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Y Not Festival 2014 | Festival Review

We headed down to Y Not Festival in Derbyshire to check out the bands and the festival atmosphere!

Credit: Festival poster


Sunday Aug 3rd 2014


Sunday was the only day at Y Not Festival where no rain at all was forecast, and you could feel it walking around the site. There was a relaxed atmosphere and the ground had dried out nicely. Remnants of the afternoon festival paint fight replaced the mud splattered across clothes, and the site felt busier than it had all weekend.

Credit: Facebook

King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys – 3/5

With their bluesy swing music, King Pleasure were a great example of the variety available at a festival. Their double bass player ran around the stage carrying his instrument as though it was nothing, providing a great show. Their cover of ‘Tequila’ was great, prompting the whole crowd to shout along and get dancing. The perfect recipe for wiping away the cobwebs on the last day of a festival. In every tune, each member of the band had at least two solos, and although they were impressive, they soon started to drag on a bit.

Credit: Facebook

Eliza and The Bear – 4/5

Thanks to a recent advert, everyone was able to sing along the words to their opening song – ‘I’ve got friends, I’ve got family here’. It wasn’t the only good thing that they played, though. The band recently supported Imagine Dragons on a UK tour, and it’s easy to draw similarities between the two. We can’t wait for an album release to check out more of their atmospheric, anthemic songs.

Credit: Promo

Palma Violets – 1.5/5

The band took to the stage ten minutes late, and when they eventually turned up, front man Samuel Fryer was all over the place, failing to sing a full line directly down the microphone, often descending into tuneless shouting. It’s hard to tell if that’s what people wanted from a Palma Violets set, as plenty of the crowd seemed to be into it. Maybe it was just something we didn’t quite get, but we struggled to make it through to the end.


New York Brass Band – 5/5

The name was instantly eye catching, but it turns out this band aren’t from New York at all, and none of them have ever been. They were just a new brass band from York, and a great one at that. They played a selection of pop songs including ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ and ‘A Message To You, Rudy’ as well as a few originals. The band worked the crowd well, with a lot of sing a longs and even a dance off. They got off the stage and into the crowd on several occasions, even leading a conga line out of the tent while still playing. There was the genuine feeling that we were witnessing something special, and it showed the benefits of sticking your head into every tent possible at a festival – you just might catch something amazing.

Credit: Brantley Gutierrez

Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls – 5/5

What better person to headline a festival like this than Frank Turner? He perfectly encapsulates the festival spirit, the sense of community that music can provide. He brings everyone together, gets everyone moving, and makes everyone feel good. It’s a genuinely uplifting set, opening with ‘Photosynthesis’, which feels perfect to kick start the night. ‘Plain Sailing Weather’ follows, setting the tone for the whole set. Backed by The Sleeping Souls, they hit a good balance between Frank’s acoustic, folk songwriting and the rock band approach. It’s a reminder of the power of music, the way that it can inspire a field full of people to sing, shout, cheer, dance and crowd surf a tent to the front. It’s a perfect way to finish the weekend.


Overall Y Not Festival provided a great weekend once you take the rain out the equation, which the organisers couldn’t do anything about. They handled it as well as they could and, frequently laying down straw to help dry out the ground, you couldn’t ask for much more.

It only takes a quick look at the festival website, and their past lineups, to see how the festival is growing year on year, with higher quality, interesting bands across all stages. If you’re looking for an affordable festival with a varied line up and a great atmosphere, make sure you consider Y Not in 2015.

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