Our expectations for Redfest 2014 were undoubtedly high due to the killer line up and the showcasing of as many musical genres you can possibly think of. Redfest thrives in giving you a little bit of everything and a whole lot of fun no matter what you’re watching. If you want to get ahead of the game in terms of what rising artists are just around the corner, this is your place to be.
Kicking off Saturday’s antics, we headed down to the main stage to watch Birmingham rockers, JAWS. All set to release their debut album next Monday, these boys compiled a set of old favourites such as ‘Toucan Surf’ and ‘Surround You’ alongside more recent tracks ‘Think Too Much, Feel Too Little’ and the album’s title track ‘Be Slowly’. A pretty large crowd awaited the set until the afternoon skies turned to darkness and a torrential rain storm sprung upon us just a few tracks in. The majority of the crowd soon fled to their tents but for those of us who remained, we had a damn good time partying away with the lads who couldn’t help but laugh at our poor sodden faces.
Young Kato took to the stage shortly after and accompanied the brightening weather with their latest single ‘Sunshine’. Full of blissful and summery vibes, young crowd members belted lyrics back to lead singer Tommy. His performance as a front man was undeniably one of the best to be seen all weekend, his passion and energy was unstoppably infectious.
Meanwhile, over on the introducing stage was young Brighton lads, High Tyde. As Young Kato finished, floods of people began to pass the introducing stage and the boys took this moment to well and truly step it up a notch. Lead singer Cody leapt off stage mid-guitar solo to get the previously still crowd moving and draw in new faces from outside. The tent soon filled and the lads had the crowd buzzing, particularly on their closing hit ‘Get Up Tonight’.
As evening approached, Irish brothers Hudson Taylor performed a gorgeous set including their hit tracks ‘Care’, ‘Weapons’ and latest, ‘Battles’. Stunning melodies and harmonies had women swooning all over the place, it was all quite emotional to say the least.
Following this was an act that could not be more different. Heavy metal/reggae headliners Skindred took to the stage and gave us all the heavy, eclectic and mad set that was predicted. It soon became clear that you didn’t have to know all their tracks to get the most out of their sound live and everyone in sight seemed to be well and truly going for it throughout the entire set. Skindred rounded off the first night of Redfest in style and gave everyone the hour of headbanging mayhem that they were promised.
Saturday morning saw the rising of many wounded festival go-ers as a result of the night before. As the majority managed to pull themselves together, a mainly seated crowd began to form in the scorching heat before the arrival of Sivu. Ahead of his debut album ‘Something On High’, Sivu showcased his blissful talents and produced an astonishingly full sound compared to the amount of people on stage.
Tree House Fire took to the introducing stage and soon became my personal favourite discovery of the weekend. Their reggae/dub/ska tunes were simply irresistible and had people of all ages up on their feet and feeling it! Major tracks ‘Mr Aggressor’ and ‘Ruff Ruff Times’ proved popular with the whole crowd.
Next up the main stage was set to host the rising Bristol-born five piece that is Coasts. A predominantly youthful crowd turned up to see their set packed with anthemic tunes such as ‘Your Soul’, ‘Stay’ and their biggest and most fitting single ‘Oceans’. Their ability to work a crowd was admirable and set a really lovely atmosphere.
The Skints returned to Redfest once again and by drawing in one of the biggest crowds of the weekend, they certainly did not let anyone down. It has to be said that the crowd was disappointing and pretty mellow, but the quality of their performance was brilliant and I had ‘The Cost Of Living Is Killing Me’ in my head for weeks!
As the end of the weekend drew nigh, Peace took to the main stage as the Saturday night headliners. Peace have a reputation for being outstanding live and have raised their profile hugely over the past year or so. The guys opened with their cover of Binary Finary’s ‘1998’, this track simply could not be more intense and set the audience into a whirlwind from the off. Their set list is so impressively put together and the four of them put their all into every single track. Highlights included ‘Follow Baby’, ‘Money’ and the ever-emotional ‘California Daze’.
There are minimal negatives that can be said about this festival, but firstly, the length. Redfest is only a two day festival and I’m sure that many others there, like me, were raring for another day of madness. Second of all, the fact that we have to wait a whole year to do it all over again! Redfest certainly won us over and gave all they had for a festival of such size. Be sure to keep a look out on their various social media platforms about Redfest 2015, you just never know what this lot will come up with next.