Splendour Festival Review 2017

25th July 2017

As soon as we arrived we were sucked over to the Confetti Stage for Easy Life. We’d never heard them before but they had quite a different sound that kept us over there for the entirety of their set. They’re clearly a talented group since every time you looked up they were playing different instruments. One minute they’re on guitar – then bang – saxophone solo. They drew a pretty big crowd as well – one of few bands on today that could boast more people in the audience than they have Twitter followers.

Josh Wheatley was next up on the Confetti Stage, and there’s so much hype around him we had to stick around. He’s one of those names that always pops up when you ask other bands who they’re looking forward to seeing, so we were quite excited to hear him. With more chilled-out vibes, we were able to soak up the sun and relax as girls flocked past us to get to the front…and then it was time for Bud and we wondered if we were ever actually going to go to the Main Stage. Another up-and-coming Nottingham name, you could tell just from the sound-check that you were in for an enjoyable set. With reggae vibes filling the air, we enjoyed the sun, laughing as people passed us by wearing wellies – “what fools” we thought. But then Bud broke the news to us as she announced she was thrilled to have beaten the bad weather. We turned around to see the clouds forming and immediately regretted our t-shirt/shorts combination.

Taking cover under a nearby tree, we enjoyed Buzzcocks from a distance with a lovely Welsh couple and other brolly-less festival-goers. The Buzzcocks were briefly over-shadowed by a nearby punter though, who’d managed to sneak a bottle of vodka into the festival inside a ham sandwich – becoming a local celebrity within the tree-shelter micro-community we’d formed. Soon though, the weather proved too much for our tree to withstand and we were forced home to change – else we’d risk everything from pneumonia to trench-foot.

Re-invigorated, we returned to see Busted on the Main Stage, and you could start to see the age-split quite clearly. Families went their separate ways, with some favouring Black Grape and the opportunity to get to the front for Billy Ocean over Year 3000. We went for Busted though, accompanied with the relatively novel experience of being among the oldest people in the audience (despite being 21). As soon as we arrived, we amazingly found ourselves in the middle of a mosh-pit. During Air Hostess. A mosh-pit. For Air Hostess. Well anyway we went for it and had a great time, forgetting the rain for a bit (which had somewhat subsided).

We left just before the end of the set and raced across Wollaton Park for Billy Ocean, where our age once again put us in a unique demographic. We were immediately met by a baffling pop-quiz: ‘you like Billy Ocean?! Name three of his songs.’ Once we’d successfully proven our credentials for being in the audience, we witnessed an absolute spectacle. The cleanest 67-year old voice you’ll ever hear; we were blown away. And when Love Really Hurts Without You is only the second song in your set, you’re confident in your catalogue. After convincing ourselves The Kaiser Chiefs probably wouldn’t open with Ruby, we stuck around until the end before bolting to the Main Stage.

If there were mosh-pits for Busted, we were pretty confident we’d find a few for The Kaiser Chiefs.  To be honest, most of this set was a haze of pushing, rain, and flying booze. But I do remember Ruby, and I do remember I Predict A Riot, and they were an absolute experience. We left on a high after another cracking Splendour Fest, which – I’m told – was the biggest music event in Nottingham since the 90s. 25,000 people braved the rain this year, and with such a visible marketing campaign around Nottingham in the weeks and months leading up to it, it’s a festival that will only continue to grow.

We’ll sit tight for next year’s line-up!