2000 Trees Festival, Upcote Farm Cheltenham, 11th – 13th July 2019
Picture if you will a farm in rural countryside, transformed into an award winning festival location where you can walk the length of the site in 10 minutes, catching big names and new music, choosing from the best selection of festival food around and taking in the friendliest atmosphere you’re likely to encounter. No need to worry about carrying or losing money as the cashless system works a treat, just have your wristband scanned to pay. Families, fancy dress, diehard punks and metal-heads, they’re all here and they’re all having a brilliant time. You can only imagine the amount of work and preparation that goes on behind the scenes because the team and volunteers at 2000 Trees have thought of everything and everyone – artists, crowd, vendors, security – the whole crew seem to love being here. It’s a beautiful setting and there’s more diversity in the types of music on offer than many people realise.
2019’s event even brought the sun out of hiding, along with an enormous string of new and established artists. Whether it’s to catch a favourite band or discover a new one, 2000 Trees is a massive recommendation. Just be aware that when you’ve been once it’s very hard to not pick it up as a habit that’s hard to kick. Here are some highlights from Friday from a huge selection of what went on this year…
Deux Furieuses getting the day off to a solid start on the Axiom stage – powerful riffs and no holds barred drums belying the fact that they are only two.
Lice have gained a well deserved reputation for their live performances and this was no exception – a stand out set of satirical art punk on the Neu stage which saw some excellent bookings this year.
You have to have your photo taken and take some of your friends by the Trees sign – it’s the law.
Carnage in The Cave. Bringing Belgian noise rock and their very own language, Raketkanon are not to be missed live; for fans of vocalists crowd surfing in doughnut inflatables, this is not the time to forget your earplugs.
2000 Trees crowds are the friendliest crowds – it’s not compulsory to have an inflatable handy in the food queue.
A long way from home, Australia’s Hands Like Houses pulled in a big crowd on the main stage who provided an equally big UK welcome.
Still on the main stage, the classic mix of 2000 Trees and Pulled Apart by Horses – always a pleasure to see them individually; together is hard to beat. Stage jumps, circle pits and a guitar accompanied dive into the crowd are what Trees is all about.
Everyone welcome, dress code whatever you please. (By the way, any discarded rubbish disappears after each set, kudos to the litter picking / recycling team).
Really happy late afternoon vibe for Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly – packed marquee too at the Axiom.
Fast becoming firm favourites on the indie punk scene, Heavy Lungs put on a frenetic show, catch them in a smaller venue while you can, this time the Neu stage grabbing the spotlight again.
So, with this year’s 2000 Trees all packed away, it seems fortuitous to think a long, long way ahead and be aware that next year’s is already in the making. 9th – 11th July 2020 – put it in your diary, you won’t regret it.
Words and photos by Siobhan
15th July 2019