Y Not Festival – Elly Bailey Reports

A classic UK festival, a weekend of your favourite bands, your favourite people, way too much drinking and a little bit of rain.

Here is Elly Bailey’s roundup of Y Not Festival 2018, stay tuned for her artist interviews that will be coming out over the next few days.

Best Performance: SHEAFS. 2pm on a Saturday afternoon, (e.g. when most people were recovering from their Friday night hangover), and Sheffield’s finest, Sheafs, managed to packed out The Quarry Stage tent and put on a hell of a performance

SHEAFS Image; courtesy of Lewis Evans Photography

Four members took to the stage playing a long-winded intro to the set, literally warming up the audience who had been soaked through from the weather. And then band member number five, appeared. Sheafs’ lead singer Lawrence, swaggered onto the stage, sunglasses in place and microphone in hand. 

Effortlessly cool, and equally talented, he made for the perfect front man, drinking red wine from the bottle, joking with the audience that they were only in the tent due to the rain, and of course, providing a show-stopping performance. “THIS IS NOT A PROTEST” signs were handed out, and Lawrence climbed onto the barrier before ending the set by jumping straight into (onto?) an audience going wild!

Funniest Moment: Trampolene singer Jack Jones performing on the Pirate Studios stage, and informing the audience that, “we are only allowed to drink Red Stripe on this stage,” after a crew member ran on to take off the beer he’d been handed. Bonus points if you witnessed the pissed off reaction of the crew member.

Most Shocking Moment: Blaenavon lead singer Ben losing himself in a moment of musical madness, throwing his guitar offstage and unintentionally hitting a security guard in the head. Luckily the security guard took it in good spirits, and accepted a very humble apology from Ben who jumped off stage to check he was okay and got the audience to give the security guard a round of applause.

Sweetest Moment: Watching Peter Doherty jump onto the back of a laughing Carl Barat after The Libertines smashed their Friday night headline set.

Peter Doherty : Image courtesy of Rhona Murphy Photography

Best Artist Discovered:  Alex Ohm – it was Sunday lunchtime and it was raining, but we’d managed to wrap up and walk down to the arena to get some food. Hurrying into the closest tent stage for cover we ended up stumbling across Alex Ohm’s 1:30pm performance, and what luck  that we did, because from that minuscule decision we found an amazing artist. Definitely one to watch.

Most Disappointing Moment:Music Festivals typically are outdoor events. And in the UK being in the outdoors means you come to expect a few things, the biggest one of these being bad weather. Although the first couple days of Y Not Festival had the most beautiful weather, as did the entire summer leading up to that weekend, it just so happened that on the Saturday and Sunday, the winds seriously picked up and so did the rain. 

Even though this was no surprise to anyone, it was disappointing to see that the festival organisers had not prepared for this turn of events, with the main stage being shut, acts being shifted around to different stages, sets being cut short and even being cancelled. This cancellation of bands included the Sunday headliner Jamiroquai, they were on for about 30 minutes before the rain started and the rest of the sets got cancelled. 

After the disastrous cancellation of last years Y Not Festival you would think that they would be more prepared for these scenarios. Of course, I am no expert in festivals or health and safety, but I do know that other shows have carried on under much worse conditions, and if they can, why couldn’t Y Not? 

The one silver lining from the cancellation of Jamiroquai was that Fat White Family were playing ‘The Giant Squid Stage’ at the same time. In a tent, close to the main stage, they made the perfect alternative end to  Sunday night.

Strangest/Most Memorable Moment:After the bands finished on Sunday night, for some reason so did everything else. On the other nights of the festival there had been DJs and bars and silent discos so punters could carry on partying after the music had stopped but on the last night, there was nothing. We all went back to camp, and sat around feeling a bit flat; so this was the end to our Y Not experience? And then, we heard it. The distant sound of yelling, laughing, people having a good time, and most importantly a song. The commotion got louder and louder until finally, five kids appeared in our camp, dancing around and clutching a speaker that was blasting out the classic 70s hit ‘Love Train’ by The O’Jays. “Come join the Love Train!” they called to us, and eventually we all ran over and joined, ‘the Love Train,’ which took us up and around the campsite, where more and more people participated, (I think over 200 people at its peak) It was silly, it was fun, and it was what was needed, shout out to that group of kids who started the Love Train, you improved a lot of people’s Sunday night.

Other Bands That Deserve A Mention:

Bad Sounds – Originally meant to be playing the main stage but instead put on in a tent due to weather conditions, they took the change of scenery in their stride and delivered a cool, funky performance, was lovely to see a band perform that were clearly enjoying themselves.

Anteros – Went from playing a cover of ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’ to neat slide into their hit ‘Drunk’, this band as always were charming, talented and were a great one to dance to.

Red Faces – Could barely fit into their tent it was so packed with punters desperate to see this group, and that was before it had started raining.

Sam Fender – A man that is going on to do great things’ a beautiful voice, charming personality and divine stage presence. His performance of ‘Leave Fast’ especially was a spine-tingling moment.

Spector – Despite the same stage time as the Kaiser Chiefs, Spector still managed to fill out their tent. As always Fred Macpherson enticed the audience with his charismatic humour, gifted talent and of course his ability to put on a great show.

Stay tuned; Elly Bailey has more from Y Not? Festival 2018, coming soon @TheZineUK

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