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We have been doing our best to get to every big party this Summer, and recently we had the chance to head down to Essex for Brownstock Festival. The line-up was headed up by Tinie Tempah, Kelis and Mark Ronson whilst also boasting lots of other Student Radio favourites. We sent down Jess Campbell and Luke James from Xpress Radio to make us some radio and also let you guys know what the festival was like. Here’s Luke’s review of Brownstock:

Last weekend I lost my festival virginity. Yes, that’s right, I’d never been to a festival before but I don’t think I could have chosen a better festival than Brownstock to attend for the first time. The festival site is incredibly easy to get to, being about an hour out of London via train and close enough to the South Woodham Ferrers station to jump in a taxi and be there within five minutes. Just a warning: unless you have a back of steel, perhaps it’s wise not to walk it. It turns out that when you have the equivalent weight of an eight year old child on your back it seems incredibly far!

The site itself is smaller than your Glastonburys and Reading & Leeds sites, although it has been expanded and rearranged this year compared to previous years. I did, however like the intimacy of the site as it made the festival feel a lot more like a community than what I’d assume larger ones to be like. Another added bonus to this was that it took barely any time at all to walk from the Saloon to the Main Stage. No tired feet which was relieving.

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Despite being a smaller festival, the music choice was much the opposite. I don’t think I have ever attended an event with such a variety of music for me to choose from. Admittedly, I spent an awful lot of time hungover and missed a fair few sets but the quality of the artists I did see perform was at an awfully high level.

Also I really liked that few of the acts that I wanted to see clashed with one another and I felt as if this was a huge positive over the more well known festivals.

There are 5 stages in total, The Saloon, The Stumble Inn, The Treehouse, The Good Shed and, of course, the Main Stage. I liked that each stage had a distinctly different feel with The Good Shed being mainly dance DJs and The Treehouse housing mainly alternative, indie performers. Dance isn’t really my thing so I spent an awful lot of time at the Treehouse stage where I saw some fantastic acts. A stand out band for me on this stage (they also played The Saloon) was Mandeville, who are a local garage rock band whose music can definitely be described as rock although I did sometimes feel a few blues-y inflections. On Saturday I was strolling by The Saloon and saw a fantastic drumming band, Legion of Doom, performing outside the bar. Their performance was outstanding and I felt as if it really captured the tone of The Saloon, and made for one of the weekend’s best memories.

As for the main stage, the line up was fantastic. Tinie Tempah, Mark Ronson (feat. technical difficulties) and Kelis were perfect headliners for such a festival, once again providing a relatively varied range of genres, as opposed to just focussing on one. Who would have thought that Kelis would headlining a festival near a small town in Essex?

The atmosphere of the festival was incredibly chilled and there was a real community feel. I did, however, feel as though I brought the average age of the festival up by a fair few years with the average age definitely being around 18, which ofcourse makes for a great party.

Would I go again next year? 100% yes!

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