I went to my first 2000Trees festival in 2015, and ever since, it’s been a permanent fixture on my summer calendar.
Set up by six friends in 2006, the Cotswolds festival – the closest train station is Cheltenham – is all about the music. Showcasing some of the best rock, indie, punk and metal bands in the UK and beyond, it’s designed to be an alternative to the big, money-grabbing mainstream festivals.
But beyond the music, there are other reasons why I think it’s one of the best weekends you could have in a year, and why it’s great for festival newbies.
So whether it’s your first or your fiftieth festival, here’s why you should give Trees a try…
*In exchange for coverage, I’ll be attending the festival as press*
It’s small…but with plenty of atmosphere
2000trees has a maximum capacity of 10,000 – big enough to feel an atmosphere, small enough to feel less overwhelming than the likes of Reading, Download or Glastonbury. (you’ll probably still lose your mates at some point, though.)
The music is awesome
If you’re a bit inclined towards music with guitars and love discovering new bands, this one’s for you. 2000trees books the best alternative, rock, punk and even metal bands around, with a focus on British acts and lesser-known, underground acts. This year will see headline sets from Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, You Me At Six and Deaf Havana – but it’s by no means all about the headliners. My picks of bands you should definitely see include
And if you want to tone things down a bit, the Forest stage features acoustic sets from singer-songwriters and bands appearing across the weekend.
Okay…I guess ‘affordable’ is relative, but with 3 day camping tickets coming in at £129.50, it’s basically half the price of most UK weekend festivals. And being able to bring in your own booze (see below) seriously brings the costs down too…
The crowd are super welcoming
I first turned up at 2000trees knowing one person, and now have a whole group of friends I see regularly for gigs and Wetherspoons hangs long after festival season’s done. With every kind of people from old-school punks to glitter-covered Silent Disco fiends (neither being mutually exclusive…), you’ll find friends here pretty easily. Having been a festivalgoer for almost 15 years, I’ve yet to find the instant warm welcome I get from strolling through the gates at Upcote Farm.
The food and drink options are fantastic
Gone are the days of soggy burgers, Tesco pizzas and toilet trauma inducing noodles being your only festival options. Think stone baked pizzas, big breakfasts, and plenty of veggie, vegan and gluten free options.
You can bring your own booze
With no arena/campsite divide, 2000trees is becoming increasingly rare in the festival world, in that you can take your own drinks anywhere on site. The slight caveat is this year’s advisory alcohol policy (although it’s up to you whether you stick to the one crate or one bottle of spirits rule), but if you wanna support an independent festival a little bit, maybe grab a few of the (decent) beers on offer at the bars.
It’s family friendly
Thinking of taking little ones to a festival but want to expose them to…actual good music? Impart your impeccable taste onto them here.