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ValeFest 2017 – Launch Party Pt.2 Review

By | Published March 20, 2017

With summer fast approaching, Valefest stepped up their promotional campaign in the Duck and Scholar pub on Thursday night, hoping to pique the interest of first year students most of whom will be unaware of the festival’s charms. This follows on from the Wednesday night’s launch party pt.1 at the packed out Bristol Pear, which you can catch up on here.

New Street Records brought some of their heavy artillery down to the Vale, with Laura Loh kicking the night off. Having already featured twice in the Burn Fm live lounge this year, the singer-songwriter set the tone for an enjoyable evening, with a set full of the eclectic, acoustic covers she is known for. She is looking to make her debut at ValeFest this year.
Laura Loh

Laura Loh

After Laura came University of Birmingham first year Ben Neely, who despite his relative inexperience produced an assured set as DJ. As the crowd grew in the Duck and Scholar he set the soundtrack for an enjoyable night, and is definitely one to keep your eye on in the coming months and years.

New Street Records brought some of their heavy artillery down to the Vale, with DAME, one of their most high profile acts, fresh from their newly released EP of the same name, kicking the night off. It wasn’t the smoothest start, with a broken bass string delaying proceedings; in fact we were told by lead guitarist Rohit Jepegnanam it was the third bass they were onto that evening (or as he joked they’d “made third bass”).



However, with fully functioning instruments the Birmingham based band went on to produce an enjoyable set, playing a fusion of indie-rock and folk. In lead vocalist Shannon Farmer, DAME have a really distinctive, original sound, with close harmonies provided by Dan Williams on the keys and Rohit Jepegnanam on guitar. ‘Runaway’, their best song, displays all of the groups talent, with the catchy hook and chorus lodging itself in the audience’s heads for the rest of the evening.  

DAME will be appearing in Valefest 2017, and speaking with bassist Chris Wells afterwards he confirmed the bands excitement for the upcoming festival. With the majority of the band having studied at the University of Birmingham, and having originally lived on the Vale, the festival can be seen as a homecoming of sorts for them, and they are well worth a watch come the festival.

The second half of the night belonged to New Street Records most recent signing,  F.O.D. The producer and DJ played his own mix of electro, dance and techno, and has in fact collaborated with DAME before, remixing ‘Runaway’ for the band’s EP. He too is fresh from his own EP ‘Structures’, and will take his place at Valefest come June 3rd.



Despite only sampling 2 of the 40+ acts that will be appearing at Valefest, there should be enough on show here to excite freshers into ticket purchasing. And why would you not? With the end of exams and the start of summer there seems little better way to spend a day than sampling the local talent on show across the 14 hours and 6 stages. It is worth remembering too that Valefest is a non-profit organisation, and every penny of ticket sales will go towards charities RSVP and BasicNeeds.

2016 was a recording breaking year in terms of ticket sales for Valefest, and organisers will be hoping to go even bigger this time around. Based on the quality and turnout of the two events so far, 2017 is looking to be just as successful.


RA tickets are now on sale!!! Follow this link to buy them:
Tickets for non-residents are out on the 18th of March so stay tuned here on BURN and at the FACEBOOK PAGE!! Stage and band announcements to come soon! Last year sold out, so get your tickets soon!