The greatest weekend of the year is almost upon us! We love festival season more than most, but we’re not too interested in the corporate-dominated city-sized bad boys that litter the summer, but more in a 5,000 capacity event set in the beautiful surroundings of the Cotswolds, with 80 of the finest underground bands over 5 stages. This festival is 2000trees, and there aren’t many like it.
Winner of the UK Festival Awards’ “Grass Roots Festival” award in 2010 & 2013, 2000trees was created by a group of friends in 2007, borne out of frustration with the ever increasing corporate sponsorship and ‘musical merry-go-round’ nature of the larger mainstream British festivals.
Disillusioned by extortionate ticket prices and overpriced food and drink, this band of festival veterans vowed to take matters into their own hands and in true punk rock style set about developing the perfect antidote. Upcote Farm has previously played host to Band of Skulls, Frightened Rabbit, Frank Turner, Dan le Sac v Scroobius Pip, Bombay Bicycle Club, Los Campesinos!, Tribes, Deaf Havana and Alkaline Trio – to name but a few.
The 2016 edition kicks off THIS THURSDAY (7th July) so we’re here to take you through who not to miss this coming weekend!
These lads will open the festival in the perfect way; with massive energy, singalong choruses and the perfect excuse to dance. With their new self titled LP out now, the Midlands quartet are a strong start to your weekend
Bristol’s loudest trio are opening the Xtra Mile Recordings takeover of The Axiom stage, so where else would we be? A firm festival favourite, this won’t be the only chance to see OT over the weekend, but it’ll be the noisiest.
Another Xtra Mile act returning to the festival, Rob Lynch played a wonderful set at The Croft stage last year before speaking to us (interview here) and is always a performer to catch. With a new album on the horizon (see the info), here’s hoping this will be a full band Robbie effin’ Lynch show!
We’ve been fans of these guys for quite some time now, first spinning them on Melksham Town Sound way back in 2014, and it’s great to see them hitting the forefront of the underground movement. Heading out on a co-headline tour with fellow Trees performers HECK will be unbelievable, so if you’re a fan of the latter, check out Black Peaks!
The prodigal son returns! Ben’s had a tough time of things the past couple of years, being too unwell to perform after releasing a practically perfect sophomore album. But he’s back, so expect mass singalongs (even if you forget the words) and chant after chant of “main stage, main stage…”
Are you noticing a pattern here? It’s Xtra Mile act after Xtra Mile act… and these guys are the kings. Politically charged roots-punk from Plymouth, expect noise, breakneck speed, and plenty to say on the current political state of the country. One of the finest bands you’ll see.
Beans on Toast
Possibly the longest serving singer-songwriter on the XMR roster, Beans goes from strength to strength with every annual album release. His 2015 offering, Rolling Up The Hill, takes his storytelling to a new level, and his live performances are equally impressive. A firm festival favourite, expect a packed out tent.
A set we never thought we’d see again after 2014, when Jim played a secret Forest set and simultaneously announced both the death of Jim Lockey & The Solemn Sun and the birth of SOLEMN SUN. But he’s back, playing old JL&TSS songs solo. An act that has in one form or another played almost, if not every, edition of Trees since the beginning, Jim is one of the UK’s finest songwriters.
*We’re heading back to The Axiom after Jim for Xtra Mile’s special guest… Tank Furner anyone?*
A runaway train of a live act, the return of this band will herald many circle pits, crowd surfers and insane on-stage antics. In 2014 they were incredible, tearing their way through a set that saw The Cave turn into a swirling sea of sweaty bodies. Expect no less this time, this set is not for the faint hearted.
The St. Albans gang are signed to legendary Hopeless Records, homes of many pop-punk heroes and these guys are certainly making waves. Get down early to catch one of the hottest properties in the UK scene.
A 5* debut album followed a first-class EP, these guys are writing new music and it’ll be a joy to see them again. Their underlying friendship leads to an electric amount of chemistry on stage, and with a set-list laden with pop-hooks and crunchy guitar, they’re a fantastic live act.
