Festivals come thick and fast during the summer months in the UK, but none with more of a spirited growth such as this year’s Hevy Fest. In its fourth year now, the festival boasts a large following for any Rock or Metal fan; converging in the fields of Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent in its most recent years, the festival offers over eighty big names and up-and-coming bands from the genres of Hardcore and Punk, right through to Metal. Last year’s event saw The Dillinger Escape Plan and Four Year Strong headline the Saturday and Sunday, proving once more that Hevy pushes the bands that crowds are aching to see live, right to the forefront. The festival acknowledges a massive fist pumping nod to up-and-coming bands who wish to take control of a bigger platform, last year granting bands like Me vs Hero, Feed The Rhino, and The Carrier centre stage performances that have built their following and acclaim in the coming year.
Much the same has happened again for 2012; the festival demonstrates the full force that the Redbull Bedroom Jam Stage has upon its audience by granting exceptional bands like Golden Tanks and Brutality Will Prevail their opportunity to bring the house down. But Hevy isn’t just about the up-and-comers; many veteran performers and big name rockers are billed for an exciting explosion of rock dynamite. Norma Jean, A Wilhelm Scream and Set Your Goals are just a few of the bands filling this already bursting line up, along with Hundred Reasons, H20 and Mallory Knox, I can’t really envisage how the organisers can top this bubbling cauldron of awesome acts… oh wait, they just did!
The headliners speak for themselves, Descendents always showcase their cult following and will undoubtedly gain a new younger audience once they unleash their talent upon this year’s festival. Deaf Havana were up-and-commers that came out on top and are now storming the festival and tour scene with big hits and charming musical capabilities. And of course the king of partying hard Andrew WK will be entertaining us with his party fuelled anthems. All the bands are worth the watch but my top tip out of all the live performances is the power house that is Glassjaw. There are many standard bands that influence others musically and emotionally, but none more as profound as Glassjaw, their brand of weird guitar techy chaos is a sure fire winner when it comes to good performances, and unquestionably an enactment that will be you tubed for the weeks to come.
What comes with the good, comes with the bad, and in this case the bad is only in the form of criticism. The 2011 Hevy Fest was its best year to date, supplying a willing audience with great band after great band, and successfully constructed an excellent balance of new, well known, and big name artists to fill the bill that the festival had failed to achieve in previous years. This year’s festival in the eyes of many previous attendants could be seen as a diluted version of 2011. The line-up is full of lesser known artists who are ready to give their all but who may not spark the interest of the viewing public. Where the festival organisers may feel that they are providing their audience with a varied selection of acts and genres, could actually be construed as failing to book the bands already making better names for themselves. No matter what your opinion of the line-up however, there are plenty of bands to keep your musical taste buds satisfied.
You can keep your eye on the weather forecast for the weekend here! I would bring wellies to be on the safe side!
RAMzine will be all over the festival weekend with a live Twitter feed, regular photos and all the best from this years fest.
Words: Oli Bateman