Festival Preview – Valefest 2014
The UK’s largest student run festival returns to the Vale student village for another year and promises to be just as great as it has ever been, with an array of acts and activities guaranteed to keep you up and occupied all day and all night.
Music will be provided across three separate stages dotted throughout the parkland of the Vale. The main stage will play host to the larger acts of the day, with numerous smaller artists shared between the MacMillan stage and the Trekstock stage.
Providing the entertainment throughout the day on the main stage will be a plethora of artists from across the local area. 2014 sees the return to Birmingham for electro-swing band Electric Swing Circus; headliners for the day. The band’s funky amalgamation of classical swing instruments and electronic mastering have already garnered them national attention, and they have been gracing the stages of several prominent music festivals for a few years now. Having just finished the second year of their very own self-made festival ‘Swingamajig’, the band know how to put on a performance and so it is perhaps unsurprising to see a band with such a reputation topping the bill at the festival. Local outfit Jam Tidy will also be making a return to the main stage for Valefest 2014 with a fantastic blend of gypsy, reggae and hip hop guaranteed to have you up and dancing. Another year of Valefest also sees another year of UoB’s very own acapella band Son’s Of Pitches. The award-winning group have already played overseas in the United States and have received a large amount of recognition for their music. A beautiful blend of vocals and beat boxing means that they aren’t an artist to miss, even if you have already seen them a million times at every single Guild event and subject summer ball.
Providing the entertainment on the MacMillan stage for this year’s festivities are returning alternative rock outfit Wild Sun. Big hits at Valesfest 2013, the band have come back for another year to entertain the festival goers. With their soft blend of indie guitar and almost Caribbean beat and sound they are certainly a feel-good band for a hot summer day, and not an act to miss. Also playing the MacMillan stage at Valefest 2014 are University of Birmingham based group Little Dynamite. Front woman Lizzie Haynes possesses an outstanding voice, able to captivate any who come across it, and their soft acoustic sounds coupled with Lizzie’s awesome vocals make the band a particularly impressive outfit. Headlining the MacMillan stage are Valefest first-timers Ghouls. Ghouls’ soft ska sound and vocals reminiscent of one Mike Skinner make them an artist to watch out for. There is no better sound on a summer’s day than the sound of ska, and there can be no doubt that Ghouls will be the main providers of this.
Gracing the Trekstock stage for the first time this year is the University of Birmingham’s answer to female guitar-folk, Cordelia Gartside. A second year history student, Gartside already has a loyal fan following and an array of uploaded YouTube videos with hits into five figures. A sound to relax and unwind to, Gartside’s folk-acoustic sound will be sinking you into a comfortable state of relaxation in minutes. Alex Moir, the young man with bags of talent, will also be returning to Valefest for another year to play on the Trekstock stage. Having already been scouted out by the team at BBC Introducing, Moir is doubtless on his way to big things and his gentle rhythms and soulful songs are perfect for lying back on the grass and listening to all afternoon. Headlining the Trekstock stage is alternative rocker Ben Drummond. Clever lyrics and catchy sounds make this former session musician someone you do not want to miss out on hearing, and it would seem many students owe Drummond a debt, in that he is the man behind the new talent nights at the Jam house in St Paul’s square, the staple of the student looking for a night of good music in Birmingham.
The festival will not be solely constructed around the music however, and the festival organisers have promised to all festival goers a selection of food and drink outlets, a comedy tent and something called ‘The Mysterious Zone’ which promises to be a sight worth seeing (Their words not mine). As well as this, be sure to check out all of the good work that BurnFM and GuildTV will be putting into coverage for the day. The 10th anniversary of the UK’s largest student run festival promises much, and providing the heavens do not open, it should be able to deliver just what it promises.