Swedish punks Refused bring the curtain down on a fantastic 2000trees weekend

2000trees Festival 2016 review

published: Mon 11th Jul 2016


Thursday 7th to Saturday 9th July 2016
Upcote Farm, Withington, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 4BL, England MAP
£95 for a 3 day ticket
daily capacity: 4000
last updated: Fri 3rd Jun 2016

The final day of this years 2000trees was business as usual. That was great bands and a great atmosphere. There was always something going on at 2000trees. Be it the five main stages, the pop up side stages, the extra activities and hidden areas or in Saturdays case the fancy dress. A large number of attendees joined in the fun and some went to extraordinary lengths to dress to impress. It all added to the fun and helped make the last day a special one.

Before cracking on with the days musical offerings I'll address a few aspects that are unavoidable at any festival and that's the facilities such as catering and toilets. Just like the dedication to finding the best bands on offer I really got the impression the organisers care about every aspect of their festival. The food stalls were of a very high standard and there was a great variety on offer. My favourite was 'The Cheese Truck' and their heart attack inducing toasted sandwiches. Also the toilets were decent and well maintained throughout the festival, all of which allowed everyone to concentrate on having fun which is the main part of attending a festival.

On to the music then and first up on main stage were the hard hitting The St Pierre Snake Invasion, who brought the party (and the whiskey) and got the early risers moving. I would end up spending a lot more time on the main stage on Sunday but went for an early tour of the other stages next. Cheap Meat, and Puppy, were ok on the Axiom stage before WSTR got the crowd pumped up over at the Cave stage with a decent little set that included a cover of Limp Bizkit's 'Break Stuff'.

There has been quite a lot of hype surrounding Dead who were on next on the Axiom stage so I headed along to see what the hype is all about. I'm not really sure what the fuss is all about however and having seen a few songs I felt it was time for me to head to the main stage a get an early spot for another band creating a lot of hype.

That band is Creeper and having already seen them a number of times I have to admit I'm on the hype train. If I had a pound for every Creeper T-shirt I saw over the weekend it would probably have bought me a ticket to the festival, and with a large backdrop already in place on the main stage operation Creeper had begun. The goth-punks powered though a short set that mixed fast paced punk like 'VCR', 'The Honeymoon Suite' and 'Lie Awake' with beautiful mellower numbers such as 'Misery' and 'Henley's Ghost'.

The audience were fully into it with crowd surfers a plenty and a large circle pit or two. The band head to America next week and I do believe that they will do very well there. The imagery that accompanies the band is stunning and with their cult like fanbase growing by the show this band has the potential to be huge, and I do mean really huge. My advice would be to catch them in smaller settings whilst you still can as they are destined for arenas.

Arcane Roots, and The King Blues both followed on the main stage and are both bands with a history at the festival, only fitting then that they return for its tenth birthday party. Both bands put in impressive displays and The King Blues in particular have the crowd dancing and singing along to every song.

The weather will always have a bearing on the enjoy-ability of an outdoor festival no matter how hardened an individual you are. The British summer being what it is the threat of rain was never far away, but thankfully with the exception of a couple of short showers this festival remained dry. There was however plenty of cover around the site between the stages and undercover bars, plus your tent was never too far away. There was also a decent amount of seating provided around the site. It really does seem that this festival has thought of everything.

Before Ash provided an injection of nostalgia on the main stage, youngsters  Grumble Bee provided a sight of the future on the Neu stage and judging by their short set the future is going to be good. Ash time was next and it was another solid and reliable performance from the Northern Irishmen. You know what you're going to get with Ash and that's sing-a-long anthems such as 'Girl From Mars', 'Shining Light' and 'Burn Baby Burn'. It's always a good time watching Tim Wheeler and co and as such they attracted a large crowd to the main stage.

It was after this that is was noticeable how small of a crowd gathered to catch Americans Augustines help bring the festival to a close. It was a shame that more people weren't around to witness a passionate performance from the New York three-piece, but I imagine that most people ended up watching Jamie Lenman instead.

One of the best parts of a festival is chancing your arm on a random act and finding your new favourite band. You won't always be lucky and you may find some utter rubbish but maybe just maybe you'll strike gold. Well that's what transpired next for me as I headed to the Neu stage to kill time before our headliners Refused took to the stage. What I found was the surprise of the weekend and one of the sets of the weekend from Black Honey. I'd like to liken them to Wolf Alice but I feel this would be doing them a disservice as they are well and truly Black Honey and you really need to check them out.

Well having just made my find of the festival, it was time to head to the main stage again and witness Swedish punks Refused bring the curtain down on a fantastic weekend. The on again off again punks have gained a passionate following and a number of them were present here to witness a triumphant festival closing set. With the conclusion of their show it was silent disco time again as 2000trees celebrated long into the night.

So at the end of it all I find myself asking why? – why haven't I been before? As a first timer I already feel a part of the 2000trees family and I'm certain I'll return in the future. 2000trees is small in size but big in heart, happy birthday!

around the festival site: 2000trees Festival 2016

review by: Paul Barnes

photos by: Denis Gorbatov

Thursday 7th to Saturday 9th July 2016
Upcote Farm, Withington, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 4BL, England MAP
£95 for a 3 day ticket
daily capacity: 4000
last updated: Fri 3rd Jun 2016

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