“If your festival experiences involve warm pints of foamy Carling in a corporate mud bath, this is as far away as you can get…”
The first thing that strikes you as you walk up to In The Woods is it is really small. Only 1,000 tickets were available, and they weren’t lying, it’s ‘In The Woods’. Through out the maze like set up are beautiful art installations dotted left, right and centre and a great amount of effort has been put in to make the woods look incredible.
In the build up to the festival everything is kept under wraps regarding the lineup and the location. However, anyone going to the festival would have been confident in the lineup because in past years Nick Mulvey, Lucy Rose, Lianne la Havas and Alt-J have all played before their careers took off.
Last year at the AIM Awards this festival won the award for ‘Best Independent Festival’ and was refreshing to be at a festival without any big drinks or company sponsors.
Friday evening saw Laura Marling play to a packed out Quarry Stage and was a beautiful start to the festivals music line-up. Her husky but gentle vocals really got everyone in the mood for what was going to be a special weekend.
Saturday, essentially the main day for music, was jam-packed with new and upcoming artists.
The first act we came across was Shopping, a three-piece band from London with a sound of twangy guitar and slapping bass; think The Ting Tings / Alphabeat. A good fun band with some great tracks. Stand out’s included their track ‘In Other Words’ and ‘We Say You Pay’.
Nao is a beautiful artist from London and has one hell of a voice. Combining her incredible vocals with some bad ass beats, she put on a brilliant performance and was a definite highlight of the festival. Check out the track ‘So Good’.
Francobollo describe themselves as “everything you ever wanted as a child for christmas but were too afraid to ask”. We couldn’t agree more as the band provided what seemed the most fitting soundtrack to the immense location and feel of ITW. Receiving the biggest noise from the crowd so far, Francobollo played their hearts out. With crashing chords and melodic vocals the band payed back the crowd with great songs such as “Good Times” and the incredible tune “We’re going to Rio”.
Jack Garratt was the overall highlight of the festival. Not many artists or performers make us repeat “wow” as many times as Jack. This man did everything. He sung, he played a drum machine, he played his backing keys and then shredded a guitar to pieces. It incredible to watch.In The Woods has a habit of getting acts and artists to play just before they explode in to the mainstream. Dont be surprised if it’s this guy.
Overall, the whole festival was an awesome experience. The vibe was the one of the best we have experienced. The combination of amazing art installations and location of beautiful woods was something very special. The only qualm was that one day of music wasn’t enough, we want more! Apart from that, we can’t wait until next year.