'You headed to 12 trees?', asks our cab driver who's picking us up from Cheltenham Station. 'Apparently there are 2000. But I don't think we'll count.', we reply. Yesterday was our first time at 2000 Trees, and we loved every minute of it!
Jess and I last attended a festival together in 2013 when we went with Olive to Latitude. So this summer, we decided it was about time we did another festival, and when a few of our favourite bands and artists appeared on the lineup for 2000 Trees, we decided it was the one for us.
Next to no queue as we arrived, we were armed with our wristbands and straight through. The festival site was fairly small, which was nice as it meant that we easily found our way around, and headed straight to see The Xcerts who were performing a forest session.
If we do go back (which I hope we will), we'll definitely go better prepared. Although one benefit of going to a festival for just a day is that you can pack light, we did agree that we could have done with something to sit on. Sitting on the forest floor, we did suffer from numb bums, and camping chair envy, but the set from Murray and Jordan got us off to a good start. It all felt particularly forest-camping-esque when Murray unplugged his guitar and came out to the centre of the crowd to play the last song.
Lunch excites me at the best of times, but having seen what was on offer as we'd entered, we were especially excited for this lunch. I opted for a 'hot and crispy' scotch egg on sweet potato fries, and Jess found some gluten free pasta with a smoky cheese sauce. We sat by the Neu Stage to eat, where Asylums were playing a set. Enjoyed our food, and a spot of people watching (always good value at a music festival) before moving on to the Main Stage for Beans on Toast (the artist, not more food.)
His music was great, messages powerful, and he had the crowd laughing which is always fun. After the set, we made our way to The Axiom tent for Bloody Knees. A first for both of us, we loved their energy and found ourselves singing along despite having only discovered them the night before on a Spotify playlist.
Another forest session from Enter Shikari followed, but with The Xcerts playing the main stage only 5 minutes after the forest set ended, we had to dash. After what felt like endless tuning in the forest, we only managed to catch a couple of songs from Rou before heading back to the main stage. It's been really interesting to see The Xcerts play so many different venues. For me, a stage at a festival was the biggest, and their set did not disappoint. I think Murray's dance moves may have just tipped it for my favourite moment of the day.
Our first clash of the day struck, as back in the forest, Séan McGowan was playing. Not wanting to miss his only set of the day, we didn't stay for all of The Xcerts, and headed back to the trees.
Half our day came around all too quickly, and it was time again for some food. Back at the Main Stage via gluten free mini pancakes for Jess, we enjoyed most of Basement's set, some of it from the queue for Pad Thai (my first since Thailand, and it did not disappoint). Navigating crowds on our way then to The Cave stage where Skinny Lister were already in full swing was a little hairy, but we made it to a spot right outside the tent in the evening sun with all food in tact. Just enough time for digestion, we were back up and dancing again, trying to avoid the bare-chested man flailing around next to us in the stream of Coca Cola, beer, and goodness knows what else that his friends were spraying him with.. sticky.
Our final set of the day was quite the contrast to the madness of Skinny Lister. We were back in the forest where we'd begun our day for Ben Marwood's acoustic set. Another artist with an excellent sense of humour (it really does go a long way), we ended the day with plenty of laughs.
I didn't think I'd ever find a festival in the UK that suited me so well, but we really did have the most amazing day at 2000 Trees. The lineup was incredible, the sets were fantastic, the site is so convenient, the food was delicious, and everyone (and I really do mean everyone) was so so friendly which made for the best atmosphere. It was a Saturday so well spent, and I definitely hope that we'll return!