Redfest is now into its seventh year of showcasing up and coming talent from the UK at its site in Redhill, Surrey. So I headed down for the day to see what was going on.

The first band to kick off the festival was Scottish outfit Vukovi on the main stage. Having driven from Scotland to Surrey for an approximately 25 minute set, most bands would be deflated, yet they were not. With big riffs and intense vocals they really kicked the festival off. The set was well balanced with both big loud songs and quieter numbers. The band had bundles of energy bouncing around the stage in the mid day heat. My only disappointment was a cover of Rudimental’s ‘Waiting All Night’, which is overplayed and the cover could have been more original by putting their own twist on it. However, I was very impressed with the set as a whole and Vukovi are a band I will be looking out for. (4.5/5)

I then took a quick walk to the “Total Uprawr! Stage” to catch A Moment Lost begin the day over there.  It was a standard performance to a near non-existent crowd, who seem too busy still arriving to set up their tents or drinking at the recently opened bar. Some of the set was sloppy and could do with touching up. (2.5/5)

Slow to follow with their late set up was female fronted metal band Aurora. It started weak, with again a minimal crowd making the band’s energy dissipate. However it improved. An impromptu heavy rain shower led to people flocking to the tent. The crowd began to become more animated with increasing numbers and lead singer Jessica Calvesbert relished in it, jumping in with the crowd several times. She displayed her vocal ability with both soft vocals and harsh screams. With the set over, the crowd appeared satisfied other than the one guy who walked out with a broken nose. (4/5)

After another lengthy delay it was time for a hometown favourite, Collisions. I had never seen them before but had heard only good things. I did panic when I saw members looking rather glam metal.  The crowd had begun to disappear due to sunshine once again to my disappointment; these boys would be at their best when playing to a packed crowd who are up for a dance. They blasted through the set regardless with numerous people dancing including the hometown fans. The set was varied, including the very catchy ‘We Know The Enemy’. The blend of metal, DnB and dubstep is an unusual one and an acquired taste. They are still a very enjoyable band to watch live. (3.5/5)

The delays became longer and longer to the point where the sound engineer could no longer give me times for when bands would be ready. Therefore I popped over to the Introducing Stage to see what talent was up and coming. Just about to begin were another hometown band High Tyde. Their indie style seemed to sit well with the youthful crowd who had their heads moving. Although catchy, it sounds similar to a lot of music around these days. It also seems the majority of the crowd are friends/acquaintances of the band and a relaxed attitude is taken. This gives off an air of arrogance from the young band especially when they have set up an extensive merch table to the side of the stage. (2/5)

I stay and wait a little to see another hometown band (Brighton seems to be bursting with new talent), Run Young Lovers. Ironically, although on the Introducing Stage, this is in fact the band’s last ever show. The indie rock band manages to gather a sizeable crowd together for their set. The emotions run high as the band’s last show comes to end. There are some fans amongst the crowd who seem to know all the words to most of the songs. The fun and uplifting tracks in the afternoon sun made this band an enjoyable one despite the sadness of a breakup. Hopefully this band will reform in some shape or form. (4/5)

I drift back to the Uprawr! Stage and wait a while for The One Hundred to set up. The crowd had begun to gather since I last visited making the atmosphere a more enjoyable one. The band had set up people to begin handing out band stickers across the tent and festival to draw people in and gain attention. They begin their blend of metal and electronica with a lot of energy, with lead singer Jacob Field jumping off of a stack of amps. The confidence of Field does wonders for the crowd who thrive off this. By the end of the set, he was being swamped at the barrier and pits were beginning to appear. For the first time today the tent was really beginning to kick off. The stickers were also a successful ploy as I spotted them everywhere afterwards. (4/5) 

After multiple delays, I manage to catch The Dirty Youth who are eagerly anticipated. The barrier is lined with fans wearing merchandise. The set ups become more extravagant with banners, light shows and multiple engineers. As The Dirty Youth begin, their experience is evident with a mature sound and style. Their live performance is one that has been refined and carefully planned. The vocals of Danni Monroe are much more powerful than those bands before. Festivals like Redfest should aid them in increasing their already dedicated fan base having recently played Download. Overall an experienced band but they deliver a pretty standard set. (3/5)

For the last time tonight, there were more lengthy delays due to it backing up across the day. However it was time for Heart Of A Coward to kill the tent. The band had been long anticipated with many tents subject of discussion being waiting for Heart Of A Coward. They played to the largest crowd of the day in the tent, this enclosed atmosphere added to the intensity of the performance. The place immediately began to move with pits and flailing limbs. The stops and breakdowns were crisp with the band in perfect synchronisation. Jamie Graham delivered powerful vocal performances and had the crowd under his careful control. The band had really got the full potential out of the tent for the day with their killer performance. (4.5/5)

To finish off the Friday was the unique reggae punk metal of the infamous Skindred. The band has quickly gained popularity over the last few years and it is well deserved. Their performances are well known for their raw energy and they do not disappoint today. The crowd is tightly packed around the main stage which is small compared to their recent festival performances. They display their powerful array of tunes including the catchy ‘Rat Race’ or the massive riff of ‘Ninja’. The performance if highlighted by a full crowd participation in the “Newport Helicopter”, whereby you remove an item of clothing and swing it above your head. Skindred absolutely smashed it as usual and gave a massive end to a Friday. (5/5)


Words by George Isaacs (@TryGeorgeIsaacs)

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