When: 26th – 28th July 2013
Where: Midland Railway, Butterley, Derbyshire
£: A weekend ticket cost 72 (camping not included)
What was it?
Indietracks is a small indie-pop festival in Derbyshire that is a little bit different to the usual music festival experience. Contrary Life packed a rucksack and headed off to the small, friendly weekender.
Indietracks doesn’t have camping facilities so we camped at the Golden Valley Caravan and Camping Park which is a short walk down the road from the festival site. The campsite charged us £25 for our tent and another £5 for the car per night which I would say is a little bit steep (they do hike their prices up during the festival). We weren’t too impressed by having a torch shone in our eyes by officious staff on our return from the festival and next time we would consider staying in a nearby hotel since it wouldn’t cost much more.
Indietracks is based at the heritage site of Midland Railway and makes the most of the facilities there by using the trains, the engine shed and the reconstructed tin church as the music stages; along with a more traditional outdoor stage. The festival also benefits from a real ale bar selling some good local brews and a reasonable selection of food stalls selling more than just your usual greasy burgers. We sampled some decent curry, veggie fish and chips and a burrito. The food, as with most festivals, was over-priced but Indietracks does allow you to bring in your own food so you can’t complain.
There was a marquee with some great workshops in which you could design your own tote bag and rock n roll sock puppets. Another marquee had stalls selling band merchandise, retro goods and crafts. After picking up a CD with a hand knitted cover complete with train-shaped button we were frequent visitors to the tent.
The first night of the festival was headlined by Bis which gave us a poppy flashback to the nineties. Saturday was the first day proper for the festival and it started quite well with Finnmark! The day got even better after a trip to the church stage to see the modern-day George Formby, David Leach. Leach is a witty song-writer with great songs about trips to the seaside and returning home to Blackburn.
The following day the church stage was quite packed and harder to get in to see the bands; but then it was a Sunday! For the last day we decided to take a couple of train trips. The first was on the narrow gauge train that runs from the festival site and goes through the local Country Park. The second train trip was on an old steam train which also served as one of the stages. It was hard to get into the carriage to hear the music but it was a great idea and we found it entertaining enough anyway.
The highlight of the day for us and it would seem for many others was The Lovely Eggs whose songs and banter are one of a kind. This was followed by a suitably glittery performance by Helen Love.
The things we really liked about Indietracks was the selection of real ale, the unique music stages, the toilets (much better than you would expect from a festival), the relaxed friendly atmosphere, discovering new music and the indie discos each night. The things we didn’t like (which wasn’t much) was the rain on Saturday night (to be expected in this country), the campsite and the price of food.
More info: www.indietracks.co.uk