Third time lucky; Truck Fest blessed us with sunshine, blue skies, countless great bands and good times all around.
A rapidly growing festival filled with like-minded people brought together to enjoy the music they love or are about to discover. Despite its relatively small size, Truck managed to create an electric atmosphere which enraptured fans alike.
With eight stages jam-packed with huge performers, including George Ezra and Jake Bugg, fans came flocking in their thousands and the arena was packed by midday Friday.
The festival kicked off on Thursday with the hip-hop funk quintet Bad Sounds, followed by Birmingham trio Jaws. Thursday night’s headliner PEACE played a range of fan favourites as well as tracks from their newest album, Kindness Is The New Rock And Roll, showcasing heartbreakingly raw lyrics that tackle issues within modern society, as well as fizzling tracks that invited people to dance in their masses.
Waking up to the distant sound of Vinyl Staircase was the beginning of Friday’s diverse line-up which boasted Punk-rock/Garage Goat Girl, The Big Moon and Pale Waves who launched into an indie pop-goth set including ‘Television Romance’ and their newest single ‘Kiss’. Circa Waves followed and dedicated fans amassed in the blazing heat eagerly anticipating the upbeat riffs of ‘T-shirt Weather’ and ‘Fire That Burns’; a surefire way to get the crowds jumping despite the oppressive heat. On Friday evening torrential rain began, but this didn’t deter determined Trucker’s who traipsed through the mud in their wellies and raincoats to pack out the ROCKIN CHAIR WITH BLUE RINSE; to see Rhythm of the 90’s nostalgic dance anthem show with lead singer Alice Shaw’s soaring vocals before the rain finally subsided.
By Saturday, the sunshine had made a comeback just in time for Anteros, who played to an eagerly awaiting crowd on the main stage; the vocals and stage presence of Laura Hayden were in full force as she jumped down from the stage to the barrier to sing directly to the audience during ‘Bonnie’ after a heartfelt interlude talking about Girl Pwr Gang. The Market Stage was also packed with strong, female fronted bands including Dream Wife, whose energy and excitement on stage was infectious, the crowd going wild with mosh pits popping up across the length of the tent. They were followed by Black Honey who played fan favourites such as ‘Corrine’ and finished the set by crowd surfing.
Finally, Marika Hackman took to the stage with hypnotic melodies and sultry vocals that drew in the crowds. The last song of the night was ‘Boyfriend’ and as expected it was the track everyone was waiting for as the audience formed a huge circle and erupted into a mosh pit as the chorus came in.
The Magic Gang played a set jam-packed with their biggest hits including ‘How Can I Compete’ and ‘Getting Along’, which went down a treat with the roaring crowd. Even with the slower songs, the crowd was full of energy and when the band requested people to get up on each other’s shoulders, there was an instantaneous sea of people above the crowd. The Magic Gang unexpectedly covered Frankie Valli’s ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ as a tribute to their newly-wed brother before returning to the usual set list. Rat Boy rounded off the weekend headlining the Market Stage. After winning NME’s Best New Artist in 2017, Rat Boy has gained a huge fan base who all turned up to hear his raw, rugged tunes and gathered after the set had finished in hopes to meet him.
All in all, Truck Festival has continued to improve year in year out since 1998 and has found a good balance of gradually growing in size whilst still being able to maintain itself as the “God Father of Small Festivals” with a strong line up and good facilities to look after its Truckers; we can only hope next year will improve even more!