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Y Not Festival 2016

A little time has now passed since the 11th annual Y Not Festival next door in the delightful Peak District. After a couple of weeks coming back down to earth, the buzz is still soaring over another successful year. Despite a significant expansion in size this year, one of the great things about the festival (particularly coming from Sheffield) is the fact that you rarely go ten minutes without bumping into a familiar face. So ever since getting home and showered, I’ve had plenty of people to discuss highlight reels with.

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As previously discovered, the real heart and soul of Y Not lies not within its main stage happenings – but tucked away in the delightful wonders of the Octopus’s Garden. Whatever your age and wherever you get your musical kicks, there’s something to get you pumped. Even those who chose to spend most of their weekends inching closer to the Big Gin Stage, desperately searching for any sign of Noel Gallagher or Catfish and the Bottlemen are sure to have found themselves losing their minds after midnight at one of the debaucherous dance tents. Not to discredit those on the main stage – a tribute to how far the festival has come in just over a decade – but this is what the people come back for.

The first to hit my list of top festival picks was King Zepha at the Xanadu tent. Nothing better to set the rhythm of a wild weekend than a good solid ska set and a crowd of happy skank-ers. The Dial-A-Rave duo took over from 12, blasting their eclectic mix of crowd pleasers until lights out. Having made a name for themselves as residents of Fieldview Festival in Wiltshire, it was good to see them on a local stage. I dropped in on them a few times during their mammoth four-hour set at the Tippling House on Saturday too, and not once did I see their mischievous energy falter.

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Saturday and Sunday day time were inevitably spent mooching around the entire site, contemplating where the best place was to buy falafel (creative intentions) and which of the fairground rides I would end up spending too much money on (the ferris wheel – added a little something to the beginning of the Madness set). Little Robots at the Tippling House on Saturday afternoon had some beautiful songs; it was just a shame that a lot of the sound was lost to the ever-pounding bass of the Bassweight Tent. Local favourites The Velcro Teddy Bears played a really great set in Xanadu but unfortunately lost a lot of potential crowd to the Catfish massive. I sneaked over to the Quarry to watch Band of Skulls immediately after, which I have to admit was one of the best performances – I can’t help but be lovestruck each time I catch them live.

Cool Beans dominated the Xanadu tent on Sunday, with early morning aerobics, a set of hilariously daft original tracks and finally a DJ set in the evening, all with the assistance of a few pals. Thoroughly enjoyed giggling at their satirical tracks, even if they did continually remind the crowd that they had no idea what they were doing! I did end up finishing the evening with a little Madness love, who along with Editors and Everything Everything on Friday were genuinely worth catching on the main stage. All in all another fantastic year and I can’t wait to go back again next time. Space to fit in a final pun? Y Not.

Words: Tasha Franek
Image 1: Courtesy of Y Not Festival
Image 2: Max Miechowski / Fanatic 2016

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