Its a very rare occasion that you get to experience a new festival without hearing the experiences of others, and I wasn't sure what to expect from Best Kept Secret, but I was pleasantly surprised by the site, the friendliness of others and sheer organisation, this is definitely a top European festival to be reckoned with.
Not only is it situated on a safari park, but it is surrounded by a beautiful lake and a white sandy beach. Revellers have the opportunity to kick off those shoes, get their feet wet and go swimming whilst listening to some great bands that are were offer. And don't worry if you're not a great swimmer, there are life guards on patrol looking out for your safety.
For the foodies out there, a great selection of both meat dishes and veggie delights were on offer at a reasonable price. And although the weather wasn't on our side, this didn't stop anyone from grabbing a free poncho, throwing it over themselves and making the most of what was on offer. Like most European festivals, BKF operates on a token system, and have a great incentive to ensure you don't litter. For every cup you return to the bar you receive half a token, 2 tokens gets you a free beer, so before you know it, you'll be receiving a free beer for your efforts.
Friday saw the doors open at 5pm, and within easy walking distance you had a choice of 3 stages. Most of the artists had only a slight overlap, so if you wanted to check out a number of bands, then it was easily done. On the bill were Swim Deep, The Maccabees, Bloc Party, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Fuck Buttons and closing the main stage were the Arctic Monkeys. Not only did they pull in biggest crowd, but they played an hour and a half set including their classics which had everyone jumping up and down.
Day 2 saw the likes of Two Door Cinema Club, Alt-J, Allah-Las, Koreless and Damien Rice take to the stages. Damien Rice entertained the crowd with his hits and it wasn't long before everyone was singing canon ball in unison.
The final day ended with the Local Natives, Everything Everything, Palma Violets, Kurt Vie and the Violators, Portishead and Sigur Ros. Not only was there a great selection of established bands on offer, but also some exciting new bands to watch out for. One band that stood out were Autre Ne Teut, hailing from New York, these guys provided a packed out tent to a mixture of way out musical styles mixed with some great beats to match. Sigur Ros closed the festival with an incredible set and atmosphere to match. They also donated some used signed drum heads and drum brushes, all proceeds donated to Unicef. For anyone looking for their next European festival, I would strongly recommend BKF, you won't be disappointed.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF BEST KEPT SECRET FESTIVAL