Our Guide to Hevy Festival 2015

By Chris Marshman

It’s no secret that here at Punktastic we’re huge fans of Hevy, the annual celebration of alternative music which doubles as an excuse to stagger around a 400-acre wildlife reserve. By attending Hevy, you’re assisting the fantastic work of the Aspinall Foundation and contributing to the preservation of a selection of endangered species: emo kids, goth-punks, prog-punkers – they’re all here. Oh, and apparently there are some rare animals too. Safari, so good.

Initially conceived in 2008, Hevy had built itself a reputation as one of the best small festivals in the UK until a series of stumbles led to an inexplicable storm of schadenfreude when 2013’s event was cancelled at short notice. Taking stock of their situation, the organisers of Hevy – always more interested in creating a fantastic event than generating publicity or securing high-profile sponsorship – came back with a vengeance in 2014 and put together a line-up and a festival which reassured attendees that lessons had been learned.

And with 2015’s incredible line-up, Hevy has not so much silenced the remaining doubters as gagged them with gaffer tape, bound their limbs together and thrown them to the endangered wildcats. The whole line-up is killer, but below is a list of the acts we’re most excited about and think you should be too.

Coheed and Cambria

Melodic, heavy, progressive, narrative, genre-defying… we could reel off positive adjectives to describe New York’s Coheed and Cambria until they dried up and we are left having to invent new ones. Those fresh-baked words still wouldn’t be sufficient to convey the ambition and impact of C&C’s 2004 masterpiece ‘In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3’, which the band will be playing in full at Hevy 2015. Not so much a ‘difficult second album’ as a ‘difficult (to see how any band could ever top this) second album’, hearing the third chapter of The Amory Wars in its entirety will be nothing short of a religious experience. [Rob Barbour]

The Dillinger Escape Plan

Not one for the faint hearted, The Dillinger Escape Plan are an eruption of mathcore and literal chaos. If leaping from guitar cabs, stage diving, and swinging from the lighting rigs without ever missing a note sounds impressive – or even impossible – then seeing truly is believing when it comes to this genre-defining group. Never one to disappoint, DEP always deliver a jaw-dropping performance. [James Davenport]


Recently revived following a hiatus which outlasted the entire careers of several bands, Charlie Simpson’s post-hardcore powerhouse are back. And not back in the ‘go through the motions, collect the cheque and fuck off on holiday again’ sense either. With a new album, ‘Behind the Devil’s Back’, due in October it’s clear that the quartet mean business. Closing the second stage on Friday night, we’re anticipating a rapturous reception. Just don’t expect them to descend onto the stage in a Delorean. [Rob Barbour]


Emerging from the ashes of South Coast sleeper superstars Our Time Down Here, Creeper wasted no time casually dropping one of the best EPs of 2014 before hitting the road to build their cult. 2015 has seen the band going from strength to strength, culminating in the recent announcement that they’d signed to Roadrunner Records. That’s A Big Freakin’ Deal. Catch them now, because you can bet they’re going to be playing much, much bigger stages before long. Expect material from forthcoming EP ‘The Callous Heart’, epic fist-in-the-air singalongs and Will Gould being A Fucking Rock Star. [Rob Barbour]

Press to MECO

Press to MECO are absolutely bloody ridiculous. Lulling you into a false sense of security with vocal harmonies tighter than a dead miser’s fist before battering you with juggernaut riffage, their sound occupies the exact midpoint between Killswitch Engage and the Backstreet Boys. With their début album due later this year, the Croydon-based trio make an unholy amount of noise relative to their size and are sure to leave any bystanders wondering just what the hell just happened. Check out their ‘Affinity’ and ‘Press to MECO’ EPs and prepare for some seriously violent crooning. [Rob Barbour]


How could we not include Thrice? Quite possibly one of the most important bands of the 2000’s, Dustin Kensrue and co. have chosen Hevy Fest to make their long awaited UK return following their decision to start making music again. Looking at their most recent setlists, you can expect a career spanning show that doesn’t hold back on the heavy hitters. It’s going to get a bit silly and we can’t wait. [Chris Marshman]

The Get Up Kids

The Get Up Kids may not have the same profile as contemporaries like Jimmy Eat World but they’ve had arguably more impact on your favourite bands than any other single act. However much they might like to disassociate themselves from the term, they are quite simply one of the most influential ’emo’ bands of the last twenty years – a status largely attributable to 1999’s genre classic ‘Something to Write Home About’, which they will be playing in full on the Saturday night at Hevy. Some will have a little dance, some will have a little cry, but everyone’s going to have a good time. [Rob Barbour]

The Fall of Troy

The return of The Fall of Troy is very welcomed indeed. The fact they’re playing their 2005 album ‘Doppelganger’ is just the icing on the mathcore cake. The musicianship, the intensity and the damn bloody good songs make sure of an unmissable set by the recently rejuvenated trio. [Chris Marshman]

As It Is

It’s fair to say that As It Is took a lot of people by surprise with their debut album ‘Never Happy, Ever After’; garnering great reviews everywhere you look and earning them a spot on the Fearless Records roster. They’re currently busy tearing it up over in the US on Warped tour too. We’ve got no doubt that they’re going to pull a huge crowd in what could be one of the funnest sets of the weekend. [Chris Marshman]

Arcane Roots

It’s been a little while since the boys in Arcane Roots were in the spotlight and there’s a reason as to why everybody is so excited that they’re seemingly on their way back to kick our heads in with their brand of progressive post-hardcore mathy brilliance. Arcane Roots never disappoint, they don’t know how to. This will be one of the sets of the weekend. [Chris Marshman]


So Friday is over. You’re hungover (probably). You’ve probably just gone to see some monkeys, maybe a lion. You know how it is and now you’re wandering around the main arena looking for something to do. Step up Cornwall’s own hardcore/screamo lot, Vales. If it’s intensity, brilliance and showmanship you’re looking for then look no further. Their set will wake you up, it will gear you up for the rest of the day and it will leave you remembering just how great watching bands in an animal sanctuary in the middle of England surrounded by friends really is. [Chris Marshman]

Truth be told, no matter where you look. The organisers of Hevy Festival have put together a line up that has incredible strength in depth. Back in its glory days Hevy Festival was constantly on the lips of those that attended as one of the best festivals in the UK today. Last year critics were silenced with an event that showed glimpses that the rebirth of Hevy was on its way. This year… well. Prepare to have the weekend of your life because Hevy Festival is back.

Hevy Fest