In its 19th year Oxfordshire’s Independent festival seems to soar with popularity, selling out its 3 day event weeks in advance, and hosting some of the best indie and rock acts on the current scene.
This year boasted the festival’s biggest headliners yet – Catfish and the Bottlemen, Manic Street Preachers and Kodaline – whilst also spotlighting the best of the UK’s up and coming acts. Each stage had its own style – the Truck Stage hosting the headliners alongside a mixture of bands including Band App winners and the legendary Mr Motivator; The Market Stage also hosted some of the most popular bands of the weekend including Mystery Jets, Soak, Eliza and the Bear and the Switch DJs; The Nest stage (a new addition to the festival) had a more hard rock and punk vibe hosting bands such as NeckDeep, Spring King and Spector. There was also an array of smaller stages including the Great Western Saloon Bar which is famed for its western style and swing doors; the Veterans and Virgins stage which hosted a mixture of styles including bands who have stuck by the festival for the past 19 years and others who play the festival for the first time; and finally the Palm City and Horizon stage which had its own unique club vibe.
Despite growing in size Truck has kept its intimate and unique style catering for both families and teens/ twenty-somethings. The general atmosphere was one of joy – partially due to the glorious sunshine that lasted the whole weekend – and hilarity whilst also being completely laid back. There was no exclusivity at all and the artists themselves seemed to enjoy and stay to soak up the infectious atmosphere after their sets, enabling us to mosh away to Catfish whilst stood next to the Eliza and the Bear boys, bumping in to Izzy B from the brilliant Black Honey after Sundara Karma’s set and dancing with the BandApp winners Judas in the Silent Disco.
The festival also held its annual paint fight staining the grass including the clothes and skin of the attendees and colouring the block letters at the entrance of the arena. Its signature Helter Skelter and Ferris Wheel allowed festival goers views of the whole site whilst also providing ‘Coachella-esque’ photo opportunities.
From discovering our severe sunburn in the mosh pits, decorating ourselves with endless amounts of glitter, dancing to DJs creating beats from decks fitted in wheelie bins, receiving a free Christian healing and devouring glorious burritos, pizzas and rustic kebabs from the numerous food stalls – the weekend was definitely one to remember.