Music

Truck Festival 2017: the ‘anti major music festival’

Patrick Gallenmüller

From one music fan to another, 21st-23rd of July are dates to save – Whether you’ll be celebrating the end of your degree, or just the survival of another year, Hill Farm in Abingdon is the place you want to be. In honour of its 20th birthday, this year’s Truck Festival is on course to be bigger and better than ever.

Named the ‘godfather of the small festival scene’ by the Guardian, Oxfordshire’s Truck Festival combines everything that’s great about an intimate regional music festival, with the colossal headliners that typically only larger festivals can attract. It is continuing to unveil a star-studded lineup, which already includes The Libertines, The Vaccines, The Wombats, Loyle Carner, British Sea Power, Jagwar Ma, and Nothing But Thieves. Nationally acclaimed acts will be joined by a significant pool of local talent (which, don’t forget, once birthed Foals and Radiohead), with Willie J Healey set to play the main stage, and the Veterans & Virgins stage which will feature all Oxford locals, (last year it included performances from art-rockers Lucy Leave, singer-songwriter Lucy Mair, and guitar-driven R&B from Be Good). Truck Festival 2017 has “no real genre”, and despite the broadly indie-rock persuasion of its headliners, it will also have something to offer music lovers of diverse tastes, from grime and hip-hop, to jazz and reggae.

Speaking to festival organiser Matt, he is keen to stress how Truck Festival differs from the squalid, mud-encrusted trenches that many of us might remember enduring as a teenage rite of passage: “We pride ourselves on being like the anti-major music festival – We think that people shouldn’t have to pay the equivalent of a holiday to go to a music festival. We also think that everyone should be coming, we want it to be affordable, fun, and for everyone to get involved. We really want to put on something that’s not a soulless, horrible, corporate event – Reading (Festival) is just down the road – You turn up there, and you’re in a horrible tent on a campsite, and you walk into the arena and you get patted down on the way into the arena and then you’re charged about £10 for a beer. We’re the opposite of that! We want to cater to everyone. We want families, we want seasoned festival-goers, we want first-time festival-goers, we just want to be an alternative. There must be something else”.

And this isn’t just talk, it’s clearly something Truck Festival is passionate about. Tickets for the three days are currently going for £115 (early-bird tickets were sold for the complete bargain of £90.50), just over half the price of a ticket to Reading. As Matt describes, the festival prides itself on being part of the community: As in previous years, the proceeds from food and drink stands will go to support local charities, like the Rotary Club. Truck Festival’s principles extend across every aspect of the event, and its website mentions under ‘Prohibited Items’ the widely-loathed selfie stick, and, even more widely-loathed, Katie Hopkins.

So, if you‘re thinking of joining Truck Festival 2017, hurry over to www.truckfestival.com for your ticket! Matt indicates that, with only 10% of tickets remaining, he won’t be surprised if they sell out before the end of March. He ends on a touching note of gratitude to the festival-going community, saying that Truck Festival never could have imagined its current success: “5 years ago, we were getting about 3,000 people here, now about 12-13,000 people are coming out – Thanks so much for everyone’s support”.

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