This year’s 2000Trees was magical to say the least. Everyday had a range of different artists performing, from emo faves to acoustic sets to hardcore music. There was music for everybody, including all the children who came with their parents. And there was a bit of everything else too: a crazy golf course, glitter stations, poetry workshops, yoga classes, and much more. Trees is basically different type of people’s ideas of a perfect festival morphed into one, and it works so well. Carry on reading for some of Vanguard’s highlights of the festival – but don’t think these were the only good bits!
On the first day of music, Thursday, WSTR were the first to take the main stage. In a sea of pop-punk bands, it’s hard to differentiate yourself. Although WSTR struggle to do so in their albums, they definitely manage when playing live. Seeing them perform is always and all-round fun experience, and they get better and better every time.
A surprising highlight was Le Butcherettes. The Mexican garage punk act didn’t attract the biggest crowd, but they should have. Watching them was more like watching a theatrical performance rather than a band at a festival, with faces in the crowd varying from confused to excited. It was an intense, and rather weird, set but the music was good and that’s all that matters, really.
Yonaka played twice on Thursday, delivering flawless performances each time. Their first set was in The Forest, where they played acoustic renditions to some of their hits. That exact stage was actually the first festival stage they ever played, so seeing them go back to it was emotional. However, lead singer Theresa’s presence seemed too big for The Forest’s little stage, and as good as her voice sounded it just needed to be bigger so she could fully express herself. This is why their main stage show was perfect: there was more space, the crowd was bigger, and the energy completely shifted. The other members got to move around and get some attention too and it was a truly fantastic rock show.
After such a pleasurable Thursday, warming up to bands on the second day was a bit harder. How can anyone live up to performances from the likes of Yonaka and Turnstile? Turns out a few artist on Friday actually could – such as The Dangerous Summer. Lead vocalist AJ Perdomo really just wanted to drink beer and party, but still delivered a great performance (which he casually left by walking through the crowd and taking a picture of the rest of the band on stage), definitely one of the best of the day. No pictures of their set were available so enjoy the music video to Way Down instead.
As It Is played right before headliners You Me At Six, introducing themselves as “a band called My Chemical Romance” (at least they see the resemblance). It took a few songs for the crowd to warm up to them, but once they opened the “biggest moshpit 2000Trees has ever seen,” the fun started. As It Is have been busy touring pretty much everywhere, and any time they come back to the UK they improve. And as talented as they all are, it wouldn’t be a real As It Is review without mentioning how much guitarist Ronnie Ish changed their performances for the better.
The last day of the festival involved a lot of hungover people roaming around the different stages trying to enjoy as many artists as possible. Swedish band Normandie played The Cave rather early in the day, but still filled up the tent. Having heard the band before, seeing pop star-looking boys walking on stage was confusing but refreshing, and had quite a few people thinking, “those screams are coming from that boy?”. They played a genuinely good set that got the fans at the front going crazy, it’s just a shame that they kept begging for crowd interaction. If people want to mosh, they will mosh – you focus on finishing your song.
As Wicca Phase Springs Eternal played on The Axiom stage to a pretty empty tent, Every Time I Die took on main stage and killed it. They played their second album, Hot Damn!, in full so if you missed out on this set, you missed out on hearing Pornogratherapy for “the only time” they played it live. Possibly the best set of the day, despite the sound issues that came up.
Frank Iero and the Future Violents made their UK debut at 2000Trees, and it was the perfect ending to The Cave’s lineup. Frank is a professional rockstar and his music works so well with his new band – they played a mix of new and old songs as fans danced and crowdsurfed the evening away.
2000Trees is more than a music festival, it’s an overall fantastic experience. If this review wasn’t enough to convince you to go next year, make sure you follow the festival on social media to get all the info you’ll need for 2020. #2020Trees?