On the outskirts of Cheltenham lies one of the best music festivals in the UK. Every year, 2000Trees Festival takes place early in July at the gorgeous Upcote Farm in Withington; even with its popularity and well known nature, it still manages to feel like a best kept secret.
While the festival consistently hosts a phenomenally stacked line up with some of the biggest names in the industry, there’s also a large community spirit celebrating small hidden gems. Throughout the site you’ll find camps named after trees or musical icons such as Camp Turner, Camp Rueben, Camp Frabbit, and Camp Kev. Each of these stages hosts nightly busking where you can also often find secret surprise performances from those already playing on the main stages.
If there wasn’t already enough of a community vibe, 2000Trees is well known for partnering with incredibly meaningful charities both nationally and locally. Featuring in 2023, Safe gigs For Women made its regular appearance alongside Head Above The Waves, Metal For Good, Sophie Lancaster Foundation, and Radical. All of which share messages and complete work to support various issues important to the music community.
As a medium sized festival, 2000Trees is perfect for those music lovers who might find larger scale music festivals a bit intimidating. Always delivering on big name bands and high quality rising acts, this more intimate environment never fails to deliver a phenomenal weekend. One thing that makes Trees stand out from other festivals is its famous community spirit. Year on year you’ll see them same fans frequent the festival; recognisable with their sh*t shirts or coordinated outfits.
Despite having a majority of attendees being regulars, theres no clique feeling about this festival. You’ll often find fans of the festival actively promoting and encouraging new comers to give the festival a shot. 2000Trees is a place you could attend solo and end end up leaving with friends or gig buddies for life. With its huge sense of community, everyone instinctively looks out for each other too. If you’re passing a stranger who looks like they need some support; or just someone stood alone, it wont be long before another attendee is there.
What helps make a festival so great is the staff that help run it, and 2000Trees truly has this down to a t. From security working alongside the crowd to ensure a safe and enjoyable environment (As well as looking like they were loving the music too) to stewards guiding everyone with constant smiles on their face. It’s a hard task to get nailed ensuring your event is staffed with people who care as much as you do, but those working paid a huge contribution to how enjoyable the festival was.
Although not themed as a family festival, 2000Trees is an incredibly family friendly event. With a dedicated family camping area theres extra peace of mind for parents to bring along children. Also on offer to keep kids entertained are Trees famous forest school and kids play areas.
While predominantly a music festival, 2000Trees offers more than just that. With daily Yoga to start your day right, spoken word, and comedy, there really is something for everyone.
Unlike most other festivals, you’re close to all stages at all times. Walking around the main stages will typically take less than 10 minutes with it pretty easy to get a great viewing spot. As a stand out feature, 2000 Trees new and upgraded Forest stage offers full scale performances in a truly unique setting surrounded by nature.
Born out of a love of music and wanting to do things independently, the organisers are incredibly hands on and passionate about ensuring their event is the best they can deliver. Often spotted around site also getting stuck into the action; it’s so easy to see the love of music. As a smaller scale festival, it’s also one where feedback is easy to provide and see it actioned on; an example of which being the VIP area in 2022 lacking that sparkle, had come back for 2023 better than ever.
The standard of music is always high at 2000Trees, with a large range in big name bands and smaller upcoming or local ones. Year on year there are always a handful of artists and bands who return to play time and time again purely for the love of what the organisers have created in Cheltenham.
2000Trees is absolutely a music festival everyone should experience at least once, although you’ll most likely end up returning year on year to one of the UK’s best and proudly independent music festivals.