I found myself working at the ynot festival this year due to an unusual set of circumstances of flair having lost all of thier festival contracts, and creative (who I previousely worked for) having closed thier birmingham NEC branch requiring staff for the festivals in the area and hiring in flair staff to work at thier events. So I agreed to work and found myself at this event.

At the station I met a band who were travelling to the event and also found myself camping in the same area, so security photographers, press, bar staff and the bands were all mixed together in the same camping area which was quite a mix and created a civilised area for sleeping at night with the main partying occurring out in the public area’s of the site.

About the Event

The event itself consisted of 3 days of bands playing accross a number of stages, along with some art installations and a small selection of shops to purchase from.

For a festival that isn’t well known there were some major headliners along the lines of ash, electric six, the cribs, the darkness and the mystery jets amongst others. Along side this there were publicly voted in indie and unknown bands playing on the alotment stage which is where things really got interesting, although it was a small stage inside a tent some of the best music of the event was found inside this and any talent scout worth thier paycheck should have been inside this tent listening to some of the acts that played.

Surprise Highlight of the Event

For me the real surprise highlight was the band naymedici who opened up the saturday morning acts with a lively mix between viking melodic rock and irish sea shanties, and with the charisma oozing from the lead singer you couldn’t help but be mesmerised by the band, and the acts that followed had a hard enough time following such a unique and tuneful band.  Maybe it was following naymedici or the fact that the bands that played afterwards just weren’t my standard, including a very depressing act which came on after the following band that I had to leave the stage area to find a better source of music, if these guys had been given a better lineup position they would have blown the audience away and they would not be out of place at other popular rock festivals such as download and bloodstock where they would be very appreciated and draw in a huge audience.

Homegrown Talent

The allotment stage was of course the location for the up and coming talent of the country and another amazing act was located here on the sunday, parasight drew in a large audience and captivated those attending the stage with thier youthful energy and had skills that matched dragonforce coming out of the hands of a teenager which amazed me personally how such talent could be mastered at such a young age, these guys are definately ones to watch and I would not be surprised to see them signed up shortly as if these guys were to enter britains got talent they would surely win in my opinion.  Following these were chase the rain Another noteworthy act who again outshone some of the early morning acts on the mainstage the day before.  Thier music was much more mainstream than parasight but both were very talented acts.

Of course I had to return for blue sunday (worry I do not have a link at present) who I met at the train station as they were one of the bands who had to travel up on thier own accord as no transport was provided, they were good guys and very down to earth and also played again better than some of the main stage acts which were on at the same time and deserved a much bigger audience than came to see them at the stage.

Camping

Camping on the site was split into different area’s, with a family camping site, then 2 more campsites for regular visitors so partying would not disturb families, and also a campsite for artists and staff where I personally found myself alongside a photographer and a band, this of course led to me signing a rickety old guitar which was also signed by if not all of the acts at the event at least the majority of them courtesy of raggle taggle photography. who were very nice people and were very busy interviewing all of the bands and taking photo’s for the event and you should check out thier page to see for yourself some of the views of the site and what went down at the festival.

The feel of the event

Everything at this festival felt a lot more laid back than at more major events, with the capacity of the event being more than ample for the ammount of people there, so the stages never got crushed and there was plenty of room and very family friendly (with everyone remaining very civilised and polite even the children were very polite and not overactive) so everyone could enjoy the event no matter who and how old.

With the mix of unknown bands and known bands this would have been the ideal setting for bands to be a little more experimental and rather than play all of the well known songs or just play the albums through in some form, perform some remixes, B sides or even cover songs, or perhaps even some unknown and up and coming stuff.  But alas this didn’t happen.  There was some fun though with a UFO showing up crashed into the wall for the final day, and a morning ynot echo for anyone up early enough to recieve one for free with a one page newspaper of the events the day before.

Overall thoughts

This was definately a fun festival and I would definately reccommend that everyone should visit this at least once, it deserves more recognition and is a lot cheaper than some more well known events and gives the same full weekend of good bands and a lot of fun to be had, there is even a roller disco at £2 for 30 minutes which is amazing for a festival price. I don’t think you would even get that anywhere in birmingham.  Everyone is really friendly and laid back, the bands are good and if the not so good ones come on theres plenty of stages to go find (even one hidden in a wardrobe inside a bar like narnia) so you should definately explore everywhere as maybe you missed that, and who knows that person stood next to you might even be in a band.

Check it out for yourself you won’t regret it.