Hevy Fest returned this weekend up against it a bit.

Shaky legs from last year's re-arrangement of venue from field to Brixton Academy; teamed with shiny new Alt-Fest boasting Marylyn Manson as a headline act the same weekend.

Luckily Alt-Fest bombed, tanked on investments and cancelled catastrophically a few weeks prior, leaving way for a decent number to purchase the reasonably priced Hevy weekend (prices ranged from £60-£80 in sale tiers) and the event returned to its usual haunt of Port Lympne Wild Animal Park.

The festival was tiny. We can't figure out if this is great or not. The campsite can be strolled around in 10 minutes and the three stage arena in) maybe about 2. However, the result is above par amenities and free access to the zoo. Win.

The lack of a large sponsor was obvious, but staff were friendly and thought out planning apparent. Drinking was nicely surmised by over 18 wristbands so everything felt relaxed. Hevy was planned to be a cashless wristband system but disappointingly tech failed a week before.

Music was nicely devised into a heavy Friday and punk Saturday.

Friday saw melodic, experimental Maybeshewill run main stage with its pleasant edginess. TRC owned the second stage with their overtly cocky cockney which was as equally cringey as it was compelling. We also loved Texasinjuly, Kvelertak and iwrestledabearonce (feminist whoop for the strong ass female scream vocals on the latter). Silverstein made a return, still smarting strongly of emo but their new material does stand up.
Headline came from Finch drawing the entire festival into a regressive, hooting throng of adolescence. Despite Randy's drink induced face plant they charged through their classics seamlessly and with flair. Bring on the new album.

Saturday nodded to punk and alternative and acts were a bit more varied. Scottish pop punker's Murderburgers opened strong on the main stage with their unquiet brand of bouncy angst. Palm Reader presented us with a unique wall of noise that was compelling and classic, they could be the ones to watch. '68 saw a huge turn out from those who adore Josh Scogin, to sample his yearling duo of southern drawling experiential hard-core.
Reel Big Fish drew a huge dancing crowd along with headliner's The Vandals. Both reminding us, it's not dead, it's just changed a little bit.

As long as you're not expecting all the bells and whistles, Hevy won't disappoint. It's an intimate, stripped back, laid back festival that's genuinely all about the music and a handful of people who love it too.

Can't wait to see how they will build on this next year.

(PhotoCredit: Jessica Keogh @jessicakeogh)