Redfest 2013 was a hotter than hot affair. A little festival set in a hidden valley, accessed down country roads and starring some of the biggest rising talent on the British music scene.
One of the successes of Redfest in the past has been that they have a good identifier of talent way in advance of them breaking big. Ed Sheeran, Twin Atlanic, Enter Shikari and Skrillex have all played or headlined here and this year Matt Nichols and his team got Bastille to stick to the contract along with Bury Tomorrow, Lucy Rose and Dry The River.
Redfest itself is set in a long narrow strip of land and welcomes you with the Hype stage that was home to bands including Subsource, Feed The Rhino and Hactivist. One of the smart commercial moves that Redfest have made this year is to partner some of the local and global brands and get them involved in sponsorship. Blackstar amps power the main stage and Hype clothing dresses up the metal stage.
The number of food stalls, tea rooms, chill-out tent and bars placed on either side of the arena is really pleasing to the eye and pallet, A stroll though these leads to another new Redfest initiative, the newly installed Boileroom stage hosted by that cool venue in Guilford and includes a line-up of local talent.
The festival has undoubtedly grown since last year and seeks to cater for a wide variety of tastes from the onslaught of metal related noise from the Hype stage to the allure of the big acts on the main stage.
Sometimes this works well to see the crowd flock to Feed the Rhino and Bury Tomorrow but less so when headliners Bleed from Within play to an empty tent because the 5,ooo strong crowd is watching Bastille. There is a definite case for developing the metal offering especially at Hevy Festival has had to move from its South East home to London and an awful lot of the most interesting bands were on this stage, Turbowolf and Subsource to name a few.
Redfest lost one thing this year and that was the fancy dressing up day but it gained so much more in terms of line-up, eclectic crowd, fantastic traders, a great fan experience with band signing sessions and band walk-a-bouts and already on hand a natural setting.
So Rockshot’s must see acts of the weekend were Lucy Rose for her delightful rain drizzled set on the Saturday, after a rain storm had filled the afternoon and early evening following a wickedly hot Friday. For the sheer balls of their set Feed The Rhino and for the most photogenic set Turbowolf. We have to say that Redfest 2013 will stick in our minds for its jovial fete like atmosphere and revelry of the highest order.