With the summer a distant memory and even the Autumn racked with stormy skies this week, you could be forgiven for wanting nothing more than to hunker down, ignore the world and eat your bodyweight in cheese. However, even in your internest you surely haven’t missed summer 2017’s first big band announcement – Download Festival.
Friday headliners System of a Down, having not been seen at Donington since 2011 are definitely due a triumphant return, whilst the somewhat niche Biffy Clyro headline slot for Saturday seems to have created a bit of forum-controversy already. Topping the bill on Sunday is a farewell op for Aerosmith, who last played the festival in 2014 and are sure to go out with a bang.
Though the day splits won’t be confirmed for many months, a whole raft of other bands have been announced for Download including: Slayer, Prophets of Rage, Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, AFI, Of Mice & Men, Sleeping With Sirens, Motionless in White, Simple Plan, Every Time I Die, The Story So Far and Fozzy.
So is it love or loathe? What do you think of the first Download announcements for 2017?
We all know how most UK festivals work- you show up, you camp somewhere, usually muddy and wet, you sneak a few bottles under your shirt/short/hat/combination and you head to the arena for some musical action. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a massive festival fan, but the Great Escape is a different kind of festival altogether. It’s almost completely focused on ‘new music’, and with that tagline comes a whole new era of ‘festival’ in general. Although it is a brilliant collection of new music, with everything from up-and-coming indie bands to an underground grime scene, whether it’s festival status is truly deserved, is debatable. You don’t have the same camaraderie as camping in a field and getting wasted with your friends, it’s a completely urban environment and I can imagine for a non-brighton dweller can be quite hard to navigate.
For those of you who are unaware of what the Great Escape is, it’s a four day extravaganza in which various venues around Brighton host gigs and events under the same umbrella.
I grew up in Brighton, and seeing the Great Escape flourish every year has been a real beauty to behold. It puts the city in a good mood, there are loads of artists wandering around, I get to go to venues I’ve never been to before or wouldn’t go to without reason. It’s nice to promote new talent and isn’t massively overpriced for what it is. There’s a lot of nice little treats that come with your wristband, like a couple of free drinks at certain places or discounts on food and fringe events. It makes the city way more lively and you look at Brighton through rose tinted glasses, it brings a bucket load of atmosphere to my friendly city.
The long weekend itself was hectic, Some of the acts were unrefined, some were okay and some to be quite frank, some were pretty dreadful – with new music comes it’s fair share of risk – but when you get the one show that gives you the ‘I’m going to be able to brag about seeing these guys before they were famous’ feeling, it gives you goose bumps and an air of cockiness that lasts all evening, and that’s what GE is all about.
The festival is well known for its urban music vibes, with patterns showcasing Lady LeShurr in a packed out, madly energetic gig, however even with Stormzy playing a ‘spotlight show’ and music from Craig David’s new DJ act TS5, there was a very melancholic, Scandi-Pop, indie vibe to the majority of the festival, but that might be tailored to maybe the shows I happened to catch. A few favourites to call out were HER and SISKA, both French and both very different. The first was oozing sex all over the hope and ruin and had powerful vocals with highly sensual lyrics. The latter was a soulful, almost folky, bass filled vibe with some of the best vocals I heard all weekend.
Alongside all the lesser known artists, there were still some heavyweights pulling crowds to bigger venues, with Jake Bugg bringing the energy to Wagner Hall, which in itself is a masterpiece, even if a little hard to find. An amazing tucked away venue behind Saint Peters church- outdoors, fairy lights, and a cute little bar with a stage surrounded by foliage. It’s the type of place you had to stay at all day to see the one act you were actually interested in at 21:30. Mystery Jets also played a lively set, with a more prog-influenced feel than anything we’ve seen from them before at the Corn Exchange, a venue more central, capable of holding bigger crowds, and one of the best organised throughout the festival. The newly rejuvenated ‘Old Market’ also saw its fair share of action, with The Temper Trap playing a beautiful Amazon Live: Front Row gig, bringing a fresh lease of life to the venue.
Alongside the full blown Great Escape, is its rebellious little sibling that crops up all over the shop, The Alternative Escape. Although technically still a branch from the same tree, the Alternative Escape boasts something a little different, showcasing newer acts from specific labels and the Black Lion pub even hosting a few more learned events and East Street Tap remaining a hot spot for music and some definite refreshment throughout the evening.
It’s been over ten years since its humble beginnings in 2006, and although it’s continuing to bloom into a must-see of the summer, I do feel it needs to be slightly refined. They’ve got some great ideas and concepts, but the venues need to be stronger, maybe a few more outdoors stages, a few more quirky events, and just that little bit extra on top of the music. The music is great, but when you hit a three hour lull in the middle of a saturday afternoon, I can imagine those of us not from Brighton would feel quite irritable, which is the last thing you want in a crowd. But I say this from the perspective of a mum wanting to see it’s baby do well. The focus is on the music and the bands, and that’s something that gives it an edge, which can be lacking from the larger, more mainstream festivals these days. Things are only going to get better, and I for one can’t wait till next year.
Manic Street Preachers and Catfish And The Bottlemen confirmed to headline Truck Festival 2016. Oxford’s original independent music festival also welcomes Everything Everything, Circa Waves and Young Fathers.
Iconic rock trio Manic Street Preachers and fellow Welshmen Catfish and the Bottlemen are to headline Truck Festival, 15th – 17th July at Hill Farm, Oxford. The impressive line up also includes Everything Everything and Circa Waves who are set to rub shoulders with the awesome We Are The Ocean, Gnarwolves and Pretty Vicious, just some of the names unveiled today for the 2016 line-up. Truck Festival pulled out all the stops for the event’s 19th year promising devoted festival-goers another mind-blowing year of music. Standard weekend tickets are priced at only £86.50 and are available via truckfestival.com.
Manic Street Preachers – James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire and Sean Moore – are to perform on Saturday 16th of July at Truck Festival as main stage headliners. Undisputed classics ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’, ‘Your Love Alone’ and ‘Design for Life’ alongside more recent hits from ‘Rewind The Film’ and ‘Futurology’ will no doubt see festival-goers celebrating one of the biggest and best UK groups of the last 30 years.
Avid festival performers Catfish and the Bottlemen join Truck as headliners for Friday 15th of July. The four-piece scooped the BBC Introducing award at the first BBC Music Awards in 2014 and have been a firm fixture on the live music scene ever since.
With their most recent album being named ‘Hottest record in the world’ by BBC Radio 1, Mercury prize nominees Everything Everything are not to be missed this year at Truck Festival. Circa Waves, Young Fathers, Jack Savoretti and the hotly tipped Rat Boy are also joining proceedings in an indie-lovers dream lineup.
Truck is also catering to the hardcore fans out there with bands such as We Are The Ocean, Gnarwolves and Creeper providing everyone with a metal and punk injection. Truck 2016 will also bring to the table music from The Magic Gang, Formation and Hooton Tennis Club.
Completing the additions for Truck’s first announcement of 2016 are Creeper, Pixel Fix, Louis Berry alongside local favourites Willie J Healey and Esther Joy Lane.
Truck also recently confirmed that for 2016 the event will expand to three days across the weekend of Friday 15th until Sunday 17th July at the Hill Farm site. A whole extra 24 hours will be on offer packed, once again, with the best indie, rock, pop and electronic acts.
Truck Festival’s 18-year history has seen sets from the likes of Foals, The XX, Two Door Cinema Club, Biffy Clyro and Peace. Oxford’s original is the discerning go-to for credible and quality acts and 2016 is shaping up to be no less than another prime year.
Sónar 2011 covers the 5 continents and draws the world map of today’s electronica, from techno abstractions to stadiums’ bass music, from contemporary minimalism to new rap. The festival is loyal to its philosophy, and displays all the facets of today’s advanced music, with 103 shows confirmed as of today in Barcelona and 22 more in A Coruña.
A major contingent of American artists, the evolution of British urban rhythms and the techno essence of many of the shows are some of the main themes of Sónar 2011.
On its annual journey around the world, Sónar presents the 7th A Taste of Sónar in London on the 19t of March and the 4th SonarSound Tokyo on 2nd and 3rd of April.
Sónar 2011 gives a major boost to SonarPro, the annual date at Sónar for professionals in the music sector and creative industries.
