ValeFest hosted their official launch party at the Bristol Pear this Thursday as they kicked off the countdown to ValeFest 2017 on 3rd June.
As the launch party kicked off, you could feel the energy of a ValeFest Committee looking to build off a record-breaking sold out 2016 event, with early bird tickets selling out in only 20 minutes, and Fab N Fresh being inundated with requests for tickets. And with early bird tickets selling fast at the Launch Party, you can already tell this could be another sell out year.
The night kicked off with a performance from Guyana, an indie rock quartet originating from Birmingham, who will be playing their first ValeFest this June, as well as an acoustic performance from Isaac O. Isaac has been featured on Burn FM before (you can check out his Canal Session here) and got the crowd going with a brilliant acoustic cover of Ray Charles’ Hit the Road Jack. Isaac recently played at the Guild live music night with the Midnight Collective at ABandOn Goes Underground, and after his ValeFest Launch performance many people will be looking forward to what he brings to ValeFest in June.
Playing the penultimate set of the night was Birmingham based band Coffee Breath, a indie punk band who are also looking forward to playing their first ValeFest, having played their spin-off Déjà Vu event in September. With recent studio time under their belt, Coffee Breath are taking time off their gig schedule to put the final edit to their debut LP ‘I’ll Lose Interest in This’ to be released in the coming months, so expect big things from them at ValeFest this year.
During their set lead vocalist Sam Tidmarsh highlighted this years focus on mental health at ValeFest, as the festival has chosen to support international mental health charity BasicNeeds, as well as Birmingham based charity RSVP, which offers support to victims of sexual violence and abuse through multiple outreach programmes throughout the Birmingham area. In an interview after the set, Coffee Breath spoke about the importance of highlighting issues in university like mental health, as one in four students experience some form of mental health problems; “We think it’s excellent focusing on issues like mental health, especially with students and people our age as it’s something a lot of us have to deal with in one way or another, be it yourself, friends or family, and it’s important an event like this highlights mental health issues”. As ValeFest is a 100% non-for-profit student organisation, it is a poignant reminder of all the positive effects this event has through raising money for charities like BasicNeeds and Birmingham RSVP.
The last act of the night was four-piece indie rock outfit Jump the Shark, and in an interview after the gig BURN chatted to Jump the Shark’s Tasha and Matt as they talked about looking forward to ValeFest; “It’s a big gig for us and a local gig as well, and we’re always happy to do gigs for charity and especially for the incredible charities ValeFest supports”. The 2015 Next Big Thing in Music BRIT award winners will be playing their first ValeFest this June, and have gone from strength to strength since we last saw them perform at BURN Live all the way back in December 2015. Their upcoming LP ‘Wake Up, Go to Sleep’ is released and exclusively sold at their headline their O2 academy gig this Saturday 18th March, with official web release on Sunday 19th March.
Valefest 2017 is certainly shaping up to be a big year, with brilliant charities supported in this years festival as it celebrates its 13th year. As Europe’s largest student-run charity festival, expect a massive day of entertainment with 40+ acts spread over 6 stages across the Vale, and judging by the talent on show at the Launch Party, ValeFest 2017 will be an event to remember for all!
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