2000trees Festival Preview

By Gem Rogers

Named the Best Medium-Sized Festival in the UK for 2018 and based in the beautiful Cotswolds countryside, 2000trees is now a well-established part of the festival calendar. Its cool, intimate, and relaxed atmosphere provides the roots for an incredibly varied line-up covering just about every alternative genre out there – rock, metal, hardcore, and punk all make an appearance on the festival’s four main stages, plus their ultra-intimate Forest Sessions stage.

There’s so much on, it can be difficult to choose who to see – so here’s some of our top picks for the weekend to get you started!



Main Stage, 12:50pm

After opening the main stage at Slam Dunk this year, WSTR are back to do the same for 2000 Trees – and what better way to start a festival than with punchy, riotous pop punk? Keep comparisons to Neck Deep away; WSTR have an attitude and energy that’s all their own. Make sure your tent is up nice and early, and get down for a bounce around.


Neu Stage, 1.20pm

After an absolute beauty of a debut EP in ‘Goodbye Dinosaur…’ and tours aplenty, Phoxjaw are ready to make a few waves this year. Their second EP is set for release a few days before 2000trees begins, with new singles ‘Monday Man’ and the darkly fascinating ‘Melt, You’re A Face Of Wax’ proving that the Bristol four piece have plenty more to offer. Heavy, progressive, atmospheric, and just a little bit unpredictable, Phoxjaw are to be missed at your peril.


Main Stage, 3.50pm

If you haven’t heard of Puppy yet, you can’t have spent much time on the internet since they released debut album ‘The Goat’ last year. Every man and his, er, puppy is raving about this band, and no wonder, with thundering heaviness, gorgeous harmonies, and chunky riffs seeping from every pore. Puppy do exactly what they want to do, usually with a fair dose of good humour, and it’s earning them legions of fans – this has all the hallmarks of being one of those sets that everyone talks about, and you’d hate to be the person who couldn’t join in, right?

Blood Youth

Neu Stage, 7.10pm

Harrogate racket-making mob Blood Youth are on a roll this year. Leaning away from the melodic hardcore of their debut and picking up some distinctly nu-metal sounds for sophomore album ‘Starve’, the band have established an altogether more powerful and unique identity. Explosive, heavy riffs, emotive lyrics, and phenomenal vocals from front man Kaya Tarsus will be order of the day over on the Neu Stage for this 40 minute set. Let’s mosh.

Holding Absence

Neu Stage, 8.50pm and Forest Sessions, 3.05pm

Let’s make one thing clear – Team Punktastic love Holding Absence. A lot. And so should you – their soaring, immersive post-rock taps into every emotion with a delicate subtlety and heaps of heart, while never neglecting a solid anthemic chorus – see ‘Your Love (Has Ruined My Life)’ and ‘Monochrome’ for reference. With this headline set there’ll be plenty of time to absorb the intense experience of a Holding Absence live performance, and it’ll be the perfect chance to see just about every song in their current back catalogue. We’ll be down the front, having a cry as we sing until our lungs collapse. Please join us.



The Cave, 12.25pm

If holding one of the best band names of 2019 isn’t enough to tempt you in for this set, we don’t really know what to tell you. Actually, we do – get up early (ish), and get to The Cave for a unique blend of grime, punk, and metal that’s heavy on the bass and beats. If that sounds like a ridiculous combination, all the more reason to let PENGSHUi show you just how well it works, as they form such a cohesive sound you can only wonder why nobody’s done it quite like this before.


The Cave, 1.20pm

Newcastle’s GroundCulture have already been demonstrating their strength on the festival circuit this year, having opened Download’s Dogtooth Stage only a few weeks ago – now, it’s 2000trees’ turn to see what they can do. With an EP packed with heavy, uplifting melodic hardcore, the five piece are well on their way to proving themselves across the country, and they’re more than capable of bringing every bit of that energy to the stage. The Cave is the place to be for mosh pits and face-crushing riffs aplenty on Friday afternoon.

