Valefest is just two and a half weeks away, and the hype has already begun to spread. The one-day festival is the perfect end to exams set to take place on Saturday the 6th of June this year, and welcome around 5,000 people.
Valefest is the largest student-run festival in the country completely organised and run by volunteering students, and takes place in the beautiful vale village that most first-years call home. In the picturesque setting, four stages will welcome unique and talented acts throughout the day and evening – something for everyone to enjoy. As well as this, there will be a silent disco – good music is not the only thing we can look forward to, as there is a comedy and performance tent welcoming some laughter and fun to the festival.
The amazing thing about Valefest is that all of the proceeds are given to chosen charities. Last year, the festival raised £25,000 for charity, and £175,000 since Valefest began 11 years ago. This year, the charitable festival hope to reach a similar goal with the charities Medic Malawi and Child Poverty Action Group – great causes concerned with poverty related aid, and will receive 100% of the proceeds.
Headlining the main stage this year is a band called Will and the People, providing a quirky and upbeat amalgamation of reggae and indie to the festival. They offer a perfect summer sound, proving intense guitar ability and a unique vocal. Lyrically, their music is light-hearted and fun, and this band will be sure to bring sunshine to the main stage if the weather doesn’t. Joining then are Jam Tidy – a big hit last year at Valefest. This band are a fun addition, producing a happy blend of hip-hop and reggae to keep everyone moving. If that wasn’t enough to get your butt off the grass (maybe mud), Charlie and the Funk Factory will also be making an appearance on the main stage, injecting funky and soulful vibes to the day, as well as many other colourful acts.
On the alternative stage, Dark Stares will headline. They are a band from St. Albans, and have supported big alternative bands like Enter Shikari and The Darkness. Attendees on the hunt for a heavier sound can look forward to this set, with impressive guitar presence and an effortlessly slick vocal. If their psychedelic music videos are anything to go by, Dark Stares are going to put on a full and epic performance. Joining them on the alternative stage, are acts including Ghouls and The Jacques, as well as New Street Record’s Shallows.
The acoustic stage welcomes the Uptone Girls as it’s headliner. This acapella group describe themselves as alternative-pop, and from personal experience of seeing them, have the most incredible voices. Who needs music when you can make it yourself? The eight-piece girl group offer perfect harmonies and catchy rhythms of songs that you can’t help but sing along to. This is sure to be an exciting set to attend. Joining them will be a University of Birmingham favourite, Little Dynamite. They pair an unstoppable vocal from Lizzie Haynes with acoustic accompaniment to produce a killer performance every time.
As for the dance stage, the headliner is a special guest, still to be announced! In the meantime however, many amazing acts have already been announced and are more than enough to get us excited about this stage, including Lokane, DJ Beyond, and the University’s own, Dub Soc. If you want an excuse to dance all day, head to this energetic stage.
If there’s any advice I’d give – apart from wearing comfy shoes – don’t eat before you come! This year, Valefest have some exciting caterers to feed hungry festival-goers, as well as a BBQ of their own. You can expect to see Canoodle, offering authentic Asian cuisine, Habenos, Bourneville Waffle Company (most exciting – for me anyway), and Coolberry providing refreshing frozen yoghurt on a (hopefully) hot day. If they all taste as good as they sound, attendees are in for a real treat. You can find all of these in the Marketplace area, next to the house band ready to play for anyone who wants to sing a song or two!
Burn FM will be covering the whole day at Valefest, so keep an eye out for exclusive act and attendee interviews and coverage, and come have a chat with us on the day!