It's weird to think that this time last year I was a festival virgin, yet now I've been to two and have two more to look forward to this summer. I finally managed to attend Hit The Deck festival in Nottingham this weekend just gone and as I'd wanted to go for a few years now, I was happy to finally get my chance to attend.
The festival takes place over a weekend - Saturday in Bristol and Sunday in Nottingham, which was the date that myself and my friends attended. After a bit of a faff on with travel arrangements which changed last minute, and the fact that we couldn't get into the festival at first because The Maine hadn't yet arrived and dropped off their guest list, I finally bagged myself a brand new festival wristband and was ushered through the barriers.
One thing I absolutely loved about Hit The Deck was that even though the weather wasn't great, the whole event took place at six popular venues within Nottingham city centre, all only a couple of minutes walk away from each other. We could also come and go as we pleased, meaning we could go 'offsite' to grab some food elsewhere or head into town for a bit of a break if we wanted. This meant that everything was so much more relaxed and I liked that if we wanted a break from the music or if we wanted to sit down for a bit (the festival was a good 11 hours long!) we could do without worry.
The whole atmosphere was really vibrant and exciting because there was just so much on. Of course, with so many different venues and so many bands playing, there were a few overlapping sets, but I was quite lucky in that pretty much each band I wanted to see didn't clash with anyone else.
As well as various sets, there were also signing tents, acoustic and basement stages, tents selling clothes and some delicious burger vans (I had an amazing hot dog drunk at 12pm which was absolutely lush). I was extremely pleased with the variety of bands. The line up varied from upbeat pop punk from The Summer Set, to immensely popular Brand New and even some heavier music like Hawthorne Heights.
|John O'Callaghan of The Maine|
Photo copyright to me
The bands we saw were The Maine, Hawthorne Heights, The Summer Set, People on Vacation, Patent Pending, Kids In Glass Houses, The Blackout, Ghouls and a little of Brand New's set. We stumbled across Ghouls set randomly and I'm glad we did - they were very upbeat and 'funky' and I've already checked them out since.
Even though Brand New were headlining, we actually chose to watch The Blackout instead and I was SO impressed. I'd never seen them live before or heard much of their stuff but I think they were without a doubt my favourite performance of the day. They completely stole the show, getting the crowd to dance, crouch down to the floor before jumping up again and mosh out etc. I was actually lost for words when it came to their set and I just couldn't believe how energetic and indulging it was. Despite the fact that I'd never listened to most of the songs they performed, I happily just let myself go and jumped around like my life depended on it. I was blown away. Without a doubt, The Blackout played one of the best sets over the whole day and I think they were even better then headliners Brand New.
What really made my day was meeting Jaret from Bowling For Soup! Bowling For Soup were the band that got me into rock music and they are the sole reason why I love going to live music considering they were my first ever rock gig. It was so great meeting Jaret to thank him, and I loved the fact that he is in one of The Maine's shirts and insists he is now a fan!
|Selfies with John O'Callaghan and meeting Jaret from Bowling For Soup|
It was a great day, though tiring. It was just really nice to discover new bands in such a relaxed atmosphere and then likewise go and rock out to my favourite bands. I met lots of new people and it was also the perfect type of festival for someone who hasn't been to one before considering it's only a day long (per city) and you didn't have to stay on site.
Hit The Deck was amazing and had so much to offer. I've no doubt that I'll be attending again next year. Have you got any 'day' music festivals coming up this year? I'd love to hear what ones you'll all be attending or which ones you'd like to attend - let me know with a quick comment!