ArcTanGent 2013 preview: Bringing the spirit back



Somewhere towards the end of last summer 2000trees invited me to like a page called ArcTanGent on Facebook. I accepted the invite as 2000trees have impeccable taste. Little did I know that ArcTanGent was their new project that would turn out to be what might be one of the best and most exciting new festivals this year!

It was a few of summers ago that I went to 2000trees and I must say I was very impressed. The music was raw, alternative and most of the acts were bubbling under the surface of fame and fortune. The line-up for ArcTanGent has that exact same excitement to it, just less mainstream. This is not some generic indie fest, this is a narrow audience festival, targeted for people who like this kind of music. For us, this could be the best line up we ever see. Most of the acts are quite underground, many have been knocking about for years, gradually improving and developing their style, such as; 65DaysOfStatic, Rolo TomassiThe Pirate Ship Quintet, Future Of The Left and earthtone9 (an album of who’s the festival is named after). Most of the smaller bands are locally sourced from the Bristol area which I think is a brilliant idea, not only will it boost the local scene but it’s great for saving the planet.

This festival is going to be all about the music, I can’t imagine there will be any time to sit in the campsite and wonder what to do next. I know I will be too busy trying to pick between clashing sets over the 4 stages. There will be none of the fluff we have come to expect from smaller festivals such as craft workshops, spoken word or dramatics. Festival time is for listening to music and when your not listening it should be because your head is filling up with beer. I can remember a scene at 2000trees that I hope sums up the ambience of this new festival: there was pulsating excitement and energy in the crowd, people teetering on there tip-toes waiting for the next act to begin, clutching a warmish beer in their hand and a roll-up hanging from their smiling lips.

Talking of beer and festival spirit, the organizers of ArcTanGent are so thoroughly wonderful and independent minded that they have decided to encourage bringing your own alcohol onsite rather than leaving you completely penniless from the bar bill. Of course there will be on-site bars for when you run out, 3 in fact. 2000tree’s has the very same alcohol rule that I think makes the whole festival atmosphere even better. There will be no trying to sneak past bouncers with pockets full of cans, it will level the ‘us and them’ playing field and allow you to feel part of what’s making the festival so great opposed to just another punter.

From what I saw at 2000trees and from what I know of Bristolians – they are forward thinking types. ArcTanGent is part of the next generation of festivals, bringing the spirit back to those who started it: hippies (but for the 21st century). The organisers and audience alike (at least for the most part) are green conscious lefties. No bad thing. Every aspect of the festival will have an element of care taken over it. All the food and drink will be locally sourced and the organisers have said they’re going to see 99 percent of the acts live before they even book them, because who cares what they sound like recorded when you’re paying to see them live.

On the subject of money this festival is ludicrously cheap: 2 nights camping for £59 and you can add on the Thursday night for an extra tenner! That’s well under 2 days pay even if your 18-20 and on minimum wage!

A couple of things to note: BBQ’s and dogs are not permitted and parking costs a fiver.

For more information and tickets click here.