The YNOT festival has come a long way since its debut in 2006. Like last year YNOT has sold out with just over 4000 people descending onto the Derbyshire countryside. Despite growing in size each year it’s still a very intimate music festival which steers away from the corporate events other festivals have become. Unlike the 50 acts and DJs that played in 2006, there was an astonishing 50 acts in the acoustic tent alone over the weekend.
Many of the bands can camp with the festival goers and secret acoustic sessions pop up everywhere. With over 140 friendly volunteers and stewards the festival is very clean and often gets voted for best small festival. As well as music there is a whole myriad of things to do from animation workshops through to pub quizzes, poetry, yoga, puppet shows, a cocktail tent and various clothes outlets.
In many ways it could be described as a mini Latitude, due to the diversity of acts, its family friendly nature and availability of things to do in a non crowded arena. Saturdays are traditionally known as Fancy Dress day with a vast majority taking part. The theme was TV/Film and there were many a teenage mutant ninja turtle wandering the site, others to see included, Ghostbusters, Scooby doos, the incredibles, and buzz lightyear and there was even a guest appearance from Noel Edmonds and the deal or no deal death box (22). But essentially the festival is about the music, and for £55 some great bands were on show over 3 stages. The Friday albeit wet was awash with some great performances, with main stage headliners The Futureheads putting on a jaunty show with bouncy bounce crowd participation and Geordie banter. “The beginning of the twist” and “hounds of love” stood out in a very strong set. Other acts to note on a sodden Friday were Shot Shot Stacy for their manic show and wanting to look like Goldie Looking Chain and Doll and the Kicks along with Goldheart Assembly putting in amazing performances on the quarry stage.
Saturday was the big day for music With Max Raptor setting the main stage alight with their raucous energetic rock. With front man Wil Ray scaling every inch of the stage and getting close and personal with the crowd, they converted a lot of new fans. The increasingly popular Darwin Deez created havoc in the quarry stage as people clambered from 20 rows deep outside the tent to see the 4 way crimping and truly fabulous performance. Turin Breaks were mesmerising, effortlessly beautiful in every way.
The Subways headlined the main stage and the crowd was immense. The Subways were loud and energetic with Charlotte Cooper and Billy Lunn exploring every inch of the stage and every decibel of the crowd’s voices. It was officially the loudest crowd cheer ever at YNOT festival. They showcased 2 new songs with “like I love you” up there with the best of The Subways back catalogue. Ending on crowd favourite, “rock and Roll queen “the whole field was jumping. It was truly a phenomenal evening.
The Sunday is traditionally a more chilled affair and the main stage treated us to the effervescent King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys, whose infectious rock and roll got everyone on their feet.
On the Quarry stage Fists impressed with their mix of Tanya Donnelly/ Pixies /Arcade Fire infused anthems, and the astounding voice of Vijay Kishore swept across a very appreciative crowd.
The Bookhouse Boys with their flamenco inspired post rock captivated everyone with big melodies and pounding drums. “Dead” sounded triumphant as though it was taken from a Tarantino movie. Brighton duo Blood Red Shoes gave the main stage the kick in the balls it needed with a rousing performance and ending on excellent new single “heartsink” they won a lot of hearts tonight, Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell definitely turn it up to eleven and sound huge. This left the Mystery Jets to close the festival. A competent performance along with a crowd pleasing “2 doors down” brought to an end a rather special weekend.
If you were there you have already pencilled the YNOT festival into your diary’s for next year, if you were not there, you should seriously consider it. Great value, great vibe, bring on YNOT 2011.