Every single year, the summer dies out and the air starts to hang lower than before. Most people fill with despair, but we crave it. Why? For the simple fact we know In The Woods is just around the corner. This year was our third venture out into the wilderness and oh sweet baby Jesus it may have been the best yet.
After the dramaggedon that can only unfold in our abode, we managed to traverse the shitfest well-known by many as the M25 to arrive at 2pm. Thanks to the beauty of Argos and it’s value tent range, we were ready in 15 minutes and itching to get out to The Quarry to catch Nao . Five seconds in and we had begun proclaiming our love for the singer, who’s beautiful blend of rasped vocals and soulful falsettos had us weeping yet gyrating in seconds like an emotional Miley Cyrus (call us Miley Cryus).
After an emotional start, hunger pains soon settled in and we were urged to check the independent food stalls. Every year we eat the same thing; pulled pork with apple sauce on a bun. This year we held back and tried not to stare the hog roast in it’s lost eyes, opting for a cheese burger. I don’t know if it’s because we were on the verge of passing out, or because we were filled with nostalgia by the surroundings, but that may have been the best burger of my life. And I’ve frequented many a burger bar.
Stuffed full, cider ready and socialised to the max, we headed to the Laurel Lounge for some rather erratic electronic sounds from Belgian band Pomrad. A sea of white boy skankers filled the abyss in front of the stage, before evacuating for the docile tones of Ireland’s SOAK. Flying straight in from a festival in Ireland, her subtly rasped vocals turned the jumped up crowd to pure silence, each lyrics silencing them once more.
As the dusk approached, so too did the smell of alcohol, and with it came a line up with a faster paced tempo. Years and Years stormed The Quarry with uplifting synths, scattered snares and samples edited to the max. To say we lost our shit at this point would be an understatement. Furthering the shit losing came Kate Tempest, opening up with an acapella rap about the troubles of women throughout time and how women are still subjected to so many forms of scrutiny. Now with both our shit lost and welling up in a corner, Kate followed up with a set of bass heavy hits, blasted her words at the captivated audience.
By midnight, we were high on life and the fumes of vodka after a thumping set from Glass Animals, so it meant one thing; to head down to The Spinney to chill out with a silent gig. ‘Silent gig!?’ Imagine a tiny space of woodland that is perfectly spherical, hay bales strewn about for sitting. Toward the back is a small makeshift stage surrounded by a crowd wearing headphones. You can hear a faint din of music, until you place on your headphones. Suddenly, you’re presented with a beautifully serene acoustic set like you’ve never heard before. We caught Sivu and Marika Hackman in this special environment, their brooding vocals carrying across in the gentle midnight air. Teaming up for track ‘Skin‘, it was easily one of the defining moments of the entire festival.
Now chilled out and still pissed, we headed out into the main woods for the annual silent disco. And oh god was it good. Banger after banger dropped, we sweat away the night whilst wailing along with other festivalgoers before giving it in to spend the rest of our night lay in front of the festival bonfire.
In conclusion, In The Woods is the festival all festivals want to be; strong, independent and relaxed. Sort of like a Beyoncé character. If you’ve never been here before, be sure that you will end up here soon if you want to extend your quality of life.
Check out some videos below.