Blissfields Festival returned to Vicarage Farm on the 3rd and 4th of July for its fifteenth year. The Edge‘s Laura Cox was lucky enough to attend this year’s festival and shares with us her highlights from the warm-up day on Thursday and the first day on Friday.
Thursday at Blissfields is usually regarded as a quieter day as the Main Stage is not yet open. It’s a great chance to explore the beautiful site, try out the delicious food stalls (OFML I’m looking at you) and test out the colourful hammocks before they get too busy. Although it’s a quieter day, this does not mean that you can’t still catch some amazing performances. I headed over to The Den – restyled for 2015’s ‘Somewhere in Time’ theme as the ‘Now and Den’. This big top style tent is the main focus of attention on the Thursday of the festival and welcomes a broad range of artists. The highlight for me was London and Manchester based trio We Have Band. Their electronic-based tracks got the crowd, which spilled out of the tent, on their feet. Their track ‘Modulate’ proved particularly popular.
We then headed to The Larch, a much smaller area with cosy sofas and wooden benches for festival goers to rest on. I particularly enjoyed the set by Lymington based Daisy Chains, with a trademark uniform of red skinny jeans. Hugely talented, this band is definitely one to watch. As they’re based in Lymington, they’re not far from us in Southampton, so watch out for a chance to catch them live over the next few months.
We headed back to The Den on Friday as the music began, marking the start of the first ‘official’ day of the festival.
London based four piece Echotape got the crowd dancing, even though it seemed as though many revellers might not have been in the best position to do so following the celebrations for the previous night at the festival! The alternative rock band engaged with the crowd and even invited a spectator to perform with them onstage.
The music on the Blissfields Main Stage kick started on Friday afternoon with a stunning performance by Flo Morrissey. Her hauntingly beautiful vocals, combined with sunny weather (in case you haven’t heard, it never rains at Blissfields!) gave the Main Stage a relaxed feel. Morrissey was followed by an impressive performance by Palace, an alternative four piece from London, another band I would definitely recommend you look into further.
The initial relaxed atmosphere of the Main Stage was quickly replaced with the return of Blissfields favourites Dub Pistols. However, this is far from a criticism – the huge energy of Dub Pistols’ performance, even in the afternoon heat, made for a truly fun performance.
We eagerly awaited the set of Public Service Broadcasting, who (dressed appropriately for the festival’s ‘Somewhere in Time’ theme in traditional tweed blazers and bow ties) played a mix of tracks from their first and second albums, much to the delight of the crowd. We then went on to The Den to catch London based four piece Gengahr. Their performance was highly anticipated as they’ve been tipped for big things this year. We definitely weren’t disappointed! I particularly enjoyed their MGMT-esque track ‘She’s a Witch‘.
Headliners The Horrors, who released their album Luminous in 2014, proved that they were as impressive as ever with an eclectic set which had the crowd singing to older numbers, such as 2011’s ‘Still Life’, along with newer tracks.
The night doesn’t finish at Blissfields after the headline performance is over, however. Festival goers flocked to the ever popular Hidden Hedge, decked out with gloriously creepy art installations and with a large bonfire surrounded by cosy sofas, to catch performances from Bristol based Lionface and Dantanna. Younger revellers also tended to head to the Blisscotheque, Blissfields’ own bus with a disco booth where DJs including Cholombian and Novelist delivered remixes of popular house and EDM tracks into the early hours.