Review: Y Not Festival

The wet Derbyshire weather failed to dampen the joyous mood at Y Not festival last weekend, writes Sophie Grace

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The gloomy weather didn’t show any signs of matching the spirit of excitable festival-goers as we arrived at Pikehall on Friday night, and within minutes of pitching our tents the rain forced us to seek refuge in a nearby tipi, where Liverpudlian band the Jackobins took to the stage. Whether it was the rain or the band’s infectious energy that brought the crowds in wasn’t clear, but for a Friday afternoon when many were still arriving it was packed. The band’s most popular song, Hasty, which recently made the Radio X track of the week, was definitely one to recommend.

Later on in the evening we headed to the main stage in time for Manchester quartet Everything Everything, who walked on stage in matching red and orange jackets. The band alternated between fast-paced verses and high-pitched choruses and kept the audience upbeat and satisfied. We later visited the Jack Daniels Stage to see Broken Hands – a rock band from Kent. Lead vocalist Dale Norton bore similarities to Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose – and the band’s music increasingly got heavier throughout the set.

As the sky turned dark the crowds turned to something a bit different from the day’s performances. DJ Fresh attracted a bigger crowd than any of the other acts – making it impossible to even get close to the action. The night ended with Editors, who put on an outstanding performance, using fire and their brooding iconic tracks to keep the stage alight.

The next day showed the promise of sunshine as we headed back to the main stage, sitting on the grass with a cider in one hand listening to rock band the Amazons. The band boasted an upbeat set list with catchy lyrics you couldn’t help but sway along to. We then turned to the Giant Squid Stage to listen to Harrogate metal band Blood Youth, whose set definitely wasn’t for the fainthearted. With music similar to that of A Day to Remember and Parkway Drive they are definitely ones to watch out for.

Later on in the day we waited in anticipation for my personal favourite of the weekend, Catfish and the Bottlemen, who needed no introduction as they stepped onto the stage and had the crowds singing along to Homesick. Catfish are already a Y Not favourite after performing there two years ago, and the band proved themselves to be a firm favourite with the crowd – especially when playing their most popular songs, Kathleen and Cocoon.

Later came indie rock legend Noel Gallagher with his High Flying Birds, bellowing out a range of Oasis classics along with his new tracks. While his newer music had a great response it was nothing compared with the crowd’s energy and volume when he finally played Wonderwall.

There is more to this festival than music however, with a wide selection of street vendors, funfair rides, a pop-up cinema and a children’s area full of arts and crafts. For a medium-sized festival Y Not has everything you need for a weekend of great music and fun activities that cater to all ages.

Photo credit: Ross Silcocks

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