A kent Field, 11 stages, 5000 people and a shed tonne of glitter can only describe one thing… Neverworld festival 2018!
I attended the festival last year under its previous name ‘Leefest’ and had the greatest experience so I could not resist heading back for another enchanting weekend.
The lineup sported some massive names from the likes of ‘Bastille’, ‘Clean Bandit’ and ‘Declan Mckenna’ amongst over 100 different artists of all genres who took to one of their 11 stages, truly catering for each and every attendee’s tastes.
A band that I actually discovered at the festival last year ‘Childcare’ played opening night at the circus tent and totally smashed it, thier track ‘Big Man’ had been one of my favourite tracks in the buildup to the festival so it was absolutely awesome to hear that live.
The nightlife at Neverworld is mental, wanna party in the woods or on the beach until 6 in the morning? If so, this is the festival for you,with DJ sets from So Solid Crew and My nu leng to name a few.
The Islas opened up the main stage Friday morning, some great lighthearted indie tunes and a Dua Lipa cover in the sunshine, they have definitely gone onto my list of ones to watch. One band who were already on my radar was The RPM’s. They actually performed twice over the course of the weekend, which was fab, so glad I’ve finally been able to catch them.
One band, I knew I could not miss was ‘FOXE’ a Guildford based trio that I have been following for a while now and they did not disappoint. Their boppy pop sensibility soaked instrumentals are juxtaposed by the somewhat gloomy lyricism and that’s something I love, gives a lot for you to sink your teeth into. Without a doubt a highlight of my weekend.
Ever watched a set from within an actual oven? No me neither until I saw Lady Bird, I cannot describe how hot it was in Hooks Rock, but putting that aside, of course, the local lads totally smashed their set. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them 3 times now and they never fail to amaze, their energy and charisma is next level. So much love for these guys.
The highlight of lineup for me was, of course, Declan Mckenna! His album ‘What do you think about the car?’ was one of my favourites of last year and is one that I continue to spin on the turntable so I was super hyped to see him and he didn’t disappoint, he was just as I expected, very high energy running around the stage, jumping down to interact with the crowd. I got to chat with him briefly backstage after his set and he was just nice and exactly as I expected him to be, a real genuine artist.
If you read last years post then you will know that Tom Grennan was one of my standout acts so I was delighted when ht was announced for this year as well. he smashed it was back to back bop worthy numbers from his previously released EPs as well as ones from his debut album ‘Lighting Matches’. It was really nice to see him on the same stage a year later, he’s grown so much as an artist, who knows maybe next year he’ll be taking the top spot.
Another favourite of mine ‘BLOXX’ hit the circus stage on Saturday night and despite technical issues absolutely smashed it, I’ve seen them a few times now and they’re just fab. They’re set did get cut short but we still got my favourites ‘Coke’ ‘Second opinion’ along with a couple of new ones, big things ahead for these guys.
Did I know I needed an Elvis/Nirvana tribute band in my life? No I didn’t but it did brighten up my weekend in a way I wasn’t expecting. These guys are definitely one to catch, with a great balance of both Elvis and Nirvana tracks they are guaranteed to get any crowd going, a lot of fun.
A couple of other favourites of mine from over the weekend includes YOANKA, their new EP is sick, Guildfords finest ‘China Bears’ and party popper Jeremy Loops.
Onto the headliners, Clean Bandit and Bastille, both of which had already hit the Leefest stage in the past, Bastille way back in 2009 and Clean bandit more recently in 2013. For me personally Clean Bandit weren’t a group I was overly excited for, but I was pleasantly surprised I didn’t realise how many hits they have. They have some mega talented vocalists that tour with them making for a really strong performance that got the crowd bopping. ‘Bastille’ appealed to me a lot more and lived up to all expectations, Dan along with his very vibrant shirt lit up the stage.Serving up classics ‘Pompeii’ and ‘Bad Blood’ along with cuts including feelgood ‘Quarter past midnight’ from their upcoming album and a Craig David cover thrown in for good measure.
Neverworld 2018 was fab, the atmosphere, the music, the food everything was perfect. If you’re looking for an intimate yet lively festival this is the one for you!
Super early bird tickets for 2019 have already sold out so pick up your early bird ticket for only £89 here: neverworld.co.uk/ be quick, they’ll be gone before you know it!
Massive thank you to the whole Neverworld team, you’ve smashed it again, I’ll see you next year!