Dot to dot festival hits the bars of Nottingham next bank holiday weekend on Sunday 28th in what looks to be a gathering of some of the best local talent there is going.
The event has been the starting gate for many a well-known artist – Ed Sheeran and Florence and the Machine, Mumford & Sons, and Jake Bugg to name just a few – so the odds are you will have the opportunity to see somebody that one day you can say “I remember one Sunday afternoon when I saw them in Nottingham before they were famous.”. You might even see a band that you wouldn’t have particularly thought to go and see, but will obsess over from that moment on.
Now in its twelfth year since starting in Nottingham in 2004, D2D has since spread to Brighton and Manchester. With over 350 different artists playing across the cities this year, and a huge 33 venues (that I counted) hosting it really is a day out of music not to be missed. If I’m honest, I wasn’t aware how many venues there were actually going to be until I saw the set list yesterday. Or how many talented folk.
My favourite thing about this festival is that almost every single stage will have a bar and toilet within a few feet. If you’re hungry, there’s probably a good chance wherever you are offers food, too. And if it’s raining? No worries! Because we’re not in a field! OK, maybe not completely saved from the rain as it is quite spread out across the city centre, you may find yourself ambling from The Angel to Rock City in between sets if you’ve managed to put yourself some sort of schedule together for who to see and when and where.
There’s enough going on in each place to mean you don’t have to move to have an enjoyable day, or afternoon, though. Sit, enjoy a drink or two, and soak in the atmosphere around you. Some places, such as The Angel (in association with I’m Not From London), Rock City, and The Bodega are making full use of their multiple rooms, so even if you weren’t enjoying the current entertainment, you still don’t have to go anywhere! No excuse to not go, really!
Some personal recommendations, from myself, to get you started:
Unknown Era at Baresca from 11pm . Ska/Dub/Disco (one self-proclaimed disco song) at some of its finest. Lyrics that have substance. Having played at previous D2D festivals and Boomtown amongst others, they are also now just getting ready for their first tour across Europe.
Amber Run at Rock City from 8.30pm. Indie pop band formed in 2012, and when they were invited to play at Reading Festival 2013 on the BBC introducing stage (only their fourth show), they were quickly snapped up.
You Want Fox at The Lofthouse from 8pm. A dynamic duo consisting of Nat on the bass guitar, and Colette on the drums. Fresh from a tour of LA, these Nottingham lasses are proving that bad girls really are doing things better.
I was lucky enough to be able to have a chat with Natalie, and this is what she had to say about D2D.“We are so looking forward to returning to Dot to Dot festival this year. The second time for You Want Fox. Fresh out of the studio after recording our hotly anticipated second album. We’re looking forward to playing again in our home town, after our successful week of debut showcases down the west coast of the USA! The punked up, sexed up, angst ridden, lipstick funk of You Want Fox will leave you with hooks and chants stuck in your head and hearts. We look forward to seeing everyone and having a mental show and lovely singalong!”
You can find a full list of venues and artists at www.dottodotfestival.co.uk or at @d2dfest on Instagram.
A few things you need to remember: It’s a bank holiday weekend, there are hundreds of artists, its’s £12, it starts at 11am, it’s bank holiday weekend, so have a peruse over who’s playing, maybe pick one or two, then just go with the flow. See you there!
By Johnny Banks