On Saturday July 8th I checked out Village Green Festival. A one-day event held in Chalkwell Park that showcased and promoted artists from around the local areas, while also introducing dedicated stages to local Comedy, Food and even a Jazz Café for the more sophisticated folk. Personally I knew little of the festival heading into it and came out wondering why the hell I hadn’t attended before. It was a wonderful day celebrating local talent with gorgeous sunshine and a large amount of access to alcohol.
Personally I feel the best way to get into Music is by listening to what’s around you, and fortunately Essex has been the home of numerous acts that have gone on to become big names across the country. This year’s lineup included a varied range of sprightly newcomers, exciting up-and-comers and established acts ready to close out the event in a big, big way. Nothing But Thieves headlined the event and it was clear that there was a shared connection of fans proud to see local lads doing well and a band proud to be performing to their hometown. This mutual appreciation between artist and audience set the tone for the overall atmosphere of the festival, with it reaching its peak during the performance of Primo Nelson. The funk band dazzled the main stage with a flourishing set of reasons why Funk is so accessible, generating a massive crowd of people of all ages who were dancing like there was no tomorrow.
The layout itself was very well designed, with each stage having quite the distance away from one another, allowing for no overlapping of sound from other acts to occur. The main stage genuinely looked impressive and fitted its title, whereas the smaller stages like Oak Stage were adorable in their modest setups. Stalls were all set up neatly, providing a large enough area for attendees to walk and sit down to eat if needed. It didn’t have the claustrophobic feel that Reading Festival sometimes had when I attended back in 2014/2015, and meant that everybody was able to do their thing without disrupting anybody else. Village Green also held a section dedicated to celebrating music created by women, and raising awareness for progressive ideals and morals which was very cool. I did walk into the Grrrl Zine stage to find myself in arm with my girlfriend while unexpectedly watching the set of an ex-girlfriend…that was strange, laughs were had, and then we left.
While Nothing But Thieves and Kate Nash were the main draws of the event, it was great to discover emerging acts such as Ardyn, Bait and a surprise set from Youth Club who all seemed to confirm that the local scene will be fine once NTB fly the nest for good. Bait in particular rocked the Idea13 Stage with their aggressive Punk thunder, while Youth Club brought the danceable goodness back into it later on that day. Kate Nash also proved that she is a natural at live shows as the veteran performer dazzled with a set that shone brighter than her glittery dress. She delivered a show full of heavy riffs, epic singalongs, a lot of swearing and even allowed some guy to scream “I LOVE YOU KATE. YES. YES. YES. YESSSSSSSSSS” for a bit too. She’s a badass.
Village Green Festival was simply superb. It was my first time attending and with the added bonuses of getting press passes (access to VIP toilets proved to be VERY beneficial) I can safely say that we had a blast. Everybody seemed to have a good time enjoying good music and it also helped make us realise just how much talent is available at your doorstep. I wanna say thank you to Metal for organising the event, Syd Moore (my new best friend) for sorting out the press passes and all of the artists and food stalls for providing a brilliant soundtrack and a delicious amount of food too. See you all again next year!