We are well and truly in the midst of festival season preparations here at AltCorner and today we bring you a look into one of our favourite festivals; 2000trees! With it’s beautiful location and family atmosphere, it is a festival that has something for everyone. For this article as part of 2000trees Festival 7 in 7, we’ve teamed up with 2000trees debutants Sun Arcana’s bassist Jules Wildblood to talk the festival.
Essex rockers Sun Arcana have burst onto the scene in recent months, signing to Easy Life Records, home to the likes of Arcane Roots, Lower Than Atlantis and Waterparks. The band name touches on optimism with the sun radiating light and ‘Arcana’ referring to mystical secrets in tarot mythology, reflecting on their positive outlook of things to come. Their debut EP As I Take A Breath was released through the aforementioned label in March this year, quickly followed by acoustic EP Acoustic Sessions, both receiving critical acclaim.
Sun Arcana are just one of the many British up-and-coming bands on this year’s 2000trees Festival line-up. The festival itself has a history of being one of the top festivals for new British talent, having played host to the likes of While She Sleeps, Nothing But Thieves, Moose Blood, Neck Deep, Creeper, Frank Turner, Fightstar, Rolo Tomassi, The Xcerts, Twin Atlantic, Beans On Toast, Ben Marwood, We Are The Ocean among dozens of other then little known but now in-demand British acts, giving them the opportunity to play to around 10,000 genuine music lovers at a stunning location perfect for families. Joining Sun Arcana in representing the underground British talent this year include Dead!, Thrill Collins, Palm Reader, Reigning Days, Press To MECO, Vukovi, Nervus, Chapter And Verse, Cove, Gender Roles and Funeral Shakes. That is just a small selection of the extensive list and covers a wide range of genres, meaning there is something for everyone, an unofficial motto for the festival.
Every year, our Twitter timelines are full of festival announcements and both artists and fans alike sharing their excitement for 2000trees. Sun Arcana are no different as Jules exclaims; “We’ve heard lots of amazing things about 2000 Trees and simply can’t wait to get down and take it all in! Sadly, none of us have ever been to 2000 Trees before but, from what we’ve heard it’s a festival in beautiful surroundings full of great people that truly love music! What could be better?” We have to agree, nothing much could be better than spending a weekend away from the stresses of everyday life at the picturesque Upcote Farm on the outskirts of Cheltenham, surrounded by thousands of music fans, drinking alcohol (if that’s your thing) and listening to some of the best talent around.
A 10,000 capacity festival in the Cotswolds hills, you can get woken up by the roosters and peacocks from the nearby fields and there is truly something for everyone. There aren’t many festivals where you can see full families in attendance with children being wheeled around in little carts, decorated to get in the spirit, mixing with fellow music lovers old and young. The compact, community feel of the festival is highlighted by the various non-music related activities across the weekend, ranging from morning yoga and Mr. Motivator style exercise classes to kids arts and crafts activities. Everything is close together too, you can camp near the stages, it’s only about a five minute walk from the main entrance to the main stage (unless you decide to stop and check out the stalls and other stages along the way, then it may take a bit longer), this is something that regular attendees of the festival and the general festival circuit will be able to attest to making a highlight of the year, while sites like Download, Glastonbury and Reading/Leeds etc have separate campsites that are at least a 20 minute walk to the arena, 2000trees combines it all in one, you’re never too far from the action or your tents!
We cannot forget the obligatory fancy dress competition on the Saturday, in recent years we’ve had ‘literal band names’ and ‘under the sea’ and each year the costumes get more creative (who can forget the group going around with an inflatable hammer hitting their friend, dressed as a pumpkin, on the head all day? That’s dedication! Bonus points if you can guess who they were dressed as). While at the time of writing, this year’s theme hasn’t been announced, we’re sure it’s going to be a fun one and cannot wait to see what attendees come up with!
We’ve yet to mention one of everyone’s favourite attractions at 2000trees; The Forest! If you’ve yet to see it, The Forest is a space just off the main camping area surrounded by trees, where the kids crafts activities take place, people can chill out and you can also see some of the acts doing laid back acoustic sets. It’s rare that you’ll find this space empty but even when it is jam packed, it’s still the best place to chill and take a break from the main activities on the site.
As with any festival, the music is the main focus and 2000trees’ line-up is as stellar as ever, however, what has truly cemented the festival in the hearts of music fans and press is this community vibe and fun atmosphere, I mean what other festival do you see any of the organisers alongside you in the pits? We can’t think of any but Trees. We’ll leave you with Jules’ response to the question of what he’s most excited for at 2000trees; “I think we’ve just got to say playing. We know there’s so much to look forward to, but good crowds of definite music lovers and probable Sun Arcana virgins is what we’re proper keen for! We just can’t wait to do our thing at Trees for the first time!”
2000trees Festival takes place between July 12-14 at Upcote Farm, Cheltenham.