Music festivals. No matter your opinion on them, they’re as integral to the UK’s musical landscape as warm cans of questionable lager are integral to the festivals themselves. Whether you opt for one (or indeed several) of the boutique events that litter the calendar, or you prefer to lose your inhibitions at one of the larger, more established events that dominate UK’s festival scene, you can be sure that at least one will pique your interest. One festival that genuinely does have a little something for everyone, is Derbyshire's Y-Not. A medium-sized offering, whose humble beginnings were that of a teenager's sixth form party, the festival has seen itself expand quite dramatically over the years, and though still a far cry from the dizzying likes of Reading and Leeds, it’s large enough to lose yourself, but small enough to still feel low-key.
Appealing to families, teenagers and everyone in between, there’s a plethora of family-friendly entertainment across the festival site, and a revolving cast of DJs will keep the music going long after the main arena closes, offering the best of both worlds and ensuring those who like to party, and those who like to parent, are kept a comfortable distance apart.
Of course, the bands are the reason people go to festivals. And this year’s iteration of the festival offers arguably one of the strongest line-ups to date. Headline sets from Two Door Cinema Club and The Vaccines keep things contemporary, while Stereophonics and Happy Mondays will provide a heavy dose of nostalgia for those of who remember when NME was worth reading.
It’s not just about indie though, fans of more electronically-driven stuff will appreciate appearances from Example and Lethal Bizzle, as well as the less expected likes of Ibris Elba. Those who prefer things a little heavier will likely find themselves spending a lot of their time at The Giant Squid stage, where Bury Tomorrow and Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes will headline the Friday and Sunday respectively.
One thing Y-Not does fantastically, is provide a platform for smaller, local bands who might otherwise not get a look in on some of the larger festivals. Sugarthief, DECO and Afterbloom open the Main Stage each day across the weekend, while the likes of Eyre Lew, Oddity Road and Chroma Bay will all enjoy The Quarry’s hospitality across the weekend; Y-Not’s second largest stage. And that’s not even taking in to account the festival’s support of organisations like BIMM, or This Feeling, whose stages were hidden gems last year and ought to prove no different this time round.
Festivals often boast about being able to cater to a variety of tastes, but rarely do they manage it with such effortless ease. Couple that with the fact that Y-Not has very little in the way of corporate sponsorship, instead using local suppliers for its bars, and you really do get the best of both worlds. See you in the fields.