See the full list of confirmed artists as of 11th March 2011
Sónar by Day
THURSDAY JUNE 16
Nicolas Jaar (Circus Company/US)
Toro Y Moi (Carpark/US)
Tyondai Braxton (Warp/US)
Little Dragon (Peacefrog/SE)
Floating Points (Eglo/UK)
Raime (Blackest Ever Black/UK)
Open Reel Ensemble (JP)
Daito Manabe (JP)
Ninja Tune & Big Dada Present
FRIDAY JUNE 17
Astrud + Col·lectiu Brossa (Elefant/ES)
Hauschka (Fat Cat/DE)
Atmosphere (Rhymesayers Entertainment/US)
Dominique Young Unique (Art Jam Records/US)
Xesús Valle (Alg-a/ES)
Facto y los Amigos del Norte (ES)
Tri Angle present
How To Dress Well (US)
Holy Other (UK)
SATURDAY JUNE 18
Global Communication (Dedicated/Sony/UK)
Hype Williams (De Stijl/UK-DE)
Gilles Peterson (BBC Radio1/UK)
Shangaan Electro (Honest Jon’s/ZA)
No Surrender (Zero Killed Music/US)
Filewile (Mouthwatering Records/CH)
DJ Sith & David M (ES)
Downliners Sekt (ES)
Sónar de Noche
THURSDAY JUNE 16
Steve Reich + bcn216 + Synergy Vocals (US-ES-UK)
FRIDAY JUNE 17
M.I.A. (N.E.E.T. Recordings/UK)
Aphex Twin (Warp/UK)
The Human League (Wall Of Sound/UK)
Cut Copy (Modular Recordings/AU)
Boys Noize (Boysnoize Records/DE)
Die Antwoord (Cherrytree Records/ZA)
Trentemoller (In My Room/DK)
A-Trak (Fool’s Gold/US)
Steve Aoki (Dim Mak/US)
Djedjotronic (Boysnoize Records/FR)
Schlachthofbronx (Mad Decent/DE)
BBC Radio 1 presents
Annie Mac + Katy B (UK)
Benji B + Pearson Sound (UK)
Toddla T + Redlight feat. Ms Dynamite & Dread MC (UK)
Russian Beats presents
DZA (Black Acre/RU)
Bjorn Torske (NO)
SATURDAY JUNE 18
Underworld (Cooking Vinyl/UK)
Magnetic Man (Columbia/UK)
Janelle Monáe (Bad Boy/US)
Chris Cunningham (XL/UK)
Shackleton (Woe To The Septic Heart/UK)
James Holden (Border Community/UK)
The Gaslamp Killer (Brainfeeder/US)
Surgeon (Dynamic Tension Records/UK)
Buraka Som Sistema (Fabric/PT)
Africa Hitech (Warp/AU-UK)
Paul Kalkbrenner (Paul Kalkbrenner Musik/DE)
Mary Anne Hobbs (UK)
Silent Servant (Sandwell District/US)
Night Slugs presents
L-Vis 1990 b2b Bok Bok (UK)
Lory D (IT)
Jessie Ware (UK)
Visuals by Remote Location (UK), Thomas Traum (DE) & Novak (UK)
Clara Moto (AT)
SUNDAY JUNE 19
Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto (raster-noton/DE-JP)
Artists pending confirmation of line-up slot:
Katy B (Rinse/UK)
Tiger & Woods (Editainment/Outerspace)
B. Bravo (Frite Night/US)
Brandt Brauer Frick (!K7/DE)
Daisuke Tanabe (Circulations/JP)
Illum Sphere (Hoya:Hoya/UK)
kidkanevil (First Word/UK)
Juan Son (Universal/MX)
Jullian Gomes (G. Family/ZA)
Poirier feat. Boogat (Ninja Tune/CA)
N.B: The perfomances of some artists are subject to changes of scheduling.
More Bands for your Buck™, the ticket price remains the keenest and best value of any utdoor music event in the UK calendar at £35 + bf for a Weekend ticket!
The biggest cultural event in the North East, Evolution attracts 33,000 people per day.
Get your tickets as of Tuesday 30th November at noon – The perfect stocking filler – for details of where to buy tickets visit www.evolutionfestival.co.uk
Ticket info: £35 +bf for the weekend / £25 + bf day ticket
“I’ve always liked the north. I like the bands too. I’m ready to get down and rave like a Geordie. I’m really happy we get a chance to play at Evolution. We are all deranged spitfires. Do you wanna dance?” – Iggy Pop
“Really looking forward to Evolution Festival – every time we have played Newcastle it has always gone off!” – Plan B
Evolution is proud to announce their headliners for the 2011 show. First up on Saturday it’s the legendary Iggy and the Stooges whose raw power and incendiary live performances are the stuff of rock n’ roll legend. Iggy Pop is a genuine musical icon and an influential innovator of rock n roll so expect Iggy and the Stooges sound to reverberate all over the North East.
Sunday’s headliner is Plan B, the hottest property in pop music right now. The antidote to X Factor wannabees, his critically and commercially successful album The Defamation Of Strickland Banks showcased his street wise swagger and cutting edge lyrics and he’s sure to have the masses singing along to his razor sharp, soul tinged anthems.
“It’s a testament to the growing international profile of Evolution that we are able to secure and announce our 2011 headliners so early. Iggy & The Stooges will own the mainstage on the Saturday night – Iggy’s unparalleled energy makes him one of the finest front men ever to grace the stage and the North East is in for a real treat with this headline performance. Plan B has become a huge phenomenon over the last year – his 21st century soul is the perfect way to close the festival on Sunday night. The live show is an incredible journey through the album and beyond. It’s fantastic to have him on board”. – Jim Mawdsley and Dave Stone – Evolution Promoters
Full supporting cast to be announced in early 2011.