There’s something about festival’s which really encompasses that warm summer feeling. Maybe it’s the music or the pitcher of pims or, just maybe, it’s the perfect combination of music, booze and sunshine. Even though it was the last weekend of summer I had before starting a 12 month work placement, Community Festival really felt like the start of summer.
For those of you who don’t know, Community Fest is a one-day festival that takes place in Finsbury Park. This year Catfish & The Bottlemen, The Wombats, Slaves and Nothing But Thieves performed on main stage, alongside a second, smaller stage.
We arrived in true festival gear with blue eyeliner, crop tops, ‘John Lennon’ sunglasses, and a bumbag to the sound of The Hunna. The first thing I felt was surprise, I was impressed by how much bigger the festival was than I thought it would be. There were people everywhere and so many bars and food carts; it was literally as if you stepped into a festival that had been in full swing for a couple of days. However, as I think about it now, I can understand why it was so popular, the lineup was incredible and tickets were only £35. Although, it was obvious that Community would make a huge profit from their bar from the prices of their pints, I’ll tell you that much.
Nothing But Thieves was the first full act we saw and it was a great way to set the atmosphere. The crowd were friendly, everyone was having a great time singing along to their biggest tunes with either a beer or cider in hand. With their guitar-based indie rock, it created the perfect vibe for a musice festival, Nothing But Thieves are a band for the grown-up emo kids out there and everyone was loving it.
However, when Slaves took the stage one questionably eloquent description of the set could be that they sounded like glorified pub singers. I remember seeing them at Reading Festival in 2015, and I thought at the time they were really great. However, after seeing that most recent performance? I’m questioning my logic as to why I thought that originally, maybe it was the negative influence of alcohol at the time. Either way, I wasn’t overly impressed by their set – I’m sure this would be very popular for many, but not for me. I, on the otherhand couldn’t wait for The Wombats to come on stage.
The Wombats are a band that I’ve loved for a long time, they’re a great throwback band; there’s so many people that have loved them, drifted away, and come back again when they’ve heard they’re playing a festival. I’ve seen them once before, but I must admit it wasn’t the best from where I was standing previously, we were at the very back at one of the smallest tents there (the Festival Republic tent for those of you who are familiar). Having seen them live again, I have very mixed feelings. Their choice of hits to perform were incredible, but the crowd was incredibly wild for next to no reason. It still remains a mystery to me as to why the crowd were so adamant on moshing to the The Wombats. Aside from that however, they are a great band to see live; they really know how to put on a performance and keep their crowd happy.
Moving on to the final band of the night, Catfish and The Bottlemen, it’s very tricky to describe exactly just how happy I felt seeing them live once again. I’ve seen them once before, again at Reading festival, but I feel they have really matured and come into their own since I last saw them. The music was phenomenal and the atmosphere was amazing. Everyone had relaxed and chilled a lot more since The Wombats gig, maybe it was the joint opinion that everyone in the crowd had sucked previously, or maybe it was the fact that the band are incredible to see live. They played the perfect mixture of songs from ‘The Balcony’ and ‘The Ride’, making it the perfect set as the sun went down on the festival.
We left the day with the true feeling of a festival; a bit drunk, tired from running away from mosh pits (sometimes unsuccessfully), and feeling a bit grimey from the amount of others people’s’ sweat you just knew you had on your clothes, not to mention the spilt beer. But this is a festival that I will keep my eye out for again; it really captures that festival experience, simply without the element where you haven’t showered in 4 days.
Text and photography by Olivia Mitchell.