If I woke up in some alternate universe which would only permit attendance of one festival each year- 2000 Trees would be my immediate, impassioned and excited response.

It’s set in a majestic valley setting. I’m not kidding; wild flower fields, swan adorned pond, frolicking lambs and peacocks cawing aplenty (all normal for Cheltenham, just off the A40 from Oxford)

This festival has all the charm and playfulness you would expect from a larger, hefty price tagged, hipster dream fest…
except the fact that it is not for Hipsters.

2000 Trees has fast become the best small festival in the UK for the Rock and Alternatively assuaged among us.
Growing to three full days this year, it plays host to a darling plethora of both household stalwarts (Twin Atlantic, Enter Shikari, Creeper, At The Drive In) whilst supporting unknown and burgeoning talent alike. The bands falling into these two categories are gloriously mixed across stages and times, so you inadvertently discover new bands whilst roaming between the four stages.

My favourite element is the woodland stage, where nearly all the bands play acoustic sets to hundreds of cross legged fans, sat in silence with baited breath.

Everything is easy here. The staff are friendly, knowledgeable and genuinely care if you are having a good experience. The bars are well stocked with local brew, but the arena is open, so those who wish to keep a low expenditure are totally at liberty to do so. Band clash is kept to an absolute minimum with a line-up that has clearly been carefully curated. Toilets are sparkling clean and plentiful.
Campsites are divided and named after bands of legend – so campsite culture is an annual affair for the many, many people that attend consecutive years (this year sees the addition of the Frabbit stage, which is heart-warming and breaking at the same time. They were meant to headline). Late nights have silent discos, bonfires and karaoke. This year they trialled a cashless system so that queues were kept to a minimum.

The people in attendance are just wonderful too. Skewing to an early to late 20’s grouping, everyone seems collectively easy going and collaborative in having a good time. There is no pretense, no peacocking and pretty much everyone we met was just happy to have a chat.

For a small festival with a huge personality, the price cannot be argued.
Early Bird 2019 tickets are online now for £92, with an eventual price of £110. If you’d like a slightly more premium package, the VIP pass greets you with a Tee, Tote bag, glass of prosecco and access to the private bar and campsite- I’d highly recommend it for all you get included in the price.

Photographer: @garethbullphoto

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