Y Not Festival 2017 Line-Up


Having recently changed ownership, this year’s Y Not Festival looked set to be an incredible weekend with strong headline performances scheduled from The Vaccines, Stereophonics and Two Door Cinema Club along with other big names filling up the bill such as Slaves, Jake Bugg, Happy Mondays, Manic Street Preachers, Frank Turner and Example.

In reality, the bad weather and poor conditions on the festival site lead to only one of the scheduled headliners performing and the inevitable cancellation of the festival on the Sunday. A British festival that seems unprepared for rain sounds ridiculous, right? Well as crazy as that may sound, it’s true. I only managed to see three acts across the weekend and whilst I cannot discredit the performers (as they were the only ray of sunshine on this shambolic weekend), I can say that for all of the good things I have heard about this festival, it did not live up to expectations.

The festival got off to a bad start after torrential rain caused delays to the acts performing on the main stage on Friday. Some acts had their sets cut short and some didn’t even make it onto the stage. With dangerous conditions, a near flooded stage and acts having to perform under a gazebo hastily set up to protect them from the weather, it seemed that the festival organisers had bitten off more than they could chew. However, when The Hunna finally managed to take to the stage, for just a little while, everything seemed to be okay. They played a smashing set despite the poor sound quality and awful conditions. They powered through to put on a good show and interacted with the crowd to try and lighten the mood. The highlight of their set came in the form of their latest single ‘Never Enough’ and crowd favourite ‘She’s Casual’, which had everyone clambering on top of one another and joyfully singing along. Just when things started to be looking up, the rain got worse meaning Clean Bandit had to perform a DJ Set as they couldn’t set up their equipment and The Vaccines had to cancel their headline set leaving punters wet and extremely angry.

After a diabolic start to the festival and a tent sunken into the mud, we decided to call it a day, pack up, go home and come back the next day. We arrived back at the festival on Saturday to find more disappointment as we had missed some of the bands that we wanted to see. It turns out that the set times on the main stage for Saturday were pushed forward. The announcements were only posted on social media and the screens at the main stage, which seems ridiculous as anyone in attendance would have little to no access to social media and would only find out about the change in times when turning up to watch a band and finding out they had already played. After missing Slaves we decided to try to find one of the other stages which resulted in us getting lost as there were no signposts to any of the stages (none that we could see anyway). The next (and final) acts that we managed to catch at the festival turned out to be the clear highlights of the weekend. With Jake Bugg keeping to a mainly upbeat set, everyone’s spirits were lifted as we watched on and forgot about our woes for an hour or so. The bad weather was kept at bay which may also have helped to keep the mood up. Finally, Stereophonics took to the stage to play a set that really showed the potential that the festival had. With a set packed full of their newer material, they still found the time to play the classics, which had everyone dancing in the muddy swamp that we found ourselves in. Again the sound quality was poor but that could be overlooked as ‘Dakota’ was chanted to a beautiful fireworks display.

After Saturday’s fantastic headline slot the festival was cancelled on the Sunday morning, to put the health and safety of attendees and the performers first. Sadly, there were so many other things that went wrong with the festival and the weather was only a part of it. Staff were unaware and had no clue what was going on most of the time. They set us up in the wrong campsite and then asked us to move, and sent us around in circles when we asked for directions as no one knew where we were meant to go. We saw someone who needed medical attention left in the care of strangers. Cars were stuck is such deep mud many were having to be towed out of the car park, meaning that the one-way system out of the festival was given up on and people were just leaving any way they could. Finally, there was barely any attempt made to combat the poor weather conditions (that I saw) other than a very measly bit of straw which left the main walkways in an atrocious state.

Overall, a festival with so much potential was undone by some typically British weather. Y Not? Because you’ll go to a field in the middle of nowhere, risk your safety and end up covered in mud, seeing nearly none of the bands you wanted to see.

Sylvie Devaney

I am Sylvie an 18 year old music enthusiast from the midlands - with a heart for writing and adventure. Currently I am a budding music journalist who is studying for a degree in music journalism at the University of Chester.