! The crowd lifted AlunaGeorge through recent hits 'White Noise' and 'Attracting Flies' but the rest of the set was lost on the audience, she lacked confidence and stage presence which didn’t go unnoticed by the crowd.

Bastille was the talk of the weekend, not having been on the scene long, Dan Smith’s songs and charisma, were so nonchalant you'd struggle to work out if this guy had been around longer than a few months at the top! Possibly the biggest sing along of the afternoon was 'Pompeii', after which most teenagers seemed to have succumb to alcohol, and the Saturday hangovers, as the arena began to empty.

Paloma Faith didn't attract a huge crowd, and for those who flew off to watch Sub Focus, they surely missed out on her beautiful voice and witty banter, "Its freezing why are you all in hot pants?" providing many laughs as she sipped tea and took us back to the 1950s, a fantastic performance someone who has an un-doubtable love for her music and her band, whom she credits highly throughout her performance. Performing all her hits, and a cover of INXS' 'Never Tear Us Apart' she won everyone over, moving some to tears, a true performer, providing a refined and classy way to close Evolution festival.

Overall, Evolution offers great value for money, a brilliant well known, and current music festival for the top of the pops lover. If you are thinking of a weekend away from the kids, I'd urge you to choose festivals that aren't saturated with adolescent chart acts. Its great to see the big chart topping names, but that comes with the downside that 90% of kids listen to the same music as you. The festival offered an array of food from Indian, to german sausages, anything that took your fancy, you’d be quite likely to find it at Evolution!

So if you can manage stepping over drunken minors, and accept the fact that the crowd talk through every single song, then waste no time in getting a ticket for 2014, besides the kids it's a brilliant weekend in the north.  


review by: Laura Bradley

photos by: Laura Bradley

Sunday 26th to Monday 27th May 2013
Spillers Wharf, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE8 2JR, England MAP
£39.50 for the weekend
daily capacity: 35000
last updated: Tue 21st May 2013


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