On the 15th-17th July, we headed over to check out Truck Festival 2016. The weekend has been hailed the “Godfather of the small festival scene” and it certainly lived up to its reputation. The festival is home to both an eclectic mix of music and a crowd made up of a noticeably wide age-range, which meant it’s the perfect place to relax, listen to some new bands and enjoy the atmosphere.
We arrived on the Friday evening after a long week’s hard work. As we strolled past South Oxfordshire’s best selection of cows and the hay bails on the path to the entrance, we could hear the sound of ‘Oceans’ being played out as Coasts performed on the main stage. We couldn’t have asked for a better introduction.
After catching the end of Coasts, the rest of the evening was a showcase in exactly what makes Truck different – whilst it may be a small festival, it doesn’t shy away from encouraging a variety of different artists to join the weekend. On this note, Jurassic 5 jumped onto the stage. They provided exactly what the crowd wanted, a fully polished repertoire of J5 classics. After J5, Catfish and the Bottlemen took over and provided a completely different but equally enjoyable performance with a crowd-pleasing set littered with tracks off their first and second album.
Saturday offered the chance to see more up and coming artists on some of the other stages at Truck. In particular, the Market Stage and the Nest served as great venues; the former allowing smaller bands to attract a large crowd and the latter providing a much more intimate setting. Bloody Knees and Spring King both played great sets to energetic crowds, but our highlight of the day was Fickle Friends on the Market Stage. Their upbeat synth-pop was perfect for the summertime setting and their well-mastered sound did their complex and varied riffs justice. They also treated us to their upcoming single, which we can’t wait to be released.
Saturday evening ended with Circa Waves killing it on the main stage to a lively crowd that knew their music all too well. Manic Street Preachers then closed off the event in true Truck style, bringing their years of experience to please the masses.
Just like Saturday, the last day of Truck brought a similar menu of varied artists, however Sunday’s line-up moved away from rock and towards pop, whilst maintaining the alternative feel. Particular highlights were Blossoms on the main stage and Black Honey on the Market Stage who were then followed by the fantastic Frances. Everything Everything were our favourite of the day, who played a flawless set including tracks across all their albums. The evening finished with Mystery Jets playing to a packed out Market Stage, followed by Kodaline rounding off the weekend with their Dublin charm and series of emotional pop hits.
Truck has played host to many bands that have gone on to take the world by storm, including Foals, the XX and Biffy Clyro. As a result, if you’re looking for some music inspiration for your summer travels, then take a long look at the Truck 2016 line up, we can assure you there’s some great stuff there.
Words by Tom McGivan.
Image by Ross Silcocks, Entirety UK.