Hevy Fest 2011
Hevy Fest (for the uninformed) is a Hardcore festival held in Port Lympe in Kent. It’s pretty much my favourite weekend of the year and this weekend just gone was the now annual pilgrimage.
Our journey was pretty straight forward, with a car packed up with FAR TOO MUCH luggage for 3 days (+4 occupants) and plain sailing all the way down (thanks Gabi for driving!) with tunes and cider (for those not driving of course!).
Upon arrival it was quite clear that Hevy 2011 was busier than the year previous. In fact it took 4hours to get in, with 3000 people queuing to go through a security search manned by only 8 security staff…shocking! We were all pretty horrendously sunburnt, starving and sober by the time we got in and set up!
Friday was pretty chilled. We didn’t really get the the arena until late and I only saw Lower Than Atlantis, who on balance were pretty good. I loved this band a year ago (and had for about a year previous) and had recently been really disappointed by not only their newer material but their attitude as people now they’re ‘rock stars’ but it was great to see such a buzzing show and atmosphere in the smallest tent! I only stayed for a few old songs then called it a night.
We headed back to the campsite for some long overdue hangs and catchups…the usual late night drinking and Coheed singsongs between Craigy-T and myself ensued and continued well into the small hours!
Saturday was zoo day (and gin saturday). The animal park on which the festival is held within the grounds was pretty cool. There was a safari trip on the back of a truck available which we decided to do. It was a pretty long ride with a stop off way up in the hills, what we weren’t told was the length of the walk back. The elephants and the “cheeky” giraffes were cool and seeing the Silverback Gorilla on the walk back was epic! I got some pretty cool fisheye shots too and will post when i get them processed!
This all happened before even seeing any bands on Saturday (and the walk back meant missing Gold Kids which I was pretty bummed about but the days highlights were Spy Catcher (surprisingly captivating), Make Do And Mend, TGOAT (emotional) and of course The Dillinger Escape Plan (43% Burnt…nuff said!).
Gin saturday (the now annual event where me & Craig get RUINED on gin) ended pretty abruptly as the day had taken its toll so I crashed pretty early having barely touched my gin!
Sunday was always going to be all about the Wave bands and there’s a lot of hype about this great US scene at the moment, but Bastions and Polar Bear Club were both GREAT too! Touché Amoré killed it in a packed tent, shortly followed by La Dispute who despite being plagued by technical issues put on an amazing show, with the crowd even filling in the guitar parts when one guitarist’s gear broke down! The guest vocal slots for both these bands were amazing too, playing all the tracks from their split 7” across the 2 sets!
Having torn my body to pieces in the pit (and nearly falling on my head crowdsurfing) it was time for Defeater. We hung back a bit to the side of the pillar in the tent which was a welcome break. Defeater didn’t disappoint either, opening with one of their acoustic tracks from the latest album before breaking into some great tunes from across their discography!
Funeral For A Friend were pretty good and provided ample opportunity to reminisce and sing along to some old favourites before me & Gab headed over to Your Demise. YD certainly proved a welcome surprise, not because I’d not seen them before or didn’t already love them, but I’d forgotten quite how much I enjoyed them live…
And with that it was all over for another year. It was supposed to be another long night of boozing, jokes and hangouts but the rain, thunder and lightning put a stop to that and after braving the downpour for an hour or so, we crashed, soaked and cold!
So now I’m home, my body is ruined, I gave my voice to the wave, I’m sleep deprived, sunburnt and my skin is blistered but it was worth every second!
(Photos to follow - when they’re developed. I’m pretty gutted I didn’t take more shots. I took 4 rolls with my and didn’t even finish 1!)
Great friends, great music, great festival!
Next stop - Touché Amoré & La Dispute AGAIN at the Underworld on Weds…BRING IT ON!