With its pretty location and wonderfully varied stalls, the End of The Road festival really has something for everyone.
Based in the beautiful settings of Larmer Tree Gardens, and occurring from August 29th – September 1st, my expectations for the End of The Road Festival were already more than met once I arrived at the grounds. I spent Thursday afternoon wandering around the many stalls, all offering things ranging from clothes, books, water-bottles and sweets – what more could you want?!
The first band I definitely did not want to miss was Pottery, after their recent performance at Heartbreakers which gained a 5-star review. I already loved their music, with their newest abum No. 1 acting as my summer soundtrack. However, seeing them perform live has most certainly transformed the way I listen to their music, witnessing their energy and love on stage. A particular favourite of mine was ‘Lifeline Costume’, which had people moving and grooving to the energetic guitar riffs.
It seemed I was not the only one eager to see and hear Pottery, as there was apparently a queue out of the Tipi tent which they performed in. I was lucky enough to get in the tent early, however I definitely felt for those who had to stand outside to listen; my one criticism of the End of The Road festival is the capacity limits in the Tipi tent and the Big Top, two stages which seem to hold some of the heavier artists. Although making the tents safer and more spacious, these limits become a hindrance if you have to dash from one stage to another in a hurry just to ensure you are allowed in.
After Pottery’s set, the band left the stage and started to sell some of their merch. I felt so lucky to have the opportunity to meet them and talk to them, as they were so friendly with everyone there. I feel that this casual meeting of bands and fans is rather rare at festivals nowadays, particularly ones with extremely popular artists. The End of The Road is special in its ability to transform a field, a tent and a stage into a place that feels like home, as meeting some of your favourite artists is seemingly casually easy here.
Upon exiting the Tipi tent, I was welcomed by the beautiful sunset which spilled over the colourful lights set up around the stages. In the time between the next act I wanted to see, I made my way over to the gardens where I discovered many beautiful pieces of art dotted around the grounds. I also found the cinema – a cinema, at a festival?!? Sounds crazy, but I absolutely adored where it was set and think it is the perfect idea for a festival, to fill any annoying gaps you may have between artists (and potentially discover a new favourite film!).
Next up on my list to see were Spiritualized; I had not heard anything about them before this festival, but since they were headlining the first night I thought it would be worth checking out. I positioned myself next to the fire pit they have set up near the Woods stage (which, for the record, saved me on many occasions on the bitterly cold nights), and was eager to see what they had to offer. When they arrived on stage, I was instantly impressed by the light-show they had playing, filled with colours and fairly trippy images on screen. However, I was less than impressed by their actual performance – maybe it’s just that their music just wasn’t for me, but I felt it was rather generic and not very enthralling.
Although Spiritualized did not particularly impress me, it’s safe to say that the first day of the End of The Road met my expectations in its beautiful setting, friendly nature and wonderfully casual attitudes.
The End of The Road 2020 will take place at the Larmer Tree Gardens from September 3rd to September 6th, and tickets are now on sale here.