Y Not festival has earnt itself a strong reputation by expanding dramatically year by year to accommodate the increasing flow of people that flock to enjoy a weekend of beats, dancing and escapism. We headed over to Pike Hall to find out what Y Not had planned for us all this time around…

Madness perform on the The Main Stage - photo by Max Miechowski

At a glance, this year’s expansion was evident with fresh new venues dubbed “nightclubs” pacing the walkway to the mainstage area. Each nightclub had it’s own sign and archway leading to large tent with a mixture of DJs and live bands performing throughout the day and night.

Other new activities included a sit-down cinema tent and retro gaming area known as “Gaming Retro-bution”, which seemed to function as an effective distraction for children whose parents needed a little time off.

The festival also has huge open field area known as  “Sgt Pepper’s Meadows” featuring tranquil views across Derbyshire, accented by alarge helter skelter which no doubt acted as a landmark for many.

helter skelter

The site was a flurry of colour and excitement as families, couples, lone rangers and groups all celebrated the spirit of summer. Y Not attracts the style conscious festival go-er and there was no shortage of well dressed, well glittered ladies and gentlemen who obviously took pride and joy in their individual festival looks.

In this environment the dress code tends to be “the more colours the better”. And that’s why these stylish punters perfectly portray the spirit of Y Not with their effortless festival friendly style.

Also proving that a smile is the best accessory!

Three bright and beautiful festival goers

festival style

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Beth from Patawana shouts 70s in her furry bell sleeved get up

Fancy dress Saturday was completely embraced by the Y Not crowd with so many putting a huge effort into their dressing up outfits. We love the pure energy of this Madonna lookalike who insisted on walking around the festival, fully submerged in character, singing Madonna hits into her headpiece at random intervals!

Dress up Saturday - Photo by Susie Wilson

This Kiss four piece impressed onlookers with their perfectly coordinated wigs, make up and attitude.

Kiss fancy dress at Y Not

Though ultimately a music festival, Y Not offers a whole lot more. There were plenty of food stalls and fair ground rides to keep you entertained (but better not in that order). “The Duck Burger” hailed a notably rousing applause from those who indulged in it and the burrito selection was expansive with a wide options of varieties and toppings available at each stand.

From riding a ferris wheel to mouting a swinging carousel, you had your pick of rides. Many choosing to take five, jump on the dodgems and playfully battle it out with their friends.

Photo by Max Miechowski - Fanatic

The Silent Disco is a Y Not staple and much in demand with queues starting up to one hour in advance. The headphones can be taken out of the tent and used around the site (whether this is intentional or not) which could be one of the pulls that attracts people. Importantly, The Silent Disco escapes all late night music curfews due to it’s internal sound so tends to go on later than the surrounding stages and tents.

In future years it would help if the festival could add an extra silent disco tent to accommodate the masses of people keen to don a set of headphones and have a go.

ferris wheel snunset

Top Music Picks of the Weekend

The Hives perform on The Main Stage - Photo by Sarah Walmsley

POWERFUL, PUNCHY AND ROGUE

The Hives – The Main Stage

Boy, do these guys know how to put on a show. If you’ve seen them before then you’ll see them again. And if it’s your first time, well you’re in for a treat. Their stage prescence is truly second to none. Performing as the sun went down on Sunday evening, their blues/punk/rock inspired tight, punchy riffs are a satisfying mix between catchy and creative. Familiar enough to have the Y Not audience fist punching on queue but also harnassing the ability to catch them off guard as the band decides to extend a two second mid-song gap into a two minute laborious, tension filled drum roll that has the crowd on the edge of their nerve.

The Hives - The Main Stage

The Hives played all their classic hits including “Tick Tick Boom” ”Walk Idiot Walk” and “Hate To Say I Told You So” which predictably sent the crowd into a frenzy. The undeniable swag of front man Pelle Almqvist is a key element in what makes The Hives such a multi dimensional, engrossing and addictive live band you just have to see again and again.

Kitted out in matching monochrome suits, these guys are pros at dressing for the stage and doing everything possible to enhance the theatrical element of their performance.

The Hives - Photo by Ross Silcocks

Although everything about this band is so effortlessly rogue. Each beat, each skipped beat and each subtle sound is part of the carefully crafted masterpiece that is the Hives. It’s safe to say they were a highlight of Y Not.

A NEW DISCOVERY

Dagny – The Quarry

Massive in Norway right now, Dagny is a impressive 25 year old female pop rock vocalist who wowed at The Quarry on Sunday afternoon. As an artist who knows how to command a stage and hold an audience Dagny jumped from microphone to drum kit (then back again) without compromising on the consistency of her vocal delivery.

Her song “Backbeat” was released earlier this year and has since been showcased on radio stations across the world. With a live sound more rock heavy than the recorded version, this factor simply added to the enthralling, powerful element of Dagny’s performance.

Ten minutes in, people began flocking to the tent from afar, enchanted in a siren-like manner by this compelling and pure (almost Florence and The Machine – like) female vocal sound which left you with little chance of escape before the end of the set.

Dagny is fresh on the scene but there’s no doubt we’ll be hearing more of her in the coming years.

FAST PACED BRASS

The Haggis Horns – The Neon Coconut

These guys are an incredible seven piece brass band who have worked with a series of world renowned legends including Jamiroquai, Amy Winehouse, Take That, Mark Ronson,  Adele and The Cinematic Orchestra. Described by Mark Ronson as “The best horn section in the world” we were eager to see what all the fuss was about. And these guys did not dissapoint.

Attracting a suprisingly small crowd at the Neon Coconut the band fused jazz, afro- break beat, funk and soul to create a performance that, as with every great band, attracted a culminating force of fresh ears lured into the tent by the unmistakebly feel good energy of the music.

TWIST ON DOWN

John Leather’s Tarentino Disco – The Neon Coconut

The worn out souls with minimal energy reserves left for discovering new bands could head to the Neon Coconut on Saturday afternoon for a fill of mindless (but very enjoyable) grooving. With the unusual guarantee of recognising every track before you set foot in the tent, this was an all-dancing all-pleasing experience as the DJs relentlessly powered through Taretino classics which left you no option but to twist and shake ’til you passed out.

John Leather's Tarantino Disco perform at The Neon Coconut

EASY LISTENING

Fun Lovin’ Criminals – The Main Stage

And these guys are just that, fun loving. Their sound is playful and genre spanning, fusing rock, blues, jazz and punk into an incredible easy listening sound. They can be smooth, they can be funky, but they will consistently please your ears and have you dancing along whether you like it or not.

 

Fun Lovin' Criminals - Photo by Tom Barnes

The band attracted decent sized, dedicated crowd for their Sunday slot on The Main Stage. Opening with the lazy hip hop sound of “The Fun Lovin’ Criminal”, the rock ‘n’ roll twang of the song fused well with the lazy afternoon vibe of the festival. Smoothly sailing into “We, The Three”, the on stage brass band instantly connected with the crowd in a manner which tends to come naturally to live brass performance.

Their famous, fairly repetitive track “Scooby Snacks” was probably the weakest of the set but only by virtue of the strength of the other songs.

These guys put on a fantastic performance and pleased the crowd no end. In turn proving themselves a highlight of the festival.

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds perform on The Main Stage, Saturday night Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds perform on The Main Stage, Saturday night

In all, Y Not was an energetic blend of high quality music and smiling faces. The festival achieves a good balance between offering a family friendly atmosphere, appealing to young people and also ensuring repeat attendance from it’s loyal local punters who have seen it grow from a single stage in a field to the UK’s “Best Medium Sized Festival”.

Written by Becca Linnard

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