Despite being dwarfed in size by the likes of Glastonbury, Truck Festival has made a name for itself as one of the best festivals for new and exciting music. In rural Oxfordshire, it offers an experience far apart from the predictability and commercial mindset we have grown used to in larger, more established music festivals, and has become the place to watch up-and-coming bands and artists.
Truck is an incredibly well organized festival. The layout is simple and easy to understand. Upon arrival you are greeted with a view of the Main-Stage to your right, and the Glamping (Zodiac Field) to your left. After entry, bag-checks and a 500m walk to the general camping area (trolleys are provided) you are left to claim a pitch and put up your tent. The camping area is basic but it ticks all the boxes; for an extra £40 you can opt to camp in the Zodiac Field, but the 'general camping' area worked perfectly for most - the decision to chose the Zodiac Field should be based largely on your willingness to use a portaloo. Despite a rapid rise in popularity, Truck remains an exceedingly family-friendly festival; children under 12 are permitted free-entry, and there is the option for "family camping" tickets. As well as a kids area, music generally finishes earlyish at around 2 a.m and is a substantial distance from the camping areas, making it easy for children and parents to get a good night's sleep. An introduction of a silent disco in the Barn stage also means you can boogie into the early hours without disturbing any of the sleeping campers. Although family-friendly, Truck is by no means boring.
The headliners Catfish and the Bottlemen, Manic Street Preachers and Kodaline were all great, but it was the variety of smaller artists that stole the show. An abundance of smaller stages caters for a plethora of genres and music tastes ranging from Rat Boy to Jurrasic 5 to Blossoms, all crowd favourites to name but a few. The quality and diversity of the music that can be heard at Truck echos the sense of inclusivity you feel while walking around the festival. The atmosphere at Truck was pleasantly relaxed. Everyone there was very easy-going, and excited about the prospect of spending the evening listening to class music. The return of the paint fight this year was received with enthusiasm, and for a few hours on saturday afternoon the air around the camping area was filled with multi-coloured dust. Truck follows the mantra of “we know that a music festival isn’t just about the music”, a mindset that in no way detracts from the quality of music, but makes the time between watching artists even more enjoyable. As well as super music, Truck offers super food. A possible benefit from being situated on a fully-functioning farm. Spending under £10 a day on food is easily achieved and there is no shortage of choice.
Yet again, Truck Festival was a total success. It is a niche music event that is swiftly rising in favour with all age brackets, and has become a cheaper but equally enjoyable alternative to bigger festivals. It offers a springboard for small artists to launch their careers and gain experience before playing at larger festivals. Truck is the definition of ‘quality not quantity’ and is a must for any music-lover.
Published on 25 August 2016 by James Roy