Keep on Trucking: A Beginners Guide to Truck Festival


Think of Glastonbury. Thousands of enthusiastic, happy festival-goers. A wide variety of music. Crazy outfits. Hippies. Booze. Mud. Now scale this down by a hundred or so and you have the briefest of snapshots into the weird and wonderful world of Truck Festival.

Founded in 1998 by Robin and Joe Bennett (of the band Goldrush, and later Danny and the Champions of the World) on their family farm in Oxfordshire and initally starting out as an appreciation of local music, Truck Fest has developed into one of the country’s hidden gems, maintaining a sense of local charm and fun.

The main stage is a truck trailer, the secondary stage is placed within a barn that for 51 weeks of the year contains cows (in case the smell doesn’t give it away), whilst numerous tents cater for smaller acts. Over recent years, Truck has attracted a huge range of up-and-coming such as Frank Turner,  Foals and Laura Marling who have all graced the muddy fields of Steventon. Headliners of recent years include Ash, Supergrass (on their final show) and Lemonheads.

Truck has long been famed for its sense of community and friendliness, owing to the committed involvement of the local community. The village vicar can often be found selling ice cream, the local thatcher sets up his own bar whilst the local Rotary Club run the food stall in a truly herculean effort of chip frying and tea making that truly has to be seen to be believed.

With Truck 15 taking place on the weekend of 21st July, this year promises to be another strong showing for the festival, yet there may be changes awaiting eager Truckers. After poor ticket sales for Truck 14, the organisers stepped down with the reigns being taken up by festival management company, Y Not Festivals, raising concerns that this may mark an end to the rural and friendly charm of the weekend. If the spirit of Truck has survived this difficult transition, then the festival promises to go from strength to strength and remain a truly special experience.

Tom’s Trucking Tips

As a seasoned and proud Trucker, there are some things you should make sure you see and do over the weekend.

1) Hug the Truck Monster. What’s not to like about a 7-foot tall, cuddly mascot? Give him a hug and feel the love.

2) Get served by the transvestite fairy. A local legend; this guy does not stop dancing. Sporting the truly spectacular combination of fairy wings, a fez, leather and strap-on boobs, this guy is a machine. They should bottle whatever it is that fuels this guy, although you can probably buy some from a shady looking guy in the drum and bass barn.

3) Rock the Disco Shed. In years gone by, there has been a shed. A simple garden shed, sat in the middle of the market place. Whilst this not may draw in a crowd, the huge speakers, lights and glitter ball crammed into it definitely do the job.

4) Ignore the perpetual rumours of a secret Radiohead set. As sure as the sun will set, someone will find a gap in the schedule and claim that local legends Radiohead are going to play. This inevitably escalates, leading to a stampede of rabid Ok Computer fans gatecrashing a random teenagers tent. Keep an ear out beyond this, and there’s a possibility of stumbling across a secret-gig of merit. Or just free smoothies.

Acts Not To Miss for 2012

The line-up for Truck this year includes The Temper Trap, Mystery Jets, British Sea Power, Tim Minchin, The Low Anthem, Guillemots, 65 Days of Static, King Charles and Villagers.

Unfortunately, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. recently pulled out due to illness. Despite this, there is still a great range of smaller, new talents that are certainly worth seeing…

Little Comets: This Newcastle-based band have a fantastic energy to all their songs, including ‘One Night in October’ and ‘Isles’. Can’t make Truck? They’ll be playing at Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms on 28th October, not one to miss!

Dog Is Dead: This five piece have described themselves as “an original blend of harmonious, indie-pop in the disco, with a cheeky jazz hint”. Cheeky.

Tall Ships: An experimental loop band from Cornwall, and one for fans of Foals, Futureheads and Friendly Fires. Check out their singles ‘Vessels’ and ‘Plate Tectonics’. You won’t be disappointed.

Turbowolf: A Great name for a great rock band, their debut album being met with critical acclaim. Comparisons can be drawn with the likes of Pulled Apart by Horses and Dinosaur Pile-Up.

Lucy Rose: A very likeable character, singer-songwriter Lucy Rose has certainly come into her own in the past year, and has been recently signed to Columbia Records, as well as completing her debut album, Like I Used To.

Poledo: Beer drinking, indie rock loving. The vocal melodies on the chorus are infectious and the guitars have space to create a wash of loveliness with bursts of feedback. Also, they’re really loud. Look out for this up-and-coming local act.

Check out the full line up and more information on Truck Festival here.


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  1. avatar

    Steventon is literally minutes away from where I live at home. Tom, stop making me feel bad I’ve never been!

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