extreme sports showcased alongside crowded drum n bass acts at NASS 2011

Relentless Energy Drink NASS 2011 review

published: Thu 14th Jul 2011

around the festival site

Friday 8th to Sunday 10th July 2011
Royal Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 6QN, England MAP
£72 for a weekend with camping, kids £42
last updated: Fri 8th Jul 2011

The Relentless Festival, also known as NASS, is held yearly at the Bath and West Showground near Shepton Mallet. Musically, the event focuses around drum and bass, dub-step and hardcore skate punk, but Nass is more about extreme sports than music as the full name suggests, the National Action Sports Show.

Unlike a typical festival site in the fields, the showground has a great deal of tarmac outdoors which makes it easy to get about on skates, scooters or bikes, but not ideal for those that like to go barefoot. There are huge indoor arenas for sports including a public skate park, a massive indoor street course for the Pro's and there's plenty going on outside as well.

around the festival site
Friday afternoon saw problems with overcrowding at Castle Cary station, causing delays for some people, and there were a few spots of rain too, but they didn't dampen spirits. The main stage marquee warmed up in the early evening with some big beats from Redlight, some live dub-step from Modestep, the amazing Nero and the headliners Sub Focus. Quite a good line up really, but it was all over by 10.30pm. Also for live music there was the Kerrang stage for punk and hardcore where Title Fight supported We Are The Ocean, who have recently released an album. Those bands finished at 10.30pm too. If you could actually get through the crowd into the drum and bass arena there were sets by Flux Pavilion, Breakage, Dirtyphonics, Joker, and more until 3am.

around the festival site (BMX)
On Saturday the BMX, Inline skate and skateboard qualifiers got under way indoors, but it was a better day for watching the outdoor sports. The Freestyle Motocross team - FMX - put on a few stunning shows throughout the afternoon. Spectators either enjoyed the comfort of the seated grandstand, or just lounged on the grass next to the arena, where there were no huge crowds, so seeing the action was easy from there as well. The FMX set up only consisted of a launch ramp, and a landing ramp but they put on the most exciting show of all. Flying over the gap and doing crazy tricks like the superman, lazy boy and the cliff hanger, not to mention the back flips. A highlight of any weekend to see that.

The outdoor street spots skate course was popular with the crowds all weekend, which made for a great atmosphere but it also made it quite hard to see the action a lot of the time. The best trick competitions saw the crowd go wild as riders and skaters threw themselves down the hand rail or the huge set of steps, trying mad tricks and pushing themselves to the limit. Some of the slams were pretty hard.

The other competitions outdoors were held on the dirt course for BMX and dirt bikes, which is the best area on the site to sit on the grass in the sun, and watch the action. The course started with a roll in from a platform about 5 meters high, into a series of 5 or 6 dirt jumps. At any point during the day you could see those crazy guys doing back flips and tail whips high into the air, and hear the dub step and jungle sounds of the Sika sound system coming from behind the nearby trees.

around the festival site (mountain boarders)
Just to show off a bit, the 'Ride The Hill' mountain board team were there. They didn't do much, but when they did it was well worth watching. Their set-up was just a roll in, into a jump ramp, but they certainly showed us how it should be done, with massive airs, back flips and various grabs which I know not the name of. They have a centre for mountain boarding in Surrey, with loads of slopes and Europe's largest foam pit, it looks like they've been practising on it.

For the big kids, a giant inflatable paint ball arena, and for the little kids there were Zorb type balls in a pool to play in. There were demo's by free runners on some scaffolding. For those wanting a full on adrenaline rush there was a bungee ball on two cranes and for the more chilled out folk there were fairground rides and harnessed trampolines.

around the festival site
The main stage was up and running in the afternoon with award winning Ms Dynamite. Later on Labrinth supported the headlining rapper Tinie Tempah but it was all over by 10.30pm again. The Kerrang stage, in a huge cow shed, saw performances by the hardcore punk band Cancer Bats from Toronto, and the Swedish punk band Millencolin, among others. Unfortunately those bands finished at about midnight. The crowd trying to get into the only remaining venue was unbelievable. It was literally impossible to get anywhere near the drum and bass arena. The entrance was effectively at the end of a narrow street, which the entire festival population was trying to go down. If you were lucky enough to be inside the arena, and not to get crushed in the crowd, there were sets by DJ Hype, DJ Fresh, Netsky, and more. Luckily there were some Dj's playing back in the cow shed too, until the early hours.

Sunday seemed to wind down quickly, with many people leaving in the morning and nothing on the main stages at all. Everything eventually finished at 6pm. The only music all day was coming from The Sika sound system, with their massive stack of purple speakers and a good mix of reggae, dub step, jungle and all sorts. A 'free party' atmosphere. Some of the mixing was terrible but the sound was clear and loud, the sun was out and there was plenty of room to dance under the apple trees.

around the festival site
review by: Keith Sharman

photos by: Federica Pacifico

Friday 8th to Sunday 10th July 2011
Royal Bath and West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 6QN, England MAP
£72 for a weekend with camping, kids £42
last updated: Fri 8th Jul 2011


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