Back for it’s fourth year, Hevy Fest packs an almighty punch of rock, punk and hardcore. Oh, and a bit of everything in between of course. With the ‘typical British summer’ we’re currently having of rain and more rain, the organisers have opted for 3 stages under tents to keep us dry. Following on from that, the first and second stage now alternate. Could they treat us any better? Dry and more bands for our money! Absolutely beautiful.

Probably our favourite weekender of the year and a battle between us as to who should actually attend! Still, we’ve whittled down our must see bands to just 10. Of course we think the line up is pretty damn extraordinary, but here are 10 bands that you have to absolutely must see, rain or shine.

Have you seen our ‘Versus’ feature? Join in the debate and let us know which Descendants or Glassjaw album you think is best.

Who are you looking forward to seeing? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Rise And Fall
Belgian metallic hardcore with sounds that will melt your face off but with elements of innovation to draw you in. With fourth LP ‘Faith’ under their belts, Rise And Fall return to our shores for their only UK appearance of 2012. Expect a snapshot of pure chaos and fury to ensue during their set with circle pits and masses of bodies a plenty. (AL)

When & Where: The Punktastic Stage, Sunday.

A Wilhelm Scream
A combination of loud catchy choruses and a fast paced technical proficiency is the perfect formula for a fantastic band, especially in a live setting. This band is A Wilhelm Scream. With a new album on the horizon, the technical melodic hardcore punks from New Bedford, Massachusetts are sure to bring a much needed energy to liven the spirits of the British crowd who are inevitably going to be left in the damp weather. (AL)

When & Where: The Rock Sound Stage, Saturday.

What a year it’s been for Marmozets, with the release of their EP ‘Vexed’ receiving overwhelming reviews here there and everywhere, touring the country with Hyro Da Hero in February and playing Download Festival last month. The thing that astounds me about Marmozets is their jaw dropping musical ability and talent both live and in the studio with an age range that doesn’t top 20 years old. With new material brewing the quintet should not be missed at this year’s Hevy festival. Prepare for absolute chaos. (HG)

When & Where: The Rock Sound Stage, Friday.

Last Witness
Last Witness are an asset to metalcore and deliver an exceptional live performance. Latest album ‘Mourning After’ is truly commendable and it is without doubt that their set will include some of the gems produced on that album. Their stage presence is somewhat daunting but definitely not in a negative sense: they grace the stage with a strong attitude and provide many an opportunity for hardcore dancing, mosh pits, circle pits, the lot. So if you like to get down and involved in the pits, Last Witness are definitely ones to check out! (HG)

When & Where: The Punktastic Stage, Friday.

Our Time Down Here
Our Time Down Here, the Southcoast favourites, are back for their second year at Hevy. This time with a new album and a solid sound that cannot be missed. There are plenty of reasons you should go and watch these guys. To support the UK music scene? To witness something you won’t see from another band at this festival? To watch a group of people work so well together that you feel as though you’re a part of the action? If these aren’t enough, I can just tell you that they’re one of the most incredible, and one of my favourite UK live acts in this country currently. There’s a reason they were asked back to play. (RK)

When & Where: The Rock Sound stage, Friday.

Vales have recently had the trouble of having to change their name from “Veils” due to the band, “The Veils” (I haven’t heard of them, have you?) threatening legal action. This takes time, and work, to regain and spread the word. The band do this with dignity and ease. You know why? Because they are too good to forget about. Their fanbase is strong, and people actively want to be kept up to date. This happens rarely these days. I have only seen Vales once, but on that alone they are another of my must sees at Hevy. Their live show is powerful and embracing. Something which I believe can be carried off in a festival environment, mostly because they do it so strongly. (RK)

When & Where: The Red Bull Bedroom Jam stage, Saturday.

H2O are a band that needs no introduction yet, sadly, never seem to the get the kudos they deserve. After working as a roadie for Sick Of It All, frontman Toby Morse decided to start his own band. H2O play positive punk in the vein of Lifetime and Pennywise complete with gang vocals and instantly catchy choruses. Accessible enough for the pop punk kids yet credible for the hardcore fans, H2O are sure to be a hit at this years Hevy. (RH)

When & Where: The Rock Sound stage, Sunday.

Formed from the ashes of The Steal, Pacer picks up where Mark Pavey and Dave House’s previous band left off. Positive lyrics, a strong DIY ethic and a down to earth attitude make Pacer immediately endearing whilst releases on All In Vinyl and Chunksaah Records prove they’ve still got the edge that made The Steal so exciting. With their debut album ‘Making Plans’ receiving positive reviews across the board you can bet they will provide an enthusiastic, high energy set at Hevy next month. (RH)

When & Where: The Red Bull Bedroom Jam stage, Sunday.

So yeah, they’ve only been together for about a year and they’re already playing Hevy Fest. I’m pretty sure this is a better accomplishment than your band and your best mate’s band who’s got that gig coming up supporting that band none of you have actually heard before. Napoleon fit onto the bill perfectly and bring ‘intelligent, melody driven hardcore’ as they say so themselves. Oh, and they have one guitarist who loops stuff! It’s super cool and as far as technical ability goes they’re up there with the heavy weights. Check them out. The future of UK music lies right here. (MB)

When & Where: on the Red Bull Bedroom Jam stage, Friday.

The Chariot
I’ve only been a fan of The Chariot since December of last year when I was reviewing the Norma Jean show at The Underworld in Camden. I’d been told that the show would be ‘epic’ by a friend with good taste, but I don’t think I was quite prepared for what this support band would do. The Chariot blew me away. An absolutely insane monstrosity of constructed noise, bellowed over with the haunting chants, growls and passion of Josh Scrogin. I know from first hand experience that even if you don’t know any of their music you’ll go away feeling overly satisfied. They will easily be the most entertaining band to watch that weekend, seriously. (MB)

When & Where: on the Punktastic stage, Sunday.

Additional Hevy Festival 2012 Info:
Stage Lineup|Essential Information|Already Heard Spotify Playlist

Hevy Festival links: Official Site|Facebook|Twitter

Words by Aaron Lohan (AL), Hannah Gillicker (HG), Rosie Kerr (RK), Richard Heaven (RH) and Michael Brown (MB).

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