Fort Fest 2016 – Day 1

Fires That Divide (c) Katie Frost
Fires That Divide (c) Katie Frost

The festival started with a scenic drive into the heart of Bedfordshire where I was met by the ‘UK’s newest rock festival’. The campsite and carpark set in the grounds of Scald End Farm complete with farm shop.

Fires That Divide opened the festival at 3pm kicking off into a grunge influenced rock that got the arriving public going well. The tight knit quartet set the tone for the rest of the day with their heavy riffs and pounding rhythm section. Even if the crowd wasn’t the largest the sound was still excellent from the perspective of both the band and the festival goers.

Sister Shotgun (c) Katie Frost
Sister Shotgun (c) Katie Frost

The next band to hit the stage was Bad Touch. Their southern rock infused sound delighted the audience and they carried an air of Lynyrd Skynyrd or early Eagles. They strutted around stage with the presence of one of the greats. Received warmly, many of the crowd stopped to buy the band’s first album off Bad Touch themselves after the show.

Sister Shotgun then entered the arena bringing an emo element to the day with their eccentric outfits and make-up. Added to the theatrical element they also had fire performers to go along with the music creating a real show for the audience.

Looking around the festival the setup was fantastic with food and merch stalls all manned with friendly faces from the hog roast tent to the smoothie bar. The toilets were clean and mud was at a minimum. The overall impression was of a well-established festival that was experienced in the issues that the crowds might face.

Eva Plays Dead (c) Katie Frost
Eva Plays Dead (c) Katie Frost

At twenty past six Eva Plays Dead strutted onto the stage. Their blend of heavy riffs and a punk like attitude was lapped up by the crowd. Frontwoman Tiggy grabbed the crowd by the scruff of the neck and threw them into the set singing along and jumping up and down.

Moved into Dirty Youth’s set, due to the former band’s throat illness, Black Peaks stepped once more into the breach. And they smashed it. The crowd universally loved their heavy duty performance and screeching vocals. They were justly rewarded with a queue of fans waiting to buy their new merchandise.

InMe (c) Katie Frost
InMe (c) Katie Frost

InMe were the day’s headline act on the main stage for the first night. These veteran rockers excited the crowd and many of the bands who had played earlier expressed their respect and admiration for the band. They didn’t disappoint and the Essex band played a tight knit rocking set for over an hour that took the festival to new heights.

Icarus Fell was the closing band on the Tavern Stage. Their blend of grungy heavy riffs and energy coming from the rhythm section blasted out from the stage. These guys were school kids but the sound they produced was mature and hooked the audience in. They rounded off the day in style.

All photos by Katie Frost Photography including this full set of pics from Day 1 of the festival.

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September 13, 2016 12:23 PM

[…] Already achieving sell-out gigs and successful festival sets on top of a range of local shows this year, the future is bright for Kirk, Steven, Steve and Marc. Our gig reviewer Sam caught them opening the festivities this month at Fort Fest. […]