It was my first time at Redfest and the 2012 event was not at all what I thought it would be. I imagined a shabby grunge filled festival with few facilities. What I came into, on rainy and muddy Saturday afternoon, was a well laid out arena with food stalls, bars, shops, friendly staff at the ticket desk, extremely helpful event and security people and a small festival with a real buzz.
Redfest had a stage for the main bands and headliners, a second stage for up and coming bands and an acoustic stage. This was the 5th year of Redfest and the founder Matt Nichols told me that they had built the audience on a need for a small festival in Surrey that features new and breaking bands that also offers a big festival feel.
Each year the festival has increased attendance by 20% this year the festival was at 90% capacity from a total allocation of 5,000 tickets. Great camping facilities and late night dance tents make the experience great for first time and local festival goers.
When I arrived you could hear the sound from the main stage blasting out over the drenched and soggy corn fields. With no neighbours in sight it was feet warming to feel the ground vibrating.
Some of the outstanding bands featured this year were Deaf Havana, Kids In Glass Houses, Don Broco, Kal Lavelle, and Sonic Boom Six. All have attracted attention from the rock media for their recent performances and recordings. Kids in Glass Houses were supporting Soundgarden in Hyde Park the day before they appeared to headline Saturday night at Redfest 2012
Redfest has a safe and organised feel to it which is great for teenagers doing their first festival. It is small enough to walk round in very comfortably and big enough to sit and chill. I loved it. If I would change two things for next year I would ask for better sound and lighting in the Acoustic Tent and a stall that sells real coffee!