Review: End of The Road Festival 2019 – Friday


With a good dose of comedy and musical talent, the second day of the End of The Road was certainly memorable.

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After the beautiful settings I witnessed on Thursday, I was eagerly excited for the second day of the End of The Road festival as there were a number of acts I could not wait to see perform.

In the morning, I made my way over to the woods near the Garden stage, which hosted a variety of art work and interesting things to discover (including, but not limited to, some neon cactus lights and a peculiar colourful owl statue in amongst the trees). I also discovered the piano stage, a quaint little stage set up in the woods which hosted some secret sets and interviews with some of the acts performing at the festival over the weekend.

The first act I caught on Friday was Westerman. Much like Spiritualized from Thursday, I had not heard of him before but was eagerly awaiting what sort of sounds he would create. Unlike Spiritualized, however, I was very pleasantly surprised, and spent much of his set laying on the grass facing the Woods (main) stage, as the sun shone over me. It was incredibly relaxing, as his vocals reminded me very much of those of Dallas Green: serene and calming. Westerman was definitely the perfect act for a sunny midday performance.

I quickly rushed off to the Gardens stage, which was conveniently only a 5-10 minute walk away from the Woods stage, to be sure to catch Stella Donnelly, one of the acts I knew I definitely did not want to miss.

Having only discovered Stella recently, I was even more taken aback by seeing her live, as her talent radiated energy and love from the stage. She somehow managed to maintain a perfect level of audience participation and communication, as she was able to make many laugh in the crowd with her onstage banter. A particular memorable song of hers was ‘Die’, in which she got many in the crowd to follow her amusing dance moves. Seeing people of all ages bond over this dancing, and so many people enjoying themselves made me realise the one key realise why I love this festival so much: its complete, genuine focus on the music lovers, meaning that everyone is so friendly, approachable and welcoming towards one another.

After Stella’s incredible performance, I made my way over to the Talking Heads stage, situated in amongst the trees, feeling rather remote from anywhere else. Here, I was introduced to Tom Ballard, an Australian comedian whose jokes tended to focus around the apocalyptic political situations occurring around the world (in which many of us in the audience laughed in our own despair). Ballard had some impressive Rees-Mogg impressions, alongside some hilarious references to Baby Boomers, whom arguably caused the state us millennials and Gen-Zs are in now. (thanks Dad xoxo)

Let’s Eat Grandma were next on my must-see list for the weekend, so I made my way back over to the Garden stage; luckily, no stage is more than a 10-15 minute walk away from each other, so it’s extremely easy to get from one to another without panic. The two girls of Let’s Eat Grandma were fascinating to watch, with their synchronised dance moves and incredible talent on various instruments, including a recorder (which was quite iconic in my opinion). Though they were certainly not as chatty as Stella with the audience, they did not disappoint and their performance was just as captivating.

I spent the rest of the late afternoon mulling around, enjoying the beautiful setting, until Michael Kiwanuka was due on the Woods stage for his first ever headline performance. Although I appreciate Michael’s sounds, I admit I am not the biggest fan of his. However, witnessing the communal dancing within the crowd along to his funky, soulful tunes was beautiful, and made me really appreciate his sound more. The most memorable of his was definitely ‘Love & Hate’, in which he concluded his set with some impressively powerful vocals as everyone in the audience danced along together.

Overall, Friday was a complete success; combining some beautiful vocals with some newly discovered talent, I was very satisfied with how the second day of the End of The Road panned out, and could just not wait for the rest of the weekend.

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


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Live Editor 2019/20 & third year English student. Probably watching Gilmore Girls

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