Becks Walford

After years away from camping festivals, 2000trees was a forceful reminder of the joys that live music in that setting can bring. Bands who have struggled in the return to a new normal were greeted by roaring crowds, thrashing mosh pits and crowd surfers of all ages and in some cases costumed, from an impressive Tigger costumed lad to someone dressed as an entire fridge cruising over the crowd (social distancing a far-flung memory here!). There is no doubt that, even with the gap since their last festival due to the pandemic, 2000trees has a truly dedicated and loyal following, keen and ready to wake up the quiet Cotswolds each year.

As an independent festival not much over a decade old, it’s retained that true small festival community feel. Immediately on entering the site, one overwhelming thing became clear- 2000trees is a family. Everyone in attendance, despite the expected queues and stresses of their outside lives, were friendly and helpful to everyone around them. The stewards running the site were always available and ready to help and made entry easy, and the inclusivity they showed was felt throughout the festival.

2000trees, in spite of the standoffish reputation of the metal and alternative community, was the most accessible and family friendly festival I’ve attended yet. The people in attendance were far from the monolithic stereotype of a rock or metal fan, from young families with kids bouncing on their parents shoulders to the older crowd with their greying or white hair sprayed with glitter, all screaming along to their favourite songs together.

The festival was one of the most accessibility conscious festivals I have been to, with every stage having accessible platforms along alongside multiple wheelchair accessible portaloos across the site. There were also ear plugs freely available at every bar and every crowd at the stages reflected back this inclusivity. For the first time in my live music experience, I saw people with mobility aids crowd surfing, a feat that shows just how truly supportive and accessible the entire festival was.

The music stretched from ukulele workshops in The Word tent in the mornings, to hardcore and alternative behemoths like Thrice and Idles headlining the Main Stage in the evening, and the newly revamped Forest Stage gave more acoustic indie bands like Bears in Trees a space alongside the louder Punk bands like Zand, and even the space for more intimate sets from giants of the alternative scene like Laura Jane Grace, lead singer of Against Me. The opportunity for a cosy and intimate space was a huge draw for me, as a long time fan of Laura Jane Grace, and seeing her perform in the Forest was an experience I’ll never forget.

Any discussion of an alternative and metal festival like this would be incomplete without the mention of the best part of a crowd experience- the mosh pits! The blazing sun that graced the three-day festival seemingly deterred no one and nearly every set seemed to garner a pit of their own, where the crowd let the thrashing music carry them into truly wild moshing. From the smaller sets and their responsive screaming thrum to the truly orchestrated moshes of the main stage, such as Boston Manor, where lead singer Will Gould expertly directed the pit into high speed 'Wall of Death' pits and then a majestic circle pit where the crowd sprinted together in a mass that ran literal circles around the sound tent, 2000trees gave me the best and most enjoyable workout of my summer!

2000trees was a three-day festival truly packed to the brim with sights and sounds that I haven't experienced before. The festival felt like it lasted forever and no time at all, like the best live events always do, but I left with one utter certainty - I, like anyone who attended, was now truly a part of the 2000trees family and soon enough I'll be back in those wide sunny fields moshing the night away!

2000trees will definitely be a welcome fixture in the calendar of everyone who loves the alternative and metal scene each summer from here on out.