Ok, I know it was a little while ago now, but that doesn’t change one fact: I love the 2000Trees Festival.
Jon and I arrived on Thursday afternoon to take advantage of our lovely special early entry tickets (well worth it by the way – take note for next year!) and set up a wee village of tents in preparation for the arrival of our group of friends. After struggling for ages with our own tent and then three others, including our friend’s super tall monster of a thing, we decided to put up our gazebo. A great idea in theory, but with the wind combined with the lack of space and the fact that our gazebo is quite old and falls apart quite easily, we were destined to fail – until our nice new neighbours appeared like shining knights to help us in our mission.
Yay! We were all set up for the weekend, and so off we went to the Leaf Lounge where the compere, Toss, was already having a crack at the crowd before the Adults (previously Let’s Tea Party – I’ll be honest, I like the old name better!) came on and played a brilliant set that got us all dancing. We didn’t hang around for long that evening, preferring to snuggle into our tent as the wind howled and the rain battered the sides, only venturing out to put the super tall monster tent back up in the middle of the night after it collapsed in a big heap!
So, Friday dawned a little brighter and after we’d wandered round for a while and taken in the festival sights, our friends finally arrived… Jim and Laura first, and then Gwen and David later in the afternoon after we’d caught a couple of sets on the main stage. Once we’d all gathered, we decided to crack open the rum and coke and check out some bands! Highlights have to be Ben Marwood at the Treehouse, Chris T-T, The Dawn Chorus (both of whom featured cameo appearances from Frank Turner, yay!) Jim Lockey and The Solemn Sun in the Leaf Lounge and, of course, Frank Turner; who was the headliner on Friday night. He was amazing, playing a mix of new songs and old stuff that the whole crowd were singing along to (including me – totally lost my voice afterwards!). I’ve been to a few gigs in my time, but I don’t think I’ve ever been in a more adoring crowd – everyone sang, everyone danced and everyone seemed as thrilled to be there as Frank himself did. Ace.
Trees doesn’t finish after the headliner though, and so we wandered around in the dark, drank some more, sang some songs with people we’ve never met before at the pretty tree in the middle of the field (some of the guys from Mint, I think), munched on one of Suzie’s famous burgers and then crawled into our sleeping bags happy and exhausted. A day well spent me-thinks.
We woke up pretty early the following morning considering the amount of alcohol consumed the day before, and our breakfast of beans and sausages cooked on the camping stove worked down pretty well as a cure for stopping the hangovers kicking in. Today’s theme was animals, and so I slipped into my leopard print dress, complete with homemade tail and ears, while Jon donned an all in one tiger suit that made him look like Hobbes (from the Calvin and Hobbes cartoons) and then out came the guitar and ukulele for a sing-song with Gwen the kangaroo, David the monkey, Laura the dalmatian and Jim.
First on our list for the day was Mint, followed by OST (soo good and two of them are from my hometown, Malmesbury) and Urusen in the Leaf Lounge, and then we wandered up to the Treehouse for Joe Summers and Oxygen Thief, who’s acoustic metal set culminated in a group of animals rocking out with him on the stage. Awesome.
After a leisurely lunch at the tents where we were happily listening to the acts on the main stage drifting across the field, we spent the afternoon wandering around enjoying the ambiance. Later, we got a delicious veggie pizza from one of the food places and just chilled out. We caught part of the Subways’ set, then went up to the Leaf Lounge to hear a bit of the headline set there, who I believe was Kill It Kid. To be completely honest, my fave bands of the day were those that were on earlier, and the rest of the day felt like a bit of a wind down for me, but we still enjoyed the late afternoon/evening, particularly Johnny Flynn and Kill It Kid were pretty cool too.
So, in summary: 2000Trees was fantastic this year. This was our third year at the festival, and the first year we’ve managed to get some friends together to share it with, and it continues to get better and better. So if you’re going to just one festival next year, make it Trees – although you’ll have to get in quick to make sure you get tickets… We’ll certainly be there!