PREVIEW: Europe’s largest student-run festival returns to Birmingham

In Festival Guide, Live Preview by Josh Hannen

Perhaps the most unexpected hotspot for the largest student-run festival in Europe, ValeFest returns to Edgbaston for its 13th year.

A must-attend event in the student calendar, the festival is not only a reputable post-exam blowout, but a celebration of local and national music. This years headliners secure the organisers’ wishes of booking ‘the most diverse ValeFest ever’. Headlining the Acoustic Stage is electro-folk gem IORA, who will bring atmospheric haunts, electronic samples and an impressive vocal range to the stage in the trees. Headlining the second stage are alt-pop Geordie trio Lisbon, who arrive at the Vale on the back of the release of their new single ‘Tyler’. The new track illustrates a significant progression in sound, with huge hip-hop beats accompanying their tropical indie-pop sound.

Headlining the Dance Stage is Bodalia B2B Buckfast Boys Club. After a successful year, Bodalia has just announced that his remix of NDPC’s ‘Daylight‘ has been picked up by Sony/Ministry of Sound/GEKAI on global release. His collaborator on the track, F.O.D, also features on the Dance Stage lineup and is well worth checking out.

Set to light up the Main Stage are exciting Manchester based hip-hop 9-piece The Mouse Outfit. With clever wordplay, dub reggae basslines and funky samples, they fit the headline slot well. Huge releases in ‘Sit Back‘ and ‘Got Me Thinkin‘ are likely to fit the mood well, with reggae and funk the chosen curtain closers for the last three years.

Other notable artists on the lineup include South African born rapper Phundo Art. Having already opened up for AJ Tracey and A$AP TyY in 2017, tracks in ‘808s‘, ‘Summer Vibes’ and ‘Anxiety’ have certainly stood the test of the road this year. With DJ Jacky P on the decks, we’re confidently placing it as our tip for the day. New Street Records‘ very own DAME and Sam Jackson return to ValeFest, after a year developing their own sounds. Upcoming Birmingham bands The Real Cool, Riscas and Shallows also feature.

Among an incredible programme of music, spoken word, comedy and DIY decorative efforts, the core of ValeFest is its fundraising motives. In the last four years alone, ValeFest has raised over £100,000 for various worthy causes including Macmillan Cancer, Child Poverty Action Group and Medic Malawi.

This year ValeFest will be supporting BasicNeeds, a global mental health charity and The Rape & Sexual Violence Project (RSVP). RSVP offers vital support services to survivors of sexual violence and abuse in Birmingham and Solihull.

Date: 3rd June 2017
Time: 12pm-2am
Location: The Vale, Edgbaston (well pretty)

At only £15 a ticket (on second wave general release), the event also ticks the ‘value for money’ box. For tickets head over to and for more info, follow these official links: