Y Not 2014 preview: A bona fide contender on the scene

Y Not Festival 2014

Y Not Festival 2014

So the countries’ favourite Indie fest is upon us once again. After last years’ insane weather stealing the headlines (along with an extraordinary performance by The Darkness) I for one was keen to see what they going to pull out of the ridiculous novelty festival hat to beat it, but looking at the line-up announced so far, they may just have managed it.

What strikes me the most is that the line-up seems to be slowly diversifying; where once this was a teen indie kids paradise, it’s coming to resemble a mini-Glasto in its selection of acts. Don’t misunderstand, there is a still a hefty dose of pure ‘cooler bits of Radio One’ on the prescription, but there is also punk, pop, soul, rock, ska, groove, break and dance being cooked up.  Just look at the three headline acts; White Lies, Dizzee Rascal and Frank Turner, eclectic, no?

As someone who looks at her teenage years through the mists of time, I am more than a little excited to see the addition of De La Soul on the bill, especially if the sun holds out, I can’t think of a more perfect festival moment. Other acts certainly worth catching will be Palma Violets, Reel Big Fish, Cerebal Ballzy and Eliza and the Bear. And for those who have a….ahem…..slightly longer memory, Razorlight, The Fratellis and Newton Faulkner will be on reminiscing duty.

There is also some tantalizing prospects further down the bill too, make the effort for Darlia, King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys, Slaves and Emperor Chung, and if you’re up to having your mind blown, make a bee-line for Nordic Giants. And there is, as ever, a plethora of local talent on offer too, so you may just discover the next big thing on your travels.  In fact there is an equal opportunity submissions process for bands (which has apparently attracted over 1,700 acts this year) which offers 20 slots to the successful and is judged, among others, by Andrew WK, Swim Deep and Frank Turner himself this year.

There is always the usual festival fare on offer outside the musical entertainment, not least an actual fair. But Y Not always has a little bit of a cool retro slant on things; the bars are named things like ‘Dolly Dagger’s’ and there is a 50’s diner style bar complete with vintage cars to sit in and pretend you’re a T-Bird or a Pink Lady for the afternoon, as well as a roller disco. This year also sees the return of The Saloon; a country and western style bar/stage complete with whisky and sawdust, and The Hog and Barrel tent where you will find the cream of local acoustic musical talent and comedy, not to mention the finest cider known to groggy festival hacks, but don’t save yourself to sample, as by Sunday it’s almost always running low!

There is also a rather snazzy new thang they have introduced this year called MY NOT, which is a programme you can sign in to through your social media account which allows you to create your own festival plan of action, a step up from last year’s band planner, this one includes creating a group name, sorting out who’s bringing what, who’s driving, and what acts you might all like to catch together. This is something I myself might be reliant on if only to prevent the insane Olympic dashing around that I ended up doing last year in order to cover all the acts I wanted I see, making why not less of a holiday and more of a four day steeplechase event.  Neat idea, that you can full advantage of here: http://www.ynotfestivals.co.uk/group/#/

I love Y Not festival, but I’ve always thought of it as a training festival, a festival still with the stabilisers on if you will, preparing the kids for when their parents let them go to Reading or Glastonbury. But it may be that now, in its 10th year, and after consistently winning numerous awards, it is finally coming into its own as a bona fide contender on the scene.

At just under £90 a ticket and with the option to be an ‘early bird’ and settle in on the Thursday for a few warm up acts, including the truly outstanding opportunity to see Goldie Lookin’ Chain, and with a host of other attractions on site (including seven bars, hurrah!), Y Not is a festival that’s truly worth poking your nose into. Now, I’m just waiting to find out what Saturday’s fancy dress theme is this year……..

You can cast your vote for the fancy dress theme and keep up with all the line-up announcement news on the Y Not Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ynotfestival?fref=ts

Ticket sales are up 35% from last year but you can still grab yours via the website: http://www.ynotfestivals.co.uk/

Now it’s just a case of crossing every appendage for slightly less mental weather and planning which bar to hit first.