The Smith Street Band
Reportedly one of the hardest working bands around, the Aussie outfit are full of punk attitude with their vibrant pop-rock tracks, expect potentially the weekend’s record number of crowd-surfers. Famous for throwing themselves around the stage and being all-round entertainers, don’t miss this.
Now this, this was a difficult decision. Will Varley is one of the country’s most talented singer-songwriters, with a witty stage manner and the ability to spin a tale to keep an entire audience captivated. However in The Cave, Dinosaur Pile-Up are playing a breakneck set full of thick bass, pounding drums and crunchy riffs. The choice is yours, and we’re splitting up to catch both sets. Personally though, I (Rob) will be at Varley. If you’re at DPU, buy Dev a drink.
Another massive clash for us, as the fantastic Muncie Girls are shredding The Axiom at the same time. We’ll split up once again, with some of us heading there but the rest off down the hill to catch the hottest property in UK pop-punk strut their stuff. Neck Deep have everything a good pop-punk band should have, and they proved this all over the US on Warped Tour last year.
Again, you ask? Yes. Enough said.
Energy personified, the return of Basement was lauded by music fans all over the world, especially when their comeback record was as excellent as it is! This will be a special set in Trees history, make sure you’re there.
In our opinions, the kings of the underground scene in the UK. These guys made emo cool again, with their debut album ‘I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time To Time‘ being practically perfect from start to finish. Their lives shows are something to behold too, and they’re bound to revel in being given the chance to headline a stage. With their sophomore album due in August, it wouldn’t surprise us if they’re headlining festivals of this size outright in a year or two.
The St. Pierre Snake Invasion
Start off Saturday with a bang in The Cave, with these Bristolian punks. A firm festival favourite, expect a swelling crowd despite the hangovers. They;ve done their time in The Cave, now they can be unleashed on the Main Stage. Carnage.
A band with a rapidly rising stock, if the crowd for TSPSI was of good size then it’ll easily double for these guys. Backed by artists such as Franks Turner and Carter, the band formally known as Baby Godzilla are becoming one of the scene’s most popular live acts.
Loud, fast and damn catchy, this Liverpudlian quartet have made their name supporting bands such as Neck Deep, and their SKRWD EP has become a firm favourite. Cue frenzied pits engulfing The Cave.
The new kings of horror punk, this band have united punks and metallers nationwide. They’re animated performers with anthemic tracks from 3 EPs, and are quickly outgrowing the stages they find themselves on. Their performance on The Cave last year was a highlight of the weekend, finding their feet on the Main should be no problem for this outfit.
Sam Duckworth, the artist formally known as Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly., is back with his new project. Recreations is signed to Xtra Mile Recordings, and is well worth a watch. The small amount of material that Sam has put out so far under this moniker has been thoroughly excellent, and well emo. Get down.
Animals As Leaders
An American band at 2000trees was once as rare as a dry Glastonbury, but the very best from across the pond are now making their way onto lineups and Washington, D.C. prog-metallers Animals As Leaders are a great addition. Playing instrumental ‘djent’, their album ‘The Joy of Motion‘ is a masterpiece, and something we’re absolutely buzzing about seeing live.
Another band hailing from the US, this time Brooklyn, Augustines are one of our most anticipated sets of the weekend. Sub-headlining the Main Stage as (hopefully) the sun goes down, the alt-rock trio have an anthemic set-list full of soaring choruses that will ignite the Trees crowd. Check out the video below, featuring Bristol scene legend “Big” Jeff Johns.
IT’S. TIIIIME! Legendary Swedish punks Refused are a band we never thought we’d see live, then they returned for a year and their Download set was glorious. But then they went away again. Then, in 2014, they returned once again, with new material and insane live shows. This set is going to go down in 2000trees history, what a way to sign off 10 amazing years.
So there you have it, our guide to the greatest festival in the land. Check out the website at twothousandtreesfestival.co.uk and if you haven’t already, BUY A DAMN TICKET. See y’all down the front.
Team TCOV x