Sun, fun and friendly festival: 2000trees 2015 review

The sounds of zippers on tents being opened for the final time brought 2000trees 2015 to a close on a damp Sunday morning. It may have rained the night before but for three glorious days the sun shone and the mood was high. Spirits were still soaring despite the drizzle; there was laughing in the loo queues, friends helping each other pack away their tents – with coffee and left over beer being drunk in copious amounts before the journeys home. As festivals go this one is as friendly and varied as they get.

2000trees 2015 review

On arrival it appeared there was a wedding on the cards…which explained why the guy in front of me was carrying a suit into a festival. It turned out that the couple who were to be married had met at 2000trees in 2010 and on Thursday they tied the knot on the Forest Session stage. Told you it was friendly…

Hammocks and harmonies

The Forest Sessions stage was amongst the hammock-lined trees over the far side of the farm and was a perfect place to sit and chill away from the blazing sun. Some of the top bands were playing acoustic sessions here before their appearance on the bigger stages. I caught Lonely Tourist a Bristol-based Glaswegian whose songs were a mix of witty poetry and toe-tapping tunes. It was a great start to the afternoon.

As if the Forest Session wasn’t chilled enough, Room number 7 which led into the Forest was an amazing place. Lights, sofas what more could you want? Music? You’ve got it. A busking stop was available here too as well as the four others dotted around the site.

2000trees 2015 review, kettle mag, naomi duffre

Comedy at the croft

Out of the forest and up the hill The Croft had grown. Thursday night was comedy night and the audience were enjoying a host of hilarious acts all getting us in the mood. Many diverse acts including Jim Smallman, Allyson June Smith and Jack Evans ratcheted up the laughs in The Croft. I love the comedy acts Trees find – they should advertise this a great deal more. There really is something for everyone.


The Main Stage opened with Bite the Buffalo who BBC Introducing describe as “the most exciting band that we have ever had on the BBC Introducing  stage.” A tough act to follow you may be thinking…but fear not, for Ghouls, a London-based pop punk band followed and were totally amazing. Such high energy, with trumpet and sax players ensuring the energy never dipped. What I truly loved about this group were their total appreciation of their audience…the greatest number they’d played to. I’m not sure who appreciated each other the most; the band or the audience. I wonder where that fish ended up? Sorry, you had to be there!

2000trees 2015 review, kettle mag, naomi duffre

Games for all the family

There is never a dull moment at Trees. Surrounding the Main stage (apart from the best ice cream you can buy this side of Cheltenham, The Split Screen Ice Cream- I’d recommend the blackcurrant with clotted cream) is a games area where giant twister, human hungry hippos and swing ball were amongst the games enticing the festival-goers in. There was also a messy maze which involved sponges and an awful lot of water. Perfect in the sunshine for cooling off while listening to the awesome bands.

Human hungry hippos at 2000trees. Image Credit: Naomi Duffree

The Axiom was rocking on Saturday too with Honeyblood, the Scottish duo ensuring it was packed out. The strong vocals and drums back up their pre Trees programme billing: “Will. Be. Massive. Soon.”

In The Cave mid-afternoon Hacktivist were pulling in the crowds too. This rock, grime-rap-metal band from Milton Keynes had masses of people enjoying their set. They really got the crowd going. I have to admit that The Cave was a very popular venue and was bursting at the seams many times.

In complete contrast on the music side but similarly popular was Tom, the name behind ‘Lion and the Wolf’, who was up in The Croft. Having quit his job last year to concentrate on writing songs and touring full time one could see he had no regrets. With one hundred shows under his belt last year and a record out the end of last year you cannot fault his commitment. He sang songs that brought the audience to tears, particularly ‘My Father’s Eyes’ which told of his similarities with his dad. He kept the audience interested with background to his lyrics and despite saying, “Hi Blissfields, how are you?”,the crowd still loved him! As it turned out only three people noticed the name change! I blame the Badgers Bottom!

All over the site, bands of all types were blasting out. Thank goodness for the traditional Clashfinder that the organisers put together to help work out where the hell one should be! Whether you caught Brighton based Rory Indiana in the Forest, Milk Teeth in the Axiom, Jake Isaac or the Big Sixes in The Croft there just weren’t enough hours in the day to be rocking. (These two names will be huge, watch this space.)


Even when Alkaline Trio finished on the Main Stage people were not sated. Thank goodness for The Silent Disco which took revellers through to 3 a.m.


There was also a Silent Cinema showing in The Axiom, over Friday and Saturday including The Big Lebowski and Labyrinth. It was amusing just watching the big screen being inflated – entertainment in itself. 

Then there was the fancy dress competition; this year, the literal interpretation of band names. The winners were announced on the Main Stage Saturday afternoon. ‘Three Trapped Tigers’ took the title, with ‘MovieLife’ winning the audience interaction award. Many festival goers had made a huge effort – it was great fun to see them around the site. 

Intimate and friendly

The friendliness of 2000trees is evident. I spoke to some stewards who were working over the festival about their reasons for being there – apart from the free entry! Hannah, Sam and Ariana spoke about the great atmosphere and the way they were so well looked after by the organisers. “They really take care of you,” said Sam, “And because of this you are more likely to take care of everyone else. I think this is why it’s such a friendly atmosphere. Everyone comes back year after year.” Hannah agreed that its size is also a draw. “Because it’s such an intimate festival, about 5,000 people max, it’s more enjoyable and different. You get to work two 6 hour shifts and a 4 hour one and the rest of the time is yours to do what you want.” Ariana enjoyed meeting people in her job, and the family atmosphere. “There are a lot of games and different things for the families to do together, which is great.”

2000trees 2015 review, kettle mag, naomi duffre

So there you have it in a nutshell: sunshine, friendly, great music and comedy…you’ll be pleased to know tickets are now on sale for 2016.