Y Not Festival 2011

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Situated in the greenery of the Peak District, Y Not? Festival has quietly been gaining momentum since 2006. Hosting performances by bigger and better artists each year since. In 2010, it was shortlisted as one of the UK’s best small festivals and with this year’s festival becoming a sell out it was time to see what the Derbyshire festival has to offer.

Turning its back on corporate sponsorship, when so many other festivals embrace it, this three-day festival promises to be small, fresh and loud. And with all-weekend tickets priced at a budget £65, including camping and a free shuttle bus, already you can’t help but think you’re onto something a little bit different.

Headlining the event this year was the London/Brighton based The Go! Team, uncool rock veterans Feeder, alternative rockers Maximo Park and a whole host of up and coming bands.

Leading up to the main act on Friday was The Duke Spirit, a female vocal led band that towards the end of their set showed potential, but with an overall lack of distinctive edge, ultimately did not do enough to stand above their contemporaries.

Next on the bill was The Rifles, a five-piece band from London, whose previously released albums have both entered the UK charts. They played an accomplished set that stirred up the crowd just before The Go! Team. 

Festival favourites The Go! Team, brought their infectious, feel good brand of dance music to the main stage. In a performance that was high in energy and filled with eclectic and instrumentally interchangeable songs from their three albums, the band had everyone hooked on their obvious charm. Highlights of their set included hits such as Lady Flash, Huddle Formation and Bottle Rocket.

Like so many other festivals, you could be fooled into thinking that the best acts are on the main stage. Y Not Festival has an array of small tents, besides the main stage, that offer up some real hidden gems. One band in particular was alternative pop trio I Swim with Sharks. Who delivered a powerful set in the smallest tent there, an impressive feat for such a new band.

Later on Saturday, Miles Kane played an indie rock infused set that showed he is every inch the part and deserves the recognition he has started to get. Playing a tight set of songs from his critically acclaimed debut solo album, they proved a string of instant sing-along anthems, rousing the crowd arguably better than follow up act New Young Pony Club.

Headlining the Saturday evening was Feeder. Admittedly, it has never been cool to like them, but they certainly seemed to live up to the Derbyshire crowd’s expectations. Playing hits spanning their 16-year career, they proved that they were more than worthy headliners.

Wrapping up the festival was Newcastle’s alternate rockers Maximo Park. Who brought a fitting end to the weekend.

Proving a family friendly festival, with a laid-back atmosphere, Y Not? definitely delivers as a small festival. Besides the impressive line up, the festival offered a number of food and clothing stalls and an entertainment area where you could try your hand at everything from hula hooping to playing the drums. A wholesome weekend for all. If you like to think you have one finger on the music pulse, and you like the idea of seeing up and coming acts mixed in with some of the bigger names in music, then you may want to check out Y Not? With their current 5,000 max capacity and the possibility of next year’s line up surpassing this year’s, we are already anticipating Y Not? Festival 2012.

Published on 08 August 2011 by Emma & Lewis

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