As with most festivals, 2000trees boasts mainstage acts that many will be familiar with – whether that be the punk stylings of Slaves or the melodic pop rock of Lower Than Atlantis. Getting in the biggest names coming to the alt-rock scene is their specialty, offering a particular brand of bands in the process. With accolades for being ‘The Most Friendly Festival’ and being voted as having ‘The Best Toilets’ (with the state of most of them this one is maybe less impressive), as well as being proactively environmentally aware, 2000trees is more than just the music in many senses of the phrase.
However, music obviously makes up a large part of it. What makes this woodland festival special is its consistent support of up-and-coming alternative bands, acting as a springboard for bigger and better things to come. This year is no different, and with a mountain of hidden gems tucked away in the small print, I’ve picked out a few that are worth checking out over the three day event that should satisfy a range of musical tastes.
The trio from Exeter have blasted onto the music scene since their formation in 2014, garnering critical success and popularity from an intense festival run at last year’s Reading & Leeds, Download, and of course, 2000trees. With humble beginnings in the five-track EP Pines, their debut album I’m Not Well was released last year to overwhelmingly positive responses from just about anyone that gave it a listen. Combining angsty emo-rock with an intoxicating nervous energy, Black Foxxes have carved their niche on the British music scene with surprising ease.
Catch them on Thursday for an electrifying set on the Axoim stage followed by a toned-down trip to the woods in The Forest Sessions.
With one of the funnest names at this year’s festival, Grumble Bee comes in the form of 24 year old Jack Bennett – singing, writing, mixing, and doing just about anything else you can imagine in creating his own tracks. His gravelly vocals stipulate a style that ranges across genres, from pop to darker rock, truly presenting him as a chameleon of his craft. His debut EP reflects this de-synchronisation from what’s expected of an artist, aptly titled Disconnect – and flows through a variety of styles in his soul-searching musical journey.
Annoyingly talented, Jack will be opening the Cave stage for Thursday’s events.
Emerging from the remnants of Cytota, SHVPES are the phoenix from the ashes for rock lovers. For fans of bands such as Trivium and Killswitch Engage, SHVPES feel like a natural fit – combining urban influences with distorted guitars and a lot of shouting. I put them on this list for the fact that they feel so different from a lot of the indie-leaning bands that make up the 2000trees lineup; and whether you love or hate their heavier sound, they’re known for putting on a good show.
SHVPES will be hitting the Cave stage on Friday afternoon if you fancy something a little different.
Punchy pop-rock is the name of the game for Vukovi, functioning as Britain’s answer to an early Paramore. That’s a big claim – but frontwoman Janine Shilstone’s vocal capacity is actually insane, and manages to hold up just as well in a live setting. Full of unbridled energy and ready to stretch their feet over a run of festival shows, Vukovi are like watching a whirlwind unfold in front of you. Their debut self-titled album landed with its feet firmly on the ground this March, making the band as fresh as can be for punters after something new.
Sure to pull audiences in with their sheer magnetic attraction, Vukovi will be tearing up the Axoim stage on Friday.
Female-fronted Gloucestershire four-piece (try saying that five times in a row) Milk Teeth have been making waves with their grungy melodies since 2013. Swaying between heavy and light, sickeningly sweet and gratingly aggressive, the band’s wailing style is only as catchy as its hooks – which coincidentally, are pretty damn catchy. 2016’s Vile Child is set to be followed up on July 28th with a brand new album, Be Nice, meaning the promise of new music premiered at 2000trees, alongside their already impressive back catalogue is more than enough to get feet moving to their set. With hits such as ‘Vitamins’ and ‘Swear Jar’ sure to get crowds riled up, Milk Teeth will be a must-see before they get too big to catch.
Don’t miss Milk Teeth prepping the main stage for Saturday’s larger than life line-up.
Hailing from Leeds, the bends-inducing sounds of Fizzy Blood are a special type of genre mashup. Mixing retro sounds with rock and dabbling with their rhythm to the point of funk – their tracks are the epitome of jumping around a field with a warm beer and generally having a great time. And what else would you be doing at a festival? With one album under their belt and only three years to their name, the band are fresh off the press and ready to explode onto the scene with all the effervescent energy their tracks manage to squeeze into three and a half minutes.
Smack-bang in the middle of the Neu Stage’s set, Fizzy Blood will be riling crowds up on the Saturday afternoon of the festival.
2000trees Music Festival will take place between 6th-8th July at Upcote Farm. Tickets are available here.