Festival (29/07/16 - 31/07/16)
Derbyshire’s Y Not Festival celebrated its tenth anniversary last year and now in its second decade, 2016 became the event’s largest offering yet. Headlining acts such as Madness, Fun Loving Criminals, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and The Hives, provided no shortage of mainstream appeal and crowds gathered in record numbers to give the three-day weekend a vibrant atmosphere.
One of Y Not Festival’s finest traits is its uniquely diverse itinerary, offering plenty of options for those not swayed by the event’s mainstream artists. With on-site activities like face painting, giant board games, hula hoops and vintage arcade games, you could mistake this for a giant country fate, were it not for the various music stages, acoustic performances, hookah bars and dance music tents.
For those that like their music a little heavier, The Giant Squid is the place to check out some of the best emerging talent in the UK’s alternative scene. Heck have built a reputation as one of the most entertaining live acts around, well known for going beyond the boundaries of the stage and paying little regard for their equipment (or safety) in the process. This performance was partially subdued thanks to vocalist/guitarist Matt Reynolds breaking his foot during the band’s performance at 2000 Trees, but the set was no less impressive, proving that the band’s frantically pulsating songs are just as memorable as their traditional onstage antics. For Black Peaks, holding back is an unknown concept and their astonishing run of superb performances continued in The Giant Squid. Vocalist Will Gardner maintains his position as one of the most refreshing vocalists on the scene, managing to switch from silky smooth croons to elongated, guttural screams at the drop of a knee.
Welsh newcomers The Decoy may have a difficult sound to describe, but they’re certainly not hard to admire. Described as a blend of Biffy Clyro, Incubus and The Police, the three-piece announced themselves with a fantastic collection of songs from their recent debut Avalon, which were every bit as engaging as their banter between songs. Throughout 2016, Arcane Roots have been going from strength to strength, somehow improving their already awe-inspiring live performances with each passing visit to the stage. It helps that the three-piece have a catalogue full of anthemic songs designed to sound huge in a live setting and having performed so regularly throughout the festival season, they perform as a watertight unit that’s unwaveringly professional and accomplished in every aspect. The band will be releasing a new album soon and we couldn’t be more excited to hear what they have in store.
Since ending their seven year hiatus, UK tech-metal pioneers SikTh have been gathering steam, powered by the inevitable sense of hype building up around them. On the eve of their first ever tour in the US, the band provided a fitting end to a weekend of excellent British bands on The Giant Squid. As the band rifle through tracks from their debut The Trees Are Dead and Dried Out, Wait for Something Wild and follow-up Death of a Dead Day with their signature blend of mesmerising, technical musicianship and infectious grooves, you’d never know that some of these songs were written 13 years ago. SikTh may have been away for seven years, but this performance proves that they’re still the undisputed kings of the tech-metal scene and with the promise of a new album next year, they’re well and truly back on the throne.
With another impressive musical line-up and a family-friendly atmosphere, Y Not Festival once again provided an unrivalled sense of relaxation and fun amidst the UK festival season. It’s no wonder that the festival has grown to be so successful and having begun its second decade in fine form and we’ll be hoping that this unique character and atmosphere is still being celebrated well into its third.