Into The Woods: 2000trees 2015

It's all about the hidden surprises

Into The Woods: 2000trees 2015

By Ben Tipple

Jul 29, 2015 14:21

Hidden to the side of the Turner and Marwood campsites, subtly signposted by rickety wooden arrows and majestically illuminated by a multitude of fairy lights lies The Forrest Stage; perhaps the true representation of the Cotswold’s 2000trees Festival. Beginning life in secret, 2015 marks the fairy-tale location’s first foray into the main schedule, hosting some big names in its unique setting.

With highly in-demand hammocks hanging between sturdy tree trunks and a lonely bar offering the current hipster beer of choice, this part of the festival lurks dangerously close to pretentious, yet in its simplicity remains beautiful. Be it an acoustic session by Scottish pop stars The Xcerts, (“€œMake us feel like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers,” frontman Macleod politely requests during their Main Stage performance), or the high jinks of Thursday night Forrest closers Thrill Collins, the setting captures the festival ethos brilliantly.

Come night, the transformation is immediate. Within the somewhat secret Room No 7, hidden behind a door a little past the Forrest Stage, a mischievous air of debauchery is afoot. With no bar, some hay bales and a rather isolated busking stage to its name, at night it houses a combination of the intoxicated and the overly so. Shrouded in its red lights draped over the temporary fence panelling, it both looks and feels like something from a David Lynch movie.

Yet there’€™s nothing overtly imposing to distract from the self-created atmosphere. Nothing is forced. As with the remainder of the festival, just how to interact with the secrets and surprises is in the punters’€™ hands. A quick switch on the ever-popular silent disco headphones can transform the Gloucestershire field from a one-person rave into a tranquil getaway, complimented by an abundance of buskers of varying skill and fame.

Similarly, the play area immediately facing the Main Stage proves both an alternative and an accompaniment to the musical antics. As the likes of Tellison, Ghouls and And So I Watch You From Afar expertly direct the on-stage activity, festival goers are further entertained by flinging wet sponges across a hay bale maze, creating giant marble runs or taking part in a gigantic game of Twister. Again, the atmosphere is for the taking; ready to be manipulated and moulded to find individual desires. The Matador Pie from the excellent Pie Minister or a hearty Pad Thai serve to add to the occasion.

Into The Woods: 2000trees 2015

Fundamentally, 2000trees is built around the music. With campsites named after festival stalwarts, even sleeping is engaging with the musical culture. This ethos brings a whole variety of artists to the field, each with their own unique addition to the audible spectrum. Friday headliners Deaf Havana, for example, demonstrate how their evolving sound is handmade for grandiose environments, serving as a particularly suitable enrichment to the impressive sunset.

Despite some considerable technical issues that plunge the festival site into darkness a handful of songs into Saturday headliners Alkaline Trio’€™s set, the Chicago punks effectively showcase the variety on site; delivering a considerably more raucous and energetic performance than their prior night’€™s counterparts, despite some glaring setlist omissions.

This diversity is mirrored across all the stages; be it the switch on The Croft stage from the tongue-in-cheek dinosaur movie themed Jurassic Pop to emo troubadour Jonah Montranga, who even delivers a Gratitude track much to the crowd’€™s delight. Black Peaks present a dizzying powerhouse performance on the heavier The Cave stage, showing just how impressive breakthrough single ‘€˜Glass Built Castles’ can be.

Woahnows, Nothing But Thieves and Honeyblood lead the new army on the festival’€™s third stage, The Axiom; each with their own attractive quality, whilst Great Cynics bring their off-kilter charm to the same stage the following day; soundtracking the weekend’€™s largely unbreakable sunshine.

As with the selected bands, 2000trees once again shows itself as all about the quirks. Back in The Forrest, as Frankie Furlow serenades the relaxing late-night crowd who have opted against the rather hectic silent disco, it’€™s obvious that the special moments lie in the unexpected. The twists and the turns of the line-up, the musical variety on display, and those hidden surprises that simply take your breath away.