2000 Trees Festival
9-11 July, Upcote Farm,Gloucestershire
Declaring itself as proudly independent, 2000 Trees festival is just that. Don’t let the name deceive you; 2000 Trees is not a spiritual get-away for the earthly-orientated yoga fanatics. Having said that, the hippie vibe is very much tangible, and the festival site, set in the rolling Cotswold Hills, gives an atmosphere transcendent of everyday life.
When it first began in 2007, 2000 Trees prided itself on showcasing the best of underground talent. Primarily comprising of indie and rock, (singer-songwriters in abundance), it fed festival-goers with a soundtrack full of the most talented local bands and musicians, as well as those well-known on the indie music scene. Eight years later, 2000 Trees boasts an impressive CV with previous acts including Frank Turner, Twin Atlantic, Bombay Bicycle Club, Frightened Rabbit, Blood Red Shoes, Band of Skulls, The Bronx, Wolf Alice, Public Service Broadcasting, 65daysofstatic, Lower Than Atlantis, And So I Watch You From Afar, Future of the Left, Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip and Hundred Reasons.
Over the years, as 2000 Trees has blossomed it has also grown further in the direction of rock. The Cave (yes, that’s a stage name – actually rather self-descriptive) dedicates itself to the world of rock, punk, the odd metal-inclined act and all things hardcore. Rock Sound magazine hailed it as “a magnificent weekend”. The classic late night headphone disco also extends down to The Cave, if dancing to AC/DC rather than Abba is more your thing. So if Download is a little too expensive, Trees will possibly tickle your fancy; and is more intimate and raw.
Yet Trees has not forgotten its roots; local acts are still celebrated and the festival won the 2014 Association of Independent Festivals Award for ‘Supporter of Emerging Talent’. Last year the Croft stage was home to singer-songwriters and up-and-coming indie bands, and if you looked hard enough, you could find the Forest Sessions: a hidden stage in the woods (the name comes into play here) where festival-goers could relax in hammocks and listen to chilled acoustic acts and secret sets.
This year, the line-up definitely doesn’t disappoint. Recently announced headliners Alkaline Trio join Deaf Havana, Idlewild and We Are The Ocean. You can also catch The Subways, Young Guns, And So I Watch You From Afar, McLusky, The Skints, Future Of The Left, Kerbdog, Pulled Apart By Horses, Arcane Roots, The XCerts, Turbowolf, The Twilight Sad, Benjamin Booker and We Were Promised Jetpacks (amongst many others).
But if you haven’t heard of any of those names, don’t worry – you won’t be bored. As well as a fancy-dress competition and stalls selling hand-made clothes and crafts, the tempting range of delicious, quality food and locally produced ciders, ales and lagers should keep you satiated while you soak in the sounds.
Eight years on, 2000 Trees has grown up. The awards it has won (“Grass Roots Festival” 2010 & 2013) and been shortlisted for (Best Small Festival 2012, 2013, 2014) just demonstrates that. The impressive line-up this year promises another popular festival, but it still prides itself on being grassroots; as they say themselves, “there’s a distinct absence of all the bad things associated with massive mainstream events!” For that reason, there is only capacity for 5000 festival-goers – so get your tickets soon!