Wickerman Festival 2013

wickermanIt’s not every festival you wake up with a baby frog leaping around the outside of your tent.

And it’s not every festival that you can see children running around the festival site right next to adults dancing with pints in their hands – and no one worrying about the consequences.

But Wickerman Festival does just that.

The family friendly event is a great starting festival for those who are worried about entering the festival world, but still want to experience the unique atmosphere.

Catering for all ages, the site features a children’s area, acoustic village and over 6 stages ranging from up and coming Scottish bands to heavy rock and dance.

Despite the broad range of genres covered, it seemed the main stage this year on the Saturday was suited to an older audience or those who want a blast from the past.

The younger element comes in the form of the two rising talent stages, Solus and goNORTH where we spent most of the Saturday at the Festival.

Here’s a few acts we caught across the day…..

Fake Major proved exactly why they’ve been given so many festivals slots after such a short period of time as a band. The duo’s fantastic vocals captured the audience with ease and the set provided moments to relax enjoying the powerful acoustic sound. For us, track ‘We’re The Same’ was a highlight.

Wandering around the site, Lulu James confidentially strutted her stuff on the main stage wearing an outfit resembling a black tankini costume. Her strong vocals managed to hold the audience’s attention throughout the set who were dancing along to the 21-year-old’s sound.

A band first brought to our attention at RockNess, Man Get Out, were performing short sets in the sunshine once again with Jeremiah Weed offering a great chance to sip the delicious cider discovering new music with a real summer feeling in the air. And this time even the Jeremiah Weed team were involved, as one member took to the stage to perform ‘Johnny B. Goode’ with the band, as this date marked the final session of the band’s Jeremiah Weed festival run.

For something to really wake you up, Dundee band Fat Goth stepped it up in a busy Solus tent. With heads nodding along and feet tapping in the crowd, it was evident the band were giving it their all as the sweat lashed off their faces in the sweltering tent. Despite the heat, the band maintained a strong stage presence and connection throughout, easily gaining them new fans who were keen for more.

For a touch of old school, Dexys took to the main stage and as soon as the first few notes of classic song ‘Come on Eileen’ were played, the crowd were ready to go. Singing, clapping and some questionable dance moves were a must for the audience who sang the track word-for-word.

Another discovery in the goNORTH tent was Arches who managed to draw a crowd to the tent within the first song. The band was well-connected and the audience easily joined in without any hesitation. A great festival set keeping the audience’s attention from start to finish despite the heat and a band we will certainly be keeping an eye on.

The busiest performance we caught at the Solus Tent was Vigo Thieves. Their strong vocals had the crowd in a party spirit with people struggling to get into the tent crowding around the doorway to try to at least hear the band’s sound. The band proved their festival slot with ease and even invited a member of the public on stage to get involved and unleash their musical ‘talent’. One of our favourite tracks was Ghosts containing opportunities for crowd involvement and the tent dancing along from start to finish.

The Scooter tent may not be up our street, but the crowds were consistently creating mosh-pits in the darkness dressed in black leathers rocking the day away.

Out with the darkened tent, The Enemy rocked the main stage and brought another blast from the past back as ‘Away From Here’ blasted across the grounds.

Adding an electronic feel headlining the Solus tent, Roman nose created a sound which was hard to believe it was not completely pre-recorded. A great headliner for the tent as they packed out the space and had the crowd dancing along. And even when they were ready to stop, the crowd certainly weren’t chanting ‘one more tune’ as the band left the stage.

3-piece electro pop band Prides were a great find at the festival headlining the goNORTH stage. The synth-pop feeling was a great festival soundtrack and the crowd were in high spirits. The happy upbeat songs were perfect for dancing your worries away and we have a feeling this is just the beginning for the trio.

With the true festival partying spirit consistent throughout the day, the acoustic village provided the chance for festival go-ers to relax in the dream catcher filled surroundings and enjoy easy-listening acoustic sets or spoken word and poetry. A great addition for families who could sit down with their children engrossed by the acoustic sounds.

Headlining on the Saturday night was Amy Macdonald, a name we have not heard in a long while. Unfortunately, the sound from the back of the site was terrible and did not help the crowd who were in dampened spirits as the rain began mid-set. The front few rows were the only members truly engaged from start to finish, and it was only when Amy began singing cover songs or her hit ‘This is The Life’ that the front section were engaged and able to sing along rather than standing blankly. The set therefore left the back of the crowd observing and not enjoying the act which was a shame after the consistent good feeling all day. After hearing so much about Friday night’s headliner, it seemed the crowd were expecting a lot more than was offered from the singer.

And as the Wickerman lit up in flames and the fireworks burst into pockets of colour in the sky, the audience cheered and clapped along.

As the rain continued to fall, the majority made their way back to their tents unfortunately making the crowd for post-main stage action Public Service Broadcasting smaller than it should have been, especially when they managed to create a true main stage atmosphere unlike the chosen headline act.

Once again Wickerman Festival proved exactly why it is so popular and we will certainly be making our way back down to Kirkcudbright for next year’s Festival!

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