Photos © Alex Rawson
There’s a beaming sign that stands proudly aloft at one end of the misty field and it feels like we’re in a divine utopia.
Despite being the owner of a muddy tent, soaked jeans and arriving slightly late to the party, it’s clear that Farmfest remains undeniably romantic. There’s a beaming sign that stands proudly aloft at one end of the misty field and it feels like we’re in a divine utopia.
A brief walk around the site brings fond memories of last year and excitement for the weekend ahead. The lineup of course boasts sweeteners both from afar and on our doorstep. There’re gloomy clouds on the horizon but, hey, does anyone really care?
First stop this year is Awaken The Silence, thrashing their epic metalcore on The Sett, a stage where most of the musicians playing come from within twenty miles of the farm. By the time we’ve necked a few of the local ales, there’s a sparse but devoted number of swirling bodies. Some in onesies, others in Black Label Society get up, it’s palpable and intense. The band are in their element as they deliver material new and old. Vocalist Josh Longworth appears in a world of his own, bitter and unleashing an energy that the crowd so readily feed off.
We’re over at Public Service Broadcasting next, they get things going with ‘London Can Take It’ as images of the blitz flicker onto the screen. It’s hard to resist moving further into the crowd as the opening notes swell across the damp field. Smirking behind his Macbook J. Willgoose Esq fills the gaps between songs with an automated voice – it’s easy to laugh with him during these moments, especially when he struggles to find the right dialect. With a solid setlist in the bag, the Londoners left a high bar for those that followed over the weekend.
The crowds swarm back to the camping field in order to stock up on some bevvies — I coincidentally opted for a cheeky Blue Moon before ending up in The Blue Tent where Brassroots were doing their mighty fine thing. That thing so happens to be just what you want late on a Friday night, classic covers achieved by means of brass instruments. Highlights included Eurythmics’ ‘Sweet Dreams’ and The White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army’, which no doubt soon got everyone spilling their pints.
Laid Blak follow, maintaining the animated crowd — the marquee is packed. Those looking for other means of entertainment could saunter into other areas both new and old. Bristol’s Shapes made a return this year but this time with their own tent. The Den also hosted DJ’s across the weekend in the now staple combine harvester DJ booth.
We’re left to sleep off our weary and perhaps intoxicated heads, listening to the soundtrack of heavy rain pattering atop the tent. Good times.
Eyes peeled for part two of our festival diary, in the meantime check out Public Service Broadcasting: