Fascinating Festivities At 2000 Trees: Day 1
A queue of wheel barrows full of alcohol crates, horrendously over packed bags and ecstatic festival-goers formed between a length of metal barriers and flowed straight underneath the entrance banner for the 2000 Trees Festival. Walking through the canvas ticket gazebo, there was a pungent aroma of palpable excitement exuding itself from the grounds and the hippy/rock types alike.
Setting up camp among a sea of colour and flags of all variation flying high, we were assisted by a group known as #forveg who we quickly befriended and became close friends with at our time in Cheltenham. Among others we met, these five rock enthusiasts were prime examples of the good company the alternative scene has to offer (which are rare to find at most mainstream events).
Making our way to the Main stage, the variety of pop up stands were quite colourful. A range of independent clothing companies, essence tents and henna tattoo parlours stretch the length of the walk, each with their own unique proprietor in clothing and personality.
The brothers of ‘Bite the Buffalo’ entered the stage, rocking bandanas, sunglasses and even a cigarette mid-way through the set. The opening crowd they gathered was respectable, accompanied by music that you can easily throw moves to. With a Wolfmother sound echoing through their set, the two man band know exactly how to kick it to a classic rock & roll approach and grab their audience by the shoulders, ready to metaphorically embrace them.
The next act were the irrefutably unique ALLUSONDRUGS on the Axiom stage. With a care-free hallucinogenic funk vibe resonating a deep nostalgia which flowed through their every movement, the grunge-happy Castleford five-piece came in with long wavy hair and one eccentric bright red, heart-covered fleece.
Amusing and popular messages shouted to the masses such as ‘fornicate as much as possible’, as well as a strong relationship between the members, made this band a favourite amongst the listeners. The songs played (including the crowd pleaser "I should have gone to uni") were performed with a loose-limbed expertise, which were illustrated beautifully by singer Jason Moules and his positively peculiar stage manner.
The first noticeable aspect of Hacktivist’s set were that the members knew exactly how to please their audience. They knew how to motivate them and exactly what song to play and when to play it. They’re well known ensemble (including the infamous metal cover of "Niggaz In Paris" originally by Souja Boy) brought about some of the first waves of large scale mosh/circle pits to hit the festival so far, nearly bringing the tent down.
Most would say generally having two singers would be quite an advantage to the crowd interaction side but in this case, their unique concept of rap and rock didn’t put them on the map, it was the djent artists themselves who had the personality to win over their audience. As feet and fists flew through the stale beer air, the atmosphere became thick with exhilaration as well as a few minor injuries from awkward crowd surf landings.
After a long bonding session with our tent community (as well as a taste of the local cuisine), we made our way back to the cave stage to abuse our bodies even more with a blistering storm of tattoos and screaming rock brought about by the mighty Feed The Rhino.
Lee Tobin proved himself as the definitive frontman of 2000 Trees, encouraging all sorts of mayhem. The crowd lost all hesitation and opened mosh, circle and even a few dance pits to their material from ‘The sorrow and the sound’. Wrapping up the show, Lee mounted the speakers and showed his appreciation by not only pumping his fist in the air but by dropping his trousers to the floor. An entertaining and early full moon as the sky darkened.
After a visit to the burrito bus, we made our way back to catch a glimpse of the experimental stylings of Pulled Apart by Horses. The four piece stepped out ready to scream their lungs out to an appreciative crowd. Like banshees bursting from the cave, they deliver more than what was already expected. Their psychedelic blast of contemporary fast-paced rock crushed the competition with their incredible stage persona and memorable repertoire.
As the late night dusk settled in, a burst of light and the impressive stage production announced Deaf Havana to the main stage festival over the screaming crowd. A selection of songs from their album ‘Old Souls’ were played as well as a few older songs from when Ryan Mellor consisted of the line up. An exotic sea of colour danced till their feet throbbed, embracing one another and singing every lyric they knew.
The clock struck twelve as the wireless headphones were adorned and earpieces sparked into bright life, signalling the start of the silent disco. Various genre classics from the likes of Katy Perry, Blink 182 and Slipknot were played to the wide assortment of listeners. The closing note of the night would be the unfortunate truth that removing the headphones mid-song, would hit you with the realisation that the majority of these die-hard fans would never make singers themselves.
To read part 2 click here.
For more information on 2000 Trees festival click here
Review images taken by Nathan Roach
Words by Nathan Roach
Main photo by Jess Jones Photography