Being hailed as one of the most ground breaking new festivals in the UK right now, 2000 Trees Festival once more returns to Upcote Farm (Cheltenham) next week, and so it only seemed right to not just hand the reigns to festival owner, James Scarlett, but also find out just how this bespoke festival has become THE stomping ground for new music.
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR FESTIVALS SUCH AS YOURS TO CHAMPION NEW MUSIC?
“Putting great new music in front of people is one of the reasons I started 2000trees. Ultimately, the headliners of tomorrow are playing on the smaller stages this year and if they didn’t get that experience and that exposure then maybe they wouldn’t be able to take the next step. Over the years quite a few bands have played tiny stages at 2000trees and then gone on to headline (Nothing But Thieves, Slaves and Twin Atlantic all spring to mind). My crystal ball tells me that the next one to be added to that list could well be Creeper (that is honestly not me giving you a clue about next year’s line up!).”
“If I love a band then I’ll keep putting them in front of people until they take notice.”
– James Scarlett
HOW DO YOU FEEL 2000 TREES SUPPORTS NEW ARTISTS IN ITS OWN UNIQUE WAY?
“If I love a band then I’ll keep putting them in front of people until they take notice. I don’t care if they play every year! Examples from the past are Black Peaks, Arcane Roots and And So I Watch You From Afar, but the current band for me are Brutus. They are incredible and I’m going to keep booking them at 2000trees and ArcTanGent until they get the credit they deserve.
One other thing I think is really important, is that we will book bands regardless of whether they have a fanbase or will sell us tickets. The policy is that if you’re good enough then you’re in. I think that means we can support new music in a way that other rock festivals may not. And it also means our line up is strong from the top to the bottom and you can wander into any of our stages early in the afternoon and see something that will be amazing.”
*First 12 tracks are playing the festival*
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BEST NEW ARTISTS YOU’VE DISCOVERED THROUGH THE FESTIVAL?
“Other than the headliners I’ve already mentioned, particular favourites of mine from down the years are The St. Pierre Snake Invasion, Puppy and Future of the Left. And from this years’ crop I’m expecting very big futures from all 12 of the acts on the playlist I’ve put together. I think 2019 is going to be a vintage year for 2000trees!”