Reclassified as a ‘medium-sized festival’ and with its most star-studded line-up to date, Y Not 2016 was bound to be memorable, and it didn’t disappoint. Despite a sprinkle of rain to kick things off, the rest of the weekend was brilliantly sunny, lending the most beautiful backdrop to The Big Gin. This year debuted several new stages such as the Jack Daniels’ Jack Rocks and the Neon Coconut, so fans of every genre had a huge line-up to choose from.
Early Bird Thursday was super laid back. Our weekend started at Arnie’s with an energetic set from upcoming alternative band Frankie Furlow who soon had the tent singing along despite being relatively unknown. Next up, indie rockers Milburn took to The Big Gin to warm up the crowd before Thursday’s headliners The Coral, who got everyone dancing with ‘In The Morning’.
Friday saw the arrival of thousands more festival-goers and we started with an aggressive set from Trash on the main stage. A large crowd braved the rain to bop along to ‘Cold Coffee’ and was treated to some catchy new tracks too. After the disappointing announcement that ‘Milkshake’’s Kelis had dropped out last-minute, quirky electric rockers Everything Everything smashed The Big Gin with renditions of ‘Regret’ and ‘Distant Past’ that were just as harmonic as the studio versions. 90s heroes The Cribs then drew the liveliest crowd with nostalgic anthems such as ‘Men’s Needs’ before indie legends Editors were Friday’s headliners, attracting an older audience with hits like ‘Munich’. We finished the night in The Hog and Barrel, bopping on the straw bales to a popular set from folk guys The Herron Brothers.
Saturday had the busiest line-up, with the clash-filled schedule sending huge crowds running between The Big Gin and The Quarry all day. Funkily dressed indie boys The Amazons fired up the main stage with ‘Junk Food Forever’ and ‘Ultraviolet’, followed by the chaotic Ratboy. Next were London five-piece Eliza and the Bear (who we spoke to HERE) who included an emotional dedication to the late Viola Beach. Over in The Quarry were newcomers The Sherlocks, who drew in a many more fans than could fit in the tent. Back on The Big Gin, Circa Waves were a huge hit, sending the crowd wild with ‘T-Shirt Weather’ (and finally bringing some to the skies). The much-awaited Catfish and the Bottlemen were one of the most popular acts of the weekend, stealing the show with incredible, lively performances from across both albums. DJ Fresh then played The Quarry Stage, attracting so many bass fans that it was impossible to get anywhere near. Finally, the night was headlined by Noel Gallagher himself (and his High Flying Birds), kicking off with some of the band’s own hits before busting out everyone’s favourite Oasis classics. 25,000 people waving along to ‘Wonderwall’ (meme central) was absolutely iconic.
Sunday was more relaxed, the arena filled with swarms of lazing sunbathers. Newbie Louis Berry took to The Quarry, his unique brand of rock ‘n’ roll sparking a curious mass of drunken barn dancers. Eccentric Swedish rockers The Hives sported their iconic matching monochrome suits and confidently smashed a buzzing set including ‘Hate to Say I Told You So’. Post-punk favourites Moose Blood shook up The Giant Squid stage for a loyal crowd of fans before the humble songstress Lucy Rose followed, receiving a massive applause for ‘Like an Arrow’ as well as some promising sounding brand new tracks. Finally, the weekend was topped off by the best in the business, Madness, who drew in pretty much everyone in Pikehall. The hour and a half long roaring set had fans of all ages in a state of hysteria, featuring the anthems ‘One Step Beyond’, ‘Our House’, ‘It Must Be Love’ and a spontaneous singalong of Happy Birthday to a 70-year-old lady! The perfect ending to a wonderful weekend.
Check out news for Y Not 2017 here: http://www.ynotfestivals.co.uk/2017-tickets/
By Anna Barnard Wright (@HalfBIoodAnna)