Last year’s annual Y Not Festival didn’t quite go as planned. Multiple problems occurred throughout the weekend leading to the final day being cancelled completely, so we were a little sceptical this time around. Thankfully, those fears were (mostly) unfounded, with the weekend going ahead as planned. Find out what we thought below!
By Jane Howkins and Shelley Beeston
We were unfortunately unable to make the Friday, and arrived onsite on the Saturday afternoon. The parking situation seemed to have been improved vastly from last year, and the new site was better laid out, so things were looking up from the start. The first act we saw was Beans On Toast on The Quarry Stage, who is something of a regular at the festival by now. He was excellent as always, and drew quite a big crowd, although we did note that he seems to have mellowed slightly in his old age – at least in terms of lyrical content!
Nevertheless, he was a great starter act, with us heading across to the Big Gin Stage next to catch blues legend Seasick Steve. There were a few issues with the sound quality on the stage, but Steve played a rocking set that seemed like the perfect backdrop for sitting in the sun with a pint of cider.
Next up were indie legends Kaiser Chiefs, who were one of our top acts to see across the weekend. The sound issues continued, but the band managed to persevere, even when all the sound cut off completely about four songs in. Whilst there were a few new songs in there, the band played a lot of their older tracks, with the crowd singing the majority of the lyrics back to singer Ricky Wilson. Wilson did his best to motivate the crowd throughout, and although there seemed to be problems with his mic, the set was still pretty good – we would definitely see them again!
The last band of the day we saw were The Buzzcocks on the Giant Squid Stage, a legendary punk band that are still going to this day. Concerns that they might be a little too ‘old’ to perform well were left discarded with the first song, with the band putting on a great set and drawing a sizeable crowd. Admittedly, there could have been a bit more crowd interaction as they did seem to rip through their songs in record time, but we still found ourselves left wanting for more by the time the set ended.
Kudos also goes out to Club Malibu, which is perhaps our favourite area of the festival. It’s a small dance tent that plays a random variety of music across the evening, and we found ourselves in there both evenings, dancing the night away.
On the Sunday, trenchfoot had finally set in and a leaky tent meant a quick departure home was needed before returning later. We got back into the festival later on that afternoon, catching part of The Wombats’ set on the main stage. They played fairly well and their music was tight, sounding like a well oiled musical machine.
After that, we stayed to see Jamiroquai headline the festival. They managed to get everyone dancing and put on a very tight set, until halfway through the band announced that they couldn’t continue anymore due to ‘health and safety reasons’ and the small shower of rain that had started minutes beforehand. This was rather annoying and some fans did wait behind to see if the band would come back onstage, however rumours have now circulated that Jay Kay called the show off himself as he didn’t want to perform anymore. Whilst we can’t comment on the truth of these rumours, it did seem odd to call half the show off when bands have played in much worse conditions, and the band did leave rather abruptly, so there may be some truth to those claims.
We found this year that Y Not Festival was mostly a success, and many improvements had been made on the year before. However, we still found there to be many organisational issues present, and would recommend hiring some staff next year who will actually bother to check people’s wristbands and tickets, as this is something that was also a complaint last year, and could be a safety hazard.