Y Not Festival 2021: The Louder than War Preview
It is actually happening: festivals are finally returning and the world is starting to look right again. After over a year of disappointments, cancellations and huge stretches of the summer left without any real prospect of live music, we finally get to experience the unbridled joy of standing in a field again, remembering the thrill that only a festival can offer. And Derbyshire’s Y Not Festival will be one of the first festivals to return this summer, boasting an excellent and eclectic line-up of acts over three days from Friday 29th July to Sunday 1st August 2021. And of course, Louder than War will be there to cover the return to the festival circuit…
Now into its 15th year, Y Not Festival has firmly established itself as a perennial fixture on the festival calendar. Taking place in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside in Pikehall, the festival takes an freewheeling approach at booking artists from the world of indie, rock, modern RnB, hip-hop, dance and pop music; all whilst cultivating a celebratory party atmosphere with fancy dress themes, real ale and gourmet food stalls.
The 2021 event headliners kick off on Friday with Stereophonics – purveyors of classic modern rock anthems going back over nearly twenty-five years. Now supporting their eleventh album ‘Kind’, expect to hear a selection of more recent releases interspersed with their timeless hits going back over the years. Taking centre stage on Saturday will be Bombay Bicycle Club and their unique blend of alternative anthems, strands of folk and electronic leanings. And then on Sunday. Stockport’s Blossoms make their festival headline debut on main Big Gin stage. Following up on their huge-selling Foolish Loving Spaces album from 2020, this sees frontman Tom Ogden headlining the first festival he attended in 2012, bringing the main stage to an epic close.
Looking further through the line-up there is a real depth and eclecticism on display. With a new album on the horizon, it is a much-welcome return for the wonderful Manic Street Preachers to bring thirty years of consistent excellence to Pikehall. Joining them in holding up the classic end of the spectrum will be the sweeping Mancunian anthems of James and the folk-punk stylings of The Levellers. There are also appearances from Frank Turner and a welcome return for The Futureheads, with the North-East’s favourite sons sure to honour their record as one of the best live acts going. And speaking of superb live acts, Terrorvision are always guaranteed fun and to start a party at any available location.
For those carrying the more recent guitar torch, Fontaines D.C. continue their rapid ascent in support of their superb 2020 record ‘A Hero’s Death’ and the glacial, gothic stylings of Pale Waves rub up against the rabble-rousing sounds of The Snuts and The Sherlocks. But even more impressive are the female acts on the bill, specifically the brilliant The Orielles and The Big Moon – absolutely guaranteed to deliver on the biggest of festival stage. And one of the finest new bands going – Porridge Radio are not to be missed with their spiky, intelligent post-punk.
Scattered throughout the rest of the bill we have the forceful and fierce rap synergy brought by Eve and the brilliant, chameleonic Kelis to keep the vibes and energy up, with smooth, soulful stylings of Gabrielle on the other hand. Nottingham’s brilliant Sleaford Mods – angry electronic prophets for the contemporary age – bring a touch of humour and savage social commentary alongside labelmate and collaborator Billy Nomates, set alongside the DIY stylings of Beans on Toast, humorous communal singalongs with The Lancashire Hotpots and the epic guitar sweep of Circa Waves. Also, not to be missed are the fantastic Ferocious Dog – one of the most consistently brilliant performers in the UK today with their tumultuous, hyper-energised folk-punk riot of a live show never failing to disappoint.
Aside from this, expect circus and comedy performers, a thriving kid’s field alongside fairground rides and many more acts still to be announced. Tickets are available from £114.50 plus booking fee from the festival website here with a ticket instalment plan option for no extra cost allowing you to split the price., or from Festicket here. Thursday early entry is an extra £30 and there are other upgrades for VIP, Glamping and Camper Van access, these can be found on the official website ticket links. But best to act quick – tickets are selling out quickly.
It has been more than enough time now since we’ve all been daft in a field but the wait is nearly over. Hopefully see you down the front!
Y Not Festival 2021 takes place at Pikehall, Derbyshire DE4 2PG and runs from Friday 29th to Sunday 1st August 2021. Thursday entry for an additional cost – see website for details. Guidance on COVID-19 testing and safety to be announced prior to the festival.
Y Not Festival Website available here