Dream State

Main Stage, 2pm

Only two EPs into their career – though there is, happily, a full length album in the works – Dream State have already proven themselves to be nothing short of titans on stage. Heartfelt, honest lyrics coupled with vocalist CJ Gilpin’s passionate performances have allowed the band to form a deep connection with their fanbase, while their post-hardcore riffs give plenty of opportunities for some almighty pits and dancing. Expect one of the most inclusive, empowering sets of the weekend from this Welsh group.

Hands Like Houses

Main Stage, 4pm

Bringing a firmly international flavour to Friday’s proceedings, Aussies Hands Like Houses are almost guaranteed to give you the bangover to end all bangovers – hopefully you’ve recovered from any actual hangovers by this point of the day, otherwise… Ouch. Their combination of insane riffage and Trenton Woodley’s unbelievable vocals, not to mention their electric stage presence and the serious singalong potential on tracks like ‘Colourblind’ and ‘Monster’, is not to be missed.


Forest Sessions, 6.10pm

After a high energy afternoon of headbanging chaos and plenty of sun (and there WILL be plenty of sun…), what better way to wind down than with some dreamy, atmospheric indie pop? With beautiful layering and electronic elements linking soaring choruses, local trio Watercolours are true to their name – soothing and colourful, this will be the perfect half hour to lose yourself in the forest.



The Cave, 1.50pm

In the three years since the release of debut album ‘Inguz’, Normandie barely seem to have stopped to catch a breath. After a support slot on Yellowcard’s final European tour put the Swedes firmly on the map in late 2016, they’ve completed more than a few laps of the UK for both tours and festival appearances and released their mammoth sophomore album ‘White Flag’ in October 2018. This is their first appearance at 2000trees, and it’ll be jam packed with anthemic choruses, elevating riffs, and thundering breakdowns, topped off with mindblowing vocals from Philip Strand. If you want a new favourite band, we’ve probably just found it for you.

Lotus Eater

The Cave, 2.45pm

If you like your music technical, disgustingly heavy, and with just a dash of destruction about it, Glaswegian metal quintet Lotus Eater will answer all your prayers. And then some. Sophomore EP ‘Social Hazard’ only just scrapes past the fifteen minute mark, but it’s an aural assault from start to finish, and their live performance brings just as much ferocious energy to the stage – it’s lucky they’re playing on the final day, because The Cave may not be left standing after this one.

Ducking Punches

Forest Sessions, 4.15pm

One-time solo project and now four-piece folk rock group, Ducking Punches will be bringing some of the most emotive tracks of the weekend to their Forest Sessions set. Dan Allen’s lyrics are frequently brutally honest, set to foot tapping beats and lively riffs that are sure to be magical in this intimate woodland setting.

Delaire, The Liar

Neu Stage, 4.35pm

There may only be two of them, but Londoners Delaire, The Liar know how to make plenty of noise. Vocalist Ffin Colley is nothing short of astounding and Delaire’s live sets have a tantalisingly wild quality about them – unique and genre-defying, they are quite simply Delaire, The Liar. Missing this set would be nothing short of a mistake.

Can’t Swim

The Cave, 5.50pm

With a sound that pulls on the heavier elements of pop-punk and even dips into the punk rock style of Alkaline Trio, New Jersey quartet Can’t Swim have a rawness and honesty that speaks to all troubled souls. There’s huge power in these haunting melodies and creative instrumentation, and their audience are equally passionate – come down to The Cave for a thoroughly therapeutic singalong, and you won’t regret it.

Every Time I Die

Main Stage, 7.50pm

‘Hot Damn!’ in full. Do we actually need to say anything more? This will be loud and riotous. Be there.


For an even bigger taster of what’s in store at 2000trees, we’ve put together a massive Spotify playlist to whet your appetite – check it out below, and we’ll see you this weekend!