2000 Trees might not be the biggest festival out there right now, but it’s fast becoming one of the best. Despite the more intimate setting, 2000 Trees has played host to some of the UK’s best and brightest, as well as pulling in talent from further afield.
However, at least for me, where the festival really shines is in the way it showcases new and diverse acts. Every year, I come home with a list of incredible musicians who I’d never encountered before – bands that at a larger festival I may never have stumbled across. Many of the bands on this list I first encountered at 2000 Trees, others I came across later, but all are my top priority to catch again this year.
I first experienced Creeper the first year I ever did press for 2000 Trees, and they’ve stuck with me ever since. Having heard the name on Kerrang! a few times, I settled down to watch them to kill time before an interview I had scheduled, and my mind was completely blown. I had to leave their set halfway through to make my appointment, but by then I was obsessed and made a promise to catch them live whenever and wherever I could.
These guys blend style and substance effortlessly and have created a cast of characters and whole extended universe within their lyrics, not to mention building an ardent fanbase. Fun, dark and energetic – this is post-punk for a new generation, at its best.
Vukovi are another Kerrang! favourite that I’d heard of far before I’d actually heard, and I wish I’d gotten to them sooner. Festivals are no doubt getting better at representing women, but the same female-fronted bands seem to show up on line-up after line-up, so it’s awesome to see a fresh new band get represented.
Unafraid to go heavy but still impossibly catchy, Vukovi walk the line between fun and ferocious expertly. If you like melodic pop rock with a side of seemingly otherworldly energy – then this is the act for you. Plus, their debut album only came out last year, so it won’t take you long to catch up!
Dead! are another incredibly hard-working act with a debut album that’s been a long time coming. Despite forming in 2013, their first full-length effort was released in 2018, but it’s evident that it’s been worth the wait.
A hard rock act that incorporates everything from punk to grunge elements, Dead! have found a sound that is unique to them, and is as fit for the moshpit as it is the dance floor. It’s impossible to listen to them without hearing the momentum that will soon catapult them into the mainstream – so catching them live now guarantees a life’s worth of bragging rights.
Thrill Collins are a 2000 Trees staple – so much so that last year they had to make an announcement video clarifying that they weren’t going to be in attendance. This year, however, they’re back and better than ever – and it looks like they’ve got some big things planned.
Comprised of just a guitar, upright bass and washboard – the trio are famous for taking all your favourite classic throwback tunes and doing the impossible: making them even more danceable. Using a fusion of rock, jazz, blues and folk, they are the perfect feelgood festival act, and the perfect people to go see if you’re looking to dance away your hangover.
Hard rock bands aren’t the only must-see acts at this year’s 2000 Trees, some of the most exciting additions are on the softer side. Black Honey are famous for being a kind of alternative Lana Del Rey – with silky, irresistible vocals backed by fuzzy indie pop.
That’s not to say that the four-piece doesn’t also know how to turn up the heat, as their garage inspired indie feels totally different in a live environment. The perfect mix of glamour and grit, they have been steadily gaining in hype and prestige, and will no doubt end the weekend with a legion of new fans.
These bands will be joined by Frightened Rabbit, Blood Red Shoes, Enter Shikari, Basement, At The Drive In, Arcane Roots, The XCERTS, Boston Manor, Touche Amore and many, many more!
Photo Credit: louderthanwar